The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Too much to read today

I've had a bunch of tasks and a mid-afternoon meeting, so I didn't get a chance to read all of these yet:

Finally, close to me, after the lovely Grafton Pub closed last August, the Old Town School of Folk Music stepped in to buy the space. But that plan has hit a snag after a higher bidder emerged.

Sprint 80

At my day job, we just ended our 80th sprint on the project, with a lot of small but useful features that will make our side of the app easier to maintain. I like productive days like this. I even voted! And now I will rest on my laurels for a bit and read these stories:

Finally, the European Space Agency wants to establish a standard time zone for the moon. Since one day on the moon is 29.4 days here, I don't quite know what that will look like.

Will tomorrow be sunny too?

I have no idea. But today I managed to get a lot of work done, so I'll have to read these later:

Finally, if you live in Chicago and look straight up and slightly north with binoculars tonight, you might see a little green comet that last passed Earth 50,000 years ago.

Notes to self

The sun finally came out around 3:30 this afternoon, as a high overcast layer slid slowly southeast. Of course, the temperature has fallen to -11°C and will keep sliding to -18°C overnight, but at least the gloom has receded! January will still end as the gloomiest ever, however, with around 18% of possible sunshine all month, plus whatever we get tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I want to come back to these articles later:

Finally, looking back a little farther (about 13 billion years), the James Webb Space Telescope has picked out some of the oldest galaxies in the universe. And they're really weird.

(Semi?-)Annual sunrise chart

I forgot to do this in July, so the previous Chicago sunrise chart stayed up all year. As always, you can get sunrise times for your own location at

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
3 Jan Latest sunrise until Oct 29th 07:19 16:32 9:13
27 Jan 5pm sunset 07:09 17:00 9:51
5 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:11 10:11
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:40 17:30 10:50
27 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:30 17:39 11:09
11 Mar Earliest sunrise until Apr 16th
Earliest sunset until Oct 27th
06:10 17:53 11:43
12 Mar Daylight saving time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 20th
Earliest sunset until Sep 19th
07:08 18:54 11:45
17 Mar 7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
12-hour day
07:00 19:00 12:00
20 Mar Equinox 16:24 CDT 06:55 19:03 12:08
4 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:29 19:20 12:51
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:14 19:30 13:15
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:40 13:39
10 May 8pm sunset 05:36 20:00 14:23
16 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:06 14:35
14 Jun Earliest sunrise of the year 05:15 20:28 15:13
20 Jun 8:30pm sunset 05:16 20:30 15:14
21 Jun Solstice 09:58 CDT 05:16 20:30 15:14
27 Jun Latest sunset of the year 05:18 20:31 15:13
4 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:21 20:30 15:09
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:25 14:54
9 Aug 8pm sunset 05:53 20:00 14:07
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:50 13:50
29 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
14 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:03 12:32
16 Sep 7pm sunset 06:32 18:59 12:27
23 Sep Equinox, 01:50 CDT 06:39 18:47 12:07
26 Sep 12-hour day 06:43 18:42 11:59
3 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:50 18:30 11:39
12 Oct 7am sunrise 07:00 18:15 11:14
22 Oct 6pm sunset 07:11 19:59 10:47
4 Nov Latest sunrise until 6 Nov 2027
Latest sunset until March 1st
07:27 17:42 10:14
5 Nov Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Feb 28th
Latest sunset until Jan 12th
06:28 16:40 10:12
16 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:42 16:30 9:47
2 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 9:20
8 Dec Earliest sunset of the year 07:06 16:20 9:13
21 Dec Solstice, 03:21 CST 07:16 16:23 9:07
31 Dec 4:30pm sunset 07:19 16:30 9:10


Outside the vortex

The world continues to turn outside the Chicago icebox:

Finally, dog biologist (?) Alexandra Horowitz explains how dogs tell time with their noses.

Brace yourselves: winter is coming

We get one or two every year. The National Weather Service predicts that by Friday morning, Chicago will have heavy snowfall and gale-force winds, just what everyone wants two days before Christmas. By Saturday afternoon we'll have clear skies—and -15°C temperatures with 400 mm of snow on the ground. Whee!

We get to share our misery with a sizeable portion of the country as the bomb cyclone develops over the next three days. At least, once its gone and we have a clear evening Saturday or Sunday, we can see all five of the naked-eye planets just after sunset.

Meanwhile, I'm about to start my team's Sprint 75 Review, the last one of 2022, which contains a few goodies we put off because we spent most of our time on client requests. We have a strange habit of doing what paying customers know they want before we add the things they don't know they want.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world:

Finally, director James Cameron ended all debate about whether Jack and Rose could both have survived in Titanic: "Cameron maintains that Jack simply had to die, telling The Sun that 'if I had to make the raft smaller, it would have been smaller.'" Because the story, you see, required it.

How is it 6:30?

With tomorrow night having the earliest sunset of the year, it got dark at 4:20 pm—two hours ago. One loses time, you see. Especially with a demo tomorrow. So I'll just read these while devops pipelines run:

Finally, John Seabrook takes a few pages to explain how to become a TikTok star. Hint: do it before you turn 22.

Darkest nights of the year

In Chicago, from November 15th to December 31st, the sun sets before 4:30pm. Not much before; for about 11 days, it sets within a few seconds of 4:20pm before getting just a few seconds later.

The only point I'm making is: it's dark already. Cassie has gotten exactly one walk in full daylight a day for the last week, and that will likely continue.

Ah, winter.

Oh, and the Fourth Circuit has once again (metaphorically) called XPOTUS-appointed Federal Circuit Judge Aileen Cannon an idiot.