For those of you with an interest in baseball or local history, Gary had a really good post up today at Endangered Durham about the DAP, aka El Toro Ballpark. There's a lot of stuff in there I didn't know. For instance, the original El Toro park burned down in the late 30s, and was rebuilt. Also, "From 1932 to the 1940s, Durham was the headquarters of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues." Many different teams have played there over the past 75 years.
Neat stuff. And I'm not even much of a baseball fan.
I need to be somewhere for an appointment of indefinite length on Wednesday afternoon. For reasons I'll happily disclose in e-mail, I can't take the bus or a cab. Are any of my local driving friends available to take me over to southeast Durham and come get me afterward, or loan me their vehicle for part of the afternoon? I'll try to find out how long the appointment is. I really can't reschedule this, and I screwed up being there once already. I really don't want to screw this up again.
As the summer solstice was last night (23:59 20 June 2008 UTC; 7:59 pm EDT on the 20th locally), today, the twenty-first of June, is the first full day of summer in Earth's northern hemisphere. And a few days earlier, on the 18th, the Moon was full.
So have you seen it lately? The full or near-full moon, that is? The full moon rises around sunset, and it's usually pretty noticeable.
You may not have. As noted above, we're near extrema of both the Sun and Moon. The Sun at the summer solstice is as high as it gets in the sky. The full Moon's path in the sky is about as low as it gets -- the full Moon's path is, in a rough sense, out of phase with the Sun's. (I'm not going to get into why this is, but please do note that I say "full" here.) And with the full Moon's path being so low, it's also much shifted to the south.
You've probably noticed the other side of this phenomenon. Think of full moons you've seen when it's getting cold -- say late fall and early winter: November, December, and January. They were way up high in the sky, weren't they? And the Sun's path is very low, which is why it's locally -- hemispherically, in a sense -- cold then.
If you'd like to look for the moon, now a few days past full, Weather Underground's Durham, N.C. information gives a local rising time tonight of 10:57 pm. That's on an artificial horizon with no hills or trees. It's also south of southeast -- way farther south than we're used to. Depending on your horizon to the southeast, it may be midnight or later before you see the moon come up.
As W.S. Churchill said, "It is always better to jaw-jaw rather than to war-war." But sometimes we wind up in them anyway. :(
I never thought to ask my Dad what he was doing on 6 June 1944. I think he spent most of World War II in the Pacific, but there were times in the Atlantic both early on and late toward the end of WWII where he was elsewhere. So really, who knows, but he probably didn't directly participate in the Normandy Invasion. At least he made it through 20 years in the U.S. Navy without being seriously injured. I think some shrapnel in his leg was the worst physical injury he got, unless you count the fungus he acquired in the Pacific and never got rid of. It never stopped bothering him until he died.
The kid reportedly "spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office and was upset when (his mother) picked him up after school." Yeah, no shit. It sounds like Lord of the Flies, but with adult supervision.