Thursday, December 19, 2019


We are having a sunny day, which is a pleasure.  We have plenty of cloudy days and the sun and the shadows it casts make for varied interesting lighting.  

This is the time of the year we and many before us think about the sun.  The days have gotten shorter. The sun is busy warming the southern hemisphere and has left us get out in the cold.  It is 5℉ now and that is 2 degrees below today's predicted high.  

Happily, our furnace, stove, microwave and socks, shoes, long pants, sweatshirts and fleece jackets are keeping us warm.  Clothing of the old-time kind keeps us warm but only because it traps our own body heat, as Robert Heinlein taught me years ago in his book "Stranger in a Strange Land."  Clouds or not, we know that in a few days, we will reach the winter solstice. Google tells me the exact moment of least heat and light for my hemisphere will happen at 10:19 PM on Saturday, Dec. 21.  

I expect the earth will continue on its orbit and move around to where we get more sunlight.  I understand that our sort of star has a lifetime of about 10 billion years but half of that is already used up.  The actual scoop is worse:  The details are such that well before the sun dies or even before it expands and includes the earth, conditions here will not support life as it is now.  So, salute the sun while you have a chance and enjoy the right amount of its light and heat. Happy solstice!

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