Saturday, December 13, 2008

strange science

last night lisa and i drove to hanover to do some christmas shopping and saw on the horizon what looked like the moon about to crash into the earth. it wasn't, of course. but it was, rightfully so, called the largest full moon in 15 years, mostly because it happened to fall at the point at which the earth and moon are closest to each other during the year. this led to a discussion of aliens, and of lisa consequently making fun of my imitation of alien-speak and their obsession with walmart (because its massiveness would convince any alien life form that it must be the seat of government).

scientists say that the oceans' tides are greatest when the moon is closer to the earth because they are pulled back and forth by the gravity of the moon and sun. and they say that the myths about full moons making people loopy are false–but wouldn't it be interesting if the gravity of the moon and sun did effect people's moods? i don't know how it would do that, but i bet there's a badly made scifi movie about it out there, somewhere, perhaps starring kirstie alley, mark hamill and christopher reeves.

and furthermore, here are some other unexplained coincidences that i think science should make a point to figure out. namely:
• why are menstrual cycles and lunar cycles exactly the same length of time, but have no relationship to each other?
• how do birds use the earth's poles to figure out what direction they're going in?
• how come bees can be taken miles from their hives and then be released, and can still find their way back? and if they're smart enough to do that, how come they haven't taken over the planet by now?

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