lunar ephemeris calculations with PyEphem

While analyzing data for my recent post demonstrating that the lunar cycle does not correlate with crime incidents, I needed to compute daily lunar ephemeris data to match with daily crime incident counts. To accomplish this I turned to PyEphem, a Python package that computes–among other things–lunar position and phase for any given date. I first […]

the lunar cycle: not a partner in crime

Emily Williams and Stacie Dutton, SETEC Astronomy, San Francisco, California, USA Despite abundant scientific evidence refuting the connection, the “lunar effect” persists as a common explanation for temporal variation in human behavior. Adherents of this idea implicate the lunar cycle in outcomes as diverse as lost elections and hemophilic episodes. We find the myth woven […]

werewolf transcriptome conjecture

Lycanthropy—the sudden transformation of individuals into wolf-human chimeras during full moon periods—remains one of the least understood medical conditions persisting today. Researchers find investigation of the phenomenon doubly confounded by social stigma (who wants to tell a scientist that they are a werewolf?) and sampling difficulty (how many werewolves will actually sit still for a […]