austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Talks about the cold on television, appetizing in the intermission

A part of me wonders if my father isn't taking courses in how to not answer the relevant question. To wit: he teased that he'd just seen a picture of my brother and his daughter on his iPod; since I was coming up on the end of my WiiFit step aerobics and pretty well confined to a narrow range of motion I couldn't look at it. He said they were at the ``Angry Birds Restaurant''. The what?

Despite my non-app-ish ways I am familiar with the existence of Angry Birds and have played it for whole minutes. So my father explained, ``It's your niece's favorite iPad game.'' I knew this. I've seen her play it. She's three years old; she's not exactly a precision target player, but she likes it. After a few rounds of explaining that I knew of the existence of the game and how you play it, we got to the nub of the matter. They were at Red Robin.

Someday I'm going to annotate my father's study in accurate yet irrelevant ways.

Trivia: The tropical year (measured vernal equinox to vernal equinox) is about twenty minutes shorter than the sidereal year. Source: The Calendar: The 5000-Year Struggle To Align The Clock With The Heavens --- And What Happend To The Missing Ten Days, David Ewing Duncan. (And a book I'm growing slightly less confident in due to other reading.)

Currently Reading: Marking Time: The Epic Quest To Invent The Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel. It's awfully interesting stuff, but Steel does seem to be passionately excited by the difference between the vernal year and the sidereal year, and accordingly has very strong disapproving words about the Gregorian calendar and the attempted reformations of the Greek Orthodox calendar. By this I mean he's more interested in the difference between the vernal and the sidereal year than everyone else I have ever met or heard of put together. And while he turns into a heavy jargon-laden blur of details and decimal points, it does make for a pretty convincing argument that knows exactly what he's talking about, even when it turns into a slightly odd conspiratorial race to colonize the 77th western meridian. (Furthermore he does, if implicitly, raise a good point; if the standard Unix cal is going to veddy correctly omit the chunk of September 1752 when Britain went off the Julian calendar, why doesn't it also drop the 1 January through 24 March of what would have been 1751 but which became 1752? For that matter, shouldn't it print 1 January through 24 March after the rest of the year for dates prior to 1751?) (And what's with all these people named Duncan doing calendar books?)

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