I will make the moon disappear tomorrow night!

Just checking to see if people are so uneducated and unknowledgeable today about the lunar eclipse coming up that Columbus’s old gambit would still work:

An eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504. 

 

Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.

Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.

He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.

The warning, of course, came true, prompting the terrified people to beg Columbus to restore the Moon — which he did, in return for as much food as his men needed. He and the crew were rescued on June 29, 1504.

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  • (zombie-like trance)

    All hail the great Veith, whose demons eat celestial objects! 🙂

  • (zombie-like trance)

    All hail the great Veith, whose demons eat celestial objects! 🙂

  • Today’s paper here in Wisconsin adds a local flavor to the old story. “The Indians do not like to see eclipses of the sun or moon” noted Thomas Forsyth about the Sauk and Fox Indian tribes in Wisconsin in 1826. The knowledge of when eclipses were to occur (discovered, the article points out, by ancient Iraqis 2700 years ago) was used by the Jesuits in Wisconsin (and no doubt elsewhere) to make the natives think the Fathers had special powers. “God makes use of everything to save souls” was the comment defending the practice. Indeed.

  • Today’s paper here in Wisconsin adds a local flavor to the old story. “The Indians do not like to see eclipses of the sun or moon” noted Thomas Forsyth about the Sauk and Fox Indian tribes in Wisconsin in 1826. The knowledge of when eclipses were to occur (discovered, the article points out, by ancient Iraqis 2700 years ago) was used by the Jesuits in Wisconsin (and no doubt elsewhere) to make the natives think the Fathers had special powers. “God makes use of everything to save souls” was the comment defending the practice. Indeed.

  • In Minnesota, temperatures will range from 5 to 15 below zero. Miss this lunar eclipse and you will have to wait until Dec. 20-21, 2010, for the next one.

  • In Minnesota, temperatures will range from 5 to 15 below zero. Miss this lunar eclipse and you will have to wait until Dec. 20-21, 2010, for the next one.