Happy New Year, I guess

My daughter and granddaughter went back home the day before yesterday, my wife caught the kiddie crud from them (I’m a little sniffly myself), and today I have to start prepping to teach genetics again. How’s your year starting out?


  1. hemidactylus says

    I actually started several days ago eating a relatively more veggie diet. Might have overdone the fiber a couple days ago (TMI!). I actually feel great now that’s passed. Didn’t even drink any beer last night for New Years. I suppose I could rationalize beer as a veggie. Also trying that drink a gallon of water a day thing, though Bruce Lee may be a cautionary tale for overdoing the water:


    Still better than homeopathic water and jade yoni eggs.

  2. hemidactylus says

    As for the comic I just watched the absurdist Sorry to Bother You and the main character Cassius Green (no pun there) reflects to his gf on lack of meaning in life when the expanding sun will take it all away. LaKeith Stanfield is brilliant and captures his inner Darius from Atlanta in that scene. In 2023 they will turn us all into horse hybrids to boost productivity.

    In 2023 I will watch more LaKeith Stanfield…already scratched off Judas and the Black Messiah long ago. But I will not watch Judge Judy 😉 He stars in Knives Out which I intend to watch soon since a previous blog thread inspired me to watch Glass Onion.

    On another front I need to watch the documentary 13th as it explores mass incarceration. Critical theorist Douglas Kellner’s book Media Culture is a treasure trove of movie suggestions. It’s why I watched Sorry to Bother You.

  3. HidariMak says

    Around here there has been lots of drizzle over the past few days with temperatures largely just a little over freezing. Today the temperature will be below freezing, only hitting the freezing point long enough for some possible freezing rain to cover the new massive amounts of ice out there. Fortunately I have another week left on my annual vacation time.
    But on the bright side, as I predicted, Trump is already becoming visibly unhinged and panicked, while his irrelevance within his party grows. The Republican party will be unable to do too much direct damage due to their lack of real growth in the Senate and the House, and the party will likely be busy attacking each other for the next few years, with the MAGAts futile attempt to boost Trump as the head of the party. Schadenfreude will be on the menu in 2023.

  4. tacitus says

    Good so far, thanks. The care home my 92 year old dad lives in was closed to visitors over Christmas for an outbreak of the flu, but they invited me and my mom to have lunch with him today to celebrate the new year, and he was in good spirits after a difficult few months.

    The care isn’t cheap, but the staff are wonderful, and Mom is friends with many of Dad’s carers too — she lives in assisted living on-site.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  5. says

    (Warning partial repeat of comment on previous post)
    PZ I really appreciate all the info you provide us. And, the contributions of the commenters here often add so much, too.
    Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all health and prosperity. But, looking around at the socio-political landscape I say, ‘Hold onto your hats, it’s about to get really crazy’.
    But, I made a horrifying mistake this morning, Jan. 1 2023, I read all the news sites. Now, I’m just trying to straighten out from a fetal position so I can face this new year.

  6. R. L. Foster says

    We stayed in on NYE. My wife and I had a delicious meal of Chilean sea bass, eggless Italian potato frittata, sauteed green beans with carrots, a mixed green salad, and a nice 2019 Napa cab. (I’m the cook in the household. My wife very purposely refuses to learn her way around the kitchen.) Afterwards we watched Glass Onion on Netflix. It’s a very quirky murder mystery. No spoilers. At midnight we kissed and turned in.

    My resolution is to move more this year than I did last. It’s currently 60F and sunny here. Nothing is stopping me.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    Turned in after 10:30 pm when the Delta 8 gummies started to kick in. Woke up at midnight to the fusillade of fireworks the neighbors were shooting off. Got up around 7am to put in a full work day. So I’m having a fantastic year so far.

  8. René says

    Soon in a newsfeed near you, an interview with Georges Lemaître — found back by Belgian archivists — who came up with the idea of the cosmic egg. (As I think he called it.)

  9. robro says

    New Years Eve was sad. I had a jam party I would have love to go to, but sitting in a small room with a bunch of people singing and playing music didn’t seem wise. I did think of a song idea for a blues song. For New Years day I’ve got a full day of home chores ahead of me, whoopee!!…plus walk the dog who has been cooped up too much thanks to the atmospheric river. I have one more day off work…tomorrow…so I’ll take a look at what I need to do for the next week or two then…and think more about retiring. I’ve done a trial retirement the least two weeks. Oh, and there’s starting the slog through papers for the tax guy.

  10. says

    Too early to tell, although my first dream of the year was interesting (to me, anyway) and very vivid.
    I was walking in the western part of town here, cutting across a property formerly owned by the cooperative I was once a member of. I was trying the door of one of our old warehouses when I remembered I didn’t work there anymore. Back outside, I saw on the other side of the street the ocean rising and falling in great swells. I was trying to understand how the wind would create the wave patterns I saw without once questioning why said ocean was now 60 miles inland from its normal location.
    Here in the waking world, I’ll be watching football all day. Real football, not that placebo college version. So the year seems to be starting out well enough.

  11. asclepias says

    robro @ 13, that sounds like an awesome day to me! I live to walk dogs! I spent a bunch of time with them yesterday at the local animal shelter (I’m finishing up a dog obedience course with Animal Behavior College), and then took my dogs (technically, my dad’s hunting dogs-Brittanies) for a run out north of town. A day spent with dogs or on a bike is never wasted! (Grateful for my stationary bike today-it snowed half-an-inch last night, and there’s a 6-10-inch storm warning out until tomorrow. Going to go ride now!)

  12. ANB says

    First New Year’s Eve out in decades. Danced all night.

    Work in the ER today. (Glad I left education administration last year and all those headaches).

    I’ve always found it weird how we celebrate the “turn” of one year to the next. It’s an absolutely arbitrary choice to give one day the “meaning” that we do.

  13. René says

    @16 ANB: It isn’t arbitrary at all. It’s very much a Northern Hemisphere kind of thing. It celebrates the noticible lengthening of the day. Today, here, 4 more minutes than last week.

  14. whheydt says

    Quite NYE at home. Turned in at 10:30 PM. Local idiots set off fireworks (locally illegal) at midnight. Fortunately, it’s been raining most of the week, so little or no fire danger. Pretty normal NYE for except for missing my wife. First time without her in over 50 years.

  15. billseymour says

    René @17:

    It’s very much a Northern Hemisphere kind of thing.

    So why were they celebrating in Sydney? 8-)

    I had fun yesterday writing a program that generates timetables for Amtrak trains given raw schedule data downloaded from Dixieland Software.  (Amtrak hasn’t published printed timetables for quite a while now.)

    Today, I had a partly baked idea about how a train called the Cardinal could serve St. Louis (where I live) and run to Washington, D.C., New York and Boston.  I figured out a schedule for it and generated a fanciful timetable for that one, too.

    So this introvert had some fun stuff to do without leaving his apartment. 8-)

    (Have you guessed that I’m a train riding geek?)

  16. llyris says

    From wondering if summer is ever going to arrive … it has. Like someone found the on switch for the oven.

  17. John Morales says


    So why were they celebrating in Sydney? 8-)

    Obviously, cultural crossover. Or, should I say, cultural imperialism?

    Go back to before invasion, you would not have found such celebrations.

  18. John Morales says

    Sure, chigau. The days are beginning to get shorter.

    (What’s that got to do with New Year’s celebrations?)

  19. chigau (違う) says

    because the days got longer and longer and longer
    and then didn’t
    the days got shorter and shorter etc.
    so you have a party

  20. John Morales says

    Why, chigau? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    More to the point, it’s out of sync with the actual solstice, which was December 21. Were that the actual basis, then New Year’s day would be Dec 22 — but it ain’t.

    Obs, it’s far more to do with the particular calendar (refer to #24) and culture than with the actual orbital mechanics.

  21. John Morales says

    Also, as an aside, remember the putative basis of Ēostre (sorry, Easter)?

    The renewal of spring — in regions where there is an actual spring. Winter is going away (more so away from the equator), and rebirth and regrowth are the themes.

    (Surely that’s got much more basis to be the beginning of the year; you know, the egg that hatches and grows and lives and dies, but not before making a new egg)

  22. John Morales says

    Mind you, I would have thought that the equinoxes would be a better marker — equal day and night, so a natural starting point. If one were concerned with orbital mechanics.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    René @ 17
    Över here (north Sweden) the sun has gone from staying up 4 h 18 min to 4 hours and a half (groan).

  24. John Morales says

    chigau, almost swarthy, actually. I tan well and easily, don’t bother with sunscreen. Spanish ancestry, living in sunny Queensland, middle of summer.
    Where I live, today: Sunrise: 4:55am Sunset 6:46pm

    (And, of course, it is not I who imagines the Gregorian calendar is somehow universal, or that northern hemispheric European customs are somehow objective)

  25. Silentbob says

    @ 29 chigau

    you are so white trolling.

    FTFY, you’re welcome, have a nice day.

    It’s a mystery why, when similar characters like Steersman are long gone, Morales lingers on.

  26. John Morales says


    Oh, right. Happy New Year, bob the Unsilent!

    I am remarkable. To you, anyway. How many dozens of remarks about me in how many threads over multiple blogs over months have you now made?

    (Kinda flattering, actually, to be so important to someone)

  27. tuatara says

    The NZ Maori have matariki, when the Pleiades star cluster (matariki to them) are first visible in the morning sky in June/July, coinciding relatively closely with the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.

    The aboriginal peoples of the world have had many markers for a renewal of the year. Humans just happen to mostly now mark it using a common calendar.
    Gregorian new year south of the equator is of course a relic of colonialism, but equally a measure of the interconnectedness of humanity in this, the 2023rd year of our lord.

    But yeah, happy new year! Although for us here in the upside down (about 800 million humans) the days are now getting shorter, so opposite to the traditional definition of a renewal of the year.

  28. KG says

    Give it a rest. Yes, most of us sometimes find John Morales annoying*, but speaking for myself, nowhere near as annoying as your constant sniping at him.

    *And sometimes amusing andor informative.

  29. says

    I learned a little while ago that people in Britain and the British colonies prior to the 1752 implementation of the Calendar (New Style) Act of 1750 (and the mythical “Give us our eleven days!” riots) often used both calendars in practice. So the new year started on the 1st of January and also the 25th of March, and the dates in between would be written like 1701/1702. I find this interesting and very funny. I also love thinking of this time of year as a liminal moment.

  30. KG says

    It begins to seem I may be starting 2023 with my first cold for >3 years. (I haven’t had one throughout the pandemic – could this possibly be because I’ve been consistently masking in indoor public spaces and even outdoors among crowds, do you think?) Over Hogmanay, we had a house guest, who was coughing: “It’s just a tickle, I haven’t got an infection, I promise”. How did she think she knew? (Unless it had been going on for weeks, in which case I hope she’s getting prompt medical advice.) Covid test today is negative, could still turn out to be that, and not yet certain it’s any infection, but it feels just like the start of a cold did back in the day.

  31. KG says

    Still feels exactly like a cold, but given that, not too bad.

    It’s hard to feel optimistic about 2023. What I find particularly worrying is the way crises are stacking up. We have the decades-long climate, biodiversity and other environmental crises still getting worse, the rise of fascism-2.0 over the past decade, the Covid pandemic (given a new boost through the brilliant leadrship of Comrade Xi), continuing wars in Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Libya, and elsewhere in Africa; and last year added the most dangerous crisis of all in terms of its short-term potential: Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.