Thursday, June 30, 2022

Half gone?

Today is June 30th, so the year is half gone, right?

Wrong.

Let me explain. While it is true that six months have passed and six more remain, the year is not half gone.

In the first six months of non-leap years, there are 181 days (31+28+31+30+31+30) and in leap years there are 182 days (31+29+31+30+31+30). The last six months in every year contain 184 days (31+31+30+31+30+31). Using simple math, the midpoint of a non-leap year occurs at 182.5 days (365 divided by 2) and the midpoint of a leap year occurs after 183 days (366 divided by 2).

So now you know, based on simple math, that the midpoint of a non-leap year (2022, 2023) actually occurs at 12 noon on July 2nd, not on June 30th. And the midpoint of a leap year (2024) occurs at 12 midnight as July 2nd ends and July 3rd begins.

Do not begin your midpoint-of-the-year celebration too early. Today is too soon. Tomorrow is too soon. Begin promptly at noon on July 2nd. And if your neighbors complain about the fireworks and the loud music and the street dancing and the parade and tell you that you are celebrating too early, just tell them that the Fourth of July is not what you are celebrating, that that will come in due time. They will look confused, but it cannot be helped. If you are not in the United States, they probably won't think of the Fourth of July at all; they'll just wonder what in the world you are doing.

If we think of our journey through the year in terms of geometry, as a gradual ascending and a gradual descending like two sides of a long triangle, here is a poem by Sara Teasdale that is apropos, especially if you are female and have ever worn a floor-length dress. If you are male and have ever worn a floor-length dress, I don't want to know about it. Everyone, male or female, should be able to appreciate the poem's imagery as it applies to our journey through the year.

THE LONG HILL
by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

I must have passed the crest a while ago
And now I am going down--
Strange to have crossed the crest and not to know,
But the brambles were always catching the hem of my gown.

All the morning I thought how proud I should be
To stand there straight as a queen,
Wrapped in the wind and the sun with the world under me--
But the air was dull, there was little I could have seen.

It was nearly level along the beaten track
And the brambles caught in my gown--
But it’s no use now to think of turning back,
The rest of the way will be only going down.

3 comments:

  1. I cannot think of anyone else who would point that out. But I'm going to get my own back with a bit of compound interest maths soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tasker, I will take that as a compliment even if you didn't mean it as one. Having spent many years in programming and around computers, I pay attention to detail to a fault, I suppose. As I remember reading once way back when,get one little snippet of data wrong in your moon shot calculation and you'll miss the moon by 20,000 miles. So I do confess to enjoying precision.

      Delete
  2. Thinking of a year half gone seems to me like wishing one's life away. I think of a year in terms of the amount of day and the amount of night.

    ReplyDelete

<b>How’s that again? plus rhyming foods</b>

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