By Lowell Ponte
In 1504, Christopher Columbus was stranded on the island of Jamaica, where he and his crew were kept alive by Arawak Indians who threatened to cut off his food supply.
Columbus boldly warned the natives that his god was angry with them, and that on Thursday, February 29th, would demonstrate his power by devouring the Moon. That night the Moon rose blood red and grew progressively darker. The natives were terrified as Columbus went to his tent to talk with his god.
An hour later Columbus returned and told how the Arawak had been given one more chance. Almost instantly the Moon began returning to normal. The natives would continue to do his bidding until a ship rescued him months later.
Columbus was fortunate not to be dealing with the Maya of Mexico and Central America. Their astronomers understood the cycles of the heavens, too, and had their own almanacs predicting eclipses similar to the one Columbus accessed to know exactly how long this full lunar eclipse would darken the Moon with Earth’s shadow.
This August 21st millions will enjoy a solar eclipse as the Moon precisely covers the Sun’s face, its “path of totality” tracing across the American heartland from Salem, Oregon, to Greenville, South Carolina. Elsewhere, most of the lower 48 states will be able to see a partial eclipse….but take care not to look at the Sun with naked eyes or, worse, binoculars or telescopes!
The nights of August 10-13 will show that our calendar is actually a map, and that these dates are places in Earth’s annual orbit where we splash through a river of stardust left by the comet Swift-Tuttle. This stardust – bits of matter with the density of cigarette ash and size ranging from a grain of sand to a child’s marble – striking our upper atmosphere at 90,000 miles per hour causes the “Old Faithful” of meteor showers, the Perseids.
You should be able to see at least one shooting star per minute during these nights. Ancient peoples believed that these heavenly messengers passed through a window that opened in heaven, and that a prayer or wish said at that moment could reach heaven before that window closed.
If you live a more scientific, less wonder-filled life, then try this. Take a box or bucket, cover its opening with cheese cloth, and put it on your roof. After a month, go over the cloth with a magnet. The tiny bits of metal on your magnet will be the stardust of such incinerated meteorites…part of the 40,000 tons of cosmic dust that fall to Earth from space each year.
As noted in Craig R. Smith’s new free study of recent economic cycles, Crisis Timeline, our lives are influenced by more than the cycles of day and night, and of summer and winter. Scientists and analysts have discovered many such cycles that invisibly shape our world, from climate change to the rise and fall of economic markets. To see the future, look for the cycles.
Those unaware of such forces can be fooled, and taken advantage of, by those who are aware. Several of the most powerful economic cycles are about to converge, each at a low point.
“This is one of the worst convergences of negative forces in centuries! It could potentially batter the United States socially and economically. For the unprepared, it could be a disaster. For those who are prepared, it could be a huge opportunity,” Smith’s study warns.
“A negative convergence of just three cycles ‘came together in 2008, a rare occurrence leading to that disaster’ that cost the average American 40 percent or his or her net worth.”
Those who have wisely diversified their investments will likely survive, or even prosper, during the economic eclipse the next convergence of negative patterns could bring. Those who have not could be pulled down in an economic eclipse that may darken their future for years or decades to come.
To schedule a fascinating “Gee Whiz” interview with Lowell Ponte, the former Roving Science Editor of Reader’s Digest, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
For a free copy of “Crisis Timeline,” contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at email@example.com.