So, in case you missed it, spring arrived around 6:30 p.m. CST time last night, with the arrival of the spring (vernal) equinox.
The equinox means, of course, that we have equal amounts of day and night on that particular day. It happens twice in a year–once in the spring, and then again, of course, about six months later, as fall arrives.
A complete, and interesting rundown of the equinox can be found on National Geographic, complete with some pretty cool imagery.
One of the images I remember as a kid was the parents of a neighbor friend of mine heading to the refrigerator and pulling out a raw egg on the night of a spring equinox, and standing it straight up.
If you've attempted to do this, you know how hard that can be.
The trick was, they said, and probably believed, was that the gravitational pull changes on the equinox, making it possible to do.
Also, the old "broom" trick works, where you can stand up a broom without the stick's gravity pulling the sweeper to the ground.
Ah. Very cool tricks. But are they an equinox phenomenon, or are they a myth?
The truth? It's a myth.
The Associated Press, with some help from scientific friends, actually busted this myth 25 YEARS ago, with a 1987 story that showed, simply, you just need the right egg to stand an egg on your counter.
The planetary alignment of the earth at spring or fall's first break has nothing to do with our gravitational pull. In fact, the earth's gravitational pull is one of life's constants. Unless you're on a magnetic field (head up to Iron Country), you're not going to see much alteration in the earth's gravity, no matter where you are or what day it is.
The man responsible for busting the myth? Of course he's one of "our own." It was Dr. Frank Ghigo of the University of Minnesota, who conducted his experiment with several eggs in 1984.
The broom standing, which has spread like wildfire thanks to social media, is also a myth. If I can do it with my green broom, you can probably do it with yours. It just takes a little patience, a bit of pressure on the bristles, and video camera on your cell phone.
Regardless, Happy Spring from Patch!