Wednesday, June 03, 2009

On the timeline of human existence, falling thousands of feet from the sky into the ocean at hundreds of miles per hour is a new way to die. A plane crash would be as exotic to a caveman as being gored by a mastodon would be to me. What's so terrifying about an airplane catastrophe (besides the whole "it could happen to you" part followed by the whole death part) is the amount of time it would take from the airplane breaking apart -- assuming you survive that -- to final impact. Do any physics brains want to do the math? Minutes, right? Holy shit, right? I would be too jacked with fear and adrenaline to do much beyond process the endgame stimuli. I probably wouldn't even unbuckle from my plummeting seat. Would I be conscious at the rapid loss of cabin pressure? I have no idea. The living can only speculate about the journey to death. When these news stories cause anxiety, I find this episode of This American Life comforting: Last Words

(yes, I know, air travel is a million times safer than driving a mile from my apartment blah blah blah)