February 20th, 2019
Did any of you have the opportunity to view the "supermoon" last night?
I was going to wait up for it but despite my best intentions I zonked out pretty quickly. Then woke back up around midnight and noticed that regardless of what the clock said, there was so much light in the house, it seemed more like dawn.
Because I'm not at my most clever when I've just woken up, I somehow thought it was headlights from a car aimed directly at our house. A few seconds later, it occurred to me that that could not possibly be the case because the back of the house was just as bright. A few seconds after that, I remembered the supermoon. Coolio! So I stepped out into the courtyard to admire it.
And it was a thing of beauty. The Man in the Moon face was just a clear as could be. I don't have a telescope but I do have binoculars and if I had been more awake I might have thought of that last night when it would have been useful. Oh well, it was still stunning.
But as I sat in the courtyard starring at the moon, my brain was kind of drifting and making all sorts of moon-related connections. The first one was that scene in the wonderful old movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" when George tells Mary that he wants to rope the moon and give it to her as a gift.
Then I started wondering if it's true that wolves (and/or dogs) howl at the moon. And if it is true, why? Turns out, not true. They are nocturnal and are therefore more active at night (and noiser). They howl at night, moon or no.
I also wondered about that whole moon is made of green cheese thing. Did you ever hear that ridiculous saying? Absurd. "Surely", I thought to myself, "Surely no one ever really believed that, did they?" In fact, no. It was never a belief. The saying comes from a poem way back in 1564, where English poet and playwright, John Heywood wrote: "Ye fetch circumquaques to make me believe, Or thinke, that the moone is made of greene cheese." In other words, "do you think I'm a fool?" Glad I cleared that up!
And then, probably because that poem was written a very long time ago, my mind wandered to the very ancient belief that people act crazy, or at least crazier than usual, during a full moon. They have been actual studies done about this, and it seems that there is no scientific evidence proving that people are any crazier during a full moon than any other time. Hmmmm.
There is the whole full moon/werewolf connection of course. All brought to us, courtesy of Hollywood. There were of course ancient legends of creatures of several different sorts that could change from animal form to human form and back again. Really, there are stories of were-rabbits, were-snakes, were-bears and now that I think of it, can't Dracula change into a bat? Some of the changes brought about my the full moon, but some by the new moon, others by certain herbs, or curses or even magic. And despite what I saw in the film, "An American Werewolf in London', none of it is fact. Ratz. I think I'm a little disappointed.
In countless ancient civilizations, a lunar eclipse was something to be feared. The Gods were angry, the king was in danger, ill fortune will befall the people, demons were drinking the elixir of immmortality.....it goes on and on. I wonder why no ancient civilization ever saw a lunar eclipse as a sign of something good?
In the early 1900's H.G. Wells wrote the book, 'The First Men in the Moon" where aliens livedinside a hollow moon. Strangely enough, in 1970 two Soviet scientists took this seemingly whimsical premise a step further, proposing that the moon is actually a shell-like alien spacecraft built by extraterrestrials with superior technology and intelligence.
And then of course we blew that hypothosis out of the water in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon and astronaut Buzz Aldrin took his famous walk. Although now that I think about it, there are still conspiracy theorists who think that never happened. Oddly enough after World War II, there was a group who were convinced that the Nazi's had a base on the moon and that Hitler faked his own death and lived the remainder of his life in an underground lunar bunker.
Mercy me. We are such creative creatures. All these crazy ideas we come up with and none of it means one dang thing to the moon.
But it surely was beautiful last night.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.