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    Re: a grand tradition
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2011 Oct 20, 15:00 -0700

    Patrick, you wrote:
    " if the seasons change because the distance from the earth to the sun changes, why is it that the northern hemisphere has winter when the southern has summer and v.v.? I am sure that these same students are aware of that phenomenon. Why don't they put things they know together? "

    Very true. And I would that I am inclined to give them a bit of a break here. These graduates were put on the spot. They were probably nervous. They were perhaps wondering if it was a 'candid camera' sort of prank since, obviously, they were being asked a question about grade school science. If you as the interviewer had responded by asking that question about reversed seasons in the southern hemisphere, many of them would probably have said something like, "Oh that's right... Duh. It's the tilt... Please turn off the camera!" And if you did it today they would add, "oh no... don't put that on youtube!"

    On the other hand, on a planetarium list which I follow, a member today tells this story:
    " My son, who is in kindergarten, recently brought home a book from his school library titled, 'The Earth and Sky.' As I was reading it to him and came to the part about the moon, I was stunned to read in the book that the lunar phases are caused the earth�s shadow falling on the moon. "

    So I guess the book was written by Harvard students. :)


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