Daily Perils Fully Realized


I learned in Astronomy today that in times long past people thought the earth traveled around the sun in an elliptical orbit.  This was news to me, because i always thought the earth traveled in a circle with the sun at the center.  There is nothing in the center of one of these hateful “ellipses,” only the black void of space.  The sun is somewhere to the right side of the ellipse, at what is called a “focus.”  Here is a diagram.

The terrible doom we could face yearly

The shaded areas are equal to one another, as is the time it takes for the earth to travel around them.  This is somehow due to gravity.  There, now you learned something today.  Anyway, as you can see, the earth comes dangerously close to the sun.   The diagram makes it seem as if one small wobble in the earths rotation, one tiny bump in the road could send the entirety of civilization careening towards a terrible and fiery doom.  I found it all horribly terrifying.  I sat trembling in a cold, dark auditorium, a lecture droning on at the front, wondering exactly how many times the Earth has come perilously close to an apocalyptic conflagration, courtesy of the sun.  I normally sit away from everyone else but if anyone had been sitting next to me, they would probably begin trembling too because of the sheer gravity of my fears.  It’s called sympathetic trembling (or ST).  Scientists have long been aware of sympathetic trembling (ST) and have learned that it is related somewhat to sympathetic yawning (SY).  The following scenario happens more often than you realize:  everyday Joe is sitting innocently and keeping to himself when to his left an unknown person shivers from a chill.  Suddenly everyday Joe’s body is wracked with violent tremors as his face contorts into a mask of fear and confusion.  The spells seldom last long, but the side effects can be devastating.

Lucky for everyone else I was by myself, though I did see a few people twitch.  Later, my professor told us that the earth’s path is more of a circle than an ellipse and that yes charles, we are perfectly safe from the sun’s terrible flames.  This gave me a sense of relief, but then I noticed that was wearing is tie backwards.

How trustworthy is a man who gives lectures with his tie on backwards?

"Who needs a third grade diploma?"

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