Coming up on Monday, August 21, a solar eclipse will travel coast to coast, across the United States. For many, it will be a “total eclipse” depending on where you are. As it moves across the country, the area of the sun that will be completely blocked out by the moon is only 70 miles wide. The good news is that everyone will be able to experience at least a partial eclipse.
I’m marking my calendar because here we are in the midst of a seemingly endless cycle of having no significant change in funding for infrastructure. There are no signs that the new administration or Congress is going to be able to change that any time soon. So I’ve been thinking…there are a number of stories in which a total eclipse has broken a spell or curse of some kind. I’m thinking of King Solomon’s Mines, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Wild Thornberrys, Hellboy, and my personal favorite, Ladyhawke. Practical economic solutions haven’t presented themselves, so I’m desperate enough to turn to magical, mystical remedies to break this evil spell we might be under.
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In the movie Ladyhawke, the curse that turns the hero into a wolf at night and the heroine into a hawk by day is finally broken by a total eclipse. “A night without a day, a day without a night.”
I’m sure that on the day after the solar eclipse on August 21, we won’t all of a sudden hear of a compromise that will fund the repair and replacement of the nation’s infrastructure. But it’ll be fun to watch it and hope.
And for the more scientific-minded among you, here’s a non-fictional look at why solar eclipses are such a big deal.