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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Beware of the full moon

  • The legend of the full moon’s effect on human behavior has existed for centuries.
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  • The legend of the full moon’s effect on human behavior has existed for centuries.
     
    While many people believe the full moon influences behavior, scientific studies have found very little evidence supporting the “Lunar Effect.” 
     
    A host of studies over the years have aimed at teasing out a statistical connection between the full moon and human biology or behavior. The majority of sound studies have found no connections.
     
    The words “lunacy” and “lunatic” are derived from the same Latin root that gives us the word “lunar” as people often attributed intermittent insanity to the phase of the moon.
     
    “It must be a full moon” is a phrase heard whenever crazy things happen.
     
    People who believe that moon phases affect human behavior point out that the human body is over 60 percent water. If the phase of the moon can affect ocean tides, and even cause a bulge in the Earth’s crust, surely it would exert an effect on human beings, they reason.
     
    And, of course, one of the most popular features in the Farmers’ Almanac is the Best Days calendar, which recommends specific days to do everything from plant root crops to cut hair for increased growth, based on the phases of the moon and other factors. Readers swear that they see better results in their endeavors when they follow these recommendations.
     
    All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have always had difficulties being emotionally stable during the full moon. No, I don’t grow hair and teeth and howl at the moon, or fly on a broom or bite the necks of others (contrary to what Hubby may think.) Instead I tend to feel somewhat restless and unruly during the full-moon phase.
     
    As an example, on Saturday I found myself having a pity party. Without anyone to whine to, I spent most of the day sulking. By mid-afternoon when I could no longer stand myself, I attempted to take a nap. Shortly after falling asleep in my chair a knock at the door jarred me awake. I questioned whether or not to ignore it, but my front door was open and there was only a screen door standing between me and the unwelcome visitor.
     
    Since I couldn’t see anyone standing directly in front of the screen door, I considered slithering off the chair onto the floor and lying there until visitor left. Without knowing who it was, I feared that it would be someone who knew me and would let themselves in and call for me. How silly would that look if I had to drag myself off my living room floor to talk to them?
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    It turned out it was a Mediacom salesman asking me if I was interested in switching my current cable service over to his company. The poor fellow didn’t realized he picked the wrong day to come calling at my door.
     
    To spare him, I explained to him that several years back I had received the service from his company and I wasn’t happy with it so I switched. Apparently he thought I was bluffing because he asked what about the service made me unhappy, not fully intending, I’m sure, to hear me rattle off the lists of things I did not like.
     
    Ten minutes later he had taken two steps off my front steps and looked like he wanted to run. He threw me a flyer of their newest promotions and asked if he could call us in a couple weeks to see if we would consider switching after reading over the literature.
     
    I thought he had audacity to ask me for my number after I just spent 10 minutes telling him I didn’t like his service. For petty revenge I gave him Hubby’s name and number for not being home to answer the door.
     
    On Sunday my pity party was gone, but so was my patience. At 11 a.m. I asked Hubby what he was still doing home.
     
    “Don’t you have a date with the other cavemen at the local establishment to beat your chests and drink beer over the ridiculous game you call entertainment?” I snarled.
     
    “I was staying home a little longer to spend more time with you,” he explained timidly.
     
    While we may never know whether the explanation that the full moon changes behavior is correct, Hubby can attest that occasionally I’ll get a bee in my bonnet for no apparent reason usually around the time of the full-moon.
    Coincidence? Quite possibly.
     
    But in today’s world at least, the lunar lunacy effect appears to be no better supported than is the idea that the moon is made of cheese.
     

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