Two years ago, I was spending some time on the internet (to be honest, as I do everyday). I came across the most magnificent collection of portraits photographs by Kevin Horan, published in the Guardian. This was before the Goat of the Day blog, perhaps even before I thought about specializing in goat photography and understanding the connection between positive vibes and goats. I was totally inspired, and many people have shared these photographs with me since. One of the best parts about starting Goat of the Day is that people share the goats they come across in their lives or on the internet with me. So, today’s goat of the day comes courtesy of Kevin Horan and the Guardian. I hope that you all find inspiration somewhere this weekend.
Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Its value is usually abbreviated to 3.14159; however, as an irrational number, Pi goes on infinitely. An irrational number is a number that cannot be made into a fraction. Pi is irrational, but without it we would have no idea how to calculate things like the size of the world or how much flour should be used to make a perfect twelve-inch pizza. If an idea seems irrational to you, perhaps it might still be possible. Perhaps, like Pi, the world is full of infinite seemingly irrational possibilities. What is irrational today may revolutionize tomorrow.
By the time February rolls around, the sparkle of the festive season is long gone, and the hopes of the new year start to feel a bit stale. Also, in many places, February has the worst weather out of the year (climate change related spring fake-outs notwithstanding). So, maybe whoever set up the way we keep track of time way back when felt the same way? Perhaps!
Throughout human history, people in different cultures and places had different conceptions of how to track the passage of time. The calendar most of us are familiar with is the Gregorian calendar, created in 1582 under the direction of Pope Gregory XIII, who was trying to solve the problem that seasons do not always change in formulaic ways and that it takes Earth 365.24219 days to revolve around the sun – making the possibility for calendrical wonkiness quite high.
So then, why is February so short? Actually, this time you can’t really blame a pope. The origins of the calendar take us to the eighth century BC, when the smaller Roman world was organized on the calendar of Romulus – ten months of the year beginning with March on the vernal equinox. Winter was mostly unaccounted for, so you had about two months of calendrical void. To solve the issue, King Numa Pompilius added two months – January and February, and roughly organized the calendar to lunar cycles. This made more sense and you could finally schedule winter time appointments! Pompilius and other people at the time apparently thought that even numbers were unlucky and when they hashed everything out decided that if there had to be an unlucky month in order to have 355 days in a year, it should be the shortest. By the time Julius Caesar reorganized the calendar to come to 365 days on a solar-based model, the twenty-eight day short month of February was here to stay. I suppose that over a millennia everyone from the pre-Roman Republic kings to Renaissance Popes basically agreed that this time of year is a bit of a bummer, keeping the month to 28 (sometimes 29) days a year.
This week has been unseasonably warm in the U.K. with record-setting temperatures. The weather has been quite lovely, especially compared to this time last year when the country was blanketed with a layer of snow and engulfed in grey clouds. Some people are excited, but it is hard not to feel uneasy under the spectre of last fall’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report warned that if we, humanity, do not make big changes to combat the worst effects of climate change, we would reach a point of no return in twelve years. So far, Goat of the Day has been a light-hearted blog with good vibes, and I don’t meant for the good vibes to be extinguished by anxiety about climate change. Rather, channel the positivity and sunshine to take action – cycle, walk or use public transportation whenever possible. Make it clear to policy makers in your town or city that we need more efficient infrastructure in order to reduce our carbon footprints. Buy less stuff of better quality, and opt for reusables over disposables. Even consider hiring a local herd of goats to tend your lawn rather than relying on mowers and pesticides. The world is a marvelous place, and we owe it to ourselves and each other to keep it that way.
When you find yourself wracked with worry, sometimes the best thing to do is ask yourself if the source of your worry is something you have control over. Did you do everything you could to prepare for it? Is the situation out of your hands? It is no use wasting your energy over issues that are out of your control; rather, direct your focus to things in your life that you do have control over. The polar vortex won’t last forever, and whatever worry vortex you have today will fade by tomorrow.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure, but it’s ok to miss your loved ones who are far away. Luckily, we live during the most connected time in human history where we have devices that allow us to say hey even to those in our hearts who are far away.