Monday, February 3, 2014

The Shadow of the Groundhog

Yesterday (Sunday, February 2nd) was Groundhog Day and Bully the Stuffed Little Bull Who Likes Comics posted his third annual Grover Groundhog Day which features a post every hour for 24 hours featuring Grover Groundhog, a supporting character from DC Comics' Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer series. (Look for the New 52 version of Rudolph with more violence and a funky Jim Lee collar.)  Click the link above for Hour 1 and then click the Newer Post links for the next 23 hours worth of posts. And don't forget to hover your mouse over the pictures for hilarious alt-text. 

Groundhog Day is also when we determine if the next six weeks of winter may or may not come based on the meteorological assessments of a groundhog.  

Now something has bothered me about this nonsense for sometime now. If you really believe that if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd there will be six more weeks of winter, why increase the chances of the groundhog doing just that?

To my way of thinking there are FOUR potential outcomes: 

  1. The groundhog wakes up and comes out of his hole. It's a sunny day and he sees his shadow.
  2. The groundhog wakes up and comes out of his hole. It's a cloudy day and he does not see his shadow.
  3. It's a sunny day but the groundhog does not see his shadow because he did not wake up and come out of his hole to see his shadow.
  4. It's a cloudy but it doesn't matter because the groundhog  did not wake up and come out of his hole anyway.

So you can see there is only a 25% chance the groundhog will see it's shadow. 

But here's the thing. At these Groundhog Day ceremonies that take place now, people go in and get the poor little bastard. In short, 2 outcomes are eliminated and the odds of the groundhog seeing his shadow goes up to 50%. 

So if you believe in this malarkey, there's a 50-50 chance of six more weeks of winter. If you wind up freezing your ass off for six more weeks, you only have yourself to blame for waking the poor groundhog up.


By the way, if you're seeing a groundhog in a Starfleet uniform, it's because Google Chrome is magically working (at least for now) so I can add images to my blog.  So just in case it's a passing miracle, I've loaded up the next 5 installments of The Adventures of Knock-Knock, the Interrupting Cow. So you can all rest easy over that. 

See you tomorrow. Until then, be good to one another.

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