Drat, I Have Read More Bryson.
...and it's got me feeling more down at the existential heel than ever. I've just trembled through a chapter which describes the very real possibility that great blasts of lava can come shooting up through the earth's core in unlikely locations without any warning. The busypen even has the great radius to use the phrase "your own backyard." Thank you, Mr. Bryson, for turning my only sanctum into a potential hotbed of deadly magma spray. To paraphrase his apparent philosophy, "life is a game in which you cannot win, cannot break even, and cannot leave." I do not recall the name of the great mind from whom this was cribbed.
All this on the tail of the chapter which outlines in great detail how unprepared we are should a large meteorite decide to cross paths with our planet. (hint: extinction of all life)