2002/12/29
 
19:17

Exposed: The Winter Solstice!

The Solstice is overrated.

There, I said it. Maybe you've been thinking the same thing. Maybe it's time somebody said something.

As Canadians, we look forward to the Solstice. Actually, most Canadians don't know that a certain day in December is even called the Solstice. To them, it's just "the day when days start getting longer again." The arrival of this day cheers them up immensely.

What they don't realize is that the effect isn't that pronounced. Yet by February, they're still complaining about how short the days are. You'd think everybody would have caught on by now.

Well, I decided to track the length of the days since the Solstice. Check this out:

Day  Dec22 Dec23 Dec24 Dec25 Dec26 Dec27 Dec28 Dec29
Rise 07:49 07:49 07:50 07:50 07:50 07:50 07:51 07:51
Set  16:44 16:45 16:46 16:46 16:47 16:47 16:48 16:49


You might scan the bottom line and say, "Well, we gained five minutes!" But did you check out the times when the sun actually bothers to show up? Yup, it's getting later. It did that last year, too. I checked.

I'm sure there's a scientific explanation for all this, involving trigonometry, celestial mechanics and, oh, I dunno, continental drift. The bottom line is that we've only gained a paltry 3 minutes of sunshine. Ooo, get out the tanning lotion!

So I guess I'll continue to stay indoors and keep track of things like this. No, no, you don't have to thank me.

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