Why did the Moon appear to be so large in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of June? (See the Nasa photo taken by Shay Stevens, “The Moonrise Over Seattle”. -Credit and Copyright, Shay [email protected]) .

In 1913 Mario Ponzo gave one explanation to why the moon seems so large when it is near the cityscape or horizon. This explanation is called the “Ponzo Illusion” or the “Moon Illusion.” He suggested that our minds increase or decrease the actual size of objects, depending upon their background.  If they are bright and round up and up in the air in the midst of a black or blue sky, they seem smaller than when they appear near the earth’s surface or horizon.  There are various newer explanations of this illusion as well.

Our explanation for the moon illusion is a bit different than Ponzo’s. When the Moon or anything else from the sky appears at the horizon (i.e. the edge of the earth) it will seem larger to many people, even larger than Ponzo’s optical illusion would predict, because we need the moon to be larger, closer and more accessible.  Amazing things are never close enough!

In any case, next time you see the moon, don’t pass by it by. Stop, watch it flirt with you, and ask yourself, “how large is that moon, and how close is it to your heart”? We hope that everyone interested in psychology, to be amazed at the world and universe we live in.

Einstein’s cosmological constant has undergone many re-evaluations since he proposed it.  This constant determines whether the universe gets bigger or smaller.  It is a kind of intrinsic energy density of the vacuum.  This “constant” is very fine tuned, and measured to be of the order of 10-29g/cm3.  To date, no one can find the reason for it being so small.  And no one has yet explained why if it were changed just one part in many trillions of parts, life itself would not exist.  This kind of accuracy seems very unlikely, very improbable.

Therefore some scientists believe there was some sort of intelligence, a life creating force generally referred to as the “anthropic principle”. That means, the universe is fine tuned so that life can come into being.

Our question; how does this “anthropic principle” appear in psychology?  Or does it? What is consciousness and life?  Why have many people always believed there was some sort of intelligence “out there in the universe”?

There is always a lot of blaming or “fingerpointing” around difficult world events. For example, the US news is still asking who is responsible for the broken levees and flooding of the city of New Orleans in Louisiana, USA (NOLA) after Katrina hit that city in September of 2005. The levees protecting NOLA broke during the storm.  Various groups have said the US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for inadequate construction. But the Army says the local and federal government is responsible.  Some have said racism was the reason the levees were left in an inadequate condition.

In any and all cases, today the people of NOLA are all faced with the interaction between the forces of local and federal government systems, social systems, the climate, the geophysics of the earth, New Orleans culture, mythology and dreaming.

To understand this situation, each of us ought to ask ourselves; “If you know it might be dangerous to live in your room, but can’t find the time or money to make it safer, who is to blame?  Culture, classism, racism, ageism, engineering, and/or fate?”

Today, there is reconstruction going on at various rates and at all levels in NOLA.  But we hope everyone will think about, and learn to deal with devastating community problems such as Katrina, before they occur again.  We need (and are working on) methods that deal with each issue individually, and at the same time, with the entire city “field”.

–Thanks for your comments on this topic.