Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Something to think about: Blame it on ISON

By
From page A4 | November 15, 2013 | 9 Comments

This year, for Thanksgiving, we have more than a turkey and cranberry sauce to look forward to — we have Comet ISON which should reach perihelion and be visible with the naked eye on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28.

Like eclipses, meteors and solar flares, comets have come under fire in the past as harbingers of doom. In 1997, the comet Hale-Bopp so affected a group of Star Trek fans that 38 of them, including their leader, Marshall Applewhite, drank an upscale version of the Jonestown Kool-aid in a mass suicide in order to send their souls to Hale-Bopp, the Mother Ship. Each one of them had a $5 bill and three quarters in their pocket for the interplanetary toll. Bummer if they arrived and the toll fee had gone up, like the Bay Bridge.

Halley’s Comet reappeared for hundreds of years before Edmund Halley discovered that it was the same comet coming around again every 74-79 years. In 141 A.D. it was blamed for the plague; in 1066 it was so associated with William the Conqueror conquering England — there is a depiction of it in the Bayeaux Tapestry. In the 1100s it was blamed for Genghis Kahn’s rampage against the Western world, and in 1456, it was given credit for causing the Fall of Constantinople.

Mark Twain was born in 1835 two weeks after Halley’s perihelion and died 75 years later during its perihelion, and he fully expected to do so. “I came in with the comet and I expect to leave with it,” he stated.

So what can we blame on ISON? Obviously the “hairy star” as the ancient Greeks described comets, affected Congress, causing a mass brain shutdown which in turn caused a full-on federal government shutdown. It wasn’t a total loss of brain power, however, because Congress retained just enough intelligence to make sure they were still being paid for doing nothing.

Huge wildfires in the West, including the Rim Fire, were blamed on climate change by some. Since torrential rains and resulting floods occurred in Colorado at the same time, the climate change theory might not work. Something other than climate change must have been at fault and superstitious folk might point to the Hairy One — ISON.

ISON is the only possible explanation for Miley Cyrus’ tongue, which is unable to stay in her mouth, and her butt, which has developed a twerk. Likewise the Kardashian marital break-up — any of them — all of them. ISON can be blamed for the computer glitches affecting the Affordable Health Care Act — either that or partisan sabotage.

Scientists don’t yet know whether ISON will be a dud or the biggest comet of the century — sort of like a presidential election. It all depends on how it survives its passage over the surface of the sun. It will be visible in the dawn sky looking east in the Northern Hemisphere and it has a greenish-blue color due to its icy gases of cyanogen and diatomic carbon.

No need to swallow protective “comet pills” or don gas masks to ward off ISON’s poisonous gases as people did in 1910 when Halley’s Comet appeared. ISON won’t come any closer to Earth than 40 million miles and, since it’s not a spaceship, just a big chunk of ice, it can’t change its course and dive bomb us.

So, gather your clan in the pre-dawn hours of Thanksgiving, root out the telescope and hot chocolate and have a viewing party. This could be a Thanksgiving to remember and if Aunt Ida’s green bean casserole is soggy and the turkey is overdone, you can always blame the Hairy One.

Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 9 comments

  • Phil VeerkampNovember 14, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    Wendy, it is much much worse than you can possibly imagine. ~~~ LINK - . . . get an eyeful this week, when four comets will be visible with binoculars or small telescopes in the early morning sky.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 4:50 am

    Phil, four comets spell four times the doom. Mix in some koolaid, cults and suicide and it spells obamacare.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PattyNovember 15, 2013 - 9:10 am

    Cookie u sound like a broken record. When the Affordable Care Act is fine tuned and they add single payer and everyone is content with it as with Medicare,I wonder whst you will be rambling on about then. Maybe Big Gulps!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Patty in another post I predicted the new leftists talking points marching orders. You fulfill my prediction with the use of the word "when".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 10:45 am

    In fact Patty, your comment is exactly what I claimed the school of fish would be sticking to. Here is what I said... " The left has developed a new strategy for selling ocommycare. They will speak almost exclusively about the "future". How wonderful it is going to be once everyone sees what they have done. Once the bugs are worked out, once everyone is covered. Watch and see. Any questions they are presented with will be spun into some time down the road, some future fantasy when socialism will lead to the utopian dream of equally shared misery. It will be just like hope and change, nothing definable but you will understand just how smart they are at some unknown future date."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PatriceNovember 16, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Just ignore him/her and its crew. There will always be something for them to ***** about. It makes them happy. I bypass the broken record altogether and read most all others. Much better......awwww.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampNovember 15, 2013 - 9:38 am

    Patty, allow me to make your statement true. 'When the Affordable Care Act is fine tuned and they add single payer and Thorazine and everyone is content with it as with Medicare, I wonder . . ."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rodNovember 15, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Patty cake, U are the one that sounds like a broken record. obamacare... is broken.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 11:36 am

    After 3 1/2 years and $634million it should be running like a Swiss watch, not a Yugo with 3 flat tires and water in the gas tank.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 100 Comments | Gallery

 
Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 63 Comments

 
.

Letters

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 38 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8