The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: Whether you can believe in

KRT US NEWS STORY SLUGGED: GROUNDHOG KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY KEN CEDENO/KRT (December 7) WASHINGTON, DC– Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) leans over to check out Punxsutawney Phil while Bill Cooper holds him December 7, 2004 during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Peterson is defending a $100,000 grant which he secured for the Discovery Center in the 2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill against charges made by Taxpayers for Common Sense that the grant was a “pork” project. (lde) 2004

Enjoying spring just yet?

Yeah, us, too. We (the members of the DI whether staff) have long said there’s nothing quite like a spring that outdoes February for frigid to put hair on your chest or, in the case of men, make you want to huddle deep under a thick comforter.

For eons upon eons, our people have taken the arrival of the NCAA basketball tournament brackets as the traditional sign of winter giving way to spring. Never mind that most people tear up their brackets in disgust after the first weekend of basketball. That’s also our people’s traditional rite of spring. As scored by Stravinsky.

“Old adage” the voice on the radio just uttered. Another sign of spring, albeit spring not yet completely thawed, because it’s also a sign of synapses still being frozen. There are no young adages. Adages are born clutching silver Social Security checks in their gnarly hands.

So why, with all these signs of spring, do the days still feel like February and the nights like January? Wise guy.

Well, we could blame the Romans for those silly month names, but that’s really no help. So we blame Punxsutawney Phil.

Before you laugh, consider: Pennsylvania law-enforcement personnel have, not all that long ago, issued a Wanted Poster for Punxsutawney Phil. You know, THAT Punxsutawney Phil. The rodent in Penn Woods that crawls out of his hole and sees or doesn’t see his shadow and — well, most of you know the drill. No shadow, spring arrives (or some neighborhood near there); shadow, six more weeks of hell freezing over. At least in the case of Penn Woods.

The reason for the arrest warrant is that Punxy Phil lied, so the police want to charge him with deception. Sounds fair. Which the weather has not been.

Other people beckon desperately for science. You know, smart computers (yet to find one), smart tablets (take that, Babylonia), smart refrigerators that are connected to the Internet so that the NSA knows perfectly well about the open half-a-can of refried beans you have moldering on the back shelf. Polar Vortex, those people say like a psalm.

Ah, yes, the Polar Vortex, whose reach has, well, reached mythological proportions. Like the infamous Arctic oscillations. We have read so much about the Arctic oscillation that our eyeballs are rattling around our eyesockets like somebody else’s eyeballs under mosquito attack. (Maine mosquitoes, which show up on Air Force radar.)

So science teaches us that the Polar Voxtex and Arctic oscillations and dark magic (derived from dark matter) bring us illegal wind immigrants from Canada.

Yep. Border wall along the Mexican border? To darndest heck with that. If the Trumpster administration really, truly wants to stop illegal immigration, let’s build a 1,000-foot wind shield on the Canadian border. That’ll show those illegal wind immigrants.

Canadians protest, noting, with a great deal of geography to back them up, that polar winds come from north of Canada and therefore are not Canadian.

Knowledgeable Americans, however, know better. Don’t confuse us with the facts, they say, echoing St. Reagan. Especially don’t confuse us with geography. Nobody studies geography anymore. That’s so pre-Twitter.

Knowledgeable Americans know, in their straight and marrow, that northern Canada stretches farther than the eye can see or the mind can grasp. They know that northern Canada is the end of the world. After that, you fall off the edge of the Earth.

So we of the whether staff hope this has cleared up any confusion about spring and where it has gone. Or where it has not gone. Most definitely, not here.

Which brings us back to NCAA brackets. So much does, this time of year. Our Cinderella team? The Pumpkin.

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