It’s like a basket of puppies. Here’s Julian playing a little T-ball.
David Sederis in a theological discussion compring America’s Easter Bunny with the Easter Bell of France.
Turns out I’m now a Scottish Laird – I own one square foot of land on the isle of Islay in Scotland! It came free with a bottle of Laphroaig I bought, like a decoder ring in a box of cereal. Here are pics of my holding. Someday I’ll go over there and build the tallest, skinniest house in the world. I bought the Laphroaig based on a suggestion from Steve Smeekins. The whisky is quite good. You can really taste and smell the peat. Pics – click to embiggen:
As sick as I am of this cold and snow, Julian and I had a great day today. We did a little sledding in the backyard, Julian rockin’ lime green snow pants. Then we made a new bow, arrows and a quiver, just like in the picture in his Robin Hood book, followed by several episodes of Scooby Doo and some popcorn – pretty much a perfect day.
But how did a groundhog get tied up with weather predictions and why on February 2nd? Well, let me put on my USPS jacket and Cliff Clavin mask and do some hogsplainin’.
The midpoints between the four seasonal equinoxes/solstices were important celebrations back in the pre-Christian day. What we call Halloween is the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice; what we call May Day is midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Likewise, our Groundhog Day is midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Imbolic was the pre-Christian Celtic name for the festival between winter and spring and marked lambing season. Imbolc was also traditionally a time of weather divination, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is probably the basis of our Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:
“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.”
“If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be two winters in the year.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.”
Looks like 2015 will be a two-winter year. Stupid groundhog.
Here’s the largest photograph of the universe ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It gives a glimpse of how unimaginably vast the universe is – and this is just a small portion of the Andromeda galaxy. Watch and be amazed.