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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 12/10/2012

This afternoon is longer

This is a true fact that only I seem to know, though I like to mention it every year so maybe soon the whole world will know it too, although it actually only applies to the northern hemisphere, so at best only half the world can know it.

Even though the days are still getting shorter, the afternoons are already getting longer. I could explain it to you if I had a floodlight to represent the sun and a tennis ball to represent the earth while I turned the ball in my hand and strode about the room TED-talk style. But while I do have a powerful anti-gloom light to brighten my winter mood, I don’t happen to have a tennis ball. So I’ll use another image. If daylength were a candle, which technically it isn’t, but if it were, we would no longer be ‘burning our candle at both ends’ which is actually possible to do as you well know if you were ever a kid with matches.

Now, though, we are only burning the candle on the morning end, and WAXING it on the afternoon end, which I’d like to say is a pretty good use of the word waxing, which nobody uses except occasionally something about the moon, which you never are sure which is which, waxing or waning, except now you do, because waxing means adding more wax, I think. Like making a candle bigger, however they do that. The problem with the imagery here, is that burning the candle on the morning end and waxing it on the afternoon end gets the candle upside down, visualization-wise, at least for me, since I tend to visualize the morning as the bottom of the day and the evening as the top. Though now that I think about it, that may just be me.

All of which is to say, that as a cartoonist, my mind is overrun with visual metaphors about everything. No, that’s not all of which is to say. The real all of which is to say is that the afternoons are getting longer, which means I will be happier each day now, if my brain doesn’t catch fire.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 12/10/2012

 
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