The video: The (extremely mild) suspense is over. Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania's marmot meterologist, has emerged from his hole to give his annual Groundhog Day prediction to winter-weary Americans. This year, Phil failed to see his shadow, which traditionally means that spring is just around the corner. The groundhog's suspect forecast may (or may not) reassure Americans, as a huge storm continues to blanket two-thirds of the country with snow, ice, and freezing rain.
The reaction: "We all want to believe, but how good is Phil's word?" asks Aaron Couch at the Christian Science Monitor. Not good, unfortunately. A look at Punxsutawney's historical records finds that "the rodent weatherman was right only about 39 percent of the time." He'd be better off tossing a coin (if anatomically capable of doing so). With a record like that, he should just give up, says Chris Menning at Buzzfeed. "You're a groundhog," Phil. "You didn't even go to meteorology school," and what's more, "your top hat looks ridiculous." See Punxsutawney Phil make his widely dismissed prediction:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Inside America's crumbling infrastructure
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- The real-life events that inspired Game of Thrones' Red Wedding
Subscribe to the Week