Stephen Thrasher, Comet Smasher

Ride All Day Long

Monday, October 30, 2006 by Stephen

Blue Kawasaki Ninja

Rachel went with me to Kawasaki of Pasadena on Saturday, and I bought a motorcycle. The ride home scared me as I faced traffic for the first time. On the way home, I learned that motorcyclists sometimes wave to each other, and kids like the orange helmet.

I have yet to get my full Massachusetts motorcycle license, and with just a learner's permit, I can't take passengers or ride at night. It's a good excuse to leave work right on time, but I'd like to go to the gym after work and ride to community group on Sunday nights. So, I need to get up to Boston and either get them to accept my Texas motorcycle safety class certificate or take the road test.

As I was studying sunrise and sunset times, I discovered a phenomenon. Though the shortest day of the year is the winter solstice, around December 21, the sun sets earliest (in Houston, at least, at 5:21pm) on December 3, and the sun rises latest on January 11 (in Houston, at 7:18am), daylight savings ignored. Wikipedia says this effect can be seen on the Earth's analemma, which shows how the sun's overhead position at noon (or some other chosen time) varies throughout the year due to Earth's elliptical orbit and axial tilt. The effect is apparent for moon libration. I'll encourage you Bostonians with the fact that the sunset gets later from December 4 onward. That should cheer you up when your daylight ends at 4:12pm.

8 Comments:

At Oct 31, 2006, 9:26:00 AM, Anonymous rde said...

She's almost as beautiful as me!

 
At Oct 31, 2006, 10:19:00 AM, Blogger smurg fermooth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Oct 31, 2006, 10:20:00 AM, Blogger smurg fermooth said...

here is another website discussing this phenomenon.

dark days

 
At Oct 31, 2006, 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool! Now I need to take my lessons..

Jimmy

 
At Oct 31, 2006, 11:31:00 AM, Blogger shane said...

I hadn't thought of that. That's pretty cool. Can we harness this effect to the good of all mankind?

 
At Oct 31, 2006, 3:34:00 PM, Anonymous Ash said...

yeah, motorcyclists do the closed fist, 45 degree angle wave thing.

 
At Nov 7, 2006, 3:06:00 AM, Blogger luke said...

Beautiful bike. I wish I did the same before I got married (because now I never will be able to).

 
At Nov 18, 2006, 4:17:00 AM, Blogger E said...

Hi Stephen, I saw your comment on Emily's blog! Looks like you've been having some adventures! Ellie

 

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