Sunday, March 22, 2020

Happy (Belated) Ostara!

The vernal equinox was just a few days ago, but that didn't stop the broom-standing hoax from sweeping the internet last month.

If you haven't heard of it, it's a "modern" remix of the egg-standing gig, and blamed on NASA, probably because most people don't really understand the work that NASA does. Space and planets and rockets and shit, amirite?

It's hookum and selection bias plain and simple. Most people will only try to stand a broom (or an egg) on the day they claim it works, and if it doesn't work, they will blame some other circumstance (my cat bumped it, my broom is too old, my floor isn't level); those who try it on other days will either self-sabotage or discount any success as "coincidence."

"Well, I guess, the equinox came early this year!"

That doesn't happen, unless the calendar shifted unexpectedly (this is why we have leap years, leap minutes, leap seconds... in the first place, to stop calendar shift). More likely that they don't actually know what an "equinox" actually is.

There's no shame in admitting ignorance, only shame in refusing or failing to correct it when it's found.