The Sun Also Stands Still

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Today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year with more than 14 hours of sunlight in the Houston area. On this day, the sun will reach its northernmost point, seeming to stand still. People around the world will mark the occasion with feasts, festivals, and other festivities, including rituals that honor the sun. We’re celebrating the day in the way we know best -- by sharing information. We’ve compiled a short list of interesting cases that involve the hallmarks of summer -- sunburn, mosquitoes, ice cream, barbeque, and theme parks. We're also sharing a bit of etymology.

Interestingly, the summer solstice has somewhat of a connection to the law. The word solstice is derived from the Latin solstitium, meaning the point at which the sun stands. It combines sol (sun) with the past participle stem of sistere (to stand, stay, set, or place). The stare in stare decisis derives from the same root. Its literal meaning, let the decision stand, is the basis for establishing legal precedent. In Houston, we feel the blaze of the sun all summer long as it seemingly stands still for three (or more) uninterrupted months. There is definitely precedent for the kind of heat we experience annually, and it is sure to get even hotter. Happy Solstice!