03
Feb
16

predictions

groundhog.

Only in America: a rodent in Pennsylvania seeing (or yesterday, not seeing) his shadow is popularly considered more reliable than the prognostications of the majority of climate change scientists.

While 63% of Americans believed climate change to be a serious threat in November of last year, that is 6% lower than 1½ years earlier in the same survey, the ABC News/Washington Post survey. More US adults now believe Fox News (which claims climate change is a hoax), saying it is more reliable a source of information about climate change than President Barack Obama (who is a believer).

Americans are such sticklers for accuracy!

Groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” usually predicts a longer winter. Since 1887, the Pennsylvania groundhog has seen his shadow 102 times and not seen it just 18 times. But shortly after dawn yesterday, Phil’s handlers said America’s most famous groundhog failed to see his shadow, meaning he predicts an early spring—and not the “six more weeks of winter” that so many people dread. Yet according to USA Today, which has tracked his predictions since 1988, the groundhog has been “right” 13 times and “wrong” 15 times, for an accuracy rate of only 46%.

“Staten Island Chuck,” whose accuracy rate of 80% crushes those of other groundhogs, may have the more reliable answer you’re looking for. Yesterday the New York groundhog also predicted an early spring.

Moving on to politics, what does the Iowa Caucus tell us about the future?

Bernie Sanders pronounced the results of yesterday’s race with Hillary Clinton to be “a virtual tie.” At least six Iowa precincts—maybe more (nobody knows for sure)—were determined by coin-tosses in yesterday’s caucus. Clinton got 23 delegates (with 49.9% of the vote) and Sanders got 21 delegates (with 49.6%).

On the Republican side, the results were less ambiguous. Texas nut-job Ted Cruz got 8 delegates (with 27.6% of the vote), to New York nut-job Donald Trump’s 7 delegates (24.3%), and Florida nut-job Marco Rubio’s 7 delegates (23.1%).

I know I’m conflating apples and oranges (and I’m sorry), but yesterday was Groundhog Day after all. Where were all the candidates at dawn yesterday? Did any of them cast a shadow?

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to The Watson Family performing “Ground Hog”

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Weather Report

60° and Clear


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