With all the talk of climate change, unchecked nanotech, and over-fished oceans, it's kind of a shame that people forget about the old-school catastrophic scenarios -- volcanoes, man, plagues of things. And most apocalyptic of all, that old dinosaur-killer: impact from big space stuff.
Comets and asteroids are, according to Donald Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, more likely to wipe out human civilization than anything else. (And yet here we are, sporting a cultural boner about a bunch of perambulating corpses when there are really compelling death fantasies to heavy-breathe over.) To that end, you'd be remiss to miss Yeomans' talk tonight, "Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us," in which we consider the sexiness of death by space rock, but also what said objects reveal about our cosmic origins -- and suggest for the future of space exploration. 'Cause this place is dead, anyway.
"Near-Earth Objects" is December 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse (at Martin Luther King Jr. in Golden Gate Park), S.F. Admission is $6-$12..