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Happy solstice!


The winter solstice was this morning at 4:42 a.m. my time. I admire those who stay up all night for solstice, but I prefer to celebrate it by sleeping.

Anyway, the good news is that our days will now start getting longer again. It's about time.

(The bad news is that the days will start getting shorter for folks in the southern hemisphere. But I'm not sure if anyone in the southern hemisphere reads this.)

A couple of useful resources for solstice and equinox dates and times: US Naval Observatory list, Stellafane Equinox & Solstice Calculator (which, alas, still has a timezone bug in Safari). Oh, and in case you're wondering, the shortest day is longer than the shortest night, by that definition of "day" and "night". Looks like today I'm still getting nine and a half hours of daylight, so I suppose I shouldn't complain.

Last year, Chaos pointed me to Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day," which I'll quote my favorite bit of again here:

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

(Hey, I just saw that Susan Cooper lives in Connecticut. Does she get invited to conventions?)


::pokes hand timidly above head::

i'm a southern hemispherical. and rest assured, our days may start to get shorter, which is always a bit of a drag...but then, winter in australia, or at least my bit of it, is hardly a hardship!

Belatedly: Thanks for the note—and glad to hear that winter in Australia isn't so bad! To be honest, it's not so bad in California either. But that doesn't stop me from complaining about it.

Unrelatedly: While I'm here, I should note that my brother Jay sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article I forgot to post: "Dark Days of December Leave Many Workers Yearning to See Light." Unfortunately, that probably won't be publicly visible after today or tomorrow, so I'll quote a couple brief bits:

"Roughly 6% of the population suffers from SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, a clinical diagnosis of depression brought on by long winter nights. An additional 20% suffers from winter blues...."

And the article quotes Geoff Thatcher, "a media-agency creative director who lives in Mason, Ohio":

"'It's not even five o'clock and it's dark right now,' he shouts. 'It's ridiculous. Somebody should do something about it. It's wrong.'"

Hear, hear!

very belated response because i forgot to come back and check >;] (lj's notification has clearly spoilt me!)

i remember hearing about the whole SAD thing when i was visiting finland/russia. countries that reach so far north apparently have appalling suicide rates in winter. imagine a winter that really lasts 9 months of the year. *shudders* i am very grateful to the point of being smug that the only defining characteristic of our winters are the short days, not pronounced darkness etc.

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