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06 June 2007

MOON MADNESS

For hundreds of years we have known that it is the regular and predictable cycles of the moon and sun that regulate the ocean’s tides, but the tides in the affairs of humans have not been so easily forecast. It was almost as if they moved erratically of their own accord, unmotivated by outside forces.

The influence of the moon and behavior has been called "The Lunar Effect" or "The Transylvania Effect." The belief that the full moon causes mental disorders and strange behavior was widespread throughout Europe in the middle ages. Even the word "lunacy" meaning "insanity" comes from the Latin word for "moon."

The extensive cycle research of the past thirty years and more has proved otherwise. It has established numerous links between regularly occurring human behavior and external natural cycles ranging from weather and solar radiation to phases of the moon and planetary cycles.
The full moon has been linked to crime, suicide, mental illness, disasters, accidents, birthrates, fertility among other things. Some people even buy and sell stocks according to the phases of the moon,, a method probably as successful as many others. Numerous studies have tried to find lunar effects.

An earlier report by the American Institute of Medical Climatology to the Philadelphia Police Department entitled “The Effect of the Full Moon on Human Behavior” found similar results. That report showed that the full moon marks a monthly peak in various kinds of psychotically oriented crimes such as murder, arson, dangerous driving, and kleptomania. People do seem to get a little bit crazier about that time of the month.
That’s something most police and hospital workers have known for a long time. Indeed, back in eighteenth-century England, a murderer could plead “lunacy” if the crime was committed during the full moon and get a lighter sentence as a result.

The human body, which, like the surface of the earth, is composed of almost 80 percent water, experiences some kind of “biological tides” that affect the emotions. When a person is already on psychologically shaky ground, such a biological tide can push him or her over the edge.
82 percent of postoperative bleeding crises occurred nearer the full than the new moon — despite the fact that fewer operations were performed at that time! Clearly, the full moon is a dangerous time for surgery, and the dissemination of this knowledge should result in planning operations for the new moon.

Scientists, however, like to have a hard physical model to explain their discoveries, and so far there isn’t a fully accepted one.

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