The Best Place To Hide During The Solar Eclipse Of 2017

The Best Place To Hide During The Solar Eclipse Of 2017

Kosmikophobia is real. Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling.
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With all the political unrest, bizarre world events, climate upheaval, and more, the idea of a solar eclipse in August is more than enough to send me into a whirlwind of fear. Before you dismiss my distress over the upcoming comic phenomenon, hear me out. I have personal as well as historical data to validate my reasoning.

Let me begin with being raised by my neurotic grandmother. I don’t have time to go into all of her peculiarity, but I will tell you about her religious views regarding the end of the world. She was a firm believer in the apocalyptic visions from the Bible. She was a harbinger of signs that would mark the final days of our human existence. She often explained that the moon would turn red and trumpets would sound when the cataclysmic end was near. I had a traumatic childhood, so hearing these things would heighten my anxiety and fear. I still get a bit nervous if I hear a loud train horn during a full moon.

Even as an adult, I still carry suppressed fears of eclipses, comets, asteroids and other cosmic events. I try not read anything that involves meteor showers or humans sending laser signals to the moon (the laser signals may cause the gravitational pull to get off kilter and send the moon spinning off into the earth). Kosmikophobia is the name for this type of what some consider irrational fear.

In case you think I am alone in this phobic state, I have more evidence that will prove differently. A pastor by the name of John Hagee wrote a book “Four Blood Moons” which, in March of 2014, was the country's ninth best-selling paperback. It seems there were four blood moons (lunar eclipses) in six-month intervals. The book claims that this is an omen marking the end of the world. They use this Bible verse to prove their point. Acts 2:20: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” OK, so the last one of these events took place on September 28, 2015 and we are still here on the planet. Just keep in mind that they didn’t give a specific date for the end.

There are people around the world who believe that a solar eclipse is a bad omen. Some say pregnant women should stay inside during a solar eclipse. Others believe food cooked during a solar eclipse might become poisonous. Erratic behavior is believed to increase during eclipses. Some blame health issues on solar eclipses. On the other hand, those who follow astrology might claim good fortune or romantic interests are heightened during these times. I don’t think I want to risk a romantic involvement either. I don’t have great success in that area. One fact I discovered is that birds stop singing during an eclipse. How anything good come from birds not singing? It has been reported that power outages might occur, but they think it will be limited to Europe-maybe.

My closest friends know about my unique fears. Of course, now anyone who reads my post will know as well. I hope you don’t think differently about me after learning of my kosmikophobia. NASA has assured us that we are safe and have no need to worry. We should all just grab the glasses (mandatory for viewing so you don’t damage your eyes) and enjoy the spectacle.

I would prefer to stay indoors and pretend it is a very dark, overcast day on August 21, 2017 (the day after my birthday) during the solar eclipse. I would close the blinds, shut the curtains, grab salty and sweet snacks and binge on Netflix movies. I won’t be able to do that because I will be on campus this year. It is the day of the new student convocation and other events. Solar glasses will be distributed free those on campus, but I think I will find a secluded place in the library and drink Starbucks tea. Starbucks is the closest cosmic event I plan to view. As long as the power doesn't go out, that is.

Cover Image Credit: Metro.co.uk Gallo Gallina

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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In Florida, January Is The Season Of Daisies

While studying at a park, wild daisies caught my eye.

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Growing up in Chicago, I never imagined seeing flowers in the middle of winter. In Florida, it's a different story. Flowers can be found year-round, including the winter. In the winter months, wildflowers bloom, flowers that you might typically find in the late summer or early autumn in other parts of the country. The milder weather allows for such flowers to grow.

With the 70-degree weather, I chose to take my studies outside to the local park. I sit under a pavilion along a lake. The cool breeze blows off the lake, rustles the palms, and blows through the pavilion. I sit with my back to the sun soaking in its warmth. Occasionally I lift my head and look around. I'm surrounded by beauty. Blue skies hold fluffy white clouds that float past.

The occasional osprey circles the lake calling with its high-pitched shout, sometimes another osprey calls in response. I watch the deep blue lake waters ripple and blow in mini waves towards the grassy shore.

Hidden in the grasses wildflowers blow in the wind. My favorite flower, I can spot it from 50 feet away, daisies. They line the shore, hundreds of them dancing in the breeze. I don't remember them being there a week before. It's January and new flowers are blooming.

I return my focus to my studies but cannot wait to see the daisies. I read some more. A young man walks past and picks up a few pieces of trash with a claw and places them in the can. He says hi, I say hi and continue reading. Moments past and I hear a laugh come from the other end of the pavilion. The young man must have found a bubble wand. He's holding the wand and watching the bubbles float away at 10, 15 miles an hour. They fly over the grass and past palms, and across the parking lot.

Bubbles float past me and I can't help but smile as I return my focus to my studies. Still, I'm intriguing I can't help but look up a few times and watch. I'm glad that man can still enjoy life like a kid. That he can find bubbles that make him smile and laugh. I overhear him texting a friend. He's here for community service. But still, he makes it fun. He continues around the pavilion blowing bubbles for another 10 minutes or more, laughing and smiling as everyone should.

Bubbles, parks, wildflowers they all remind us to be children again. I finish my studies, but before I leave I must see the daisies. I approach the lake and they are even more spectacular than I thought. I sit down, at their level. They shine white, vibrant in the sun and dance wildly in the breeze. There's a whole line of them along the lake, as far as the eye can see.

I can't help but smile with the sunshine, the daisies, the man playing with bubbles. It's hard to leave such beauty. But I'll remember the wild daisies that bloom in January and will enjoy them as long as they are here.

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