The World Is Ending … Where Will You Be?

May 14, 2010

My wife told me last week that the world was coming to an end.

My first instinct was to think: “Oh God … what did I do wrong now?”

But she was serious. She was speaking to someone who told her that. The world, as we know it, was coming to a definite end. And there were signs.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we’ve all heard it before. The Mayans predicted it, different religions say it’s coming to an end (in a bid to get everyone to either repent or join them or both) and we all know about the Apocalypse and all that.

But what this person told her had facts to back up her claim. Now I could be wrong about this recollection but I think this person knew about some drilling that was happening in Indonesia and what happened was these guys were drilling for oil and instead of hitting oil, they came up with tons and tons of boiling mud.

Yup. Boiling mud.

Why would the mud be boiling? Well, ‘cos the Earth is angry, obviously.

No, I’m just kidding. There’s a logical science to that.

Basically, when they hit boiling mud, the rationale is that the mud was boiling because it was coming from the Earth’s core and since then, this mud has just continued spewing and spewing out. This, to her, was a signal that something cataclysmic’s about to happen.

Think about it like this – imagine a pimple. Basically, it’s a swell on your skin due to the buildup of pressure underneath it. When you put your fingers to it and squeeze, harder and harder and harder, it’s gonna pop and sometimes, what’s underneath comes spewing out, relieving the pressure. Basically, the drill was the fingers doing the squeezing.

So what you might say? Well, relieving the pressure off a pimple is a good thing. But when you’re talking about the Earth’s core, that’s heavy. And the fact that the mud is spewing out constantly now means that this pressure is being released from inside the Earth.

So what happens when the pressure’s completely gone?

Earth crust displacement? Tectonic plate movement?

Basically, worst case scenario is that the continents start to move and everything goes topsy turvy. You’ve seen the movie 2012 and that’s what it is – complete and utter destruction. What follows is panic, mass hysteria, chaos – basically the worst possible outcome.

When I was a kid, I always thought that the world would end when aliens came. I had no idea we would be destroyed from within.

And it’s a scary thought.

But the question is not when the world will end (the Mayan calendar says December 21, 2012) or if it will it end at all … I think it’s where you will be when that happens. And I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Where will I be when the end of all ends comes near?

Quite frankly, I’m not sure. I don’t think anyone can answer that.

Maybe I’ll be at home, in bed with my wife when the tsunami hits. Maybe I’ll be at work, furiously tweeting about how the building is shaking. Maybe I’ll be on the frontlines, fighting to save humanity (yeah, right – like I’m that noble).

I don’t know.

But what I do know is that this knowledge gives me hope.

Strange as it sounds, it makes me think that I should live life to the fullest, be all I can be, rides rollercoasters backwards, run with scissors, love my wife lots and call my sister more often. These are good things. It’s strange how man reacts when he thinks there’s no more time left for him.

So, come December 21 2012, where will you be?

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Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels … Bad?

May 6, 2010

When I was young, I read a book called Animal Farm. This book chronicled the rise of animals on a farm and how they revolted against the humans – their mantra was “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad!” (or “baaaaaad”, as was the case with some of the sheep).

Seeing the book in the library today, it got me thinking about that mantra. Except that it wasn’t exactly those words I was thinking of but more in terms of wheels and transportation. You see, although I get around mostly in my car, I also own a motorcycle. Actually, it’s a scooter (and if you want to be more specific, it’s a Vespa).

Whenever I talk about it, people always tell me how dangerous it is to ride a bike, how it’s unsteady and how when a person rides a bike, he’s covering the bike as opposed to having a car cover you when you drive. I also always hear things like, “What happened to your car? How come you got a bike?” and when I tell them nothing happened to my car, it’ll beg the inevitable response of, “Then why do you ride a bike for?

That’s a good question.

Why do I choose to ride a bike?

Is it really, “Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Bad?”

I guess since I was a kid and I got my first taste of life on two wheels on a BMX bicycle, I was hooked. From there I progressed on to moutain bikes (I even raced professionally once, a long long time ago in what seemed like a galaxy far far away) and then motorcycles. To me, driving was something that people did but riding was a skill – it wasn’t something everyone could do. Driving didn’t involve balance and physical control; to me, driving was always more like using a computer. You have a control panel which you operate and the car moves based on what instructions you give. Now I know a lot of hardcore drivers will disagree with me here but you can’t argue that on a day-to-day basis, that’s what driving is. No one is drifting on their way to work, people don’t do 180s on hairpin turns going out to lunch. Most people just drive straight, turn left and right, reverse and stop.

Riding, on the other hand, requires pure concentration. It requires balance, confidence and physical control. If I’m taking a corner, I have to know where my weight’s going to be or I’ll go off course. If I don’t concentrate, I’ll lose control of the bike and maybe have a nasty accident. And there’s also centrifugal inertia, the basic principle that governs riding a bike; the faster you go, the more stable you’ll be.

My point is, riding is an specialized activity and driving is something we all will eventually do. You can’t zone out on a bike the way you can while driving.

Sure, there’s no air-conditioning.

Sure, there’s no radio.

And sure, if it rains, it’s a real bitch.

So why do I do it then?

Because I like the wind in my face. I like the feeling of the rumbling beneath me as I ride. I like the fact that I’m out in the open, nothing surrounding me, the world an inch away from wherever I stretch my hand out. I like the feeling of the open road, the feeling that anywhere, anytime, anything is possible. It’s hard to describe (and I’m doing a shitty job of it, I know), but I feel it whenever I get on the bike and it feels like nothing else in this world.

And that’s why I do it.

So … Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Bad?

All I can say is …

Feels real good to be real bad 🙂