Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Equinox! Did you balance your egg?


They say that today’s the day that all the gravitational forces are in perfect harmony and you can balance a raw egg on end — and only on this day. Well, not really.
The egg legend apparently got its start in 1945 when a reporter for Life Magazine wrote a story about a Chinese ritual in which people stood eggs on end on the first day of spring. But the Chinese recognized the first day of spring in early February, or about six weeks before the spring equinox, which now marks the first day of spring. Later, in 1983, one hundred New Yorkers got together on March 20 to balance eggs, an article about the event appeared in the New Yorker magazine, and the legend grew.

The truth is that if you can get a raw egg to balance upright on the day of the spring equinox, you can get it to balance any other day of the year. The pull of gravity or the position of the sun in the sky has nothing to do with it.
If you’re going to try, here’s a hint: Make a little mound of table salt. Press the upright egg into the little pile. Make sure it balances, and then blow away the salt. Call in your friends and amaze them with your handiwork. Heighten the impact with Equinox mumbo jumbo.

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