Dawn (Winter Solstice)

Activity No.13 - Dawn. Image of a fog shrouded Golden Gate Bridge with an orange glow in the distance and dawn on the horizon

Solstice

This Sunday, 21 December, is Solstice. If you’re in a Northern Hemisphere city like Rome or Vancouver, it’s Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. In a Southern Hemisphere city, like São Paulo or Auckland, it’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. As inhabitants on a pale blue dot hurling through a whole lot of cosmic nihilism, it’s a day worth stopping and marking. People who do agriculture know about these sorts of things. Many of us city dwellers don’t pay so much attention.

Mr. Edison’s light bulb has not only made it possible for the majority of us to be permanently sleep deprived, it’s also obliterated the Milky Way Galaxy, in which we live, from our view. Our ancestors had the nightly experience of viewing the 100 billion star Milky Way Galaxy. It’s disappeared for us. For us “Milky Way” is only a candy bar. For us the grandeur of the cosmos has been replaced by 21 grams of sugar and 19 grams of saturated fat.

Lamplighters at Burning Man

The Things We Notice

Still, whether you live “topside” or in The Matrix of a virtual world, we shouldn’t allow a day like this Sunday to come and go without notice.

So, let’s notice.

If San Francisco & Silicon Valley are the Prime Meridian of our new media age, then we might as well watch sunrise on Solstice Day, 21 Dec at 7:21am PST, the time it happens there. And, coincidentally, the sun also rises at 7:21am SLT.

Dawn

You are invited to an all-night campout to watch the full moon, the night sky, and the dawn of solstice day. Lucky for us, while Solstice “night” in San Francisco is 14-1/2 hours long, in SL it’s only 1 hour.

Sunday 21 December

photo of people sleeping on the grass near Stonehenge
Solstice, Stonehenge, 2003
  • 6:26am SLT – Sunset
  • 6:33am SLT – Moonrise
  • 7:00am SLT – Midnight / Full Moon
  • 7:21am SLT & PST (RL San Francisco) – Sunrise!

  • Solstice Celebration @ Izzy’s Gym

  • Dawn, Activity No.13 / Virtual Public Art.com

  • Research pix of an SL Day on Flickr

PIX:

  • Golden Gate: David Yu / Creative Commons, Flickr
  • Stonehenge: Crispy / Creative Commons, Flickr
  • Lamplighters: Marian Gonzalez / Creative Commons, Flickr

New Beginnings

What will you do with the shortest (or longest) day of the year? And how will 2015 be different from 2014?

Vanessa Blaylock's signature

very low camera angle looking up at Vanessa Blaylock  and toward a noon sun behind her with snow gently falling in the sky
Solstice Dreams

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