I woke up in the middle of the night and saw huge bright lights zigzagging all across the bedroom window. They seemed to originate somewhere up above, eerily silent and rather blinding. Was it an alien invasion or a bad dream? Why was everything so devoid of sound?! As per an ancient proverb, where there is the unknown imagine horrors. And then the following half-forgotten fact floated up in my drowsy mind: the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. Prepare for the sound, my sleep-boggled brain screamed at me. Indeed, the sound effects followed soon with a vengeance. First a distant rumble started at a distance, then there was a slow crescendo and then a very long undulating extremely loud and unbelievably close roar exploded outside.

It was a huge storm which lasted almost all night, with lightning (light) flashing alarmingly, then the ear-splitting thunder. All the cars parked in the vicinity whined and screeched, all the cats and dogs joined in the chorus. The Man slept through it all.

I wondered even then, at night, about the connection between good education and science. It is really amazing how some “useless” things we learned at school come in quite useful much later in life, like the speed of light and sound. Naturally the knowledge did not help me fall back asleep, but it gave me some fascinating food for thought so that I actually enjoyed the whole Nature’s display. I usually check the news not only for the horrible catastrophic events but also, say, for Nature doing her stuff. Solar flares and magnetic storms for instance influence lots of people. Babies may fret and cry when there are sudden weather changes. Old people may feel sick and any adult may feel woozy or irritated or depressed. I read that this coming Friday the Black Moon is to happen. I confess I did not get all the science behind it, but I got the gist. Rather rarely it seems, the new moon, that sickle-shaped crescent in the sky, occurs not once but twice a month. Since the Moon is responsible for tides and various atmospheric phenomena, it obviously affects the Earth and consequently all the live creatures on the planet. This time the crescent will happen on the invisible side of the Moon. Yes, I remembered another useful fact from the school astronomy course: we always see just the one side of the Earth’s satellite. So on Friday what we’ll see is either a sort of black or very dark blue sphere instead of the Moon, or nothing. It sounds like an eclipse to me. How is this useful? Well, it helps if we know why we feel “off” or under the weather. We are indeed under the Moon. Knowledge is power. So I am not coming down with something, rather it is something coming down on me kind of thing. The best fact to bear in mind about those natural phenomena is the following: it will pass tomorrow. Black Moon on Friday. The weekend should be clear.





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