Monday, April 5, 2010

Floating Rhody

A few weeks ago another Rhode Island-sized iceberg snapped off the Antarctic. This time, we have an iceberg the size of Luxembourg to thank.

The iceberg we like to call Luxemberg slammed into an Antarctic glacier known officially as the Mertz Ice Tongue. The collision caused a Rhody-sized bit of ice tongue to splinter off and float away. If you look at the picture provided by NASA, the Mertz Ice Tongue even looks like an upside-down Rhode Island – minus the East and West Passages of Narragansett Bay.

Anyway, this new Rhodyberg is potentially lethal to sea life. Some scientists believe that it could “disrupt the undersea currents that ferry oxygen throughout the oceans,” with the consequence that vast areas of the high seas may not have enough oxygen to support life.

In a case of life imitating art, comments posted to science blogs have resorted to quoting the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow:”

Jack Hall: Our climate is fragile. The ice caps are disappearing at a dangerous rate.

Vice President Becker: Professor, um, Hall, our economy is every bit as fragile as the environment. Perhaps you should keep that in mind before making sensational claims.

Jack Hall: Well, the last chunk of ice that broke off was about the size of Rhode Island. Some people might call that pretty sensational.

Now that we have killer icebergs the size of Rhode Island roaming the seven seas, it’s only a matter of time before astronomers start charting Rhody-sized killer asteroids to rain on the Earth. But enough of this doom and gloom. Here are 10 reasons why frozen, floating Rhode Islands are good for the world.

10. Quonset huts can be easily modified into igloos.
9. Cans of ‘Gansett never go warm.
8. Hockey moms won’t lose sleep commuting to pre-dawn rink rentals.
7. Rhode Island-sized tongue should win most arguments.
6. Unlimited supply of Del’s.
5. Rhode Islanders won’t have to go anywhere. The iceberg will travel for them.
4. Can convert Thurbers Ave Curve into Thurbers Ave Luge.
3. More elbow room for polar bears at Roger Williams Park Zoo.
2. State might finally start developing some winter Olympians.
1. No longer have to share a boundary with Connecticut.

Have you heard a good “size of Rhode Island” reference lately?