October 28th, 2004

Moon Fades To Red

The cloudy skies cleared here in Chicagoland, and we got a good view of the total lunar eclipse.  I understand the mechanics of it, but it's still odd to behold.

So there I was, looking at the moon go dark, and I was thinking that the moon was having a total eclipse of the sun while we were having a total eclipse of the moon.   Except there's no one on the moon to see it.  Someday.

I mentioned to my wife that it took me a while to figure that out - that whenever we have a lunar eclipse, the moon has a solar one.

"It's obvious," she said, "once you picture it in your mind."

"I had to diagram it," I said.

"Diagram it?!" she exclaimed.

Ah, well.  Where was my vaunted male visual-spatial superiority?

So we stared at the moon's darkening as a shared experience, enjoying the spectacle of the Keplerian planetary system in action.  And to think people used to freak out when this happened, imagining the cosmos had come  unhinged when in fact it was right on schedule.

Rhyme of the Day:

Celestial mechanics
Used to cause panics.

Election Fever

Here in Chicago, it's just a light fever. Fewer than normal window signs up in the neighborhoods. Kerry has a lock on the state. Obama has a landslide lock for our open Senate seat. Yawn. Anyway, in a few months the election will be over! I mean, when is the swearing in and all those inaugural balls? That's kind of a deadline, isn't it?

No. There's an earlier deadline. The day the Electors sit down and officially cast their votes. Those Electors don't get much TV coverage, but officially they still have to vote on a certain day.

But can't these deadlines be moved? Can't we sue to get an extension? This is going to be so much fun. Election Court TV. 24/7.

Rhyme of the Day:

24/7 - Court TV.
I'll sue you, and you sue me.
We'll get a judge to say
Who really won the day.
That's the new American way!

Someone else's electoral Dr. Seuss-allusion rhyme that tickled my fancy:

One state, Two state,
Red state, Blue state.

(You can see it here on the headline across the top.  I saw it today in the print version of Chicago Reader, too.  It alludes to this poetic masterpiece.)