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Entry: Darkness over New England: The Apocalyptic Scare of 1780 - A87756286
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni (GE, Post Editor, send Stuff) - U1590784
How to stick yourself with a guide entry:
1. Start talking to Willem and Cactuscafe about mysticism. Decide to send them a link to 'Simple Gifts'.
2. Look up Shakers.
3. Find casual reference to 'the Dark Day'. Go, what now?
4. Find out what happens when the sky goes black at noon and there are Calvinists in the neighbourhood.
5. Decide you can't keep this to yourself.
I hope you think it's as funny as I did.
It's great. Those poor people.
Where do you find all those facts?
Well, it took some googling after I found that cryptic reference.
I gather the event was legendary in New England for about a hundred years, then it was sort of forgotten.
Kind of like the New Madrid Earthquake during the War of 1812 (when the Mississippi flowed backwards, I believe), and the year of eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death, weird occurences from before the time of mass communication.
'Dark Days', I've actually seen the effect, due to a near by forest fire, Carson City, Nevada, summer of 1968.
The sky was black with a pall of smoke going by overhead at about 1000 feet above local ground level for several days, an occasional fleck of red popping through in areas where the smoke was thinnest.
I tried to sign on with the volunteer fire-fighters, but wasn't accepted on account of age. One had to be 18 years old or more, I was only sixteen.
Marco Polo on his return journey from the far east reported a tremendous earth-quake shortly after he made landfall in the Arabian peninsula and reported that the sky was blackened for days afterward.
Probable cause in that case, explosion of a volcanic island in the Arabian Sea.
An 18th Century Global Warming Story !
That was actually the period of "The Little Ice Age" and "The Year Without A Summer", climate disaster originating with volcanic disasters in what is nowadays Indonesia and Iceland that produced a couple of generations of catastrophically poor harvests all around the North Atlantic rim.
...apparently aggravated with major forest fire...
Yeah, see? Climate change. Nothing new.
This is very good.
Informative, funny - and it carries a kind of warning about the dangers of reading significance into natural phenomena.
The best motto is
...its like the thing about comets, for ages objects of superstitious awe and terror, but nothing to be done about the real hazards associated with them, so the dangers were downplayed until means became available to deal with them...
Nowadays, you just call Bruce Willis. Oh, wait, that's killer asteroids...
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Great job as always. oh for the day of no more apocalypses!
well done Dmitri
An update to this entry: Elektra thinks the BBC are *copying* us.
I'm sure they were just being topical.
Anyway, I'm not sure whether we need to put in a footnote to say that we're remaining neutral on the question of whether the Doctor and his tardis had anything to do with the Dark Day. <tinfoilhat>