You Dodged the Last Judgement [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The Last Judgement, created by Michelangelo, is the world-renowned fresco covering the entire alter wall of the Sistine Chapel. In Christianity, the Last Judgement is the last day of the world, when God will judge everyone who has died and decide whether they will go to Heaven or to Hell. But we all just blew past the epoch event without even knowing it.
Did you happen to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on December 11? Between the Northern Midwest and New England, the "dancing curtains of light" appeared in the night sky. Of course, this beautiful natural phenomenon had been seen for centuries, but this one was newsworthy.
It was on the exact date of December 11, 1719, that the early settlers around our area of New England looked up and beheld the wonder. They thought it was an act of God that not only was mystifying and inexplicable but one that conjured alarm and fear that the Judgement Day had finally arrived.
The French astronomer Pierre Gassendi named it aurora borealis after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek (of course) name for the north wind, Boreas. Many times, the American Indians had seen the display of green, red and white lights radiantly, hardly ominously, across the sky. The Cree spoke about it as the "Dance of the Spirits," according to Sidney Perley in Historical Storms of New England.
Some may feel they just cheated the ominous jaws of fate, while others marvel at another rousing of the Northern Lights, that would make a divine fresco depiction.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.