On Eclipses, Weather, and Gullibility

I’m already awake and waiting for the eclipse to begin.

The weather check is a little sketchy. Uhm… Periodic clouds, whatever that means.

There is a contingency plan, in which we drive out along the line of the eclipse until there are not periodic clouds. We are seeing an eclipse today, even if we have to use a tractor beam to drag the moon back into position.

The thing I wasn’t prepared for with this is just how many people do not care. I’m pretty much bouncing off the walls, but I’ve run into a whole lot of So What? And even a couple of people who would prefer not to see it. (Apparently, it’s creepy.)

And I’m also running into a few adults–reasonably intelligent, normal-type adults–who have no idea of either: 1.) What an eclipse is or 2.) The relative positions of the planets in the solar system.

Well, you see… there is a rumor going around that because of the alignment of Jupiter and some other planet (suggestions vary) There will be 19 days of darkness later on this year.

I would hate to accuse my boss of starting this rumor, but he does seem to be the one who benefits the most. (Doesn’t matter if you miss this, ’cause you can’t possibly miss that.)

I have tried to explain that this is not possible… that for Jupiter (even with planet X) to block out the sun, Jupiter would have to be between the Earth and the sun. This does not seem to take.

Because planets move.

There is some–we won’t call it skepticism–debate on the subject, but no actual cry of “Bullshit!”

, And aside from that, there seems to be a lot of resignation about not being able to see the eclipse. I have heard the phrase “oh well” more times than I can count, and some days, I feel like I’m completely surrounded by Eeyores.

As I may have mentioned, before… Science is important, and in the event that something is open during the eclipse, that means that individuals and families are being denied access to the event of a lifetime so that you can buy a tostada. Do NOT buy a tostada. Do not buy anything. Do not spend money to promote the idea that denying people access to science is profitable (either short-term or long-term.)

Boycott anything which is open.