Take cover, friends, the end is nigh

FESCHUK: We survived the Super Bowl halftime show. But other dangers lurk everywhere.

Everywhere we turn, there are ominous signs. Birds by the hundreds falling from the sky. Fish by the thousands washing up on shore. Ears by the millions bleeding from the Super Bowl halftime show. This seems like a good time for another edition of: What’s Killing Us Now?

Superstorms. The Earth’s northern magnetic pole, which usually moves around a little each year, is suddenly making a beeline for Russia—possibly because Sarah Palin yelled at it from her porch. Pick a side, magnetism!

Whatever the reason, some experts believe the shift is causing havoc with the weather and may ultimately set off a cycle of dangerous superstorms with winds as high as 600 km/h. Gusts of that magnitude “would likely destroy anything they come into contact with,” said one report, which I believe was published in the Journal of Duh.

The implications are many. Mass death. Untold destruction. Plus, CNN is running out of time to genetically engineer a team of 1,300-lb. super-correspondents with the lower centre of gravity required to pointlessly stand outside during such storms.

Pets. Do you enjoy sharing your bed with the family dog or cat? According to new research, this is definitely something you should continue doing if you’re a fan of cuddling and agony.

According to a U.S. veterinary professor, domestic animals that sleep with or lick their owners are more likely to pass on “zoonoses”—which sounds like a Dr. Seuss book but is actually a range of diseases that are mostly minor, except for the ones that kill you.

I for one am as shocked as any dog owner. Who’d have thought animals that thrust their noses toward the anus of each playmate and consider feces a tasty snack would wind up being dangerous to French kiss?

Jesus Christ. Harold Camping, a Christian radio broadcaster, takes to the airwaves each week to spread the joyful news that WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!! In fact, Camping has pegged May 21 as the exact date on which the son of God will return to steal the Mayans’ 2012 thunder, bring existence to a close on His schedule and maybe see that Spider-Man musical if he can wangle a ticket. On this day of reckoning, the righteous will be elevated into the kingdom of heaven and everyone else will pretty much be an extra in a disaster movie.

It’s scarcely worth noting that Camping has predicted the rapture before. On Sept. 6, 1994, his followers gathered and obediently held their Bibles to the sky—but they were stood up. In Camping’s defence, it was only two days later that Michael Jackson planted that kiss on Lisa Marie Presley at the MTV Awards, a moment that certainly felt to most of us like the end of creation.

Ashton Kutcher. During a recent interview in Men’s Fitness magazine, the actor claimed he keeps fit in order to protect his family during the apocalypse. Kutcher now claims he didn’t mean it, that he was simply being funny. Fine—there’s a first time for everything, I guess.

But hang on—consider what we witnessed at the Super Bowl in Texas. Up in the VIP box: George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice… Ashton Kutcher. Clearly, the ark is being built and he has passage! The apocalypse looms! The rest of us don’t have much time to be thankful we don’t have to watch the movies he makes on that ark!

If all this talk of your inevitable demise has got you down, here’s a pick-me-up—there’s a chance you will never die. Unfortunately, that’s because there’s a chance that you don’t actually exist.

A new book by Brian Greene, a respected theoretical physicist, explores the theory that supercomputers will eventually become powerful enough to run simulations featuring “people” who believe they are real. Sounds fun, right? Who wouldn’t want to recreate the past so they could witness life in the 15th century or jump in and punch Chad Kroeger in the face at the exact moment he decides to form Nickelback?

But wait: if such simulations will one day be possible, there’s no guarantee that we aren’t already living inside a simulation—”perhaps one created by future historians with a fascination for what life was like back on 21st-century Earth,” Greene writes.

The downside: everything we have ever known, touched or loved is a synthetic lie. The upside: so is Ashton Kutcher.

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