and tide wait for no one... but they won't be ignored
By Joel Beck
Friday, November 5, 2004
Martini, of Saugus, famous for his syndicated radio segments as the
"Cosmic Muffin," says the explanation for the way the moon
affects human behavior is quite simple. Science shows that the moon
affects the tides, and our bodies are 90 percent water. That said, how
can the moon not affect the human body?
"You just go back to the basics," Martini says. "It absolutely
affects people's dream states, their sleep states, and people are always
more tired at full moons."
Of course, recently, that might have had more to do with people staying
up late to watch the Red Sox.
Kelly Beatty, editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, says our bodies
might be 90 percent liquid, but people aren't anything like an ocean.
He calmly says the premise that our bodies react like tides to the moon
isn't quite right. It's the way liquid in our bodies is distributed
that makes it far less affected than an ocean, which has a tidal reaction.
"In order for there to be a high tide in Massachusetts, there has
to be a low tide somewhere else for the volume of water to be constant,"
Beatty says. "That means, if the earth's water was distributed
evenly like a checkerboard all over the earth's surface, there would
be no tide.
"The same is true with a person's body," he says. "In
order for that water to rise up, there needs to be a deficit of water
someplace else [in our bodies], and there can't be."
Seems logical enough. But how does one account for the "cosmic
energy" felt by people like Marblehead's Robin Samiljan? She was
so moved by the power of the moon that, to capture its beauty, she began
applying paint to canvas during every full moon over the past year.
How can anything with that much beauty and power possibly be just an
inanimate rock sitting in space? Samiljan isn't ready to accept the
"It's not just a rock," says Samiljan with a hint of disdain
in her voice. "It may be a rock, but it's a rock that is able to
reflect light. That light source, whether it's coming from the sun or
wherever, is projecting energy or reflecting it from the moon. If you
look at it, it can really affect you."
That may be true, says Beatty, for people who know little or nothing
about astronomy - which he estimates is about 99 percent of the general
population. His job is to get people to understand more about what's
really going on in the sky.
Which is, of course, easier said than done. Even the night of a full
"On one hand, we find it funny and amusing," Beatty says.
"On the other hand, it's a little frustrating. At some level, you
just have to give up and not fight it."