New research published in the journal Science Advances supports a correlation between moon cycles and sleep. Seems we go to bed later, sleep less when the moon is full. Scientists analyzed sleep patterns of two control groups, one in rural Argentina without artificial light pollution, the other college students living in downtown Seattle. Research concluded full moons disrupt sleep patterns even in urban locations with artificial light pollution. Participants wore wristbands to monitor activity, both groups went to bed later, slept less during the week leading up to a full moon. Research confirmed humanity’s inherent link to evolutionary circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythm regulates wake/sleep hours, repeating once every 24 hours in step with rotation of Earth. Circadian (from Latin “circa” meaning around or approximately and “diem”, meaning day ) rhythm is hard wired into every form of life. It dictates when bees feed, bats fly and we sleep. Circadian rhythm is sensitive to light fluctuation – enter full moon sleep deprivation.
As I write, Earth directed solar wind blows at 559.3 km/second. High speed solar wind is credited to sunspot AR2803 –
Last night, Adrien Mauduit at Night Lights Films captured “Aurora at the Beach”, mesmerizing real time aurora majesty washed in waves tickling a stony beach. Treat yourself to Aurora at the Beach, follow Adrien Mauduit at Night Lights Films. –
Below – screenshot of the current Aurora Oval illustrating the impact of high speed solar wind from AR2308. Centered at true magnetic North rather than geographical North Pole, the Aurora Oval widens or retreats at the command of space weather. Ovation Auroral Forecast – Auroral oval | SpaceWeatherLive.com is my go to aurora resource.
Once a planet Pluto marks its 91st anniversary of discovery on February 18, 2021. Take a moment to ponder 91 years of Pluto from discovery to New Horizons mission majesty. Kudos Pluto, your presence is a source of infinite wonder. It’s remarkable to consider Pluto, a solar system constant, has only been known for 91 years. Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is recognized as the birthplace of Pluto. From – Celebrate the 91st anniversary of Pluto’s discovery | Human World | EarthSky –
“Lowell Observatory bills itself as the the “Home of Pluto.” Percival Lowell, a wealthy American businessman with a passion for astronomy, postulated the existence of a “trans-Neptunian object” and searched for it until his death in 1916. His estate, managed by Lowell’s brother, Harvard University president A. Lawrence Lovell, donated money for a new telescope that still stands at the current Lowell Observatory. Using this telescope, Clyde Tombaugh continued Lowell’s search. On February 18, 1930, he detected movements on photographic plates taken in late January. The discovery was announced on March 13, 1930, on what would have been Lowell’s 75th birthday.”
The I Heart Pluto Festival for 2021 runs virtually February 13-18, 2021. Image via IHeartPluto.Org.
Does Pluto love us back? It almost seems to, with this giant heart on the surface! This image was taken by the New Horizons mission on July 13, 2015. Here are 10 cool things about Pluto you might not know. Image via NASA/ APL/ SwRI.
Ponder Eunice aphroditois, the Bobbitt Worm. Sightless predatory aquatic worm notable for stealth, dizzying speed and impressive size. Growing up to ten feet long, stinging bristles cover a colourful exoskeleton. Their business end is ringed by five antennae, Bobbitt strikes by turning its throat inside out to expose sharp teeth packed with paralyzing toxin. They prefer warm ocean reefs, evidence suggests this invasive species has a far greater range than once thought.
Viscous a predator as Eunice aphroditois may be, surely “Bobbitt” wasn’t the best we could come up with? Bobbitt refers to Lorena Bobbitt. In 1993, domestic abuse, rape and sodomy culminated in Lorena cutting off her husband’s penis while he slept. John’s penis was reattached, Lorena acquitted and released after a 45 day psych evaluation, John ruled not guilty of rape by a jury. Close as I can tell, an online myth circulated inferring female Eunice aphroditois cut off male organs after mating, feeding it to their young. Since when do worms have penises? I digress.
A co-worker introduced Bobbitt Worms. He shared a link, expressed astonishment, I reciprocated. We spoke of evolution remarkable perfection of species, unfathomable diversity and realization we comprehend a fraction of the natural world. Good talk. Then he said, “anything named for Lorena Bobbitt must be nasty, a real badass”. Whoa, that’s not funny. “I’m serious” he replied with a chuckle. I wasn’t laughing.
What’s wrong with “sand striker” or “trap-jaw worm”? Both common names for Eunice aphroditois prior to Bobbitt malarkey. By what stretch of imagination (other than click bait ) does “Bobbitt” make a species more fascinating? “Have you heard of the giant predatory sea worm named for Lorena Bobbitt? So horrendous it attacks without mercy, slices unsuspecting prey in half without conscience. A horrible creature unashamed of paralyzing bristles, venomous bite.?” WTF people!
We live in a world of embellishment, sensationalism, misinformation, monetized content and parroted hearsay. What’s funny about likening a desperate act by an unhinged domestic abuse victim to behavior of a predatory sea worm? I digress, end of rant. Sigh.
Roughly seven months ago the U.S., China and United Arab Emirates took advantage of favourable Earth/Mars orbit to launch missions to Mars. Over the next two weeks all three, one orbiter and two landers will reach Mars. Ponder the enormity of three nations, three separate missions congregating at Mars within days of each other. Who knew the UAE has a space program? Why is China poking at Mars? How many people still believe space exploration starts and ends with NASA? Who even knows how many separate space missions are active?
The UAE arrives first on February 9th. The EMM (Emirates Mars Mission) probe Amal is an orbiter tasked with collecting atmospheric data. The UAE space program is an initiative to advance science and technology rather than reliance on oil. The very next day China’s Tianwen-1, a dual orbiter/lander mission settles into orbit. If all goes well, Tianwen-1 will deploy its solar powered lander sometime in May. This is China’s second attempt to deploy a Mars lander, their 2011 joint venture with Russia failed. On February 18 NASA’s Perseverance Rover skips orbit for immediate deployment to the Jezero Crater, an ancient river delta which flowed into a lake. NASA is the only space agency to successfully land on Mars. (Eight times since 1976 )
The Apollo era cemented universal cosmic wonder. The enormity of space travel, realization of science fiction becoming reality resonated with collective astonishment. Tonight I write of three autonomous Mars missions arriving within days of each other knowing full well most people aren’t interested. Today, cosmic wonder languishes in a puddle of competing click bait, occasionally bubbling to the surface when news feeds pluck near Earth asteroid calamity froth. Missions to Mars aren’t enough to attract clicks and views. Cosmic wonder suffers in silence.
“According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: “It’s a marvellous day today”! The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth: “The water is very nice, let’s take a bath together!” The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back.
The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt…
Hang onto your hat – Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings were faked, 9/11 was an inside job, Trump won the election, the most mistreated people in the U.S. today are white males, Hillary Clinton murdered a child in satanic ritual then ordered the killing of a police officer to conceal the crime, and the 2018 California wildfires were started by a Jewish funded space laser – allow me to introduce Marjorie Taylor Greene, upstart Republican congressional representative from Georgia now sitting on the Republican Education Committee.
This woman makes crazy blush, a duly elected politician so misguided her ignorance defies comprehension. Trouble is, the woefully flawed U.S. constitution coddles bat shit in the name of freedom. Freedom to speak hate, promote absurd allegations without obligation to verify facts, adversely impact the well being of fellow citizens regardless of race or religion and flaunt all of the above with righteous impunity.
America reaped what it sowed, the U.S. has no one to blame but itself for the madness of elected politicians claiming Jewish funded space lasers started California wildfires. Conclusions are drawn, fingers pointed, walls erected and sides taken. Left vs right, partisan editorial masquerades as news. Technology facilitates hand picked reality, truth be damned. Truth takes a back seat to ideology, all is forgiven because freedom of speech allows propaganda to bloom.
Constitutional freedom of speech morphed from well intentioned ideal to weapon of politicized discontent. Ludicrous misinformation parroted on social media blossoms into foundations of misguided truth. Trump legitimized mainstream proliferation of baseless nonsense. Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t about to apologize for claiming a Jewish funded space laser started California wildfires. Why should she? Voters in her congressional district don’t care, freedom of speech doesn’t care. Who cares?
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky tabled objection on constitutional grounds to proceeding with a second Trump impeachment trial. Forty five out of fifty Republican senators sided with Rand Paul. Paul based his objection on a misguided premise, only sitting presidents can be impeached. Despite clear constitutional consensus that impeachment serves to prevent tyranny, in this case guaranteeing Trump can never again hold political office – no American president has ever been impeached after leaving office. It’s a murky quandary, the constitution says nothing about impeachment of a former president. Reality check, right or wrong is irrelevant, two thirds Senate majority needed to go to trial will never happen.
Trump won’t be impeached, the damage is done. Quaint notions of sworn oath to uphold the constitution are meaningless. Impeachment is futile, forty five Republican senators have spoken. They scoff at all but their pitiful grasp on reality. Take it as victory that history will never forget his deplorable reign.
What can be done? How will justice be served? Forget impeachment, let it go. Concentrate efforts on irrefutable matters of law, the same law that applies regardless of office or influence. Audit his finances, leave no stone unturned, follow the money. Demand a DNA sample, require him to answer sexual assault charges in court. Investigate and verify facts of his dealings with foreign banks. Force him to understand, days of cowering behind the Resolute desk are over.
Who knew? Seems I’m a fan of country music. Huh, go figure. I’ve long recognized fondness for Bluegrass (fiddles steal my heart), Zydeco and Folk Roots. Likewise Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings – each and every one brilliant in their own way, but two steppin’, line dancing, honkytonk country? Who knew it could be so uplifting? Who knew, almost a year into the pandemic I’d be pining for a line dance with scores of carefree country music fans.