Groundhog Day Prognosticating

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Groundhog Day Prognosticating

Who needs weather satellites? We've got a woodchuck!

Archie Carpenter/Getty Images

Leave it to Americans to make their warm weather travel plans based on the machinations of a reticent rodent. Each year, groundhogs around the country -- but most notably Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Penn. -- are paraded out to predict how many more weeks will transpire before spring is on the way.

It's either six more weeks of winter, or an early spring, depending upon whether the little critter in question sees his shadow or not. This tradition has been going on since the 1800s, despite (ahem) modest advances in weather prediction since that time. And speaking of measuring stuff by strange means, we've got one last weird American tradition for you on the last page.

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