This article first appeared on Vox.com
Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?
The summer solstice is upon us: June 20th and the 21st will be the longest days of 2017 for anyone living north of the equator. If pagan rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the solstice is still pretty neat.
Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude. In 2017, this will occur at exactly 12:24 am (Eastern) on the 21st. (But we can celebrate on either day.)
Below is a short scientific guide to the longest day of the year (though not, as we’ll see, the longest day in Earth’s history — that happened back in 1912).
This article first appeared on SailingScuttlebutt.com
Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA) took top honors at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, beating a field of 68 boats on San Francisco Bay. Preparation was key to their success, as the investment in crew (John Kostecki, Chris Stocke and Patrick Wilson), training, and coach support (Grant “Fuzz” Spanhake) was at a level few teams could match.
In a report by Wilson for the J/70 class, we provide some of the team’s winning tips that are relevant for most boat types.
I am going to discuss a few important topics on boat preparation, as well as the process my team and I go through on our boat Catapult prior to the first race of each day. As with many things in sailing, there is no absolute right or wrong way to prepare for a regatta. The key is finding a routine that works best for you and your team.
Sailing is a complex and complicated sport that involves countless variables both in and out of your control. Whether you are competing in your local weekend event or a major international regatta, planning and preparation can be used to give yourselves the best opportunity for success.
Thanks to J World Alumni Craig Savageau for putting together a video of his Thursday Night Racing race committee experience! We always love to get pictures, video, and feedback from current and former students. Check out some cool shots from the race committee boat over at the J/70 and J/80 racecourse (featuring some J World students in action!).
WASHINGTON — Make fun of the weatherman if you want but modern forecasts have quietly, by degrees, become much better.
Meteorologists are now as good with their five-day forecasts as they were with their three-day forecasts in 2005. Both government and private weather forecasting companies are approaching the point where they get tomorrow’s high temperature right nearly 80 percent of the time. It was 66 percent 11 years ago, according to ForecastWatch, a private firm that rates accuracy of weather forecasts.
That may not always be appreciated, especially if your livelihood depends on getting rain and snow amounts, and timing, just right, all the time. “They don’t know what’s going to happen,” complained Washington taxi driver Antenhe Lashitew. He makes more money when it rains or snows, so he wants them to be more precise.
He may yet be satisfied, though, because forecasts are continuing to improve. They are already good enough for Major League Baseball, which is now able to move game times around based on forecasts so you have a much smaller chance of getting soaked in the stands.
The forecast for Washington was afternoon thunderstorms on May 23 so the Washington Nationals moved their game from 4:05 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. The game got in — the Nats won — and the storms arrived on schedule not too long after the regularly scheduled start time.
“That would have been unheard of 20 years ago,” said retired Washington television meteorologist Bob Ryan, the first national on-air weatherman on NBC’s “Today” show. “If we did in the 1500s what we do now, we would have been burned at the stake as witches and warlocks.” Read more