rocks and gravity

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This New York Times article had the best amazing and horrifying introduction to the story of Friday’s meteor over Russia:

Gym class came to a halt inside the Chelyabinsk Railway Institute, and students gathered around the window, gazing at the fat white contrail that arced its way across the morning sky. A missile? A comet? A few quiet moments passed. And then, with incredible force, the windows blew in.

I would have done the same thing – stood at the window and stared. And quite possibly ended up with glass embedded in my face. Hopefully I’ll remember this lesson, and hopefully governments of the world will get off their butts and work on tracking meteors this small (50 feet in diameter).

This story was also interesting because of all those car-based video cameras that recorded the event. Why do so many Russians have dashboard video cameras in their cars? Word is that the trend started in order to fight back against corrupt traffic cops and also to back-up or counter insurance claims. There’s a whole mini-entertainment industry in Russia based on viewing auto accidents or strange behavior on the road as recorded by dashboard cams.

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