Friday, February 15, 2013

science literacy in this day and age

Alarm clock started up. The FM radio started playing. The strange jazz station (which I should really tune away from) was in their on-the-hour news segment.

The news person was talking about a meteor exploding over Russia causing damage and injuries. What?! Weird. Strange timing. Very strange that a random large meteor on the same day at the headline-grabbing near-Earth object. The Universe likes to surprise us.

Then she talked about the asteroid due to pass by the Earth. The closest approach would be around 2:30 PM.

The host of the morning show said, "I wonder if we can see it..." Huh?

The news reader said the report had a note about being visible to people on the other side of the planet.

"Oh. Maybe we'll hear it. That'd be neat."

Wow. I was... stunned. My mind was reeling.

Are science fiction movies to blame, with sound effects associated with objects in outer space? Or had the report's terminology formed an auditory association? "Whizzing by..." Would it make a whizzing sound? Or was it simply that the radio host would not pick science as their strong suit? Or are we just getting dumber?

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