Monday Open Thread

Filed in National by on March 14, 2011

Welcome to your Monday open thread. Welcome to daylight savings time, which I still don’t understand the point of. All I know is that I resent the time jump. It messes up my day (I hate resetting the clocks, too). Did anyone miss any appointments because of forgotten alarm clocks?

This just makes me mad. Michele Bachmann is considering running for President of the United States. Or should I say President of the United States except Massachusetts?

“You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.”

— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), quoted by the Boston Herald, while speaking in New Hampshire.

She later admitted her error saying, “It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!”

Har har har, Republicans love America except parts of it. How is it o.k. for an elected official to talk this way? Why isn’t it scandalous, actually?

After the Sendai earthquake, there was some talk of a “supermoon” and that it was the cause of the earthquake. Bad Astronomer explains that the earthquake was not caused by the supermoon:

The idea of the Moon affecting us on Earth isn’t total nonsense, but it cannot be behind this earthquake, and almost certainly won’t have any actual, measurable effect on us on March 19, when the full Moon is at its closest.

So, how can I be so sure?

Here’s the deal. The Moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse, so sometimes it’s closer to us and sometimes farther away. At perigee (closest point) it can be as close as 354,000 km (220,000 miles). At apogee, it can be as far as 410,000 km (254,000 miles). Since the Moon orbits the Earth every month or so, it goes between these two extremes every two weeks. So if, say, it’s at apogee on the first of the month, it’ll be at perigee in the middle of the month, two weeks later.

The strength of gravity depends on distance, so the gravitational effects of the Moon on the Earth are strongest at perigee.

However, the Moon is nowhere near perigee right now!

The Moon was at apogee on March 6, and will be at perigee on March 19. When the earthquake in Japan hit last night, the Moon was about 400,000 km (240,000 miles) away. So not only was it not at its closest point, it was actually farther away than it usually is on average.

So again, this earthquake in Japan had nothing to do with the Moon.

If you hear others talking about the supermoon and how it caused the earthquake, now you can set them straight.


About the Author ()

Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (10)

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  1. Avagadro says:

    Happy Pi Day!

  2. anon says:

    Avagadro thinks he’s so smart, but I’ve got his number 🙂

  3. Auntie Dem says:

    Yeah but, the moon is still messing with the minds of the lunatics in the Tea party. They must have lost their tinfoil hats.

  4. Jason330 says:

    I think that there is a whole wingnut industry dedicated to supplying teabag politicians like Bachmann with zinger comebacks when they screw up. I know Sarah Palin has created a few jobs in this field anyway.

  5. anon says:

    Any random lefty blog including this one is crawling with free zingers that, if they came from a Republican, would be repeated by Rush and FOX for four months and would tip the next election.

  6. anon says:

    Frank Luntz would be my guess.

  7. Avagadro says:


  8. anon says:

    Protest and Boycott: King Center at 435 S. Heald Street, Wilm. Delaware. Boycott WILM! Bruce Elliot #1 uber right winger has taken control of WILM. He has fired: Nancy Lopez, Harmon Carey, Val, and Ted. His latest attack was to bring Glen Beck on everyday from 9:00am to 12:00 and moved 20 or more year talk show John Watson to 9:00pm to 12:00pm. This will not stand. The community is outraged and vow to turn this thing around. Come out to the press conference tomorrow morning at 11:30. We will be building a Free WILM boycott and protest to be held at WILM headquarters later. So, if you care about our local media, and believe Clear Channel is about to shut out and shut down the community, come out, particpate and help us move ole Bruce Elliot on down the road.

  9. Jason330 says:

    Sounds like a wingnut station just got a little more wingnutty. But good on ya’ and stick it to ’em.