“Barking Mad”

"Another lunatic hypothesis bites the dust"

The title and subtitle for this blog are in quotes to give full credit to S. Chapman and S. Morrell (2000) BMJ 23:1561-1563, the source of the research findings reported here.

Do hospital admissions for dog bites follow the full moon? This is the central question for this research. Data source are Australian hospital dog bite records. Chapman and Morrell found: "Dog bites are no more frequent on full moons than at any other time of the month. Sceptics rejoice."

The article by Chapman and Morrell is full of similar detail and lunar humor. To read more go to PubMed and search for Chapman and Morrell

Before exiting this trove of science-humor, e.g. report of lunar effects to be caused by “human tidal waves caused by the gravitational pull of the moon."

This is the gravitational lunacy theory. It is argued because tidal gravity fluxes are semidiurnal, with smaller diurnal and even smaller fortnightly components, there are no unique monthly gravitational components that would correspond to the times of high tide greater than those associated with moon phases.

By applying this principle to absurd lengths, Myers suggested that any lunacy effects should occur twice each day with high tides and also should be more pronounced during the new moon and full moon (spring tides). Our data recorded time of bite, but investigation of Myers's hypothesis was muzzled by small numbers.


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