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::: center home >> being here >> last donut? >> vernal


Vernal Equinox
Fellows’ Reading Group
April 1, 2015

As reported earlier, I’ve been getting more adventurous in my choice of food for the Fellows’ reading group meetings. Sometimes the calendar helps in the choice. Since it is Spring, there are traditional moments of celebration and traditional foods to be eaten.

So it was today. After we had assembled around the table in the Center lounge, I explained that, following tradition, we could give thanks to the all-pervasive cosmic power that sustains us and makes our life possible.

As I spoke, arrayed on the table was a basket of hard boiled eggs and some felt tip pens to color them.

All this was misdirection. Indeed I had thought that it was masterful and impenetrable misdirection, until Christian smiled and said casually:

“Oh, you mean gravity.”

He had seen through it, but I persisted.

“Yes, gravity. It is the force that holds our earth together as an ellipsoid and the force that keeps it its elliptical orbit around the sun.”

“At this time of the vernal equinox . . .”

“That was last week!” Wayne interjected. They are a tough house.

“. . . we remember Kepler who discovered the elliptical orbits of the planets. After he abandoned circular orbits and before the ellipse, he considered egg shaped orbits. So today we decorate eggs. It is a tradition that has been taken up elsewhere . . .”

I continued with a brief account of the elsewheres.

We took a few moments to decorate the eggs before we turned to the serious matter of Christian’s paper on Carnap’s philosophy of values. Zoe presented it.

They are a tough and quick house, but they had overlooked that it is also April 1 and that the Wall of Fame had been doctored. I’m wondering who will notice it first. Or perhaps the doctoring is too mild to merit a comment.


John D. Norton


Revised 4/14/15 - Copyright 2012