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March 19, 2011

Fuller Moon
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 09:16 AM *

Tonight’s full moon is going to be the biggest and brightest since 1993. Unless there’s cloud cover.

Q: What do you get when you divide the circumference of green cheese by its diameter?
A: Moon pi.

Q: If the moon were a light bulb, how many aerospace engineers would it take to change it?
A: None. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to change a light bulb.

Q: How does the man in the moon get a haircut?
A: Eclipse it ‘imself.


The far side of the moon.
Comments on Fuller Moon:
#1 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:07 AM:

As you'd expect, it's snowing right now.


Q: If athletes get athletes' foot, what do astronauts get?

A: Mistletoe.

#2 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:09 AM:

It was magnificent here in Minneapolis last night. Clear sky, and moon shadows everywhere. And, of course, because it was clear, it was cold, and we only looked at it for a little while. Cold being a relative term, in the twenties being warmer than a few weeks ago.

Happy Full Moon, everyone.

#3 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:09 AM:

Méliès's film was really a mashup of Verne's story and Wells's own lunar peregrinations, with some dancing girls thrown in. Speaking of unfaithful adaptations... I wish someone would release the DVD of 1958's "From the Earth to the Moon", in which Joseph Cotten invents an atomic explosive, a weapon so terrible that he decides the only place to fully test it is the Moon so he assembles a group to build a rocket in the desert. He then makes the mistake of taking George Sanders along.

#4 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:18 AM:

If it's a Fuller Moon, do we get to call it Bucky?

#5 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:19 AM:

Yesterday morning, the moon set large, bright, and very, very yellow. Was that purely an Atlanta phenomenon?

#6 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:38 AM:

Has anybody else read Kim Newman's "Moon Moon Moon", a story of the Man from the Diogenes Club set in 1969 and depicting fashion as ghastly as ever?

#7 ::: Glen Blankenship ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 10:58 AM:

Funny. Just moments ago I was trying to explain the difference between "aerospace engineer" and "rocket scientist." :-)

#8 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 11:05 AM:

Fragano, I don't know, but it was a large bright moon here too (NC).

Jim, i'd tell the first joke as "What do you get when you divide the circumference of marshmallow fluff by its diameter?" but as aforementioned, I'm in NC :) Now I have to think of a setup for the punchline "Moon pi and RC cola." I'm thinking circuit analysis will be involved.

#9 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 12:23 PM:

It was quite bright here at 5:30 AM. The cats, who woke us as usual, didn't seem to notice....

#10 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 12:24 PM:

Comments about the video:

1) Anyone lip-read French well enough to know what the moon says when he gets the rocket in his eye?

2) In the spirit of that Village Voice review: A throng of wizards dress up as businessmen to invade another world, where they immediately murder the first native they meet. After being captured and brought to justice, they break loose of their bonds and kill the native ruler, then flee back to their own world, barely ahead of his furious subjects.

(Sorry, I couldn't work in all those female launch attendants in hot pants. :-) )

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 01:05 PM:

Everybody who lives on the Moon automatically looks good.
That's because there's no crater beauty anywhere.

#12 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 01:34 PM:

The moon yesterday evening was pretty glorious. I saw it for a few moments before the clouds advanced again.

The East Bay (SF Bay Area) had an impressive storm last night: thunder, lightning, hail, lots of rain. The power stayed on: the cats hid. My dog actually barked at the first clap of thunder; I think from being startled. The thunder rattled my house: a clock fell off the wall and is now lodging behind my stove. It was not securely fixed, so its descent was bound to occur eventually, though I thought it would happen during an earthquake, and not as a result of some truly earth-shaking noise.

Don't know if I'm going to get to see the moon again tonight. I hope so.

#13 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 04:43 PM:

Lizzy L @ 12... The East Bay (SF Bay Area) had an impressive storm last night: thunder, lightning

...very very frightening me
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo Figaro - magnifico-o-o-o

#14 ::: Gement ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:10 PM:

@ #3, in the spirit of adaptations, then there's the Smashing Pumpkins music video for the song Tonight, Tonight, which is where my generation learned about the film. Well, those of us who learned of the film. Some people just thought it looked awesome.

I credit Tonight, Tonight with the real birth of steampunk. It didn't grow into public consciousness until later, but in 1996 a whole bunch of teenage goths learned that Edwardian clothing and stylized oldtech looked COOL on goths.

We are now 30 and attending SF cons.

#15 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 05:21 PM:

All right, folks, do you know what connects Bohemian Rhapsody, Don MacLean, Fridays, and The Crazy Gang?

#16 ::: HAL 9000 ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 06:31 PM:

Dave Bell @15:

No, Dave.

I'm afraid I don't know that, Dave.

It's not vital to the mission, Dave.

I do know "Bicycle built for Two".

Would you like to hear me sing it?

#17 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 07:39 PM:

The Tualatin Valley currently has mildly overcast skies, but things look darker to the west. Bummer. I hope I can at least get a glimpse of it.

#18 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 08:29 PM:

Gement @ 14... I think steampunk really began with James Mason as Captain Nemo myself. As for the current interest, it was probably a confluence of various things, but they were crystallized by Alan Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and by "Girl Genius". That being said, in case you're interested, HERE is a link to a talk I once gave on the subject.

#19 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2011, 11:24 PM:

when steampunk began? I think The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois qualifies. (1947)

#20 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 12:15 AM:

Erik Nelson @ 19... It does precede Disney's film by a few years, but didn't the latter have far more repercussions? BTW... Disney was originally going to have it be an animated feature until he saw how well his live-action films were doing.

#21 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 12:17 AM:

Meanwhile, Fuller's earth would like some expert attention (preferably mineralogical) over at Wikipedia.

#22 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 03:47 AM:

As of 2:30 AM in Houston (shortly after we kicked the last few stragglers out), there's partial cloud cover but rather a lot of high-level wind, so those clouds are scudding right along and you can see the moon easily thru the breaks. I don't know about larger, but it certainly seems brighter than the average full moon.

#23 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 05:08 AM:

David Harmon @10: I think he's saying « Meuh! Mon œil! »

#24 ::: Omega ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 06:32 AM:

The moon rose a deep red here in Yorkshire. Was going to take a picture but the phone rang while I was looking for the camera and by the time I'd finished chatting it had faded to a faint burnt umber so I didn't bother.

#25 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 07:17 AM:

Roll on thunder, shine on lightning...

Rain and wind tonight, though the cloud cover was thin at 0115, and the moon looked quite nice through it.

#26 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 09:15 AM:

Since you're talking about steampunk in a supermoon-related thread, what about this?

#27 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 09:29 AM:

Raphael... Nice, and a reminder that SF can be found by simply looking at what's around you.

#28 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 11:11 AM:

I must admit - I was hoping that portions of this post would have been redacted to comply with Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act

#29 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 12:34 PM:

Here in Central Texas, it was reasonably clear at moonrise. As we walked a few blocks southeast of our house (husband wanting to get a particular vantage point so as to get a local landmark in his camera frame) there were several groups out on the sidewalk waving glasses of wine, and people out on front porches on the one street in the neighborhood where normally no one ever does that. We got to the vacant lot, clear view east for about half a mile except for some nearby construction, and watched a bloody moon rising. It looked more like a sunrise than a moonrise, huge, heavy, ponderous, misshapen until it had risen a couple of diameters, gradually turning from burnt Longhorn orange to a pumpkin color.

By the time we had sttod around a bit and then walked a few blocks further, it had risen enough to be a delicate yellow. Other people had joined us at the field, including some friends, but we walked back on our own, stopping to sit in the small park. We had been hearing music bouncing over from some SXSW venue a couple of miles away, but as we sat, my friend the firefighter came out on his neighbors' back porch (post St-Pat's party) and let loose with the bagpipes. And the moon shone brightly. Magical.

We went back to the house, hung out in our back yard for a while, and toasted the now cream-colored orb with Irish and sherry.

#30 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 12:48 PM:

Remarking on an oddity: when I'm looking at the front page, the video link at the top is to "Pet CPR". When I click thru to this post, it changes to "ScienceCasts: Super Moon". I have no idea why this would happen, but it's strange.

#31 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 01:03 PM:

I was volunteering at the George Observatory (south of Houston) last night. We got about 90 seconds of solid yellow moon through the telescope before the skies clouded over the eastern horizon, and not too long thereafter, the entire sky was socked in.

#32 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2011, 04:18 PM:

"Tonight’s full moon is going to be the biggest and brightest since 1993"

There was actually an equally bright and full moon in December of 2008. The moon actually came about five miles closer to us that time. Nice moon last night and everything, I don't mean to diss on it! But, it wasn't the brightest since 1993, 'zall I'm sayin'.

#33 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2011, 12:06 AM:

My husband and I enjoyed the full moon as we were driving home last night. Then, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by the sort of animal hullabaloo that signals a critter on the back porch.

I tottered out of bed, somewhat mystified to discover I was displacing the two cats who usually do the yowling. (Was Sabrina making that noise???) I looked out on the deck. No critter. I opened the door.

"Yip. Bark. Howl." Many barking canids.

Ah. The coyotes. The moon must have just come out from a cloud. The last time I heard them like that was when a lunar eclipse ended.

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