According to Wikipedia, a Blue Moon is defined as “… a full moon that is not timed to the regular monthly pattern. Most years have twelve full moons which occur approximately monthly, but in addition to those twelve full lunar cycles each calendar year contains an excess of roughly eleven days. …” This means that tonight there will be a blue moon as the first full moon for the month of December occurred on the 2nd. Tonight, in Trinidad and Tobago, the moon will rise at 5:58 PM and set at 6:05 AM on January 1st 2010. People will get drunk sometime between those times and drugs, guns and US dollars may disappear for police stations once again. As far as I know, the moon doesn’t actually look blue unless it is Photoshoped.
There are many superstitions that are associated with a blue moon and they are similar to a full moon. The main superstition is that more people become mad during a full moon than any other time of the month and some believe even more madness occurs during a blue moon. Because of the blue moon tonight, people will be setting off those wonderful fire sticks called fireworks making the fireworks businesses almost as profitable as the big flag pole business. Dogs, cats, birds, citizens and other wildlife living in cities with too much high annual rental value houses will go into a frenzy tonight as if the Gods decided they have no say in what goes on or their sanity.
For those who are reading this in 2009 and early 2010, the start of a new decade, this blog would like to wish you and your belongings a Happy New Year full of low property valuations, less muggings and stupid Government Ministers!!
p.s. my wishes almost never come true.
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Man first landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969 and it was the day the Earth stood still. But my favorite Apollo Mission was Apollo 13, because it starred Tom Hanks and was the best engineering movie ever made. It also gave rise to the quotation (or misquotation) “Huston, we have a problem.” This quote has been used many times especially where I work since we, as engineers, have to say this to Huston at times but more recently to Beijing, which doesn’t have the same romantic impact. According to Wikipedia, Apollo 13 was considered a “successful failure” and I am sure all engineers could identify with this concept.
But what we are experiencing in our country today is no laughing matter and I know Normal Citizens in Trinidad and Tobago make “Huston, we have a problem” distress calls in their minds and in the same way. Here is that typical Normal Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago distress call.
Normal Citizen: Hello, Port of Spain, we have a problem.
Mission Control: What is the problem, Citizen?
Normal Citizen: It’s PM PM, Sir, he seems to be malfunctioning again.
Mission Control: Tell me something new. What is it this time?
Normal Citizen: He is spewing venom all over the place.
Mission Control: I said, tell me something new. How bad is it this time?
Normal Citizen: Worst than ever, Sir. He is now talking about having compassion in a tone best suited to hate.
Mission Control: You don’t think he is compassionate?
Normal Citizen: No Sir, I don’t and I don’t think anybody thinks he is either.
Mission Control: Are they cheering him along?
Normal Citizen: Yes, Port of Spain, the people seem to also be spewing venom.
Mission Control: How did the people get there and are there any weed whackers in their vehicles?
Normal Citizen: They came by Maixs sir and a few came in Audis, BMWs and police bicycles. I can’t see any weed whackers but there are a few paint brushes. Can we contain the venom-leak, Sir? It now seems out of control and I am afraid.
Mission Control: Who is the venom aimed at?
Normal Citizen: Anyone who opposes him, anyone who thinks he is wasting the country’s money, anyone who thinks murder, robbery and rape are still crimes and the midget is one of his fangs. He is spewing venom on anyone who believes in democracy.
Mission Control: That is bad. Let me check the manual…Ok, there may be some good news.
Normal Citizen: What is it, Sir?
Mission Control: Well, he may blow a gasket and the only spares are available in Cuba.
Normal Citizen: Sir, I think we may have a bigger problem.
Mission Control: What now?
Normal Citizen: His followers are now spewing more venom than even he. They also don’t care about crime, wastage or democracy or the accumulation of water in the middle of freshly paved highways; they only care about following the venom of the leader. The followers are all over sir; it’s spreading like a deadly airborne virus.
Mission Control: Well, I always knew it would come to this.
Normal Citizen: Come to what, Sir?
Mission Control: We have to leave now and probably go to the moon. It is the only safe place.
Normal Citizen: But there is no water, electricity, smooth roads, functioning police service or independent senators without brains on the Moon.
Mission Control: Well, at least you won’t get home sick.
On January 10th 2009 the moon was the closest it would be for the year and as a result the World went even madder. That is what those who believe in lunar madness would have us believe but could the moon really incite madness.
The word lunatic was derived from the word lunar (Roman Goddess of the Moon) because people thought there was a direct link between madness and the lunar cycle. Long ago people believed during the full moon some people went mad while the rest turned into werewolves. What ancient people failed to observe was that it was also the time leaders used to deliver addresses to the nations and walk the streets with their wives. Also, because of the brightness of the night, some men took the opportunity to walk the streets with their girlfriends which, naturally, did not go down too well with their wives. Because the night was brighter people would see more and the more people observed the more madness they saw. The only problem was that men stayed at home on the dark nights and were not able to observe anything except their wives in bed.
If you lived in a completely dark room and every time you lit a match you saw your big toe you can erroneously conclude the lighted match created the big toe. Yes, people possibly observed more madness and werewolves during a full moon but to blame it on something as romantic, inert, brilliant and defenseless as the full moon is unscientific madness.