Archive for August 2016

The Prediction – A Short Attention Span Sci-Fi Story   Leave a comment

Cloud 2


I gazed at the mirror and saw only clouds.

That morning, a late August Monday, seemed perfect from the start. A light fog grazed the valley, but soon dissipated after the the sun’s rays reached over the low hills. As usual, I threw on my robe and went outside, plucking the newspaper from the edge of the driveway. As was my custom, I opened it to its centerfold, usually the section where the comics and the horoscopes could be found.

For some, placing the horoscopes next to Calvin and Hobbes made perfect sense. Hobbes came to life because Calvin believed in him. My horoscope might have come true, if I put enough faith in it. Since I trust logic over lunacy, I never believed in those predictions, nor understood how anyone could. Aren’t we supposed to be the leaders of our own destiny? We, as humans, have choices. And while we can become victims of circumstance, our decisions, not the random words of a stranger, should govern our lives.

Still, the temptation to read Aquarius that morning was strong. My gaze shifted to the one-star rating it listed for that Monday. Ah well, it’s the start of a new workweek…why should it be glowing and cheerful? I thought. It said,

Elusive illusions obscure your ability to remonstrate. Proceed with circumspection.

Heh? I’d have to break out a dictionary before I’d be able to figure that one out. No wonder these things aren’t worth the newspaper they’re printed on. I closed up the paper and went in my house, dropping the paper on the kitchen table.

I jumped in the shower, steamy and hot. As the soapy water slithered down my flesh, my thoughts drifted to the ridiculous horoscope. Isn’t an illusion obscure and elusive by nature? How do you argue with something that’s not there? Be wary of proceeding…with what?

That’s when I pulled open the shower door and noticed the bathroom mirror clouded over. Sure, steam’ll do that. I glanced out the window but it, too, had fogged over. I wiped the window with my damp towel and noticed the odd curls the clouds formed in the sky, sort of like my hair on a humid day. By now, the fog had cleared in the bathroom and I saw my face in the mirror.

As much as I wanted to believe I’d never age, the grey at the temples, the crow’s feet near my eyes, the little sag under the chin – I never much noticed them. Until now.

And then it hit me.

The horoscope was completely accurate.

I’m aging, I can’t argue that, and if life mattered to me, I’d better look out.

Because if I don’t, I’m going to lose it in the fog. And like the curled cloud, I’ll fade.

Almost, But Not Quite   Leave a comment


How many of you look forward to gazing at the moon and witnessing one of Nature’s Greatest Wonders, such as the lunar eclipse pictured above? They happen twice a year, about two weeks apart from a solar eclipse. It’s the dance the moon and the sun do, shading the earth in a few places, and giving us a fabulous show.

But on August 18, something odd’s going to happen. The Sun, Moon and Earth will be closely aligned that day, but their shadows will not meet. It’s as if they’re all flirting with each other, yet don’t quite know whom to choose. So they hold off a bit.

Then, one month later, the Moon gets its chance with a Penumbral eclipse (also, not quite total, but almost), crossing two dates, on September 16 & 17. But here’s the thing with a Penumbral eclipse: you might not notice anything. In fact, most people see a normal full moon. A keen eye will notice it’s a bit darker, but only just. See, this kind of eclipse happens when the Moon passes through the faint part of the Earth’s outer shadow. The Sun, Moon and Earth are imperfectly aligned, so they can’t do what naturally should come to them – an eclipse – so they go through the motions and orbit away.

Sandwiched between those two almost lunar events is an Annular solar eclipse on September 1. That, too, is an almost-but-not-quite event, with the Moon standing a hair’s breadth too far from the Sun to block its light entirely, but enough to cast a pretty decent shadow and darkening things in its path. It’s kind of like going to the movies and someone with an enormous head sits directly in front of you. You can’t really make out the whole film, but at the screen’s edges you see a tidbit of the action. What a viewer will see is a “ring of fire” around the edges of the moon. The sky does darken and if you glance at the sun (eyes protected with a filter!), it’ll look pretty darn cool.

So look out, folks! Or you might miss something…

Posted August 6, 2016 by seleneymoon in Eclipses, Moon, Nature, The Sun

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