The Summer Solstice
You know it as the first day of summer. Others refer to it as the longest day of the year. So, what makes this day – the solstice – special? To understand, you'll need a little background about the Sun and the Earth.
In the summer, days feel longer because the Sun rises earlier in the morning and sets later at night. When the North Pole of the Earth is tilted toward the Sun, we in the northern hemisphere receive more sunlight and it's summer. As the Earth moves in its orbit, the tilt of the North Pole changes (see diagram). When it is tilted away from the Sun, it is winter in the northern hemisphere. In between we have autumn and spring.
The day that the Earth's North Pole is tilted closest to the sun is called the summer solstice. This is the longest day (most daylight hours) of the year for people living in the northern hemisphere. It is also the day that the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky.
The winter solstice, or the shortest day of the year, happens when the Earth's North Pole is tilted farthest from the Sun.
In between, there are two times when the tilt of the Earth is zero, meaning that the tilt is neither away from the Sun nor toward the Sun. These are the vernal equinox – the first day of spring – and the autumnal equinox – the first day of fall. Equinox means "equal." During these times, the hours of daylight and night are equal. Both are 12 hours long.
What They Said:
Doug says May Be Misleading on 6/28/2005
The earth's axis does not change its tilt. However, as the earth revolves around the sun, the tilt of the axis relative to the sun changes.
Bay State Justice
One of a group of evil-spirited teens who destroyed a Taunton family's home and tortured their pets is the son of a major at the Suffolk County sheriff's office, neighbors and officials said.
"They're dangerous kids. This is terrible. They destroyed everything I own. It keeps us awake at night," Bill Humphrey said yesterday while standing in his home, which has been unlivable since last month's ransacking.
The Humphreys said that while they were vacationing in Maine, the teens broke in through a basement window and killed their fish, shot one cat, egged another cat, plucked out their bird's feathers and covered their turtle and lizard with dishwasher detergent.
They also urinated on clothes, broke furniture, smashed electronic equipment and new kitchen appliances, dumped paint on new carpets and walls, destroyed kitchen cabinets and poured out food, officials allege.
The teens stole two guns, ammo, jewelry and Humphrey's correction officer badge, said officials, who estimate the damage at $110,000.
According to the news reports, the kids did this to get back at the homeowner for telling them to stop cutting across his lawn.
Jail time avoided by animal abusers
TAUNTON — Three teenagers pleaded guilty to wrecking a local family's house while abusing and killing family pets during a vandalism rampage last August, and at least two of the teens will not serve jail time.
Abraham pleaded guilty to gun theft and carrying a firearm without a license and was given a suspended sentence to his 18th birthday as well as probation conditions.
Freeman pleaded guilty to breaking and entering, animal cruelty and larceny of a firearm and was given a suspended sentence to April 2006.
Welcome to Massachusetts: Steal guns, ammunition, and a correction officer's badge after breaking into an unoccupied dwelling and torturing the animals therein - you're free to go, have a nice day. Apply for a permit to even possess a firearm in your home - get treated like a criminal and have your rights severely and arbitrarily infringed upon.
This is what our politicians, prosecutors, and judges call "common sense". Clearly, we all need to be more "compassionate" toward these poor, innocent children. It's not their fault they're complete losers. We, as a society, should all assume some share of responsibility for their actions. This is a slap in the face to every law-abiding citizen who has to share oxygen with these little upstanding citizens. What happened to all the "get tough on crime" crap we hear on election year?
What They Said:
Doug says Two Words on 6/24/2005
Have you seen this commercial for Verizon's "New Family Plan" with the girl who pretends she's on an invisible cell phone to remind her parents that she doesn't have one? And, if so, don't you want to beat her to a pulp?
You can take your little 12-year-old, condescending, spoiled-rotten, no-phone-havin' life and go get a J O B and pay for it your damn self.
What could you possibly have to tell them that you can't tell them at school tomorrow?
Oh.. and by the way If you'd been paying attention in class instead of playing grabass, you wouldn't need help with your homework.
Don't you just love people that say less than stellar things about you in public, but then come crawling to you when they need something?! Ya me too... Please see the title...
What They Said:
BBS says Who on 5/23/2005
A. Nonymous says Maybe It’s Time on 6/24/2005
A. Nonymous says Connections? on 6/27/2005
I was under the impression that the "So who was it?" questions and the "For all you former MediVationers" comment were connected. I'm told they are not. I still would love to hear more details.
Flip a match...
This is AMAZING.. in a train wreck sort of way.
How much stuff have you bought on eBay?
Virtual Sight Seeing
Why bother seeing the world for real? Join us as we go sightseeing around the globe with Google Maps' satellite photography.
What They Said:
LBF says Gottalove ebay! on 5/17/2005
Looks like the stuff is all boxed up..relist and SEND!
Happy Mothers Day
This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with wieners and cherryKool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run car-pools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat. For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are away at college.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomachaches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good Mother anyway?
Is it patience?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes you from sleep at 2 A.M. to check that your sleeping baby is really sleeping?
The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?
Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...
And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers..
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all.
Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray.
Welcome to the World
Welcome to the world Kathryn Grace!
Can't wait to buy lots of Barbie shoes for your dad to step on in the middle of the night!
What They Said:
Baby Katies DAD says Oh Man on 5/8/2005
LBF says Welcome to Girl-land. on 5/9/2005
YOBB says Always a princess? on 5/9/2005
Just wait until they turn 16.
Fell off the face of the earth
Ok.. not really, but I've been busier than a one armed paper hanger. Generally speaking it's a good thing, but enough is enough already.
Did you file on time?
American taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours working to comply with federal taxes each year, more than it takes to produce every car, truck, and van in the United States.
The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 [I don't know what version the author was referring to] words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913, to 7 million words today.
There are at least 480 different tax forms, each with many pages of instructions. Even the easiest form, the 1040EZ has 33 pages in instructions, and all in fine print.
Taxes eat up 38.2% of the average family's income; that's more than for food, clothing and shelter combined.
Each tax season, Americans go through 236,000 gallons of coffee and 1.2 million cigarettes while preparing their returns.
This is known as "The Saltine Challenge". The Saltine Challenge is basically attempting to consume a total of six saltines in sixty seconds without water or anything that can help you swallow them. Sounds like an easy task right? Wrong.
If you've tried this before or are going to try it, time yourself and post the results in a comment. Make sure to include how many times you attempted this before you were able to do it (if you were able to do it). Supposedly, less than 1 in 10 people can do this successfully so good luck!
On 3 February 1990, David Zaback attempted to hold up H&J Leather & Firearms Ltd., a gun shop located in Renton Highlands near Seattle, Washington. About 4:40 p.m. that day, he entered the crowded shop and announced his intention to rob it by telling everyone to put their hands on the counter and saying if anybody moved, he'd kill them. He then spotted a uniformed policeman having coffee with Wendall Woodall, the shop's owner. What happened next is less than clear in terms of who shot first, but there was an exchange of gunfire between David Zaback, the would-be robber; Timothy Lally, an 18-year veteran of the King County police force; and Danny Morris, one of the shop's clerks.
Zaback, who had fired three times, was shot three times in the chest and once in the arm. He died in the hospital about four hours after the shooting. No one else was injured during the incident, and no charges were subsequently laid against Lally or Morris.
Renton police Capt. Don Persson said, "The surprising thing is that the man had to walk right past a marked police car to get in the front door."
What They Said:
BBS says 1:38 on 4/10/2005
I had all 6 in my mouth and chewed in like 15 seconds... However I was unable to swallow them in the alotted time.
Bad boys bad boys
The Mayor of Philadelphia, in response to a rash of murders in his city, has declared the violence throughout the city a crisis and as a result has ordered the full review of police department policies and has suggested a full moratorium on the issuing of gun permits.
Well..let's see... for the people that are carrying legally, or applying for permits to legally carry have, in most states:
- no felony convictions
- never been convicted of a druff offense
- no mental defects
- submitted fingerprints
- passed a criminal history background check
- paid for mandatory state training
- paid the fee for the license
Do you think the bad guys did all that? Do you really think that someone that has gone through the trouble of legally obtaining a license to carry would do it so they could commit murder?
Math is hard..
Ok.. a math problem for you.
If you could take a regular piece of paper and fold it in half, and then in half again, and again... until you've done it 50 times. (I know.. you can only fold a piece of paper in half 7 times... but if you could) How tall would the stack of paper be?
As tall as a ream of paper?
As tall as the Boston phone book?
What's your guess?
What They Said:
BBS says My Guess on 3/21/2005
FBI says The Feds on 3/22/2005
Doug says That’s a whole stack of pages! on 3/25/2005
I have not attempted to calculate the height, but it is equivalent to 562,949,953,421,312 (563 trillion pages, or the height of 1,125,899,906,842.624 reams of paper). The first fold gets you to the thickness of two sheets. After that, you are raising by a power of two 49 more times, so the answer should be 2^49.
I have also read, although never tried it, that no human can fold a sheet of newspaper 8 times, if I am remembering correctly.
The Big "O"
There is absolutely nothing intentionally funny about this photo.
ESPN.com: "Woods comes from behind..." Click the link.. you'll understand.