Thursday, September 22, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Short Takes

Investigators begin inspecting EgyptAir black boxes.

Deadly heatwave and wildfires in the Southwest.

Angels block Westboro protestors at Orlando funerals.

U.K. prime minister warns Brits face “existential” choice in Brexit vote.

Trump says he doesn’t need GOP.

The Tigers lost two of three to the Royals this weekend.

Cleveland beat Golden State to win NBA championship.

Summer starts today at 6:34 p.m. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Short Takes

Police follow new leads in New York prison escapees.

Emmanuel A.M.E. Church reopened for services on Sunday.

United Airlines strands 250 passengers in Belfast after their flight was diverted.

Republicans tiptoe around Confederate flag.

23,000 celebrate summer solstice at Stonehenge.

The Tigers ended their losing streak in a big way yesterday by walloping the Yankees 12-4.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

The sun has reached its southernmost point and will now begin its journey back north.

December Solstice 12-21-13

It’s the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, summer in the Southern.

Here in South Florida, the length of daylight varies by only about two hours between summer and winter, but for those of you up north, the long dark time is beginning to wane, even if the weather says it’s the bleak midwinter.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Seasons Change…

Traditionally — and when I say that I mean “back when I was a kid” — the Tuesday after Labor Day was the first day of school.  Now it’s the first day back after the first holiday of the school year, which started two weeks ago.

Based on what the folks on TV would have you believe, though, it’s the first real working day after the summer vacation that began the Friday before Memorial Day and it’s been all beaches and roadtrips and hot dogs and sunscreen ever since.  Now they’re all gearing up for cold weather and winter, and I’ll bet that when I get home tonight there will be a Christmas catalog from Harry & David in the mail.

Here in South Florida, the only difference between before Labor Day and after is that we note with trepidation the approach of peak you-know-what season next week.  Fortunately we’ve made it through the summer without any cyclonic disturbances coming ashore, and it’s been eight years since we’ve had a good — meaning bad — hit.  But there are still three months left in the season, so even when autumn arrives in three weeks and the season switches over from wet to dry in the middle of October, we’re still checking out the weather sites and wondering if Invest 98L is going to get a name and a place.

So for those of you in places where the seasons change radically, where the frost is already making an early appearance, where the aspens are already turning and the nights are getting longer, enjoy the inexorable change.  For me, I’m glad to see the late hibiscus bloom.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Short Takes

Did you move your clocks forward an hour?

Gun ownership has actually fallen over the last 40 years.

Wrongly-imprisoned man wins $13.2 million judgment.

1 person dead, 5 rescued after California sailing race accident.

Report: Thomas Perez said to be Obama’s pick for the next Secretary of Labor.

President and Villagers yuk it up at the Gridiron dinner.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

For those of you in the U.S. that observe Daylight Savings Time, tonight is the night to move the clocks ahead.

Apparently Florida came one vote short of going on DST permanently last year.

Cuckoo ClockThe Sunshine State could have extended daylight saving time if one state senator gets his way.

Florida state Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat, introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” earlier this year that would make daylight saving time permanent year round. Why? Soto, an attorney, said that he was just tired of leaving his law office in the dark.

“It’s been bothering me for years,” Soto told POLITICO. “It’s something I’d think about leaving the office in the winter when it’s dark out.”The more he thought about it, the more he said it made sense.

“From time to time, we have to look at rules and laws in our society and re-examine them to see if they still serve the purpose that we need,” said Soto, whose district is near Orlando.

He added: “We are the sunshine state and a big tourism state — it would allow constituents to have an extra hour to enjoy the beach, enjoy the amusement parks, maybe go out to the eat. So in that sense, it’s an economic issue.”

Actually here in South Florida, the difference between winter and summer sunshine isn’t all that much — about an hour and a half this far south.  But then if we were on DST all the time, we’d be on Atlantic Standard Time, the same as Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands.  That wouldn’t make a lot of sense as far as the rest of the country is concerned.  Prime time on TV would start at 9 p.m., which means that the networks would either lose a lot of viewers here in Florida, or they’d have to switch us to the Mountain Time zone and prime time would start at 7.

It’s also a matter of geography.  A lot of  people think that Florida is way east, but if you look at the map, Miami is on the same longitude as Pittsburgh.  Most of the state lines up with the Midwest, and there’s a section of Florida up in the panhandle that is in the Central Time zone, so they’d move to the Eastern zone.

The simple solution is to move the entire country to DST permanently, let Arizona become part of the Pacific Time zone (they have their own issues with the Navajo reservation in the northeast part of the state observing DST while the rest of the state doesn’t) and knock off the switch every year.  But then Canada would have to follow suit, as would Mexico since they do a lot of business south and north of the border.

Sometimes time is not time simple.