Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
March2010 Issue 87
Thank goodness February is over!! It was one very busy and hectic month, as seen by the number of “Events” we had in Akumal. Scroll down to “Events” on last page.
With the Academy Awards, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Daylight Saving Time (US only) coming in March this year, it looks like March could be just as busy and hectic, albeit without the defined social “Events”.
Recognize the gorilla – dressed for Valentine’s Day by Butch - from
MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF
There was a lot going on in February, and quite a few photos have been posted in the Photo Gallery under Events. You should take some time and go through them all, especially if you were there. The BIG Event for March is going to be the Academy Awards party at Lol Ha on Sunday, March 7th.
Also note that the Akumal Telephone Book has been updated, as has the Birthday & Anniversary lists. Check them out to ensure you are there, and your information is correct. The Staff is looking for some input for some ‘missing’ people, as well as correct information, for people living in Las Sirenas and the jungle. There are lots of missing House Names. The Video (DVD) Library has been updated too.
Subscribe Box up in the top left hand corner to add more family and
friends to the extended Akumal community.
IMPORTANT MARCH FACTS
Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Aries March 21-April 19
There are four (4) birthdays on March 8. Most of you know two of them, and a few may know three, but The Staff doubts that if anybody else knows all four.
Birthdays and Anniversaries
There must be more than this. Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.
February Birthdays / Anniversary
SUPER BOWL HELPS AKUMAL UNITED FUND
Laura Bush and her staff, especially Charlene, did a fantabulous job supporting the Akumal United Fund during the Super Bowl Event at the Lol Ha Beach Bar. It turned out to be a Super fund raiser.
Laura reports $16,130 pesos were raised through the various items for sale (T-shirts, DVD, and book) and the great betting pool on February 7. The bulk of the funds come from the betting pool, where a substantial amount comes from winners, who turned their winning back into the Akumal United Fund.
Pictures from the Event can
be found at
Akumal Super Bowl Party.
AKUMAL COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING, FEBRUARY 17
On Wednesday, February 17th, the Akumal Council held its first General Assembly Meeting of 2010 at the Lol Ha Restaurant, and the meeting was well attended, organized, and run. And, it started on time and ended on time (12:00) after a defined two hour duration. Well done!!!
The Akumalian informally reports on the proceedings of these meetings, so what is reported here is by no means intended to be the Minutes of the meeting, because the Akumal Council will be posting the official minutes on its web site www.akumalcouncil.com.
Marcy Essy, the Treasurer, gave a report on the financial situation of the Akumal Council, and she noted that in the very near future, membership fees and donation will be able to be done using PayPal.
David Poor, the Secretary, opened up a small meeting of the founding members to accept the new members. The new, formal name is Consejo de Communidad de Akumal New members were welcomed into the ‘new’ Akumal Council.
The General Meeting then started, and it followed the published Agenda.
Affirmation of the Mission Statement
Affirmation of Membership Financial Commitments
of the new Board of Directors:
of new Committee Chairs:
Concerns by Section:
Adjourned at 12:00
ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, MARCH 5th
Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.
It’s time for another “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.
This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for March.
Vander Elst won the contest for February, and those photos are at
February Best Shirt.
HST FLY-OVER, MARCH 5th
early birds, the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) will be flying directly over
Akumal on the morning of March 5 at 5:02 am. It will be coming out of the
WSW heading towards the NNW.
ACADEMY AWARDS, MARCH 7th
The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will host the show. Martin will host for the third time, after previously presiding over the 73rd and 75th ceremonies, while Baldwin will host the show for the first time.
This year, there are ten (10) films nominated for Best Picture, and they are Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Bastards, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air
The Oscar telecast will take place Sunday, March 7 at 7 p.m. AST at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, where Laura Bush will be hosting the Akumal segment. The Akumal segment will include the official Red Carpet with a selection of “stars” who are in town for the festivities; Laura is looking for more “stars’ to parade on the Red Carpet. Send an e-mail to Laura if you are a 'star' and going to be in town.
Laura says, “It will be a star studded night with many celebrities that love Akumal, choosing to join us on this important evening! We will have the red carpet ceremony with them and anyone else wanting to walk the red carpet and get interviewed. You can surprise us, or let me know in advance to prepare for the interview.
I will also have some mystery stars to play the
game,’Guess Who', and a chance to win all kinds of prizes!
“We need a few
more paparazzi to take pictures and stalk the stars!
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), MARCH 14th
In the United States Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. On the first Sunday in November areas on Daylight Saving Time return to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. When Daylight Saving Time begins turn your clocks ahead one hour. When Daylight Saving Time ends turn your clocks back one hour.
The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and so forth. Arizona, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
In the United States, Under the Uniform Time Act, the Department of Transportation is in charge of time zones in the United States and ensuring that jurisdictions observing Daylight Saving Time begin and end on the same date.
During DST, clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.
The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.
The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." Some of Franklin's friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.
The idea was first advocated seriously by London builder William Willett (1857-1915) in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907), that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. As he was taking an early morning a ride through Petts Wood, near Croydon, Willett was struck by the fact that the blinds of nearby houses were closed, even though the sun was fully risen. When questioned as to why he didn't simply get up an hour earlier, Willett replied with typical British humor, "What?" In his pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight" he wrote:
In 2005, President Bush signed into law a new energy policy bill that would extend Daylight Saving Time by 4 weeks beginning in 2007:
European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time
(Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March, the 28th,
and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the
same moment. This year it’s March 28 to October 31.
DST IN MEXICO IS DIFFERENT! –April 4th
In Akumal, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April (the 4th). On the last Sunday in October (the 31st ), areas on Daylight Saving Time fall back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time. Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth. The state of Sonora does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
three time zones. Most of the country uses Central Standard Time.
PI DAY, MARCH 14th
Pi, Greek letter π, is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.
With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1737 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is the same for all circles, and that it is slightly more than 3, was known to ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian and Greek geometers. The earliest known approximations date from around 1900 BC; they are 25/8 (Babylonia) and 256/81 (Egypt), both within 1 percent of the true value. The Indian text Shatapatha Brahmana gives π as 339/108 ≈ 3.139. The Books of Kings (600 BC) appears to suggest π = 3, which is notably worse than other estimates available at the time, although the interpretation of the passage is disputed.
Archimedes (287-212 BC) was the first to estimate π rigorously. Herealized that its magnitude can be bounded from below and above by inscribing circles in regular polygons and calculating the outer and inner polygons' respective perimeters.
By using the equivalent of 96-sided polygons, he proved that 223/71 < π < 22/7. Taking the average of these values yields 3.1419. In the following centuries, most significant development took place in India and China. Around 480, the Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi gave the approximation π = 355/113, and showed that 3.1415926 < π < 3.1415927, which would stand as the most accurate value for π over the next 900 years.
The Chudnovskys Brothers found the following formula in 1987 and used it to set several π computing records in the end of the 1980s, including the first calculation of over one billion (1,011,196,691) decimals in 1989. It remains the formula of choice for π calculating software that runs on personal computers, as opposed to the supercomputers used to set modern records.
The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of π without an error.
On June, 17th, 2009 Andriy Slyusarchuk, a Ukrainian neurosurgeon, medical doctor and professor claimed to have memorized 30 million digits of pi, which were printed in 20 volumes of text. Although he did not recite the entire 30 million digits that he claims to have memorized, some media claim that he was able to recite ten randomly selected sequences from the printed text of the 30 million digits.
Pi Day is observed in many schools. At least one cheer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology includes "3.14159!"
On November 7, 2005, alternative musician Kate Bush released the album, Aerial. The album contains the song "π" whose lyrics consist principally of Bush singing the digits of π to music, beginning with "3.14"
Sagan's novel Contact, pi played a key role in the story and
suggested that there was a message buried deep within the digits of pi
placed there by whoever created the universe. This part of the story was
left out of the film adaption of the novel.
ALBERT EINSTEIN’S BIRTHDAY, MARCH 14th
Einstein, the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein,
was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany. Einstein learned to speak at a
late age, he was considered a slow learner as a child, and he showed no
particular aptitude for formal schooling. In June 1880, his family moved to
Munich where Hermann Einstein and his brother Jakob founded an electrical
engineering company. After the failure of his father's business in 1894 the
Einsteins moved to Pavia, Italy.
Young Albert remained in Munich to finish school, but moved to Pavia to
join his family after completing only one term. Upon reaching Italy, he
renounced his German citizenship, possibly to avoid obligatory military
service, and became stateless. At about the same time, Einstein “renounced
his legal adherence to the Jewish religious community."
COMINGS AND GOINGS
With the exception of the
visitors leaving, it looks like everyone else is staying put or sneaking out
under the cover of darkness.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY, MARCH 17th
St. Patrick is revered by Christians for establishing the church in Ireland during the fifth century AD. The precise dates and details of his life are unclear, but some points are generally agreed: as a teen he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland, and six years later he escaped to Gaul (now France) where he later became a monk. Around 432 he returned to Ireland as a missionary and succeeded in converting many of the island's tribes to Christianity. Late in life he wrote a brief text, Confessio, detailing his life and ministry. His feast day, March 17, is celebrated as a day of Irish pride in many parts of the world.
A popular folk tale says that St. Patrick chased all snakes from Ireland, but there is no historical basis for this story. Another folk tale, that he used shamrocks to teach about the holy Trinity, is also generally agreed to be a myth. In Gaelic the saint's name is Padraig.
The day is the national holiday of the Irish people. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland, and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the rest of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday.
It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The date of the feast is occasionally moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this last happened in 2008 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on March 15 in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday.
forget the green beer at the Beach Bar.
EQUINOX, MARCH 20th
An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator, and this month it occurs on March 20 at 5:48 EST.
There is either an equinox (autumn and spring) or a solstice (summer and winter) on approximately the 20th day of the last month of every quarter of the calendar year. On a day which has an equinox, the center of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth, and night and day will be of nearly the same length. The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).
In reality, the day is longer than the night at an equinox. Commonly, the day is defined as the period that sunlight reaches the ground in the absence of local obstacles. From Earth, the Sun appears as a disc and not a single point of light; so, when the center of the Sun is below the horizon, the upper edge is visible. Furthermore, the atmosphere refracts light; so, even when the upper limb of the Sun is below the horizon, its rays reach over the horizon to the ground. In sunrise/sunset tables, the assumed semi-diameter (apparent radius) of the sun is 16 minutes of arc and the atmospheric refraction is assumed to be 34 minutes of arc. Their combination means that when the upper limb of Sun is on the visible horizon its center is 50 minutes of arc below the geometric horizon, which is the intersection with the celestial sphere of a horizontal plane through the eye of the observer. These effects together make the day about 14 minutes longer than the night at the equator, and longer still at sites toward the poles. The real equality of day and night only happens at places far enough from the equator to have at least a seasonal difference in day length of 7 minutes, and occurs a few days towards the winter side of each equinox.
The Sun has
risen on the spring equinox at Dzibilchaltun. On this day the temple itself
frames the rising Sun through its central doorway. At other times of the
year, the Sun will appear to the right or left, which is either further to
the north or south, deviating the furthest from this path we see here on the
SATURN AT OPPOSITION, MARCH 21st
Earth goes around the sun once a year. Saturn goes around the sun once about every 30 years. So you can see that our planet Earth has to pass between Saturn and the sun every year. In 2010, this event – called an opposition of Saturn – will happen on March 21. That makes March and April of 2010 the best months for seeing this most amazing and beautiful of planets. Will you be ready? Save this article!
Can you see the rings of Saturn if you look with the eye alone? No. But you can see this golden world with your unaided eye. It will appear as a bright golden “star” ... very beautiful. And unlike the twinkling stars, Saturn will shine with a steady light. That might help you identify it.
Since Saturn moves only slowly with respect to the true stars, once you notice the starry pattern around Saturn this year, you can spot this planet for several months at its best.
Okay. How can you see Saturn?
First, think about the fact that – when Earth goes between the sun and Saturn – Saturn appears opposite the sun in our sky. That means that, if you’re looking for Saturn during the evening hours around the time of its 2010 opposition (March 21), you should be facing east, with your back to the sunset direction, in order to see Saturn.
In late March and early April, 2010, go outside after night falls and stand facing east. If the sun has just gone down, Saturn will be on the horizon, probably too low in the sky to see. So wait until mid-evening, when it’s good and dark, and Saturn is higher in the sky. Then you’ll have a better chance of spotting it.
Think of it
this way. As the sun sinks below the western horizon, Saturn will rise
above the eastern horizon at a similar rate. Why? Because, remember, at
opposition, Saturn is opposite the sun!
Denny Mahan reports on these air dryers.
We have tried various things, from small fans to light bulbs, over the years to keep our clothes in the closets from getting covered with mildew. The BEST thing we have found so far, and we have about 8 which we brought down from the states, is the "AIR DRYR". It is a great little product.
There are two sizes, and the smaller, oblong one (Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 500 Dryer), is just right for a closet. It uses very little electricity, is very light weight aluminum, doesn't get too hot (you can put your hand right on it), and it keeps your clothing and linens, pillows, etc. nice and dry. It does not make your clothing hot, it just keeps them dry. The Air-Dryr 500 handles up to 500 cubic feet of living space, and draws only 0.6 amps, 70 watts. Rectangular unit measures 14 x 5 x 4.5" 2.1 pounds. $49.99 at www.Amazon.com
The larger, round one (Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 1000 Dryer) we use to keep an entire bedroom dry when no one is using it. Just plug it in and set it on the floor. Works great, and you don't have to run your air conditioning all the time to keep the room dry. It consumes less than a 60 watt bulb. No bulb to bun out and replace. I even put one in our car when we are gone to the states, and it works great! The Air-Dryr 1000 handles up to 1,000 cubic feet of living space, and draws only 1.1 amps,130 watts. Circular unit measures 13.5" in diameter (34 cm) and 4.25" high (11 cm), and costs $52.00.
information about the products and ordering can be found on Amazon at
Air Dryer 500. They are also available at many other stores, and at
National Marine Products they are a little cheaper. You can bring a
couple down every time you come.
CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CHEMUYIL
Bob Mulgrew is the gringo representative for the Catholic Church of Chemuyil, and he reports they are trying to build a decent church to replace the current one that is sticks, dirt and asbestos roofing. Special Masses are conducted in the parking lot, due to lack of space inside. Guess what happens in inclement weather? Many of our employees (1/3 - 1/2) in Akumal, Akumal Sur, Aventuras Akumal, Jade Bahia, etc. live in Chemuyil.
There will be a
raffle on May 10th. Tickets $50 pesos each, and the prizes are:
will be selected by a number system in the national lottery. This seems to
be VERY secure. Contact Bob Mulgrew
email@example.com to buy raffle tickets for this worthy cause.
WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?
Gabriella Points the Way to South Akumal Photo by Hollis Hines
Valentine’s Day BasketDuring the Valentine’s Day dinner at Lol Ha, the huge Valentine’s Day basket was raffled off, and Sherwood Anders was the winner. Looking good. Ask Bob Anders about the Belgian ‘chocolates’ he ate.
Photo by Bob Anders
Sherwood Digs Into Her Winnings
This is the recent art project, an art glass coffin, done by Chris McCasland and Butch. Chris says, “I finally have, an art exhibit in west Texas in March, my first show in 15 years, and we just finished the art glass coffin, which I regard as the most significant piece of art we have ever turned out....way over the top.
"The coffin is done in eglomise, reverse painted glass over wooden form. Butch did all the work and the upholstery too. I just designed it and did the glass painting. It is in the Aesthetic style of the Victorian period. I call it the lost coffin of Oscar Wilde."
What do you think?
BIRTHDAY OF BENITO JUAREZ, MARCH 21st
Know Avenieda Juarez in Playa del Carmen?
March 21st is a National Holiday in Mexico to commemorate the birthday of Benito Juárez, who rose from humble origins to occupy the Presidency of the Republic on several occasions during the turbulent second half of the 19th century.
Benito Pablo Juárez García (March 21, 1806 – July 18, 1872) was a Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872. For resisting the French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, as well as for his efforts to modernize the country, Juárez is often regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader. Juárez was recognized by the United States as a ruler in exile during the French-controlled Second Mexican Empire, and got their support in reclaiming Mexico under the Monroe Doctrine after the United States Civil War ended. Benito Juárez was the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background, and also the first full-blooded indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico and to lead a country in the Western Hemisphere in over 300 years.
Today Benito Juárez is remembered as being a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy, equal rights for his nation's indigenous peoples, lessening the great power that the Roman Catholic Church then held over Mexican politics, and the defense of national sovereignty. The period of his leadership is known in Mexican history as La Reforma (the reform), and constituted a liberal political and social revolution with major institutional consequences: the expropriation of church lands, bringing the army under civilian control, liquidation of peasant communal land holdings, the separation of church and state in public affairs, and also led to the almost-complete disenfranchisement of bishops, priests, nuns and lay brothers.
Juárez's famous quotation continues to be well-remembered in Mexico: Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz, meaning "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace." It is inscribed on the coat of arms of Oaxaca.
One of the
reasons Benito Juárez is seen as representing Mexico is because his
indigenous roots and seminary education seem to reflect the national mixture
of races and cultures. Indeed, Juárez did much to overcome the prejudice
against indigenous heritage, so prevalent in the 19th Century. He was
fiercely anti-clerical, believing that the excessive power of the Catholic
Church was one of the main obstacles to the development of the country. He
led the nation in a struggle against neocolonialism and French intervention,
earning the title of "Benemérito de las Américas", or deserving of
the Americas’ praise.
VENUS RETURNS AS A ‘EVENING STAR’
Venus, the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all the other stars and planets in the night sky. It moves into the evening sky in March, low in the west as darkness begins to fall. It will climb into better view through the spring and into summer. It will disappear from view in October as it passes between Earth and the Sun. It will return to view as a “morning star” by early November, and remain there for the rest of the year.
eight years, Venus can be seen as an evening and morning star on the same
day, and this happened last year around March 25. Hang around for another
seven years, and we’ll have that occurrence again in 2017.
Could Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli be the Aztec god with the longest name?
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli was the twin/dual deity of the planet Venus, as Morning Star (Quetzalcóatl) and Evening Star (Xólotl). Worshipped throughout the Mesoamerican region for centuries even before the Aztecs, he represented first and foremost the bright star that appears with its own unique brilliance very early in the morning in the Eastern sky.
Venus is very similar to Earth in size and mass - and so is sometimes referred to as Earth's sister planet. It's usually the third brightest body in the sky after the sun and the moon.
The ancient Mexicans, being expert astronomers, could predict precisely on which days and at which times the star would appear and disappear. Not only were they were well aware of its 584 day cycle round the sun, they even knew that its exact cycle is actually 583 days, 22 hours, 6 minutes and 40 seconds - and they allowed for the difference to be made up in their calculations every 88 years!
more, the ancient Mexicans had calculated accurately that the orbits of the
earth (c.365 days), the moon (c.260 days) and Venus (c.584 days) come
together only once every 104 years (two Aztec 'bundles of years' or
centuries'). Their knowledge of time and its cycles was truly stunning.
FULL MOON, MARCH 30th
The Full Worm Moon is on Friday, March 30, at 1:25am AST.
In this month the ground softens and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signals the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. This is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season.
Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” on the 5th had lots of company this month with regards to “Events.” Check out the Photo Galleries for the other Events, which include:
Super Bowl Party on February 1.
Groundhog Day on February 2.
Planet 2012 Art Exhibit on February 5.
La Buena Vida 14th Anniversary Party on February 13. (No photos)
CEA Festival Gala Event on February 18.
Reception at David & Nancy Poor’s Casa Romero on February 19.
Back on January 5, there was the culmination of the 2009 Akumal Toy Drive