Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com

June 30

Saints celebrating feast days today include Theobald of Provins (patron of charcoal burners, by which I don't think they mean hibachis or Webers), Martial, and Bertrand.


Lena Horne is 90 (1917, Brooklyn) years old today.

Tunguska Event

Today is the anniversary of the Tunguska Event, the 1908 Siberian explosion that has for years puzzled scientists and given fuel to UFO enthusiasts.

What seems to have happened is that either a comet or a stony asteroid entered the atmosphere over the Stony Tonguska River north of Vanavara and shattered in a series of explosions, blowing trees down like toothpicks all in the same direction (must have looked like the Mt. St. Helens eruption photos) over an area the size of Rhode Island.
Click to see larger image

Since the area under the explosions was Siberia, and the casualties were primarily fairly primitive reindeer herders, and also since it was 1908, the event was not thoroughy reported even though atmospheric side effects occurred worldwide. The first expedition to investigate the phenomenon set out twenty years after the fact. Though many others have followed, none has conclusively determined the cause. The UFO people believe it was an exploding nuclear reactor in an extraterrestrial craft.

Here is something off the net (taken directly from the Southworth Planetarium web pages - they cite Duncan Steel's book Rouge (sic) Asteroids and Doomsday Comets for the list below) that should give you plenty to think about. It fits nicely in my theory that almost every truly important thing in your life is almost totally out of your control. But more on that later.

Table of Terror

About 2,000 objects massive enough (1 km diameter) to cause global catastrophe are known to cross Earth's orbit. Such an impacting object would wipe out 25% of humanity.
About 10,000 objects of 500 m size cross Earth's orbit.
About 300,000 objects of 100 m size cross Earth's orbit.
About 150 million objects of 10 m size cross Earth's orbit.
Some 70% of potential impactors are asteroids, the rest are comets.
About 50% of the Earth-crossing asteroids most likely are extinct or dormant comets.

Frequency of Impactors:

Pea-size meteoroids - 10/hr
Walnut-size - 1/hr
Grapefruit-size - 1/10 hrs
Basketball-size - 1/mo
50-m rock that would wipe out an area the size of New Jersey - 1/century
1-km asteroid - 1/100,000 years
2-km asteroid - 1/500,000 years
A "nemesis" parabolic comet impactor would give us only a 6-month warning

Now, have a happy day.

UPDATE: I received the following in response to this Saint Report:


Letter to the Editor

Subj: Re: Saint Report - June 30
Date: 97-06-30 06:58:13 EDT
From: Nita5234
To: Goatview

If you're going to scare us half to death with large objects falling out of the sky, please also invoke the proper saints to ward them off. You give us somebody who looks after charcoal burners. Big deal. And a couple of wimps named Marshall (your source must have spelled his name wrong) and Bertrand who don't have any missions and therefore aren't earning their keep as saints IMHO. Please send the right saints, and soon.

Actually, I'd prefer a saint who wouldn't actually prevent the comet from striking but who would allow me to choose which 25% gets wiped out.

Faithful reader

There's a saint for the birds and a saint for the bees,
There are saints who fight whirlpools and bladder disease,
But no saints are assigned (let's write John Paul and get some!)
To protect us from heavenly flotsam and jetsam.



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Marilyn Jones 2001-2008