Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and a forming planet
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 29, 2016
External image
The moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report. Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle
Full article
An Unlucky Samaritan

When I was 17, I was in a head-on collision with another driver. I think I was unconscious for a minute or two after the impact. When I came to, I was confused and couldn’t feel any pain. I couldn’t move much, though. Something was pinning me. A downward glance showed me what it was. There was a metal rod impaling directly under my knee, through what the doctors later told me was my patellar tendon. It had pushed through the tendon, lifted my kneecap, and driven itself up the length of my thigh. It wasn’t too deep inside; I could see it bulging under my skin.

A minute later, I felt everything. I screamed and screamed, thrashing for a bit before realizing any movement only intensified the pain in my knee and thigh. Then I looked out the cracked windshield and saw the other driver. His devastated skull sat on his neck like a mashed fruit. I could see his tongue lolling out of his ruined mouth. Without a lower jawbone to hold it in place, it hung down to his Adam’s apple. The remaining eye stared, unblinking, at the damaged its owner had caused.

Another wave of impossibly acute agony surged through me, blurring my vision and forcing me to bite down on my own teeth until I felt at least one molar crack. Some part of my consciousness registered the fact I was hyperventilating and worked to calm my breathing. A couple moments later, the wave had passed. I realized no cars had come upon our accident yet. I tried to reach into the back pocket of my shorts for my cell phone, but there was no way the rod in my knee would allow that much movement. In exchange for my attempt, the unbearable pain resumed.

Once I’d regained my senses, I looked again at the remains of the other driver. There wasn’t much I could make out. It looked he he’d had a beard; hair was puffing out from the skin of what might have been his cheeks. Even though he was the one who’d caused me all this pain, I felt bad he was dead. No one deserved to have that happen to them. While I studied the gore with morbid fascination, the man’s neck jerked and sent the fleshy wreckage of his face flopping back and forth. He jerked again. This time, his shoulders and torso moved as well. I gagged as the movement forced his head downward and bits of his crushed brain oozed from the hole that was once his face.

The man continued moving as if he was enduring a terrible seizure. My pain came back. Unable to bear the sensation, I blacked out. It couldn’t have been very long. When I came to, there was something wrong with the man’s body. Something I couldn’t understand. The hole where his face had connected to his throat was stuffed with something. It slid out in a thick, wet mass onto the twisted steering wheel and dashboard. From my vantage point, about six feet away, I could only describe it as a worm or snake. Still, it was unlike either of those things. The body was grayish-white and oozed heavy, milky yellow discharge from gaping pores which covered the entirety of its length. That length increased as I watched with growing horror.

The return of the pain in my knee was unable to overcome the fear sweeping over me at the sight of the monster. Over ten feet had unfurled from the carcass and had draped itself along the dashboard. It was lying on surfaces coated with pulverized glass from the windshield, and I could see chunks of it sticking in its pores as it moved. The thing didn’t seem to mind. Once another few feet came out, I saw its tail end finally discharge itself from the man. The parasite squirmed off the dashboard and onto the crumpled union of car hoods. The viscous, milky slime clung to every surface it touched and kept the creature connected to the contacted surfaces by thin ropes. It uncoiled completely and its full length lay wetly on our cars. The smell coming from its body was thick and putrescent with a revolting, cloying sweetness. I struggled not to retch, not wanting it to hear me.

The pores stopped oozing. An unsettling, peristaltic ripple passed through the thing’s body. Ugly flatulent sounds leaked from each pore, and I saw something moving inside them. With an explosive jolt that caused me to jump in shock, bright red tendrils burst out of its pores. Each one was about as thick as a pencil and every pore contained at least 20 of them. They grew and grew in length, some laying flaccidly on the cars and some erecting themselves and flopping around like severed electrical cables.

I screamed when a couple of the tendrils brushed against me as they grew. But seconds later, every one of them pushed downward and dragged the main body onto the surface of the road. An 18-wheeler was driving toward us. It screeched to a halt and I watched an overweight trucker stumble out of the cab and run toward us. First he looked over and saw the dead man was far beyond help. Then he saw me and my look of pain and terror. He opened his mouth, presumably to say he’d call 911, but the tendrils leapt into his mouth and throat before he could get a word out.

The trucker grasped the thick cord of tendrils invading him and tried to pull. More shot out from the thing in the road and wrapped themselves around his fat form. Over the course of a minute, the main body had been pulled over to the trucker. Gradually, the tendrils retracted from the man’s mouth while the body forced itself into his throat. The putrid seminal fluid again began to leak from the creature as it pushed deeper and deeper. A little while later, it was inside. The man was soaked from head to toe with the vile substance. But he no longer looked afraid. He just looked calm. He turned around and walked back to his truck, leaving a trail of milky-yellow slime. I heard the engine start and the truck drove away.

Another car noticed us soon after. The paramedics were called and I was brought to the hospital. I never told anyone what happened. I assume everyone was confused about what the slime was, but I didn’t hear them talk about it. All they were concerned about was the wound in my leg, which required two years to recover. I never saw the parasite, or any hint of it, again. It was another five years before I’d conquered my fear of driving. I’ve done my best to forget about what I saw. No matter how hard I try, though, I still shudder when a truck passes me and I see the driver through his open window. I know that thing is still in one of them. At least one.

How to prepare to join the Internet of the dead

In January 2015, security researcher and beloved, prolific geek Michael “Hackerjoe” Hamelin died in a head-on collision that also hospitalized his widow, Beth Hamelin.

Hackerjoe had not done anything to prepare for his unexpected death, and he had an exceptionally complex tangle of IT systems and obligations that no one else was prepared to run – or even rescue.

As the widowed Beth Hamelin recovered from her own injuries, she was faced with the task of untangling Michael Hamelin’s affairs, which ranged from the data needed to pay the household bills to the crypto-keys to access the family photographs and archives, to the authentication tokens and knowledge necessary to gracefully wind down the many hosting/IT businesses he ran without leaving his customers in the lurch.

Andrew Kalat – a close friend of the Hamelins and an IT expert himself – stepped in to help, booting Hamelin’s systems with “crash-carts,” begging companies like Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Goolge to let him recover Hamelin’s data, and trying (unsuccessfully) to recover the keys to unlock the Hamelin family’s personal memories. As of the time of the talk, all of the Hamelins’ photos were considered unrecoverable.

Kalat’s talk is a brilliant example of the premise that “we can’t make back doors than only good guys can get through.” When Hamelin hardened his systems against the attackers who might target him or his customers, he also hardened it against his loved ones.

I wrote about the “Internet of the Dead” in 2012, when my good friend Erik “Possum Man” Stewart, also a prolific and eclectic hacker, died unexpectedly in his sleep and I tried to help his family rescue a little of his digital legacy.

That incident prompted me to create my own digital death plan, which, now that I think of it, is woefully out of date, and, having seen Kalat’s presentation, I realize is also inadequate.

I like Kalat’s proposal that once a year, couples should switch household roles, each paying the bills and taking care of the paperwork the other deals with, just to “stress test” your family’s preparedness for these terrible, unexpected calamities – to make your family a system that fails well, as well as working well.


Imagine Ash having to leave behind his significant other for a couple of weeks while he goes to Tir Na Nog to deal with some political brouhaha that’s sprung up. He promises he’ll return in no more than 14 days, and even after they’ve said goodbye he stands in their doorway frowning and looking dejected.

“Don’t worry,” they assure him, laughing and giving his shoulder a playful shove when he continues to look like a wounded puppy. “I’ll be fine. Go do your thing and deal with your witch mother. I’ll be here when you get back.”

But they’re not there when he gets back. The apartment is dark and locked when he comes home after 14 days, and the mail has piled up on the doorstep. Frantic, he manages to get the attention of one of the neighbors, who informs him that about three days after he left, his lover was involved in a head-on collision on the way to work one morning, and has been in the hospital ever since. 

Ash immediately gets in touch with Glitch, who manages to hack into the hospital’s computer system to locate which room the human is in, and Ash immediately races over, petrified.

He finds his lover propped up in a hospital bed, their leg in a cast, watching reruns of some odd show called ‘House’, and making faces as they slurp down hospital cafeteria food. When they spot Ash in the doorway, wide-eyed and paler than usual, they give him a guilty smile.

“Sorry,” they apologize as he staggers into the room, towards the bed, “I thought I’d be out of here before you got back, but–”

Ash drops on the bed and puts his arms around them, shaking from head to toe.

“Ash, I’m fine,” they try to assure him, patting his back. “I just needed a few stitches.”

“Don’t you ever,” he whispers in a voice that trembles harder than he is, “Scare me like that again…”

In drivers ed, you learn how to
put your blinkers on and dim
your headlights when you’re supposed to–
I wished there was a class like that
for people like you because holy shit
I don’t know where we stand.
You keep sending me all these signals
like I’m supposed to know what they
mean but they all seem alien to me
and I just don’t know what you want;
I am falling for you,
you are my head on collision
and my mind is the only seatbelt
because my heart
wants me to crash into you
but save me from
the broken bones and surgery,
spare me the heartache
and just tell me, just show me
that I’m not crazy–
give me a reason to believe
that maybe you and I are
something that could be.

Moon was produced by head-on collision

The Moon was formed by a violent head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report.

Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle of 45° or more — a powerful side-swipe. New evidence substantially strengthens the case for a head-on assault.

Read more ~ Astronomy Magazine

Image: The extremely similar chemical composition of rocks on the Earth and moon helped scientists determine that a head-on collision, not a glancing blow, took place between Earth and Theia.
   Credit: William K. Hartmann

It’s a watermark in my vision. It’s a swerving car that hit me. It’s a feeling indescribable with each aching tendon. It’s the marrow in my bones disintegrating within minutes. It’s the hunger for your skin; for your teeth sinking into me. It’s a caricature of my coveting towards your entire being. It’s the sand’s final outcome as the waves crash into it endlessly. It’s a knife through my throat so that blood is all I breathe. It’s desire, it is painful, unrelenting heartbeats’ quickening. It’s the way I feel when you so much as glance at me. It’s a rope wound around me constricting my airways. It’s smoke surrounding me to stop me from bumping our knees. It’s suffocating yet hopelessly amazing. It’s a head on collision. It’s the dilapidation of depression. It’s my only chance to be free. It’s how you feel to me.

“What is attraction?” -( @burrnmylungs )

Earth Is Made Up Of Two Planets, Say Scientists

A ‘violent, head-on collision’ between Earth and a developing planet called Theia formed the planet that we live on today and also created the moon, according to new research.

A ‘planetary embryo’ called Theia, thought to be around the same size as Earth or Mars, collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago with the two being effectively melded together to form a single planet, says the study.

The head-on smash took place approximately 100 million years after the Earth was formed.

While it was already known that the two planets collided, it was previously thought that Theia merely grazed Earth, causing the former to break up, with a piece of the fledgling planet forming the moon.

If that were the case, the moon would have a different chemical composition to Earth because it would be made up predominantly of Theia.

Researchers at the University of California studied moon rocks brought back to Earth by the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 missions, along with volcanic rocks from the Earth’s mantle, found in Hawaii and Arizona.

They found that the rocks from the moon and Earth had almost identical oxygen isotopes, turning the previous theory on its head.

“Theia was thoroughly mixed into both the Earth and the moon, and evenly dispersed between them,” said lead researcher Edward Young. “This explains why we don’t see a different signature of Theia in the moon versus the Earth.”

While Theia ended up incorporated into Earth, Young says that it would probably have become a planet in its own right if the collision hadn’t taken place.

The research was published in the journal Science.

Image credit: William K. Hartmann


The Moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report.

Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle of 45 degrees or more – a powerful side-swipe (simulated in a 2012 YouTube video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwl_JBQtH9o]). New evidence reported Jan. 29 in the journal Science substantially strengthens the case for a head-on assault.

The researchers analyzed seven rocks brought to the Earth from the Moon by the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 missions, as well as six volcanic rocks from the Earth’s mantle – five from Hawaii and one from Arizona.

The key to reconstructing the giant impact was a chemical signature revealed in the rocks’ oxygen atoms. (Oxygen makes up 90 percent of rocks’ volume and 50 percent of their weight.) More than 99.9 percent of Earth’s oxygen is O-16, so called because each atom contains eight protons and eight neutrons. But there also are small quantities of heavier oxygen isotopes: O-17, which have one extra neutron, and O-18, which have two extra neutrons. Earth, Mars and other planetary bodies in our solar system each has a unique ratio of O-17 to O-16 – each one a distinctive “fingerprint.”

In 2014, a team of German scientists reported in Science that the Moon also has its own unique ratio of oxygen isotopes, different from Earth’s. The new research finds that is not the case.

“We don’t see any difference between the Earth’s and the Moon’s oxygen isotopes; they’re indistinguishable,” said Edward Young, lead author of the new study and a UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry.

Young’s research team used state-of-the-art technology and techniques to make extraordinarily precise and careful measurements, and verified them with UCLA’s new mass spectrometer.

The fact that oxygen in rocks on the Earth and our Moon share chemical signatures was very telling, Young said. Had Earth and Theia collided in a glancing side blow, the vast majority of the Moon would have been made mainly of Theia, and the Earth and Moon should have different oxygen isotopes. A head-on collision, however, likely would have resulted in similar chemical composition of both Earth and the Moon.

“Theia was thoroughly mixed into both the Earth and the Moon, and evenly dispersed between them,” Young said. “This explains why we don’t see a different signature of Theia in the Moon versus the Earth.”

Theia, which did not survive the collision (except that it now makes up large parts of Earth and the Moon) was growing and probably would have become a planet if the crash had not occurred, Young said. Young and some other scientists believe the planet was approximately the same size as the Earth; others believe it was smaller, perhaps more similar in size to Mars.

Another interesting question is whether the collision with Theia removed any water that the early Earth may have contained. After the collision – perhaps tens of millions of year later – small asteroids likely hit the Earth, including ones that may have been rich in water, Young said. Collisions of growing bodies occurred very frequently back then, he said, although Mars avoided large collisions.

A head-on collision was initially proposed in 2012 by Matija Cuk, now a research scientist with the SETI Institute, and Sarah Stewart, now a professor at UC Davis; and, separately during the same year by Robin Canup of the Southwest Research Institute.

//Our team’s a little shaken up with a few bumps and bruises but otherwise ok. Last night, I looked up after hearing someone scream our driver’s name to see headlights coming straight for us. There was a horrendous crunch, and people were thrown from their seats (no seatbelts in the bus taxi) upon impact.
Our driver managed to swerve hard and avoid a complete head-on collision, but we still got hit pretty good. I had formerly tied my bag to a handle on the seat in front of me, and stuck my wrists through the loops of the bow I’d tied so I could sleep forward on the seat while using my hands as a sort of pillow, so I didn’t get knocked around and the position of my arms had me safely braced for impact. Others weren’t so fortunate.
I spent the majority of my time comforting others after climbing out of the van, since many were either in shock or in hysterics, including our driver’s daughter who was in the vehicle behind us and scared for her dad. My mental state was fine, so I helped keep track of our belongings and team members. It’s a bit scary getting into a wreck in the middle of South Africa where you don’t know anyone, but the people helping were incredibly friendly and supportive.

Turns out a drunk driver had crossed the middle line and was on a head-on collision course with our vehicle. One of our team members pulled the passenger out of that car when it seemed to catch fire, cutting his hand when he literally punched through the window to rescue him. The drunk driver booked it and ran, people chasing after him.

But we’re all safe and properly taken care of, and will continue helping out local organizations as soon as we can get transport. Our driver was a bit of a personal taxi driver, and we love him, so I hope he has insurance, and we’re going to make sure he doesn’t beat himself up for something that he had no control of but handled so well.

The worst part

This is how it ends I suppose.
Me gripping the edges of the sink as I dissociate into my own eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I have been here. I don’t recognize myself anymore when I look in the mirror. I thought it was a one time thing. As I was shaking from the pills while unknowingly staring into the reflection like a head on collision I would ask “who is that?” But soon after I would realize and I think that’s the worst part. Not seeing straight through yourself. But when you realize the fact that you can’t help but look past yourself because you don’t even know who you are anymore. That’s the worst part.