Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the shortest day of the year if you are in the Northern Hemipshere and the longest day of the year if you are in the reality of somewhere south of the equator. Wikipedia has this to say about today:
The winter solstice occurs the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane as the observer. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the event of the Winter solstice occurs sometime between December 20 and 23 each year in the Northern hemisphere, and between June 20 and 23 in the Southern Hemisphere, and the winter solstice occurs during either the shortest day or the longest night of the year. Though the Winter Solstice lasts an instant, the term is also used to refer to the full day and night (24hrs) within which the event occurs. A more accurate usage might be the "day of the winter solstice" or the "night of/before the winter solstice". Winter Solstice is a controversial subject, since it is sometimes said to astronomically mark the beginning or middle of a hemisphere's Winter and so there is much argument about when it starts. Winter is a subjective term, so there is no scientifically established beginning or middle of winter but Winter Solstice is clearly defined.
For someone who grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin today was actually a high point because it could not possibly get any darker each day. And south of the Antarctic Circle its the day when there is no sunset.

Any day is the perfect day to be in Argentina. But on the winter solstice, I'd prefer to be in wonderful, fantabulous Ushuaia, Argentina, the "southernmost city in the world." In early January it will be five years since I left Ushuaia. I wish I was back there today watching the glaciers and the Black-browed Albatross from that great restaurant along the malecon where fresh salmon is incredibly cheap.

Happy ending or beginning of the shortest day of the year.

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