Monday, April 14, 2014

Upcoming Events: April 14-21

It's WAY too late for snow but if the skies clear by tonight, we'll have a good show. A total lunar eclipse is a very noticeable and easy to observe event. 

Lunar eclipses happen at full moon, so the moon rises at sunset. Also rising near sunset is Mars, White tonight makes its closest pass to earth since January 2008 at 57.4 million miles. The moon passed very close to a bright (but not as bright as Mars) star, Spica in the constellation Virgo, at about midnight, just as the less visible partial phase of the eclipse starts.

The earth's shadow moves across the moon till it covers the whole moon at 2:08 a.m. Lunar eclipses vary a lot, like sunsets, because you're looking at the moon and seeing the light from all the sunsets on Earth. If you were on the moon, you'd be seeing a solar eclipse, with a pitch-black Earth surrounded by a sunset ring.

The moon will be at it's darkest at 2:48 and starts to move out of totality at 3:23. Everything is done by 5:36.

It might be a good night for a a "split sleep" pattern, the way people used to sleep in the era before electric light: go to bed around sunset, wake up for a couple hours in the middle of the night, go back to sleep till dawn. I've done it a couple times, usually on weekends, and it's not bad.

Tuesday is Tax Day but I can't find any evidence of any local rallies, either by anti-war left or anti-tax right. Both groups sometimes protest Tax Day, not the only way the left and right are starting to resemble each other around here...

Thursday at 6 the Iowa City Federation of Labor has its monthly meeting at 6 PM at the labor hall at 940 S. Gilbert Ct. Endorsements for the June 3 primary are likely to come up.

Saturday is the seventh annual Record Store Day, an event dedicated to the joy of those great common spaces where we spent our weekend dollars and hours, back when being a music fan in search of new sound was an active ongoing commitment that was more than a mouse click away. If I sound like an old man it's because I am. Major artists participate with special limited edition vinyl only releases. This year's releases run from Hank Williams radio broadcasts to a special edition of the latest Katy Perry. Not everything is available everywhere - kinda like the old days. Iowa City's Record Collector, the last record store in town, is the place.

And 4/20 is not only Easter, it's 420. Maybe in honor of that we'll see a breakthrough this week on the medical marijuana bill?

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