The winter solstice (or hibernal solstice), also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the June solstice.
The axial tilt of Earth and gyroscopic effects of its daily rotation mean that the two opposite points in the sky to which the Earth’s axis of rotation points (axial precession) change very slowly (making a complete circle approximately every 26,000 years). As the Earth follows its orbit around the Sun, the polar hemisphere that faced away from the Sun, experiencing winter, will, in half a year, face towards the Sun and experience summer. This is because the two hemispheres face opposite directions along Earth’s axis, and so as one polar hemisphere experiences winter, the other experiences summer.
More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest. Although the winter solstice itself lasts only a moment in time, the term sometimes refers to the day on which it occurs. Other names are “midwinter”, the “extreme of winter” (Dongzhi), or the “shortest day”. In some cultures it is seen as the middle of winter, while in others it is seen as the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter in the Northern Hemisphere spans the entire period of December through February. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening hours of daylight during the day. The earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates differ from winter solstice, however, and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth’s elliptical orbit (see earliest and latest sunrise and sunset).
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.
John “Jack” Russell (21 December 1795 – 28 April 1883), known as “The Sporting Parson”, vicar of Swimbridge and rector of Black Torrington in North Devon, was an enthusiastic fox-hunter and dog breeder, who developed the Jack Russell Terrier, a variety of the Fox Terrier breed.
Russell was born on 21 December 1795 in Dartmouth, South Devon, the eldest son of John Russell by his wife Nora Jewell. He lived at Sandhill House
He was educated at Plympton Grammar School, Blundell’s School, Tiverton and Exeter College, Oxford.
It was at Exeter College, legend has it, that he spotted a little white terrier with dark tan spots over her eyes, ears and at the tip of her tail, who was owned by a local milkman in the nearby small hamlet of Elsfield or Marston). Russell bought the dog on the spot and this animal, called “Trump”, became the foundation of a line of fox hunting terriers that became known as Jack Russell Terriers. They were well-suited by the shortness and strength of their legs for digging out foxes which had “gone to earth” having been hunted over-ground by fox hounds.
Russell was a founding member of The Kennel Club. He helped to write the breed standard for the Fox Terrier (Smooth) and became a respected judge. He did not show his own fox terriers on the conformation bench, saying that the difference between his dogs and the conformation dogs could be likened to the difference between wild and cultivated flowers.
Russell was appointed vicar of Swimbridge in North Devon, where the local public house was renamed the “Jack Russell Inn” and still stands today. He was also rector of Black Torrington in Devon.
In 1836 at Swimbridge he married Penelope Incledon-Bury, third daughter and co-heiress of Vice-Admiral Richard Incledon-Bury (1757-1825), Royal Navy, lord of the manor of Colleton, Chulmleigh in Devon, who resided at Doniton, Swimbridge. Russell is said to have had expensive sporting habits both on and off the hunting-field, which drained the substantial resources of his heiress wife and left the estate of Colleton in poor condition.
Death and burial
Russell died on 28 April 1883 and was buried in the churchyard of St. James’s Church, Swimbridge, where he was vicar.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting. It is principally white-bodied and smooth, rough or broken-coated but can be any colour.
The Jack Russell is frequently confused with the Parson Russell terrier (see the American Kennel Club) and the Russell terrier, which is a shorter-legged, stockier variety. (Within the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the “Russell terrier” is also known as “Jack Russell terrier”.) The term “Jack Russell” is also commonly misapplied to other small white terriers. The Jack Russell is a broad type, with a size range of 10–15 inches (25–38 cm). The Parson Russell is limited only to a middle range with a standard size of 12–14 inches (30–36 cm), while the Russell terrier is smaller at 8–12 inches (20–30 cm). Each breed has different physical proportions according to the standards of their breed clubs.
Jack Russells are an energetic breed that rely on a high level of exercise and stimulation and are relatively free from serious health complaints. Originating from dogs bred and used by Reverend John Russell in the early 19th century, from whom the breed takes its name, the Jack Russell has similar origins to the modern Fox terrier. It has gone through several changes over the years, corresponding to different use and breed standards set by kennel clubs. Recognition by kennel clubs for the Jack Russell breed has been opposed by the breed’s parent societies – which resulted in the breeding and recognition of the Parson Russell terrier. Jack Russells have appeared many times in film, television, and print – with several historical dogs of note.
By Jamie Palmer: M*A*S*H Anyone? 1953 Dodge Ambulance
By Nathan Avots-Smith: For the Loyalist: 1992 Ford Bronco Centurion Classic
By Brian Kahn: Hordes of Beavers Are Invading Alaska’s Tundra
By Maddie Stone: The Alaskan Senator Who Just Opened America’s Largest Wildlife Refuge to Drilling Wants to Study Ocean Acidification
By Michael Ballaban: Here’s Why You Should Never Take Your Car To A Carwash
By George Dvorsky: Brutal Fungal Disease Could Threaten Snakes on a Global Scale
By Katie Rife, Danette Chavez, William Hughes, Sam Barsanti, Sean O’Neal, and Clayton Purdom: In 2017, we had some bad news and some good news
By Kurt Bradley: My Best Car And Motorsports Photography Of 2017
By Jezebel Staff: Our Favorite Jezebel Posts of 2017
By Gizmodo Staff: The Worst Gadgets of 2017
By Anthony Vence: Year in Review: Our Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2017
The Angry Therapist: My revelations and learnings of 2017
By Al Cross: Cullen family of Iowa’s Storm Lake Times wins 2017 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism
Nominations for the 2018 Gish Award are being accepted at 122 Grehan Journalism Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0042 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Heather Chapman: ‘Cornbread Mafia’ leader, nabbed after 8 years, pleads guilty to pot charge; faces 5-year sentence
By Gary Price: New Reference Resource: Free Online For First Time, Historical Versions of the United States Code Now Online
By Gary Price: National Archives (NARA) Awards $10 Million Contract to Unisys For Google Cloud-Based Email and Collaboration System
By Erin Blakemore: The Father of Modern Libraries Was a Serial Sexual Harasser
By Anthony W. Marx: The case against library fines—according to the head of The New York Public Library
Phil Are Go: Animal on the Street – California’s cell phone guidance and cancer.
A Redleg’s Rides: RV Trip: Day 8 – Uraling to Apache Lake
By Modustrial Maker: Make a “Marble” Table From Concrete W/ Torched Wood Base
By Shawna Bailey: Turn Empty Jars Into Stylish Christmas Candy Jars
New Life on a Homestead: Gifts Homesteaders Can Make for Christmas
Nicholas Garcia: 10 Of The Best Mead Recipes
Bloomin’Thyme: Nurture Those Poinsettia
SANDRA’S CINNAMON-PECAN SHORTBREAD COOKIES
By Eric Offutt Kinja Deals: Upgrade Your Pots and Pans With Two Discounted Cookware Sets
By Erica Offutt Kinja Deals: Thursday’s Best Deals: Charging Devices, Bluetooth Speakers, Last-Minute Gifts, and More