Summer has begun here in North America. Hooray!
I know, you are saying to yourself “What’s up with this guy, I’ve been out of school for weeks!” But, my friend, I’m not talking about the first day you got to sleep in. No, I’m talking about the solstice.
Earth’s two solstices occur because the planet is tilted on its axis. In the northern hemisphere, the 23.4 degree tilt from the ecliptic means that the north pole is closer to the sun than it is at any other time of the year.
The result is that the sun’s path across the sky in the northern hemisphere is longer than it will be on any other day of the year.
Down south, of course, it’s a different story. Today is the winter solstice there because the south pole is tilted as far away from the sun as it will be all year.
So, yes, go ahead and feel good about sleeping in this morning. You’ve got a long, long day in which to get outside and shake off all that lethargy. The sun won’t set in mid-latitude areas of North America until after 9:00 pm, and if you are living in the Great White North the sun will not set until quite a bit later than that.
I’m sure you may have wondered why music can make us feel relaxed, excited, agitated, or inspired. An article in Sunday’s New York Times by Robert J. Zatorre and Valorie N. Salimpoor provides an interesting take on this topic. I recommend a look at it!