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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 2009 /15 Teves 5770

What an asteroid can't quell

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Already 99.9 (and about 58 more 9s) percent of the universe — it is expanding lickety-split — is beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Into what is it expanding? Hard to say. We can say there is lots of stuff in space: Hold up a penny at arm's length and you block three galaxies from your field of vision — billions of stars and other things — 350 million light-years away, which is right next door in our wee corner of the universe.

But there is much more space than there is stuff in space: If there were only three bees in America, the air would be more crowded with bees than space is with stars. But there is much stuff besides stars whizzing around, and 65 million years ago — the day before yesterday on the calendar of the 14-billion-year-old universe — big bits of stuff entered Earth's atmosphere traveling faster than a high-caliber-rifle bullet.

One result was a 16,000-foot mountain, Bombay High, that has never been climbed because it is underwater off India's west coast. Another result was the "worldwide collapse of the climate and ecosystems" leading to the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs and two-thirds of marine animals, and the destruction of much of the planet's flora. So surmises Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University.

"Catastrophism," the study of calamitous episodes in Earth's geological history, has long postulated a cosmic collision that resulted in sudden extinctions. There are "iridium anomalies" — concentrations of that material that suggest extraterrestrial origins. There also is 10,000 times more carbon than normal in the geologic time zone 65 million years ago, a worldwide layer of soot from fires kindled by the impact of a gigantic asteroid.

A consensus developed that it created Mexico's 110-mile-wide Chicxulub crater. But Chatterjee says there is a crater, Shiva, more than 300 miles wide, off western India, probably formed by an asteroid or a part of one, 25 miles in diameter.


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He thinks it possible that Shiva and Chicxulub were created by portions of different asteroids that fragmented when they hit the atmosphere. The energy from the fragment that produced Chicxulub is estimated to have been equivalent to the explosion of 100 trillion tons of TNT — 10,000 times the explosive potential of the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons. The much bigger fragment that created Shiva may have shoved India north. India was then an island moving three to five centimeters a year. Then came what has been a mystery to students of plate tectonics — the surge of the Indian plate to the astonishing rate of 15 to 20 centimeters a year.

Dinosaurs, which were thriving in India, had lived a thousand times longer than humans have yet lived. Then they and more than 75 percent of Earth's plant and animal species died. Perhaps the two collisions, combined with a lot of volcanic activity in that era (some of it perhaps caused by the collisions), tossed up enough dust to block sunlight, creating perpetual night and acid rain, impeding photosynthesis and causing the starvation of many creatures. Or perhaps by screening sunlight, the dust caused a glacial episode.

Or perhaps dust and water vapor had a "greenhouse effect," holding in heat and cooking much life out of Earth. The discovery, two decades ago, of a bed of dinosaur fossils on Alaska's North Slope suggests that temperatures may have been warmer long ago, before there were human beings to blame for that.

Before Darwin, many people believed that no species could become extinct because this would mean there had been an imperfection in G0d's original handiwork. Yet 104 years before publication of "On the Origin of Species," the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 had caused some people to doubt that G0d has ordained a benevolently ordered universe. Nevertheless, in 1787 other people — Americans call them the Founding Fathers — who were influenced by Newtonian physics and the deist idea of G0d as cosmic clockmaker, devised a constitutional system of separated powers, checking and balancing one another, mimicking what they considered our solar system's clocklike mechanics.

Today, we know there is a lot of play in the joints of the Constitution and that every 40 million years or so asteroids more than half a mile in diameter strike Earth. Yet the Constitution still constitutes, and the fact that flora and fauna have survived Earth's episodes of extreme violence testifies to the extraordinary imperative of life.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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