Is it safe to go out? or ‘3,000 to 1 Space Oddity’

Well it looked like a nice day from my bedroom window.

Even better it is my day off, I feel a bike ride coming on… better just check the forecast.

“Stock markets are crashing, sub atomic particles are moving faster than the speed of light and Nasa predicts space debris falling from the sky” Great! Thank you Radio 4.

Personally, I’m not that bothered about the speeding particles, their discovery may change the face of Physics as we know it, but probably they’ve been disobeying Einstein for a long time and the world still seems to be turning. So we’ll leave the physicists to get over-excited about that.  Sadly nor can I do anything about the stock markets. . But the space debris does bother me. I turned the radio up to hear the details. The report finished with the reassuring advice that it WAS safe to go out because your chances of being hit by anything were less than 3,000 to 1.

3,000 to 1!!! That seems kinda high to me, doesn’t that mean 1 in every 3,000 people will have space junk land on them today? Or have I misunderstood the maths? Surely, given the size of the planet and the number of inhabitants they have missed off a few noughts???

That doesn’t seem good odds at all, maybe a bike ride is not such a good idea. My fall back plan is to find a wool shop. I remembered there might be one in Northampton, and, lo, google reveals that there is. Joy.   I spend about 10 minutes trying to find Pleasant Street, Northampton in ‘Multimap’, ‘RAC routeplanner’, ‘Bing’… before it finally dawns on me that I am looking at the web page of a shop in Northampton, Massachusetts.   Well, that would be a tad too far for a jaunt on my day off!

So it’s  back to plan A. Taking the bike out and dodging the space debris, if only I could go as fast as a sub-atomic particle…

' and the guy at first base didn't know what hit him!'


3 thoughts on “Is it safe to go out? or ‘3,000 to 1 Space Oddity’

Add yours

  1. Now is the time when being good at figures helps. The chance of death from the falling satellite is, according to the BBC, 1 in 3,200. The good news is that the earths population is 6.96 billion so to find the chance of you being killed you multiply them together and you get … a very big number (1 in 22,272,000,000,000.) So the chance of me (or you) being killed by said satellite is 1 in 22.272 billion. Of course that doesn’t help you if you are the “1” !!!!

    Shame about the wrong Northampton 😦 Given that the Americans like sticking ordinal numbers at the end of names why don’t they do that to theie place names? You would then have known that the wool shop was in Northampton the 25th.

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