“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I’m not sure if the Bard was commenting on the existence of ghosts or the universe in general, but that line spoken by Hamlet pops into my head whenever I stroll around the Very Large Array.

If you’ve been there you know what I mean, but if you haven’t, head out on Highway 60 past Magdalena this Saturday to get an insider’s look at the VLA during its semi-annual Open House. The dishes are in the “C” configuration, making for a good photo op.

While I’m off on a heaven-and-earth tangent, we are on the verge of Earth Day. You know, Earth? That big blue spherical thing hurtling through space that has oceans and landmasses and gravity and such? And non-flat?

But unsurprisingly, last week’s solar eclipse brought those wacky members of our species who swear the Earth is flat out of the figurative woodwork. I’ll admit that I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that these people are still walking around – presumably chewing gum at the same time – actually convinced that the Earth is flat. As in “as a pancake.” They don’t believe the Earth is a spinning globe, no matter what you say, insisting that we’re walking around on a circular, flat surface.
As for the eclipse, they said the size of the shadow cast backed up their idea that the Earth is flat; that it was too small to be explained by a spherical planet because (since they contend the Earth and the Moon are precisely the same size) the shadow cast would cover the entire planet.

According to Flat Earthers, the whole Australian “down under” thing is an insidious hoax perpetrated by the spherical earth conspiracy. What they’re not really clear on is what’s on the underside of our livable flat pancake. The roots of trees dangling down, I guess.

Granted, I have never been in outer space to eyeball our orb for myself, but the globe at school made perfect sense to me, and the photos of our planet from the Moon look pretty authentic (that is, if the Moon landing was not faked, see below).

I know, I know, this is the sort of issue that one doesn’t feel the need to waste time on, but it gives me a chance to poke fun at these kinds of hoax/conspiracy theories. Like one that refuses to go away about Elvis Presley faking his death and is still routinely spotted from Dunkin’ Donuts to Graceland, where someone swears the 89-year-old King of Rock and Roll was part of her tour group wearing a fake beard.

If you’re so inclined, you can join the honest-to-god official Elvis Sighting Society.
I also learned that someone is trying to prove Jack the Ripper was Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame.

But wait, there’s more. The Great Pyramid at Giza was built by a pre-Egyptian, long-since-disappeared civilization—or aliens. And it had something to do with generating electricity.

There are some who believe the movie The Matrix is real and we are nothing but computer-generated avatars. Hmm, let me check with Alexa on that one …

I watched this one YouTube video about how NASA faked the moon landings with Stanley Kubrick’s help. But another YouTube video alleges that the U.S. Army has secret bases on the Moon—or they might be secret alien bases—take your pick.

I remember when I was younger, there was the fluoridation conspiracy, which was lampooned by the abovementioned Kubrick in the movie Dr. Strangelove.
Just don’t get me started on the current miasma of conspiracies and hoaxes coming from some politicians. Enough already.

But I digress.

Back down here on Earth, Earth Day is one of those quasi-holidays that I’ve never really known how to celebrate. Not that I don’t love the Earth—I mean, it’s where I live—it’s just that you don’t see Earth Day party favors and whatnot in the stores, and there are not a lot of Earth Day songs out there, except maybe “I’d Like to Teach the World To Sing.”

But like everyone else, I surely do want clean water and clear air, and I want the same for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and future Larsons on down the line.
Besides the inevitable Earth Day sales, there are some simple things you can do on your own to observe the day, such as not driving when you can walk, planting a tree or bush, switching to compact fluorescents or LED light bulbs, paying bills online instead of writing a paper check, using less water…those kinds of things.
I’ll do my part and skip taking a bath.

Well, on second thought, maybe take a shorter shower.