Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Get 'Er Done!

I've finished Son of a Witch, which I really liked. Again, it's gritty, but the ending was a-freaking-mazing. I also finished Real Mosquitoes Don't Eat Meat and Other Inquiries Into the Oddities of Nature, by Brad Wetzler. Here's one of my favorite entries:

"What Makes the Moon Look Bigger at Moonrise?"
A: It's called the moon illusion, and it's just that: a trick on your eyes and brain. ...the orb is the same distance from [both horizons]. Scientists have hundreds of explanations many still clinging to a notion Aristotle put forth around 350 B.C.: that the image of the horizon moon is magnified by our lens-like atmosphere. [There is also an] "apparent distance" theory, suggested by Ptolemy in the second century and formulated by Arab phyicist al-Hasan nine hundred years later. . . . When you see the horizon moon, your mind takes into account the terrain in front of it and concludes that it's really far away and, therefore, really big. When the moon's overhead, the cues are gone, and the visual center in your brain is unable to assess it's distance (it's 249,000 miles away, after all) and thus can't determine it's size."

Pg. 19, Wetzler: W. W. Norton Company, Inc. 2005

I love me some good theories, so I thought that was pretty interesting. I'm starting on Einstein in His Own Words now.


Kristy said...

Thanks so much for that entry about the moon, for I, being the nervous Nelly that I am... get freaked out when I see the moon so close and start to wonder what is going on with the atmosphere! Good to know.

Robert said...

I like both of the theories. Both sound extremely plausible. I think the atmosphere thing is probably more likely though as the moon appears to be larger some days at times other than moonrise. Maybe it's a combination of both. *shrug*