BOSTON — The meteorite that exploded over Russia Friday morning — not to mention a scheduled near-miss later today of Asteroid 2012 DA14 — has a lot of homo sapiens on Earth wondering about the Big Question: when, and how, are we going to die?
Fortunately, there's a chart for that.
First of all, we can relax about tonight's celestial fly-by, which scientists say has no chance of hitting us.
Even so, when it comes to human mortality, asteroids aren't much of a statistical problem.
According to the Economist, the National Safety Council, and the National Academies, you have a 1 in 74,817,414 chance of dying this year in an asteroid collision with Earth.
In other words, good odds for you.
Here are some other fears that you probably shouldn't worry too much about:
Dying in a horrible fireworks accident: 50 million to 1.
A bee or wasp sting death: 25 million to 1.
Dog bite: 11 million to 1.
Death by lightning: 10 million to 1.
By any storm: 2.2 million to 1.
Now, here's where it gets a little scarier:
Do you ride your bike to work (or any place else)? Then you've got a 1 in 340,000 chance of dying on it.
Falling down stairs: 157,000 to 1.
Dying from alcohol use: 150,000 to 1. (No stats here on falling down stairs while consuming alcohol, but one can only assume that's dangerous business).
Having surgery this year? Then you've got a 1 in 117,000 chance of succumbing to complications.
Choking and fire both have a 1 in 100,000 chance of taking you into the great unknown.
As for the heated topic of gun control? The odds of dying by assault weapon are about 25,000 to 1.
So what's really going to get you?
Accident or injury, which comes in at 1,615 to one.
And the biggest threat over the next twelve months?
Heart disease, at 467 to 1.
So stop worrying about death from the stars, and — for the love of your bloody ticker — hit the gym.