Hey, Happy Solstice everyone!
Q: What is the Solstice anyway?
A: It's when the earth is at the point in it's orbit such that Northern Hemisphere is at its maximum tilt toward the sun. That's what makes it the longest day of the year for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.
Q: I thought that was supposed to happen tomorrow?
A: It varies from 2 or 3 days before to 2 or 3 days after the 21st.
Q: Why does my 2008 Nuns Havin' Fun calendar mark today as the first day of summer instead of the Solstice?
A: Your calendar is wrong. Summer started more than a month ago when you took your last final, or ate your first popsicle, or had your first barbecue where you wore that tasteless yet amusing apron.
Q: When is the exact moment of Solstice so I can put on my Druid robe and kill an animal on the top of mountain peak?
A: I'm afraid you're too late. This post is scheduled to publish itself at the precise minute of the solstice, and in the amount of time you have taken to read this far, that minute has probably passed. It happened at 23:59 UCT (or one minute before midnight in Greenwich, England), which makes it 2:59 PM here in Alaska and 4:59 PM for you Utah types. Also, you're not a real Druid, are you?
Q: Silence! I'm asking the questions here! Understand?
A: Yes. I'm sorry.
Q: Good. So what's with the Arctic Circle? What is it anyway?
A: Great question. It's the theoretical line upon which if you stand at sea level you will see one night without a sunset on the summer solstice and one day without sunrise on the winter solstice. In reality, such a line cannot exist because our atmosphere bends sunlight and makes it visible even when it's slightly below the horizon, which means that you can really see a night without sunset a bit below the Arctic Circle. Also, we at Coldfoot are at 1,062 feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains. That means that I can hang out in this valley all day and night and never see the midnight sun because it will move behind a mountain peak for a few hours. It also means I could camp out on top of a mountain and watch the midnight sun for several weeks from the vantage point of being 3,000 feet above sea level and 55 miles above the Arctic Circle.
Q: Whoa, whoa there. I didn't ask for your life story, Bill Nye. I just want to know what the Arctic Circle is.
A: Well I just explained it.
Q: Yeah, sorry. I was texting my friend and missed what you were saying.
A: Um, yeah. The Arctic Circle is a line drawn by Santa that his reindeer are not allowed to cross.
Q: Oh, okay. That makes sense now. So what has that got to do with a bag of hamburgers?
A: Nothing. It has nothing to do with a bag of hamburgers.