T Pyxidis is not a glam rock band or a disease, it is a death star……

Well, here we are into the new year and still having difficulty writing 2010 instead of 2009. But it won’t be a problem soon if my recent tv watching is anything to go by. There has been a plethora of programmes about Nostradamus and, in particular, a newly found original work consisting of a few illustrations by him which, they say, depict the end of the world as we know it. They showed the illustrations on the programme, of course and to my untutored eye they looked like major arcana from the tarot deck, of which I know a little. The end of the world (I wrote about this earlier in these columns) will take place on December 21st 2012 and this has also been certified by the Mayans, Chinese astrologers, the Book of Revelations and some scientists who are concerned that the earth is moving into alignment with the centre of the galaxy (a black hole) and we will be bombarded by some kind of invisible and incredibly minute matter, a bit like a microwave effect (I made up the simile, here because I have no idea what they mean!).

And Sky News this morning has a text headline that says that scientists have found a supernova primed to go off and the effect could be the extinguishing of all life on Earth. Not such a happy new year, then! The name of this super-beast of the celestial heavens is T Pyxidis. If and when it goes off it will strip everything from the ozone layer down to cockroaches (which are supposed to handle nuclear fall-out, though I have a few upturned ones in the shower at the moment that could not withstand my odourless hand-held mosquito spray!)

What Nostradamus did not prophesy was the multiple deaths of four individuals in the pump room of our pool. The pump went off and we had to bring the electrician in. He found a quartet of electrocuted frogs.

Meanwhile, Zen provides salutary good sense. Since every new moment involves the death of the last moment, we should get used to the ceaseless endings that stretch through our lives. T Pyxidis doesn’t change the human condition at all. Like the four frogs, one minute you’re hopping and the next you are cooked.

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