Sky Power Blog Post #5 – Ground Hog Day


For various reasons that I’ll touch on below, Ground Hog Day
is my favorite “holiday” of the year.  As I write and post this on
that special date of 2/2 in the Pacific time zone, it has already
ended in half the world’s time zones — but is still raging across
the other half of the planet!  And even after midnight strikes on
this western edge of North America, Ground Hog Day will still
be going on for several more hours in time zones west of here,
across the eastern Pacific and on out to the International Date
Line!  … Of course, Ground Hog Day is a “thing” only in the U.S.,
but for me, it lasts for the full 48 hours that any particular date
does when considering its duration in all 24 of the world’s time
zones!  In fact, given that it’ll still be happening even after it’s
gone here on the U.S. west coast, that makes it just a bit akin
to the odd phenomenon that Bill Murray’s character kept on
experiencing in the fun movie:  Even after it’s over (here), it’s
still Ground Hog Day (elsewhere)!   … (I realize that’s not the
same thing — but it’s still related, by a whimsical whiff!)

Over recent decades, at various levels in diverse settings, I’ve
taught physics & math, astronomy, and meteorology / climate.
So, hey, here’s a day where we celebrate issues of light and
shadows, and weather & the sky!  (and a wee bit of biology!)
But sometime I want to see the actual “data”:  I want a photo
of the actual shadow (or lack thereof) of that ground hog!  I’m
concerned that, with all the press cameras and artificial lights
crowding around poor P. P., any shadow he observes will be
just from the damned media claptrap — not from any natural
sunlight (or instead flat light in case of a cloudy sky)!

Ground Hog Day actually falls on one of four “cross-quarter
days” of the year — roughly mid-way between a solstice and
an equinox.  (Others are Halloween and May Day.)  That
appellation makes sense if you consider, say, a clock face
divided into four quarters by the “plus” sign formed by the
horizontal line connecting the 9 and the 3 (representing the
two months when the equinoxes occur), and the vertical line
connecting 12 and 6 (for the solstice months).  So now, if we
overlay a big “X” pattern (with the same center as the “plus”,
thus forming a big asterisk “star” or 8-legged “octopus”) with
its two diagonals crossing those four quarters of the clock or
pie, we get four more points around the circular rim of our
clock:  at 1:30 (for Ground Hog Day!), 4:30, 7:30, and 10:30
(which clock time happens to be just one off from 10/31, the
corresponding calendar date!).

 … Well, speaking of time, the moment has arrived for me
to wrap this up and fire it off to whatever mindspaces it may
reach!  ( One parting shot:  An “asterisk”, as mentioned here
above, is a symbol sometimes called a “star“.  So, might it
be that “astronomy” is related to that?  + Look sometime at
an “aster” flower, too.  rays !  *** )

HAPPY GROUND HOG DAY … (or whatever’s left of it) …..

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