Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

If you need an escape hatch from the earthly howlers and horrors of a diminished but still-thrashing Donald Trump (“Donald Trump for…speaker of the House?” asks CNN), catch tomorrow’s solar eclipse. It’s a “ring of fire” taking a rare path over the North Pole. It’s also a good way to avert your eyes for a minute, and a timely reminder of how far humanity has (mostly) come in accepting more and more scientific explanations of causation despite the crush of disinformation and delusion. The Washington Post has a classic explainer on “the strangest, scariest eclipse myths throughout history.”

Consider the ritual human sacrifice performed by Aztecs to “feed and strengthen the sun and ward off the eclipse,” and the bear-bit-the-sun theory of eclipse. Or the theory that a vampire is at fault, having tried to swallow the sun before the vamp “spat it out when it burned his tongue,” causing the eclipse. Or the belief that the sun is covered not by the moon but by a bird or “a sorcerer’s cloak rather than the moon.”

If nothing else, the eclipse can put into focus some of the strides in scientific fact-finding, resetting your clock, scaling your sense of perspective. Give yourself that much. Look up and out, if not into space, then into more space than your immediate surroundings. Unless you’re on board with the vampire theory of causation.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate