Well, folks, it’s almost Groundhog Day again, and you know what that means.  No, the post office doesn’t get yet another screwball holiday off to screw up your Netflix queue–it means that once again, Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his hole, look for his shadow, and give us yet another nigh-meaningless prediction of how much longer winter will go on.

And not surprisingly, animal rights groups are protesting, saying waking Phil up and taking pictures of him is cruel, and he should be replaced with a robot.

Now, leave aside the obvious fact that putting a gadget in place of an icon like Punxsutawney Phil is downright sacrilege, from an operational standpoint, how could it possibly work?  Is there some kind of light sensor that tells the Phil robot to hide from its shadow?  Does it test barometric pressure to provide an estimate on weather conditions?

Or does it just pop up and do something at random, and everyone else interprets, kind of like the ACTUAL groundhog does now?

Not sure how this works, and frankly, I agree with Bill Deeley of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club who said this about replacing Phil:

“I mean, come on, this is just crazy.”