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Amazing scientific background - total solar eclipse in dark red glowing sky, supernatural phenomenon, Moon passes between planet Earth and Sun shutterstock

You’re so vain, a Tampa federal judge chastised a government agent, you probably think the solar eclipse is about you.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday declined agent Chad Horst’s request to continue a trial so he could visit the solar eclipse’s zone of totality Monday.

“The solar eclipse is no longer mysterious, supernatural, foreboding, or ominous,” Merryday wrote Friday. “An eclipse is just another astral event, precisely predictable since the day the Babylonians discovered the governing formula.”

The order, which made the rounds via Miami attorney David O. Markus’ blog, cheekily quotes the lyrics of “You’re So Vain” and notes the “splendid Carly Simon introduced the attendance of a former suitor (reportedly the actor Warren Beatty) at a solar eclipse as probative evidence of his putatively insufferable vanity.”

Merryday chewed out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent for appearing to put his desire to view the eclipse for less than three minutes above the needs of the court, opposing counsel, witnesses and jurors.

“When an indispensable participant, knowing that a trial is imminent, pre-pays for some personal indulgence, that participant, in effect, lays in a bet,” the judge wrote. “This time, unlike Carly Simon’s former suitor, whose ‘horse, naturally, won,’ this bettor’s horse has — naturally — lost. The motion is denied.”

Contact Celia Ampel at campel@alm.com. On Twitter: @CeliaAmpel


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