humor, Outdoors

Solar Eclipse Myths Not As Scary As Black Holes, September 23rd, Or Popsicles!

Vikings thought that a gigantic skywolf devouring the sun caused an eclipse.

Koreans believed that firedogs stealing the sun blotted it out.

Hindus held that a headless demon, Rahu, consuming the sun turned the sky dark.

Good thing the ancient Vikings and Koreans and Hindus didn’t connect to the Internet because there are more alarming celestial claims than skywolves and firedogs and headless demons.

And I know they are all true because I read about them on the WEB.

Death By Rogue Black Hole:

A solar eclipse is caused when the moon’s shadow falls upon the earth. It gets in between the sun and the earth. The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but it is also 400 times closer to the earth. That’s why the moon can blot out the sun. We earthlings may be ahead of the universe solar eclipsewise, but not so much when it comes to black holes.

Most of my knowledge about black holes comes from the Star War Trilogy corroborated by a few Star Trek episodes. I never concerned myself with them because most of the time Han Solo and Captain Kirk avoided them.

I stumbled upon the site Best of the Web while researching eclipses. Einstein conceived and Hawking confirmed black holes’ existence. Nothing can escape from black holes, and there are 10 million black holes orbiting somewhere out there. At any minute one can break free and enter our solar system, and we wouldn’t know. This invader could distort orbits and maybe expel a planet or two – that would be us.

Give me a skywolf any day. At least I’d see it coming!

Nibiru Does Us In:

Syzygy means the alignment of three or more celestial bodies. Besides scoring high in Scrabble, it describes what the Earth, moon, and sun do during an eclipse.

Nibiru or Planet X isn’t as cooperative. Nibiru is a secret planet that is predicted to collide with Earth on September 23. According to numerologist, David Meade, the solar eclipse is part of a prophecy from the Old Testament as an apocalyptic “heads up.” Apparently in the past David calculated the wrong numbers because he had been incorrect about the “doom dates.” But what if this time he’s using the right numbers and is accurate? (Sort of like me balancing my checkbook. Every once in a while it ACTUALLY balances.)

The firedogs may have peeved the ancient Koreans a bit, but aren’t as worrisome as Nibiru.

Permanent Stars In Your Eyes:

One FaceBook post described how an outline of the sun burned onto this FB friend of a friend of a friend’s retina while watching a solar eclipse in the 80’s. He viewed the eclipse through exposed camera film or dark glasses or whatever he read was a safe viewing situation.

After seeing that, I decided to ditch the idea of purchasing the NASA solar glasses and make a pinhole projector. I had enough trouble watching “funny cat” YouTube videos through trifocals on my iPhone without crescent shadows getting in the way. (I love the one where a cat leaps straight up after discovering a zucchini that had been secretly placed behind him while eating. I don’t have a cat, or currently a zucchini, so I don’t know if it works on all cats or if you could substitute a cucumber.)

The pinhole projector directions called for “supplies that you have on hand” such as a cereal box, tape, aluminum foil, white paper, and a nail to make a round hole. I had all, but the cereal box. (I make my own granola, and I recycle Mike’s cereal boxes as soon as I empty them into the plastic containers on top of our frig. A line of Cheerios, Grape Nuts, and Wheat Chex boxes doesn’t work for me.)

Post 22 Popsicle Box 2
Pinhole projector viewed from the top.

Luckily Mike and I polished off the last of the Popsicles so I fashioned that box into my projector. While cutting out rectangles and gluing a viewing screen and poking a hole in the aluminum foil I noticed the Popsicle Nutrition Facts. The ingredients are water, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar. I’m on board with the water, but aren’t high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar all sugar? Isn’t that like saying the tiny, small, teensy puppy?

While I didn’t expect Popsicles to be recommended for a low carb diet, reading the nutrition label put my childhood treat into the “Guess I Shouldn’t Eat This Anymore” category.

And I would guess that is a vow the ancient Hindus had wanted Rahu to make!



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