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Is your garage door sun blast-compliant?

OKAY, we can all start panicking again. Feel free to put your underpants on your head, smear your body with Nutella and run around screaming: "We're doomed, we're doomed."

We don't know about you, but the complete lack of a millennium bug to generate anything close to global chaos had us at a loose end. We'd watched all those Charlton Heston movies from the 1970s, such as Soylent Green and The Omega Man, about a post-apocalyptic world in which we were all reduced to savagery and quite frankly we'd psyched ourselves up for Armageddon.

We were looking forward to adopting pained expressions and saying things like, "Damn you! Damn you all to hell" as well as "Soylent Green is people!" which wouldn't strictly be relevant, but that's something we tend to yell a lot anyway.

We were already plotting how to steal a monster truck and what shops to loot once anarchy emerged.

But no, the bug didn't even cause our video to accidentally tape that Full House episode where Bob Saget learns some important lessons about being a father. Which is pretty much every episode, as far as we can tell.

Luckily scientists have been working around the clock to come up with a new threat to humanity as we know it -- and it's our old enemy, the sun.

Yes, for thousands of years the sun has been lulling us into a false sense of security by keeping us toasty warm and allowing plants to indulge in photosynthesis on a regular basis, when in reality it has been biding its time, waiting until humanity had developed to the point where we were totally reliant on technology, so it could wreak its deadly vengeance.

A story in the Los Angeles Times last week alerted us to the fact we are approaching a point in the sun's 11-year cycle called the solar maximum, "an interval of months marked by wrenching solar activity that hurls billion-ton blasts of X-rays and radioactive particles towards Earth".

Which sounds pretty cool to us. We've read our comic books and we know that X-rays and radioactive particles are just the thing for acquiring superhero powers.

But the LA Times was not so positive: "Such blasts can disable satellites, knock out navigational systems and darken entire cities by frying electrical grids."

Offering evidence of the sort of disaster that the solar maximum can create, the paper pointed to a 1989 storm that made garage doors in San Francisco open and close, and you can just imagine the sort of havoc that caused.

Technology being much more prevalent now that it was way back in 1989, much more than our garage doors are at risk. The remote control for the television could be affected as well, and that can only lead to rioting.

So if you were one of those people who stockpiled tins of Spam for Y2K you can probably start feeling pretty smug right about now. You may get to suffer chronic indigestion after all.


Yup. T'was mentioned on the radio today as well. Something is going on....Is your garage door sun blast-compliant?

Regards from Down Under

-- Pieter (, March 05, 2000


Pieter, thank you once again for your research. I always read your articles and appreciate the effort you give.

-- Sammie (, March 05, 2000.

Super Article ...... should be on the fronitpiece of teh Spinoff Forum, under the h3eader "Purpose and Guidelines for this Forum."


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), March 05, 2000.

Nutella. That's pretty funny. G doggie

-- (, March 06, 2000.


I thought it was "Vegemite"?

(Hey, I remember "Men at Work")

-- Hoff (, March 06, 2000.

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