December 21, 2001

Silly Season


3 PM:

According to those who keep track of these things, winter arrived here about forty minutes ago.

Outside, it looks like winter - there's about an inch of snow cover and the trees are leafless.
In Montreal (latitude 45.5N) today, sunrise is 7:31 AM and sunset 4:14 PM, providing us with a grand total of 8 hours and 43 minutes of daylight.
And I often sleep through some of those.

Of course we don't have it nearly as bad as some others:

London England: latitude 51.52N
Sunrise at 8:04 AM, sunset at 3:54 PM;
7 hours 50 minutes of daylight

Oslo Norway: latitude 59.92N
Sunrise at 9:19 AM, sunset at 3:12 PM;
5 hours 53 minutes of daylight

Reykjavik, Iceland: latitude 64.15N
Sunrise at 11:21 AM, sunset at 3:31 PM;
4 hours 10 minutes of daylight

Even parts of the continental US are farther north than Montreal: for instance,
Seattle Washington: latitude 47.61N
Sunrise at 7:55 AM, sunset at 4:20 PM;
8 hours 25 minutes of daylight, 18 minutes fewer than in Montreal!

In the interests of equal time, political correctness and whatever, I checked the globe to see what parts of the southern hemisphere are at equivalent latitudes to the above cities.

I learned that all of Australia and all of Africa are well north of the 45 degree S latitude; the closest city in southern latitude to Montreal is:
Christchurch NZ: latitude 43.53S
where they are enjoying their longest day and the beginning of summer, with daylight from 5:41 AM to 9:14 PM.

A good chunk of South America falls south of the 45 degree line but there aren't any significant cities there. Maybe they know something we don't...

WWW = World Wide Weird?

About two years ago I did a short entry on the use of waterbeds for cows - as mats for them in the barn.

The idea was apparently first proposed by a British farmer, and research has proceeded in the United States.

Every now and then I'd get a search engine referral to that site. Perhaps once every few months.

That is, until Wednesday.

In two days, there was a flurry of over twenty hits; most referred from a variety of search engines and a few with no referral or one from e-mail.

This sort of thing happens occasionally with my dryer lint entry; usually I can trace it back to a bulletin board discussion.

This time there was no such link and no real pattern; the hits came from all over the U.S:
I could trace some specifically to Georgia, Missouri, Colorado, Kentucky, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania; also from intel.com, compaq.com, eds.com and NIPR.mil.

Desperate to find out what would suddenly inspire a nation to search for +cows +waterbeds en masse, I began checking the news services and came up with the missing link (pun intended) - the BBC.

Yeah I'm easily amused - but so are many others, it seems!

Scariest Referral Link of the Week:

search term: "testicle recipe"
origin: Brooks Air Force Base, Texas.

Think about it...

Linque Du Jour:   Solstice

Attractive, informative page on various aspects of the winter solstice.

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