Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

The Julien Tsunami

So all the kids are coming to school beginning yesterday:

"Mister, mister, did you hear about the tsunami?"

"No", I say. "Was it on the news?"

"Yeah, this guy is predicting a 200 meter tsunami is going to hit Morocco. Should we not come to school?"

Sadly, they're serious. It was on the news here. There's some great news outlets here, like the rag Telquel, that never met a fictitious story they didn't like. And there's a tradition of not coming to school during a solar eclipse because you might go blind. Here, a fragment of a comet passing by is going to land in the Atlantic and cause tsunamis in Morocco.

Now, this would be pretty amazing, since the largest seismic sea wave on record was only 64 meters high. And usually tsunamis are seismic sea waves, therefore caused by earthquakes. And no one else is reporting about this comet going to hit the earth. And we can't predict where a fragment would land, if one was coming, with this degree of accuracy this far ahead of time. And even if we could, we can't predict a tsunami more than a few hours ahead of time. And the comet appears to be 9.4 million kilometers from Earth. That would be the closest fragments. It may perhaps actually come as close as a little over a million kilometers away from Earth, in the most liberal of estimates.

Oh- and if there was a tsunami, our school is on a hill!

But the comet in question, Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, is still a pretty interesting comet, breaking up in the early dawn sky right now, so astronomers have been tracking it for quite a while. Unfortunately, the men who released one Eric Julien have not been tracking him as closely as they should have, as he seems to be the author of this internet rumor, which has now caught on in a number of places around the world.

So tomorrow I plan to post some signs around campus, somewhat along the lines of:

Buy now!
Exclusively yours, the newest, hottest T-shirt!
Stating:

"I survived
The
Julien Tsunami!

(And I didn’t
even get wet!)
"

Only 99.99 dirhams!
These t-shirts are sbut, but they’re going faster than an internet rumor. Get yours now!

They’re as real as tsunamis triggered by comet fragments 9.4 million kilometers away!

Manufactured on location by Local Loony(TM).

See Mr. Abdul Muhib for payments. Delivery should arrive in 900-912 months, or about the same amount of time scientists have been tracking this comet and forgetting to warn us about it.
All proceeds to go to the Memorial Muhib Fund For Continuing Education.

Sbut would be referring to "skhun bezzef u tagriba", or Pretty Hot n' Tempting, PHAT, in Dareeja, the local dialect of Morocco.

2 comments:

E.T. said...

LOL! I sure am thankful to be a survivor. By the way, since the waves weren't as catastrophic as predicted, can you please give me a tee-shirt discount?

@bdul muHib said...

Sadly, I actually had some students asking me about possibly purchasing one!