Monday 21 December 2020

Are the 3 kings saddling their camels?

The drains drain

The many times I have visited South Africa, and this is in the southern hemisphere with all the times I have watched the moving maps of crossing the equator, I have never actively or purposefully observed the phenomenon called Coriolis force or the broader Coriolis effect.

I will not pretend to explain them in detail, but the direction of motion of how water goes down a drain in a clockwise or anti-clockwise way depending on whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere. Yet, it would be interesting to observe, an experiment with dyed water, pulling out the plug and taking a video recording. Then, Snopes snuffs my interest out dismissing it as a myth. [Snopes: Coriolis Force Effect on Drains]

What a day to long for

One other thing I have not taken into consideration too is that the 21st of December is the Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere wherein they will have the shortest day and it is the Summer solstice in the southern hemisphere where we would presumably have the longest day. This is my second birthday in the southern hemisphere and my third Christmas here, but let’s not baffle ourselves with the how’s and why’s.

The radio had been going on about this aspect of the length of days that I decided to check on my weather app. As I write this, the sun is yet to rise in Manchester at 08:23 hours and will set at 15:52 hours for a daylight length of 7 hours and 29 minutes, we are two hours ahead in Cape Town.

Here in Cape Town, the sun rose at 05:32 hours and will set at 19:57 hours, giving us a daylight length of 14 hours and 25 minutes, 6 hours and 56 minutes longer than in Manchester where it is a calm 4 Celsius and comparatively already 24 Celsius here.

Presents for me

Another natural phenomenon of celestial consequence we will experience today is the Christmas Star of Bethlehem, where the planets of Saturn and Jupiter will align in the sky after sunset and will be observable from South African skies, this last happened almost 800 years ago. What a time to be in. [The Witness: Don't forget to look out for the 'Christmas Star of Bethlehem' on Monday]

To fill up this blog I could add names the names of people who were born on the 21st of December, but that would be a veritable list of heroes and villains, there is enough to celebrate in the day and make the most of it in natural and celestial significance and observations, and that is just wonderful too.

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