The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Will tomorrow be sunny too?

I have no idea. But today I managed to get a lot of work done, so I'll have to read these later:

Finally, if you live in Chicago and look straight up and slightly north with binoculars tonight, you might see a little green comet that last passed Earth 50,000 years ago.

Notes to self

The sun finally came out around 3:30 this afternoon, as a high overcast layer slid slowly southeast. Of course, the temperature has fallen to -11°C and will keep sliding to -18°C overnight, but at least the gloom has receded! January will still end as the gloomiest ever, however, with around 18% of possible sunshine all month, plus whatever we get tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I want to come back to these articles later:

Finally, looking back a little farther (about 13 billion years), the James Webb Space Telescope has picked out some of the oldest galaxies in the universe. And they're really weird.

(Semi?-)Annual sunrise chart

I forgot to do this in July, so the previous Chicago sunrise chart stayed up all year. As always, you can get sunrise times for your own location at https://www.wx-now.com/SunriseChart.

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
2023
3 Jan Latest sunrise until Oct 29th 07:19 16:32 9:13
27 Jan 5pm sunset 07:09 17:00 9:51
5 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:11 10:11
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:40 17:30 10:50
27 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:30 17:39 11:09
11 Mar Earliest sunrise until Apr 16th
Earliest sunset until Oct 27th
06:10 17:53 11:43
12 Mar Daylight saving time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 20th
Earliest sunset until Sep 19th
07:08 18:54 11:45
17 Mar 7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
12-hour day
07:00 19:00 12:00
20 Mar Equinox 16:24 CDT 06:55 19:03 12:08
4 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:29 19:20 12:51
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:14 19:30 13:15
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:40 13:39
10 May 8pm sunset 05:36 20:00 14:23
16 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:06 14:35
14 Jun Earliest sunrise of the year 05:15 20:28 15:13
20 Jun 8:30pm sunset 05:16 20:30 15:14
21 Jun Solstice 09:58 CDT 05:16 20:30 15:14
27 Jun Latest sunset of the year 05:18 20:31 15:13
4 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:21 20:30 15:09
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:25 14:54
9 Aug 8pm sunset 05:53 20:00 14:07
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:50 13:50
29 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
14 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:03 12:32
16 Sep 7pm sunset 06:32 18:59 12:27
23 Sep Equinox, 01:50 CDT 06:39 18:47 12:07
26 Sep 12-hour day 06:43 18:42 11:59
3 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:50 18:30 11:39
12 Oct 7am sunrise 07:00 18:15 11:14
22 Oct 6pm sunset 07:11 19:59 10:47
4 Nov Latest sunrise until 6 Nov 2027
Latest sunset until March 1st
07:27 17:42 10:14
5 Nov Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Feb 28th
Latest sunset until Jan 12th
06:28 16:40 10:12
16 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:42 16:30 9:47
2 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 9:20
8 Dec Earliest sunset of the year 07:06 16:20 9:13
21 Dec Solstice, 03:21 CST 07:16 16:23 9:07
31 Dec 4:30pm sunset 07:19 16:30 9:10

(Permalink)

Outside the vortex

The world continues to turn outside the Chicago icebox:

Finally, dog biologist (?) Alexandra Horowitz explains how dogs tell time with their noses.

Brace yourselves: winter is coming

We get one or two every year. The National Weather Service predicts that by Friday morning, Chicago will have heavy snowfall and gale-force winds, just what everyone wants two days before Christmas. By Saturday afternoon we'll have clear skies—and -15°C temperatures with 400 mm of snow on the ground. Whee!

We get to share our misery with a sizeable portion of the country as the bomb cyclone develops over the next three days. At least, once its gone and we have a clear evening Saturday or Sunday, we can see all five of the naked-eye planets just after sunset.

Meanwhile, I'm about to start my team's Sprint 75 Review, the last one of 2022, which contains a few goodies we put off because we spent most of our time on client requests. We have a strange habit of doing what paying customers know they want before we add the things they don't know they want.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world:

Finally, director James Cameron ended all debate about whether Jack and Rose could both have survived in Titanic: "Cameron maintains that Jack simply had to die, telling The Sun that 'if I had to make the raft smaller, it would have been smaller.'" Because the story, you see, required it.

How is it 6:30?

With tomorrow night having the earliest sunset of the year, it got dark at 4:20 pm—two hours ago. One loses time, you see. Especially with a demo tomorrow. So I'll just read these while devops pipelines run:

Finally, John Seabrook takes a few pages to explain how to become a TikTok star. Hint: do it before you turn 22.

Darkest nights of the year

In Chicago, from November 15th to December 31st, the sun sets before 4:30pm. Not much before; for about 11 days, it sets within a few seconds of 4:20pm before getting just a few seconds later.

The only point I'm making is: it's dark already. Cassie has gotten exactly one walk in full daylight a day for the last week, and that will likely continue.

Ah, winter.

Oh, and the Fourth Circuit has once again (metaphorically) called XPOTUS-appointed Federal Circuit Judge Aileen Cannon an idiot.

Count me among the Standard Time "stans"

The Daylight Saving Time arguments that crop up twice a year encapsulate American decision-making so well. People argue for one position or another based on what works best for them; people predict doom and gloom if their view doesn't prevail; Congress makes a change that everyone hates (and, as in 1975, they have to repeal); and not a lot changes. It also has nuances that most people don't understand (or care to) and stems from a social construct completely within our control that people think is a fixed law of the universe (i.e., clock time).

Because I live just east of my time zone's standard meridian, and at a latitude that sees a six-hour daylight difference between solstices, I believe year-round standard time would be best. Katherine Wu agrees:

I gotta say, the science (pushes glasses up nose) largely backs me and my fellow standardians up. Several organizations, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, have for years wanted to do away with DST for good. “Standard time is a more natural cycle,” Pelayo told me. “In nature we fall asleep to darkness and we wake up to light.” When people spend most of their year out of sync with these rhythms, “it reduces sleep duration and quality,” says Carleara Weiss, a behavioral-sleep-medicine expert at the University at Buffalo. The onset of DST has been linked to a bump in heart attacks and strokes, and Denise Rodriguez Esquivel, a psychologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, told me that our bodies may never fully adjust to DST. We’re just off-kilter for eight months.

For years, some researchers have argued that perma-DST would cut down on other societal woes: crimetraffic accidentsenergy costs, even deer collisions. But research on the matter has produced mixed or contested results, showing that several of those benefits are modest or perhaps even nonexistent. And although sticking with DST might boost late-afternoon commerce, people might hate the shift more than they think. In the 1970s, the U.S. did a trial run of year-round DST … and it flopped.

We could also redraw the time zone boundaries to move more people closer to the center meridians, but that would involve even more nuance and recognition that these things are human constructs we can change.

(Also: I wonder if Michigan is so weird because so much of the state is in the wrong time zone?)

Happy Friday, with its 7pm sunset

It happens every September in the mid-latitudes: one day you've got over 13 hours of daylight and sunsets around 7:30, and two weeks later you wake up in twilight and the sun sets before dinnertime. In fact, Chicago loses 50 minutes of evening daylight and an hour-twenty overall from the 1st to the 30th. We get it all back in March, though. Can't wait.

Speaking of waiting:

Finally, Fareed Zakaria visited Kyiv, Ukraine, to learn the secret of the country's success against Russia.