One of my relatives used to have a poster on his icebox enumerating a master list of things to worry about. Global Warming, Nuclear War, Killer Bees and many other examples. People love to worry about these. Some people pick one and adopt it. Like a pet.
In some circles your not pulling your conversational weight if you don’t have a pet worry to talk about – over beer and such.
Silly guy that I am I adopted a somewhat essoteric pet worry some years ago.
Now I’m sure you all know that the sun ought to collapse, but it doesn’t because the nuclear furnace at the center is throwing up a torrent of neutrinos, and these rattle around and keep the shell of the thing from imploding.
The models of how the thing works implies that the neutrinos rattle around for quite a few years before they finally manage to dig their way out to the surface.
Which brings us to the problem. Apparently the Sun isn’t leaking enough neutrinos! One possible explanation would be that the reaction at the center has stopped and in a few years the thing will implode. Pretty good thing to worry about don’t you think?
Well those darn physicists have changed their minds. Apparently the sun is just fine, but the standard model looks like it is in trouble. People at cocktail parties care if the Sun might implode, they just don’t really care if the standard model is going implode. I’ll need to find another pet worry.