Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • January 28, 2009 and burglary were somewhat lower during the full moon. This could be the proof of the blood pudding: a fracas that leads to a fistfight where both contestants walk or stagger away under ordinary circumstances might cause the pugilist with the edge to take things one step beyond if he was already somewhat crazy. This particular survey, picked up on the web, brought in responses from police officers, EMTs, and college administrators who said it was no surprise to them. A lot of people in public health and public safety, dealing with people not always insulated by money and responsible family members, confirmed that the full moon is a key time to be geared up when you are dealing with people who are already on the edge. The Skeptical Inquirer science magazine disagrees. This publication opposes all belief in the paranormal – perhaps without recourse to scientific research, which, after all, is based on numbers and not prejudice. The statement that 100 studies found no evidence of full moon variances came according to a writer who quotes another writer who told us we could expect a solar catastrophe some 15 years ago that could have destroyed the world, and these cheerful tidings send some folks into initiatory psychosis. I should explain to my readers that initiatory psychosis occurs when people confronted with challenges they cannot handle frantically look around for a way to blame the Universe for their troubles and discover a hostility that exists only in their own imaginations. The professional skeptics claim more than 100 studies showing that there was no significant correlation between phases of the moon and disasters, homicide rates, etc. Just a few questions: What are the surveys, where were they taken, and what are the statistics? The people who say the full moon can cause problems tell you which police departments, in which years, produced what numbers. The opponents hit you with negative responses with no statistics, and no names of universities or research groups. These people claim to be scientists, but what they really are is rationalist guardians, trying against all odds to deflect the renewed interest in religious values springing up among the younger generation and among people of all generations who understand that nothing else works. These are the same people who see Darwin’s repulsive racism as flawless and cannot deal the fact that the people he and his admirers classified as semi-simian are burying white people alive in terms of purely intellectually disciplines such as mathematics and the hard sciences, and even in inspired disciplines such as classical music. The Darwinians are the same people who shrug off the solid evidence discovered by Arnold Bracken 30 years ago that Darwin was a racist mountebank who stole his ideas from Alfred Russel Wallace, a non-racist who later became a Spiritualist. We had better get over Darwin while we have a chance. The people we have shown disrespect by calling them monkeys are not amused. The people who deny the full moon are, in this context, the same people who deny the existence of extrasensory perception. Disciplined experiments indicating that ESP was fact have been reported, notably at Duke University, but also at Columbia and Princeton. The use of a plethysmograph, a machine something like a polygraph, or lie detector, produced such substantial results in the 1980s that the case was closed as far as academic psychologists were concerned. The mountebanks maintained the smokescreen because they were dedicated to thwarting anything that could reinforce religious values. When you read the denial that passes for science in their books, understand they choose not to quote anything that could undermine their arguments, such as the police statistics from Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Utah: not exactly focal points of New Age rhetoric. Various police forces, and even the CIA, have used psychics for the past 20 years to locate missing persons – or find their bodies – and to identify “moles,” or double agents, in the intelligence community. One agent who worked for both the CIA and for the KGB was described as driving a red convertible, being married to a Hispanic woman, and living in a certain neighborhood – three hits out of three when they caught the guy. His arrest plugged a vital leak. Let’s face it: nobody is unbiased. The stories about the full moon may touch off frantic denial by dead-enders with an anti-religious bias, but most policemen and EMTs – practical people with no axes to grind – know these cases are anecdotally evidential. The stuff really happens. The kind of denial that goes into full moon stories may seem cute and harmless, but it goes against the grain of responsible science, and of common sense. Evidence is evidence whether it fits into your preconceptions or not. The numbers are in, as are the anecdotes. Watch out when the moon is full. Ransacking the news for signs of anything benign in the economy, or confirmations of my own dismal outlook, I sometimes bump into repetitive stories about the possibility of previous life on Mars. Why worry about the Red Planet when a much closer satellite has far more influence over our lives? The influence comes in a way that is not always pleasant and cheerful. Some years ago, my poor old Toyota stalled for the umpteenth time. A mechanic who is a friend of mine and had a reputation for being psychic, helped me get the car started. I rolled it into the driveway and got out to thank him. “Your troubles may not be over yet,” he prognosticated. “Look at that moon up there. Beware of women when the moon is full.” Sure enough, he proved prescient. The next day, while walking across Godwin Avenue after picking up the mail, I was struck by a car driven by a woman who thought the posted speed limit on this narrow road through a shopping district was a point of departure and not a sensible mandate. I flew about 12 feet through the air, and not by flapping my wings. I landed on my head, so I wasn’t seriously hurt, but the broken ankle gave the coup de grace to a newspaper I was operating after everybody but my wife had run out on me. A few hours later, I was at Valley Hospital receiving phone calls and flowers, and being asked if the incident was deliberate. The idea that the moon has the power to make people do silly, dangerous, or vicious things are anecdotal because science has not produced a theory how this might work. One favorite idea is that the moon exerts the same tidal pull on the liquids in the human body that the moon exerts on the tides of the oceans and estuaries. This fluid shift is said to cause imbalances in people and facilitate actions they would not consider in broad daylight and a waning moon. The other theory is that the beauty of the full moon lures more people outside to enjoy the spectacle and to become the victim of a violent crime as a consequence. The theories are iffy, but the statistics are impressive. Researchers at the University of Miami reportedly collected data on homicides over 15 years, during which Dade County experienced 1,887 deliberate killings. The murder rate rose sharply when the moon was full and declined sharply when it was waning. A survey to find out if the statistics were a fact or a fluke, conducted in Cuyahoga County in Ohio found the same pattern: far more homicides during the full moon than when the moon was waning. A third study from Philadelphia showed that murder, arson, dangerous driving, and kleptomania all peak during the time of the full moon. Out in Utah, the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation decided to track eight categories of crime through lunar cycles. The Utah police determined that manslaughter was 220 percent higher during the full moon than at any other time. Homicides in general were 53 percent higher, and rape, motor vehicle theft, and burglary also showed increases. However, simple assault, aggravated assault, Malice from the full moon? Ridgewood The Somerville-Hawes Dad’s Night provided the Somerville School with a gift worth almost $20,000, the leading gift in a list of donations to Ridgewood’s public schools. The $19,986 gift from the Somerville-Hawes Dad’s Night covers the expense of for SMARTBoard Interactive Whiteboards with projectors and accessories, and four SMART document cameras for the Somerville Elementary School. The other top beneficiary was the PARCCA program, a consortium to help Paramus and Ridgewood students with autism. The PARCCA students received $420 for field Dad’s Night adds SMARTBoards to schools trips through the sale of bracelets, with an additional $224 for Benjamin Franklin students with problems related to autism, the ability to focus so intensely that exterior signals are eliminated, and $34.15 for Benjamin Franklin School Field Trips from Holdings LLC. Christina Cigogna gave the RED program $700 for classroom materials. The Fishi family gave $500 to the Benjamin Franklin Middle School $500 for classroom materials. Renee and William Andrews gave the Travell School $200 for library books. J. KOSTER The Ridgewood Public Library will sponsor Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress Jane Seymour, in a book signing and talk at the Ridgewood Public Library’s Belcher Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is free. Seymour will debut her new book, “Open Hearts,” a collection of poems, essays, and quotes, each thoughtfully paired with Seymour’s Healing Hearts artwork. The actress will give a short talk about her book and take audience questions. Seymour will sign copies of “Open Hearts,” which Bookends will provide for purchase at the event. The library is located at 125 North Maple Avenue in Ridgewood. Jane Seymour to appear at library Police (continued on page 16) chased him. When the police arrived, they found an abandoned 2007 Hyundai station wagon that had been reported stolen from Elmwood Park on Oct. 20, 2008. A few hours later, a High Street resident reported that his silver Honda Element, which had been idling in his driveway, had been stolen. The police searched the vicinity and did not find the car, but recovered a bicycle stolen from a yard in Bartell Place, the same general area where the Elmwood Park car was recovered. The car stolen in Ridgewood was later recovered, unoccupied, in Paterson. Two burglaries were reported earlier in the week, one from a house on Sheffield Road and one from the Oak Manor apartments. Money and jewelry were taken in both cases. J. KOSTER