Friday, December 28, 2012

The Old Farmer's Almanac

I know that The Old Farmer's Almanac is one of those outdated publications that just keeps hanging on. I would guess that the information in the annual publication is available through the online site, but I've never been to their website.

On the one hand, they still have the hole punched in the upper left-hand corner of their printed publication so that you can hang it on a nail in your barn or gardening shed. On the other hand, they have mobile apps, a website and are on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Something for everyone!

I am perusing my 2013 traditional printed edition now. Although each year's Almanac comes out in the fall, my copy has been a stocking stuffer for more than twenty years. Over the past two decades I have managed to misplace a couple of editions but have most of them since 1991.

Even before 1991, The Old Farmer's Almanac was my source of information for finding the visible planets, knowing when the principle meteor showers were taking place, watching an eclipse or finding a particular star or constellation in the night sky.

Maybe it seems strange not to have the "app" or that I haven't "liked" them on Facebook or followed them on Twitter (Actually, it's more strange that I don't have a smart phone that can even get the app!), but I happen to like the old fashioned printed edition.

...And I like the information that it contains--the regular movement of the stars across the night sky, the predictability of the planetary dance within our solar system, the effect of the moon on the tides--this is science in its purest form. The Almanac contains valuable information on plants and their growing seasons, the climates they thrive in and the amount of sun, water and warmth that they need. It is full of information and experience that has been distilled over more than two hundred years.

It is funny how some can look to science and say, "See, there is no god. It's just nature." But when I look to the heavens, when I see the life on Earth, I say, "See, there has to be a God! This is no accident!"

In case you were wondering:
On Jan. 1st, the Earth will be at perihelion--that's the closest to the Sun in its slightly elliptical orbit. We will be just 91,402,639 miles from the Sun. On July 5th the distance will be more than 3 million miles greater at 94,501,041!
Spring comes early this year as the Earth reaches the vernal equinox at 7:02am EDT on the 20th of March. The first full moon of Spring is on the 27th, making Easter Sunday the 31st of March.

I'll keep you posted as more of 2013's celestial events take place.

John <><

"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not figures on a dial." --from an 18th century edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac


Bilbo said...

I've always been fond of the Old Farmer's Almanac, too. But if you're looking for an outdated publication that just keeps hanging on, but is less useful and entertaining than the OFA, why not try the Congressional Record?

Mike said...

The obvious answer for the Earth to the Sun is 93 million miles. A trivia contest tried to put it at 92.8 million when the actual answer is 'it depends'. Or 92,951,840 if you're taking an average.