Part 1. Explanation of errors in "The Seasons, Explained"
There are two main mistakes I made in the video, and one area in which I was vague.
Mistake numero uno:
40 seconds into the video, I show a stop motion sequence of the earth rotating and revolving around the sun.
The rotation is incorrect here. The earth should be spinning counter clockwise, not clockwise as shown. At all other points where I show the earth's rotation, I made sure to rotate it counter clockwise, but here I was so focused on the logistics of taking a bazillion pictures of this tennis ball and grapefruit that I simply neglected to verify I was moving the tennis ball 0.00001 inches in the correct spinning direction before taking the next picture. Super oopsie moment. At least I don't work for NASA.
Mistake numero dos:
When I labeled summer and winter on the earth, I drew this wrong.
I should have drawn the earth's equator and labeled the seasons from there.
Here's a helpful summary.
Explaining what may have been too vague:
I said that when the sun hits more "directly," that means it is summer. I also may have summarized this as "boom." As in, "Boom, it's summer."
Rhett Allain, from WIRED Science Blogs, pointed out that saying "directly" doesn't effectively explain why this equals summer.
My goal was to explain the seasons in 90 seconds or less, so I did leave out a more thorough explanation of how the angle of the sun's rays makes a difference. So I will do that now. Although, if you want to see an expert explain this (and after being subjected to my mistakes, you're probably begging for it), check out Rhett's blog on the reason for seasons in his post entitled Seasons, short and simple.
Indeed, just like a soccer ball to the face, the sun's energy is more noticeable when it strikes the surface at near perpendicular angles. THAT is why we have seasons.
Part 2. Apology
To whomever has seen the youtube video formerly known as "The Seasons, Explained":
While spending embarrassing amounts of time making this 105-second video, I allowed my creative fervor to overshadow my fact-checking skills, and I made errors. While it is my goal to make science fun and interesting, this should never be at the expense of accuracy. I sincerely apologize for any confusion I have caused about earth's rotation or the occurrence of earth's seasons.
While it would have been far easier to just take the video off youtube and wallow in self-loathing despair, I decided instead to take this opportunity to correct my mistakes and seize this learning opportunity for myself and my readers. I strive to provide funny and informative science comics and stories and will continue to do so with more care (and fart jokes).