Space is about 100 kilometers away. That's far away—I wouldn't want to climb a ladder to get there—but it isn't that far away. If you're in Sacramento, Seattle, Canberra, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Phnom Penh, Cairo, Beijing, central Japan, central Sri Lanka, or Portland, space is closer than the sea.And these are places I think of as practically coastal cities! Also, just how fast is a satellite going? 8km/s. 8 is a pretty small number all said (Although "8 is a lot of legs, David."), but units! Kilometers per second? Not used to thinking in those terms. Being American but only geeky up to a point, I am calling to mind that a kilometer is approximately 0.6 mi. The best part of these What If? bits, though, are the illustrations. And without spoiling your read of the source, may I just mention that there's no bad time for The Proclaimers to show up in space. Go read it here, if you haven't already.
Some other What If posts that Big Frog and I particularly enjoy are Bouncy Balls and Random Sneeze Call. Yay for making science fun!
Completely tangentially, but still really cool: