So dating back to 1887, a little rodent has (not very accurately) forecast the weather for the remainder of winter.
As I was looking up statistics for how many times he saw his shadow vs. didn’t (before today) I was thrilled to see 99 shadows, 16 no shadows. Ahh, if only he’ll see his shadow. Two square numbers. Not possible again until 2021. But wait, there’s more! I was thinking about it, and 1887 was 124 ghd’s ago (before today). 99+16 = 115. What about the other 9? No record. I didn’t even know that was an option. But wait, there’s more. Holy crap! 9 is also a square. If only you’d see your shadow, Phil, there would be a trifecta of squares. But wait, there’s more. 2012 is the 125th one. That’s 5 x 5 x 5. Holy crap! If only you’d see your shadow, Phil. The three possibilities (shadow, no shadow, no record) would all be square numbers, and the total number of years would be a cubic number.
Needless to say, I put a halt on the synthetic division during first period. This was too important an occasion to miss! I was THRILLED when he saw his shadow. Sure, 6 more weeks of 60-degree winter would be great, but seriously? The sum of 3 squares is a cube?
Thank you Phil, for seeing your shadow, even if it was a cloudy day.
Punxsatawney Phil, by the way, is the groundhog (or “are the groundhogs”- I don’t know if groundhogs live to be over 100 years old) who predicts the weather.