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Eclipse could cost £500m

/ 18 March 2015

The solar eclipse on Friday could cost Britain’s economy £500m as workers take time off to watch it, according to experts who predict absenteeism will increase by 10%.

Source: Daily Star

Workers wasting time looking at the star? Possible irony there.

Stopping what one’s doing during a solar eclipse is not necessarily a bad thing. According to Herodotus’ The Histories (1.73-74), it once ended a five-year war:

‘Just as the battle was growing warm, day was suddenly changed into night. This event had been foretold by Thales, the Milesian, who forewarned the [Lydians] of it, fixing for it the very year in which it actually happened. The Medes and Lydians, when they observed the change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have terms of peace agreed on.’

So if you have a difficult client meeting scheduled for Friday morning, you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

And as anyone who has read King Solomon’s Mines will know (and who hasn’t?) a solar eclipse is also very handy for getting out of a tricky situation with restless natives. David Cameron must from time to time wish for one in the Commons.

We must pass on the BBC’s warning about eclipse safety in the 21st century: please don’t look directly at the shiny thing in the sky, not even when setting up a smartphone photograph of yourself. As the Leveson Inquiry demonstrated, phones and the Sun are not a healthy combination.

For further reading, we recommend our recent BKL Briefing on the subject of Eclipse versus HMRC.