Microsoft already has been making a killing in the gaming community because developers can write a game once that runs on the XBox and on Windows PCs. …And Windows runs on 95% of the computers in the world. Now that everyone will be forced into upgrading to something a little more modern (to run Vista) I think PC gaming is going to explode.

If the PC market explodes with Vista the same way it has with every previous Windows release prices for hardware will drop. Computer hardware pricing has always been based on volume. I won’t be surprised if a nice Vista machine capable of running impressive 3D graphics like those in DOOM3 is being sold for a mere $500 before the end of the year.

…That would really hurt PS3. …I am so glad I’m not working for Sony or Nintendo right now.

The Tunguska Event

March 14, 2007

Last night a caller to a national radio program mentioned the Tunguska Event. They didn’t even spend 10 seconds on this topic, the show quickly moved on but it stuck out in my mind.

Eventually I remembered reading about this a long time ago, for whatever reason I found it a lot more interesting the second time I heard about it. …Maybe because now I can quickly Google and Wiki information on it now. I love the Internet.

Well, I did some quick research. What I’ve learned so far is amazing. The Tunguska Event was this really odd thing that happened on June 30th, 1908 at 7:17AM in a rural part of north-eastern Russia. Some journalists have described it as an explosion, but all eye-witness accounts describe it clearly as a pillar of fire that came from the heavens, which split it two. They say it radiated invisible bursts of extreme heat. Some felt as if their clothes were on fire. This light or fire was soon followed by a shockwave which shattered windows and snapped iron locks, however common crops were not all affected so harshly. This shockwave apparently repeated 15 times over 10 minutes by some accounts.

The event left amazing evidence of destruction. Trees were blasted over and everything, including most the bark, was stripped from the trees. It’s estimated that 80 million trees fell over a 800+ square mile area. As you can see there was a little evidence of life or underbrush after this took place…

Today it’s widely accepted that this was caused by an asteroid…Even though the eye-witness accounts contradict this. It’s also worth mentioning that no expedition, including the Kulik’s expedition in 1921, has ever found evidence of a crater or asteroid. An Asteroid could not account for this, especially not the odd bit about iron locks snapping.

Well, I decided to give it a look on FlashEarth for a crater. Wikipedia had the location of ground zero at 60°55’N 101°57’E. Today’s public satellite imaging makes it easy to locate craters from comets. Here’s the shot from FlashEarth (using Google Maps).

Notice the odd shaped bare area in the middle of the picture? Why didn’t the Tunguska Event leave a crater? I did a Google for meteor impact sites and this is what they all look like, they all resemble bowl (checkout the pics below).

See the obvious difference? What we see at ground zero from the Tunguska Event looks like a bald spot, but there’s no bowl/crater like what we see at the actual asteroid/meteor impact sites. Considering the large area effected there should have been some kind of pit.

Now, some have suggested there was no crater because the asteroid/meteor exploded in the air. …If that’s true, why is there a bald spot and why wasn’t anyone able to discover any traces of rare metals?

They don’t have an answer for these questions. I haven’t been able to come up with a good reason anyone would classify this as a meteor/asteroid impact. I also think eye-witnesses would have noticed millions of flying rocks headed their way.

Another problem I have with the explosion theory is the shockwaves…more specifically, the number of them. According to witnesses there were multiple shockwaves over 10 minutes. That wouldn’t happen if an asteroid burst in the atmosphere.

These shockwaves were so powerful they registered on seismic stations across Eurasia, and caused atmospheric pressure changes that were detected by the barographs in Britain (and just imaging how insensitive those old tools were in 1908). The shockwaves also knocked over trees like toothpicks as is made obvious in the pics above.

In fact, for several days the night skies were aglow such that one could read in their light. This is according to thousands of eyewitnesses. …Again, why would anyone suggest this was caused by a meteor/asteroid? Here in the US our Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Mount Wilson Observatory observed a decrease in atmospheric transparency that lasted for several months. ..How odd.

I have no idea what caused this but I find it annoyingly interesting…and you?

Do I win something for finding this? There’s a freakin’ pirate ship in Portland, Oregon on Live Search 3D. Check it out…

Click here to view the map of Portland including the pirate ship on Live Search 3D. Here’s another screenshot of LiveSearch 3D. I was looking for the name of that floating restaurant in the photo, and I found it….