Monday, 12/21/09, Public Square

The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun; this is commonly known as the shortest day and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest.  The seasonal significance of the Winter Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.

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8 responses to “Monday, 12/21/09, Public Square

  1. Just think — we’re headed back to spring. Puts a new spring in my step to know the shortening of the days is reversing beginning today. 🙂

    I will finish my shopping today! My two grandsons who attend college on the west coast are now home and their gifts involve shopping with them which will happen this afternoon.

    Then on to planning meals. My son from the east coast doesn’t arrive until late Christmas Day so our Christmas will be one day late. Gives me another day to prepare. 🙂

  2. Here’s a list titled, “The Best of the Best Book Lists.”

    I haven’t read a single one of them! Either my reading habits need great improvement or this list may not be the list everyone would make.

    What do you Prairie Pops think? Which books would you put on a list of best of the best books?

  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/opinion/21krugman.html?_r=1

    Food for thought. The use of the filibuster, a long-standing and treasured piece of the Senate rules, has been one way a party or group in the minority has been able to try to force the majority to compromise on legislation. Changes to the rules are proposed, from time to time, as the majority is frustrated by the minority’s use of the procedure.

    While I decry the modern approach to its use, there is some utility I believe to its existence. The problem is how to reform the rules to avoid the totality of the dysfunction that Krugman finds extant in the present government while permitting the procedure to exist. There is something to be said for an ability to avoid (or at least ameliorate) the “tyranny of the majority”.

    Historically, the majority shifts from time to time, and any changes to the rules should not be made hastily, IMHO, so as to avoid cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.Totally eliminating the filibuster might be attractive when one side’s policies are being frustrated by those opposed, but the nonexistence of the process would eliminate the potential of frustrating the ability of the other side, when it is in the majority to cram its policies down the throats of those opposed. I shall be the first to admit that I’ve found no readily apparent way to do this.

    I find the prospect of being the victim of tyranny by those temporarily in the majority very unsettling when I don’t agree with the positions being advanced by that majority. I also fear the ability of those in the majority, regardless of the position taken, to make substantive changes to ensure the continuation of their majority, such as has been tried before.

    What do you folks think? Am I overly paranoid about this? Thanks in advance for your responses.

  4. What a gorgeous picture!

    I’m not pagan (NOT that there’s anything wrong with that, either), but I am betting that the solstice has more actual physical and psychological effect on us than any of the self-constructed religious holidays that we celebrate.

    My birthday is on the summer solstice, so I always consider the winter solstice to be my “opposite” day!

  5. The emergency mental health business is at its peak prior, during and just after the equinoxes. Perfect symmetry drives people over the edge.

  6. I was at the WE Blog briefly yesterday. I noted that Phillip Brownlee gets accused of reading our blog. I am not sure Phillip is deserving of that honor.

  7. On a different topic; has anyone taken the Google Chrome (or is it Chromium? I confuse easily these days) OS for a spin? If so, a brief report would be appreciated. TIA.

    • Eco&EvoBio

      I’ve been using Chrome for about two months, since Firefox freezes all the time with Vista! I have no complaints, but it did take me a while to get used to the minimalism–I’m so used to menu bars! Also, the google toolbar doesn’t work in Chrome, but I really liked having the gmail indicator so I know when I get a new message. However, I found an extension for it.

      Definitely much faster, although a few sites here and there aren’t fully compatible.