Friday, February 02, 2007

Predicting the future with rodents

Yes folks, as you can see form the above photo today is indeed groundhog day! For all the historical background on the you can clickhere. Suffice to say that we celebrate the approaching end of winter by place all our hopes for a break to the cold and the snow firmly upon the back of a big rodent. There are actually a huge number of them that have been doing the job for years now. A roster of them can be found here. Sure it's all good for the rodent as they get a load of attention which will make their egos grow to an overinflated level. The downside of all this fame is the same that we see in the stars of our modern world. The towns and cities across the continent will be awash in a tide of famous groundhogs getting drunk and driving around town. Groundhogs abusing shopkeepers and yelling at them for discounts and special treatments due to their fame.

Personally I used to laugh at the idea of a big rat predicting the weather. As a kid I thought it was hilarious that all these people crowded around the same rodents, eagerly awaiting its prognostication. As an adult I have come to realize that they are probably as reliable a source of meteorological information as the weatherman since they are usually wrong anyhow. I think that most meteorologists are prone to error since they use a complicated system of maps, radar scans and dart boards to "calculate" the incoming weather. While I don't put any more stock in the groundhogs' prognostications either I do enjoy the entertaining fallout from the worship of these fuzzy little forecasters. With the movie Groundhog Day is a great example there are other, lesser known things out there too. The tourism board of Pennsylvania has produced a series of internet viral videos for the past three years now and they are a blast. From the first set videos where the Groundhog and his Shadow play a dangerous game of cat and mouse to last years set which was a send up of Stephen King's The Shining it's been fun. This year sees the Groundhog and his Shadow on a cross country trek. You can follow their journey on the video side.

Whether you root for winter or you root for spring I hope you have a Happy Groundhog Day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the movie... It drove me nuts... and not in a good way... I hope the real Ground Hog Day is much better!

11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

Unfortunately, I am currently without sound on my computer. However, I will come back and check out the videos as soon as my #2 daughter fixes it for me!

5:23:00 PM  
Blogger Memphis Steve said...

I wonder if the big rat can predict the Superbowl?

7:47:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Those video clips just aggravate me, I wait ages for them and then they stop and start, stop and start until I flip them off, not in a good way. ;)

I liked the Bill Murray movie. Sappy and not based on reality but I don't care. It was fun and the only movie I know of created for the grand old holiday of Groundhog Day. :D

5:55:00 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

Happy Groundhog Day! And that's one of my favorite movies.

7:41:00 AM  

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