Friday, October 18, 2013

Merry-go-rounds and the eclipse of the moon

Tonight is an eclipse of the moon. That happens when the earth moves and spins in front of the sun and blocks out the light that the moon reflects from the sun.

At fairs and such, when I was a child, my parents always wanted me to ride the Merry-go-round sitting on a horse, spinning around. I always felt a bit nauseous on the ride, but I did it because it made my parents happy. (For many children, the pressure that you are the cause of your parents' happiness is a great burden. It was for me, an only child of parents in their 40's when I was born....)

The earth spins (I looked it up) at 1038 miles per hour at the equator, where it spins fastest. Here in Connecticut it spins about 750-800 miles an hour so it can spin between the sun and the moon and make a lunar eclipse.

Isn't it wonderful that we can't feel the earth spinning a couple of hundred miles an hour faster than an 727 flies? Otherwise everyone on earth would feel a bit sick at their stomach all the time: the stock market couldn't function, Congress couldn't...well, Congress obviously doesn't function anyway, spinning or not, life as we know it would come to a stop while we all thought about throwing up.

Merry-go-rounds probably spin at, at best 15 miles an hour. Imagine spinning in Costa Rica at 1000 miles an hour or in Cheshire at 775 miles an hour. Well, you can't imagine that.

I'm just pondering an eclipse of the moon, that probably won't happen before I go to bed though I can see the full moon through the hemlock trees to the east of our back porch. Actually, I can see the moon perfectly well from the window above my computer where I sit typing since that window faces east. If the moon starts to eclipse (though I think it will be most dramatic in Europe where the world--as it is here--is spinning at a breath-taking speed) I'll come back and tell you about it since I can see the moon through the upper right pane of my window.

I'm just glad I don't feel sick at my stomach from spinning so fast....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.