Today is the shortest day (and therefore...the longest night of the year) HOORAY! It means the days will be getting longer after today. It seems strange that in the middle of winter people all over the world celebrated the beginning of the lengthening of the days. Check out Wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice Most celebrations were to thank some god or goddess so that they wouldn't steal the lengthening days and make winter come forever.
In the Southern Hemisphere it's high summer right now and the days will be getting shorter. Guess you can't make everyone happy at the same time even on the cosmic level.
I stopped out on a really dark road tonight and there were millions of stars. Orion's Belt was low in the eastern sky and the Milky Way was very visible almost directly overhead. And, as always, the north star was there to anchor them all.