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We had a hole in our schedule today, as chief TC Catherder/Scheduler Yours Truly somehow neglected to notice the new month sneaking up all quiet-like, fooling me with that whole "January is a long month" thing, so I didn't send the scheduling email out in time. I felt a strange sense of deja vu as I sat down to write, and discovered that indeed, I'd written a Groundhog Day diary last year. Thoughts and (mostly random) musings are below the dingledoodle squigglie dKosagnocchi dividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group dKosemailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

February 2nd is a day of several holidays:

Candlemas: I don't remember Candlemas, aka the Feast of Presentation of the Lord post-Vatican II, as a major holiday during my Roman Catholic youth, although I'm sure it was. Other holidays and rituals caught my attention, and noting the day Mary was officially "purified" and therefore able to present her son to the Temple nudged at my budding feminist sense, so I'm sure I repressed it :-).

Imbolc: While I've never identified solely with the pagan/earthcentered tradition as a spiritual path, it is one of the sources my Unitarian Universalist faith looks to for wisdom and meaning. I have always liked the Pagan calendar, the Wheel of the Year for its symmetry- Solstices, Equinoxes, and their midpoints marking the lengths of days and the passage of years. It's believed Imbolc was recognized thousands of years ago in Ireland, as the Mound of the Hostages at the Hill of Tara has a short passage which aligns with sunrise on the solar cross-quarter days.

Given Christianity's habit of assigning religious significance to dates with meaning in other faith traditions, it made sense to me that Imbolc and Candlemass coexist, just like Yule/Christmas, Ostara/Easter, and Samhain/All Hallows Eve.

But what about the Groundhog? According to the Great And All-Powerful Oz Wikipedia, both Candlemas and Imbolc have aspects of weather prognistication. German settlers found a dearth of hedgehogs, the animals observed back in the Old Country. Groundhogs, however, were readily available. They do not, however, always agree with one another...

That most famous of groundhogs, Punxatawney Phil, did not see his shadow, suggesting that we're in for a mild remainder of winter and an early spring. However, Ms. G. (our local groundhog here at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm in Lincoln), did see her shadow, suggesting we’re in for six more weeks of winter.

I figure that no matter which rodent is right, here in New England I'm still going to need a sweater and gloves for a couple of months :).

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From Dave in Northridge:
In Steveningen's diary about inter-species cooperation among the cetaceans, boran2 made a fascinating analogy with human politicians.
From Puddytat:
You're just going to have to see it to believe it.  aoeu's screen shot taken of an attempt to display the Tea Party web site really says it all about that bunch of nuts.  It's serious, but hilarious at the same time.
From Steveningen:
In Laura Clawson's diary White House releases picture of Obama shooting a gun. Let the conspiracy theories begin, Says Who had some pretty stiff competition for funniest comment, but won the day with this one.
From Yours Truly, brillig:
In Hunter's diary Cartoon villain Dick Cheney 'worried' about gun control and the Constitution, Cugel asks whether life imitates Monty Python.
RoCali sums up my thoughts on kos' hate mail-a-palooza.

Top Mojo for yesterday, February 1st, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) Good diary. What a tragic story. by Timaeus — 121
  2) I am so sorry for what you and your son by political mutt — 111
  3) He was the greatest. by Bob Johnson — 92
  4) "certain doctors" ??? by elfling — 92
  5) Matt Taibbi by stevej — 92
  6) thanks for the good news by annieli — 85
  7) GMB02 is still on dialysis, but better by commonmass — 85
  8) Appalling by gloriasb — 84
  9) Yes it is horrible and in PA , 2 judges went to by wishingwell — 83
10) dear god by Pandoras Box — 79
11) OMG, this is my big fear by sobermom — 77
12) Has he been indicted yet? by Dallasdoc — 76
13) yep, exactly by louisev — 74
14) I'm working with Yves Smith.... by bobswern — 73
15) I'm on my way to the hospital. by commonmass — 73
16) The isolation from the parents   by a gilas girl — 72
17) Children have no rights. They are the property by hannah — 72
18) I know law enforcement often does this with by wishingwell — 71
19) "newspaper columnist"? yeah, I remember... by luckydog — 71
20) The kids who were convicted and by inclusiveheart — 70
21) It's a crime against the human mind. by A Citizen — 67
22) even so by Nina Katarina — 66
23) Good luck with that! by Noddy — 64
24) I know that what you are experiencing... by dsnodgrass — 64
25) see if my rewording gets the point across by louisev — 63
26) run, you say? by louisev — 63
27) Yes he will by Suzanne 3 — 62
28) Because not everyone posts here in good faith by kovie — 61
29) I was a very defiant and strong willed kid. by JesseCW — 60
30) Adding breath mints to Friedai's shopping list. by jwinIL14 — 60
ps- For an explanation of how Top Mojo works, please see mik's FAQing Top Mojo.

Top Pictures for yesterday, February 1st.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!

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