Monday, January 27, 2014

Shoulda Known Better

I must have been in junior high when I saw The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (on HBO or one of its precursors). I might have been a bit younger. All I know is that it made an impression on me. (The earlier link is to the video on YouTube. Here's a link to it on IMDb.)

I was fine up until they got to the predictions for the then future. Let's just say that part freaked me out. A lot.

Last week I covered a middle school science class. The teacher had an emergency, so the lesson plans were kind of last minute (read: she pulled out a video). The DVD was The Universe. Perfect for them.

The first episode on the DVD was "Secrets of the Sun". I hit play.

"We've seen that one. Can we watch 'The End of the Earth'?"

Sure, why not? I stopped the other episode and started the one requested.

It was only after the episode got into near earth asteroids like Apophis and gamma-ray bursts that I realized my mistake. A group of students were chattering, and their chatter wasn't the usual video chatter. They were worried.

(I tried to calm them by telling them that Apophis' next near Earth pass was a long way out. "How old will you be?" I asked, forgetting that they were all born in 2000 & 2001. Even I can do that math. It puts them in their mid-thirties.)

I told them that they had nothing to worry about. The scientists would have a solution by the time Apophis is due to return. The gamma ray bursts were such a small probability that it wasn't something they needed to concern themselves with.

But I understood their worry. I was told not to worry about random quatrains as well. Didn't help. I was at that age.

I really should have known better.

What scared the bejeesus out of you at 12 & 13?


  1. I think that would have been the time I saw Alien for the first time. Scared the crap out of me.

  2. I am now so old that I honestly don't remember what scared me in at that age. Probably getting a C. Or, you know, junior high in general.

  3. Spiders. Always spiders. But I remember being that age and always wondering about the "End of the World" hype surrounding the new millennium. I don't think I was every too scared of it, but being thirteen means it's easy to get carried away.


I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.