It is early. The sun is peeking over the eastern horizon on a cool summer morning. I sip on a fresh cup of coffee and browse the headlines as the world begins to wake up. The President was on a late night talk show. The bird flu in China is likely spread by people. The sun is about to flip its magnetic pole. Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus and…wait, WHAT?
The sun is about to FLIP ITS MAGNETIC POLE?! I’m no scientist, but isn’t a shift in the polarity of the star that makes ALL LIFE POSSIBLE on this planet be a pretty big story? Maybe bigger than the (not-so-secret) revelation that the flu is spread by people?
Apparently, this happens every eleven years or so – scientists have been tracking reversals since 1976. 1976. Well, thanks for letting the rest of us know, fellas. It would have been nice if you had maybe told us that the end of the world might be coming. I mean, you had eleven years between cycles to figure out how to say it tactfully. You know, to avoid worldwide panic and stuff.
I mean, is a magnetic reversal what brought down the dinosaurs? This could explain why Atlantis sank. Maybe the Mayans disappeared because their compasses went all screwy and they just wandered off, lost and disoriented.
What’s going to happen here on earth when the sun’s north becomes south, and vice versa?
Will our clocks run backwards or something? I am hoping there are instructions in my car’s manual on how to reset my electronic compass in the case of a full polar reversal. Does water run uphill when the sun flips? Talk to me, science dudes.
Well, until they give us more information, I guess we just hunker down and do our best to get ready for it. Because you never know. Won yad yna neppah dluoc ti.