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Nice try kid, but where is your homework?
June 12, 2009 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Details are sketchy, but it seems that 14-year-old Gerrit Blank was struck by a meteorite this week and survived to tell the tale.
posted by R. Mutt (61 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dodgy, not sketchy.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:55 PM on June 12, 2009


"Details are sketchy"



You could write TV news in a small market.
posted by Zambrano at 5:59 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why is this kid not quarantined?! He could start spouting tentacles any minute now!
posted by brundlefly at 6:03 PM on June 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


If the kid were dodgy, the meteorite never would've hit him.
posted by wendell at 6:04 PM on June 12, 2009 [21 favorites]


Check the kid for blobs before we all regret it. And hand him a lottery ticket.
posted by effluvia at 6:05 PM on June 12, 2009


First known person to be hit by a meteor.
posted by @troy at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2009


(as opposed to a meteorite)
posted by @troy at 6:09 PM on June 12, 2009


this has happened once before...a woman was hit (in, IIRC, the early 1970s) in the leg by a meteorite after it plunged through her roof. she was sitting in a reclining chair of the barcalounger variety watching television at the time. the picture of her showing her massive bruise and looking very nonplussed i have in a book somewhere. question: which book and where is it? gah! BRB
posted by sexyrobot at 6:11 PM on June 12, 2009


Poor bastard's gonna be covered in moss by week's end.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:12 PM on June 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


"..hand him a lottery ticket"

If it went as described, he's won his lottery jackpot already.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:12 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The commenters at /. have some doubts about whether the kid was hit by the meteorite or the resulting shrapnel. Anything that could knock a foot-wide crater in the asphalt is probably going to do a bit more damage to a hand than just leaving a three-inch scar.

It could just be that their all jealous of his awesome bragging rights though.
posted by lekvar at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2009


Not only that, but he'd also missed that Air France flight last week.
posted by Flashman at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2009


Technically, It started being a meteorite after it hit him.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2009


Pretty soon he'll be a "permanent guest" at the same heavily fortified undisclosed location where they keep that boy that got by the spider, the scientist who survived a intrinsic field accident, the girl from Greece, the dude that got his parents murdered in front of him, the whole clutch of lighting-strike survivors, and that farm boy without a birth certificate or social security number. You just can't be too careful.
posted by The Whelk at 6:16 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


ah...found the book...it was 'the internet' by 'everybody' and i was wrong on almost all counts. two stories.

how i was wrong:
date: 1954, not the 70s
location: abdomen, not leg. sofa, not lounger
activity: sleeping, not watching tv
device: radio (which the meteorite bounced off of), not television

see. memory like a steel sieve.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:18 PM on June 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


Might be true, but probably not.
posted by lukemeister at 6:18 PM on June 12, 2009


I saw a great short at an independent film festival a month or two ago about a guy who got hit by a meteorite and was displaced a few centimeters to one side. (He had to open doors by reaching slightly to the left of where the handle was, etc.) I wish I could remember what it was...
posted by danb at 6:19 PM on June 12, 2009


so envious
posted by DU at 6:19 PM on June 12, 2009


Ah. Apparently it is Skhizein.
posted by danb at 6:21 PM on June 12, 2009


Man with scarred hand holds spraypainted pea by hole in the road, film at 11.
posted by fire&wings at 6:23 PM on June 12, 2009


(as opposed to a meteorite)

It's not a meteorite until it hits the earth.

Now, does it count as having hit the earth if it hits a person who is in contact with the earth? What about if it hits a bird in flight? Has the bird been hit by a meteor or a meteorite?

Does a meteor become a meteorite when it comes to rest? When it cools of?
posted by longsleeves at 6:24 PM on June 12, 2009


also, i was probably wrong about the object...she was hit by a meteor, not a meteorite. also the boy who was hit was hit by a meteor as well. i believe it was also technically a meteor between his hand and the ground as the definition starts once it hits the ground. buildings and whatnotnot don't count, but i wonder what an object that hit a cliff then bounced into a valley would be considered between cliff and valley....
posted by sexyrobot at 6:24 PM on June 12, 2009


the picture of her showing her massive bruise and looking very nonplussed i have in a book somewhere

Yeah, but her nonplussed look could hardly compete with this kid's Blank stare.
posted by googly at 6:24 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, this would be such an awesome story if there was any way at all that it actually happened.
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:28 PM on June 12, 2009


The kid would be an astronomer's Harry Potter.

The Boy Who Lived, they'd call him in hushed but fervent tones.
posted by voltairemodern at 6:34 PM on June 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


posted by longsleeves Does a meteor become a meteorite when it comes to rest? When it cools off?

A rock (meteoroid) that enters the atmosphere but does not land on Earth is a meteor. (Technically, a meteor is the visible streak of light, but it's easier to think of it as a rock or dust particle in the process of burning up).

A rock (meteoroid) that enters the atmosphere and lands on Earth is a meteorite.

Source.
posted by mattdidthat at 6:38 PM on June 12, 2009


I find it odd that there was a photograph of his face instead of his hand. wtf? Just me?
posted by heyho at 6:40 PM on June 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, does this kid get to keep the meterorite?
posted by mattdidthat at 6:41 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, does this kid get to keep the meterorite?

He gets to keep his hand, and he should count hissen bloody lucky at that!
posted by Sova at 6:52 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


What about if it hits a bird in flight? Has the bird been hit by a meteor or a meteorite?

*head explodes*
posted by brundlefly at 6:54 PM on June 12, 2009


*not from being hit by any extraterrestrial bodies*
posted by brundlefly at 6:54 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heyho, Yeah. It sure looks like some clueless editor cropped what was intended to be a picture of Gerrit Blank displaying his wound or the rock or both before the article was posted.
posted by longsleeves at 6:57 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for this headline:

"Kid Overexcited By Being Hit By Rock. Nearby People Throw More Rocks At Kid. Kid No Longer Excited."
posted by jamstigator at 7:01 PM on June 12, 2009 [3 favorites]




An object that makes a crater hitting a person directly would definitely kill, BUT, the thing is tiny while leaving a 3 inch gash. That says grazing shot to me (or even just a near miss and he got scorched). Unlikely, but possible.
posted by DU at 7:02 PM on June 12, 2009


A shooting star is not a star-- is not a star at all!
A shooting star's a meteor that's heading for a fall!
A shooting star is not a star. Why does it shine so bright?
The friction as it falls through air produces heat and light!
A shooting star, or meteor, whichever name you like:
The minute it comes down to earth, it's called a meteorite.
(With bonus meteor footage)
posted by The White Hat at 7:03 PM on June 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait...a crater in concrete? I was imagining dirt or sand. I'm starting to get a Look from my BS detector (it's watching TV but listening in to all this).
posted by DU at 7:04 PM on June 12, 2009


Unlikely, but possible.

Indeed.
posted by longsleeves at 7:07 PM on June 12, 2009


Why would they crop the picture like that? Are minor injuries considered too much for the newsreading public?

I'm voting for schrapnel. As far as timing goes regarding flashes and noises, it can take a few seconds for all that to register.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:17 PM on June 12, 2009


This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth highest circulation in the whole wide world. Right? Plenty of facts. "Pregnant man gives birth." That's a fact.
posted by spock at 7:23 PM on June 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gerritt Blank's going to need a good deal of herbicide.
posted by reverend cuttle at 7:29 PM on June 12, 2009


Not only that, but he'd also missed that Air France flight last week.

VS Johanna Ganthaler who arrived late for the Air France plane flight that crashed in the Atlantic last week has been killed in a car accident

"Pregnant man gives birth."

With sex reassignment surgery and legal definition of man, sure, why not.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:48 PM on June 12, 2009


the picture of her showing her massive bruise and looking very nonplussed i have in a book somewhere. question: which book and where is it?

I'm pretty sure it was in multiple editions of the Guinness Book of World Records.
posted by dhartung at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2009


> "Pregnant man gives birth."

With sex reassignment surgery and legal definition of man, sure, why not.


It has already happened, twice.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 8:07 PM on June 12, 2009


Here is a picture of the woman bruised by a thing from outer space.
posted by longsleeves at 8:11 PM on June 12, 2009


ouchies!
posted by longsleeves at 8:12 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one where the first thing that came to mind is whether or not Mr. Blank's friends call him "Gerry"?
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:26 PM on June 12, 2009


Thanks, The White Hat, for reminding me of one of the treasures of my childhood, the Singing Science Records. (Previously.)
posted by hippybear at 8:40 PM on June 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


DAMN YOU, BART!
posted by cerulgalactus at 11:02 PM on June 12, 2009


that pavement seems more 'shattered' than 'cratered', which might indicate a lower speed...still, for a pea-sized object, that's a pretty big graze...the width of the scar indicates a good bit of energy transferred from the object...i buy it.

and, sadly, he probably doesn't get to keep it...technically meteorites belong to whoever's property it lands on.

also, FWIW, a lot of meteorites hit the ground freezing cold...the upper parts of the atmosphere burn them up and slow them down, but the lower bits actually cool them off. that's mostly when they're smallish, though...
posted by sexyrobot at 12:29 AM on June 13, 2009


It could be a true story, but the details seem to be off on a few points. If this thing was going fast enough to make a crater like that I don't think it could have bounced off his hand - it probably would have taken a nice chunk of his hand off with it.

I'm thinking probably the "crater" was some piece of pavement that was already damaged and the meteorite landed in it. Maybe.

Apparently The Bad Astronomer is thinking along the same lines.
posted by smoothvirus at 1:55 AM on June 13, 2009


also, how do they conclude that the chances of surviving such a strike are one in a million?
posted by johnny novak at 2:42 AM on June 13, 2009


johnny novak: It's a highly complex calculation, but the value can be estimated by the gentle movement of digitus secundu in a medium of gaseous nitrogen/oxygen/trace gases at a pressure of 1013.25 hPa
posted by nielm at 5:06 AM on June 13, 2009


longsleeves you are making my head hurt. Henceforth they are all called "space rocks" no matter where they are or what they've hit.
posted by nax at 6:50 AM on June 13, 2009


johnny novak, where have you been? The last 999,999 people DIED. Geez, show some respect.
posted by nax at 6:51 AM on June 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


that boy that got by the spider

Frodo Baggins?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:22 AM on June 13, 2009


What about if it hits a bird in flight? Has the bird been hit by a meteor or a meteorite?

"...Do you mean an African, or European swallow?"
posted by aught at 10:10 AM on June 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there a small race of people on the meteorite who now need to be sheltered from harm, perhaps on Mt. Nool?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:47 AM on June 13, 2009


"that boy that got by the spider

Frodo Baggins?


That's debatable.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:17 AM on June 13, 2009


Hello Meteor!
posted by Tacodog at 2:18 PM on June 13, 2009


Damn, Carrot Top just won't die.
posted by thebrokedown at 9:55 PM on June 14, 2009


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