Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Waning gibbous moon

“The waning gibbous moon is just past full and illuminated generally from the left.”
--Anonymous

We are in the midst of a waning gibbous moon. "Gibbous" means "rounded or protruding" and comes from the Latin word meaning "hump." I had a hunch that I would eventually be led back to writing about “humps.”

Every day on the train home, we pass through BNSF train yards and I see this one train car that has “DO NOT HUMP” on the back of it. I know it is just a railroad term for a car that should be treated with care because of a fragile load (rail cars are sometimes rolled down a hump to form a train). Still, it makes me giggle sophomorically like Beavis and Butthead every time I see it.

But I digress.

I like that an almost full moon is called a waxing gibbous moon and a just past full moon is called a waning moon. I’m not sure why. It just sounds cool.

I’m not sure why dropping your pants and wagging your butt at someone is called a full moon, however. I don’t suppose anyone refers to the practice as giving someone the gibbous.

Obviously it is a slow blog day.
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