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©2007 by Richard Nolle

WOW!NOV 19, 2007 - Mikhail Medvedev is the Russian-born astrophysicist currently at the University of Kansas, who among other things is noted for a theory that not too long ago would have been characterized as astrology; namely the notion that events in the Cosmos very far from our home planet can have major correlates down here on Earth. More specifically, Professor Medvedev is one of a team of researchers who have proposed that Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) from wihin our own galaxy may have contributed to the late Ordovidian mass extinction here on Earth, some 440 million years ago. (The full paper on this is available free online as a .pdf file, and I recommend it.) The thing is, boys and girls, that GRBs are not one-off affairs. They happen at astronomical distances and on cosmic time scales, but when they do they can nuke most life on our home planet. Statistically speaking, it's not a question of whether another GRB will fry out atmosphere; it's a question of when. So, as the poet said, "gather ye rosebuds while ye may," humans!

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