That's right. Tomorrow night? SUPERMOON.
For some reason the SPACE.com staff feel compelled to tell us that, "Though the unusual appearance of this month's full moon may be surprising to some, there's no reason for alarm, scientists warn. The slight distance difference isn't enough to cause any earthquakes or extreme tidal effects, experts say."
Wait, what? Scientists are warning us that there is no cause for alarm? How did that conversation actually go?
"So tell us about the supermoon."
"Well, it's basically a full moon that occurs when it's at a near point in its orbit."
"Makes sense. Hey, since the moon affects things like tides, is there anything to worry about?"
"Nope. The moon orbits like this all the time. And really, a full moon isn't actually bigger than a gibbous or a crescent moon. That's just light and shadow."
"So I shouldn't be afraid if I look up and am surprised by an exceptional full moon?"
"Definitely not. Don't be afraid...or else!"
Also, how are we terrified by the moon in 2012? People, I am the most tree-hugginist and dirtworshippin' of tree-hugging dirt worshipers and I am not reading portents, ghastly or otherwise, into this. Because, you know, I have a basic elementary school-level working knowledge of my solar system and how orbits work. Is this Hollywood's fault? Did some fringe religious sect say something particularly irrational when I wasn't looking? I'm reasonably certain that when I go outside on Saturday night, I will not look up and see this:
So yes. Thank you, SPACE.com, for the most sublime moment of cognitive dissonance I've had in a few days.
And now, links:
- Mo. lawmaker says he is gay, denounces school bill. Rep. Wyatt is both a Republican and to my knowledge is not running for reelection, but hopefully this will be a useful perspective moment for the idiots who want to pass a "don't say gay" bill here in Missouri.
- A Closer Look Inside Hello Kitty Airlines. Otherwise known as my newest and most urgent reason to play the lottery...
- I Like Ike. A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that clicking "like" on social networking platforms is "not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection." Bizarre, and possibly a little scary
, though not nearly as scary as the giant blood-sucking moon that intends to consume you on Saturday.
- Lion tries to eat baby at zoo, is stymied by glass wall. Nature: adorable and hilarious in tooth and claw.
- My So-Called Ex-Gay Life. Last month Robert Spitzer, a psychiatrist and the author of a 2001 paper that proponents of "reparative therapy" have used to support their belief that gay people can be converted to straight, made a public statement that his study was flawed, and has retracted the study and apologized to the LGBTQ community. This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but I think Gabriel Arana's article outlining not just Spitzer's retraction but his own experience as someone who attempted treatment is exceptionally powerful, and an important read. If you can make time for it, do.
Just, uh, get to it before Saturday night. You've been warned. By scientists.