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November 2011  Issue 107

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index

MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

This issue is being distributed just a little earlier than normal, so that The Akumalian can remind you that Sunday ends Daylight Saving in Mexico.  Turn the clock back one hour before going to bed.

Hopefully, it went by un-noticed, but the October issue of The Akumalian was published from the Chatham Guest Rooms in Chatham, MA, on Cape Cod.  It was part of a larger Feasibility Study being done by the Staff.  Photos from this trip can be seen at Cape Cod Feasibility Study.

   While up north doing the Feasibility Study, The Staff was able to participate in two birthday parties celebrating three birthdays, these photos can be seen at Uxbridge Birthdays.

October was a fairly quiet month in Akumal, with Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” being the big highlight, but there was an off-site Best Shirt Award in Austin, Texas.

It looks like the November holidays will perk things up a bit.  There’s quite a lot of “Comings and Goings” as the snow birds head south for the winter, and the threat of Hurricane Rina brought numerous people to town.

Get a comfortable with a cup of coffee, for this has turned out to be quite a long issue.  Take your time and enjoy it.

And, for additional information about Akumal and Puerto Aventuras, don’t forget to check out Sac-Be and the Pelican Press of Puerto Aventuras.
 

IMPORTANT NOVEMBER FACTS

 Libra - September 23 - October 22
Scorpio - October 23 - November 21

 November Birthstone: Yellow Topaz
The topaz has been known for at least 2000 years and is one of the gemstones which form the foundations of the twelve gates to the Holy City of the New Jerusalem.  These so-called apocalyptic stones are intended to serve in protection against enemies and as a symbol of beauty and splendor.  It cannot be proved conclusively whether the name of the topaz comes from the Sanskrit or the Greek, though the Greek name 'topazos' means 'green gemstone'.  The Romans dedicated the topaz to Jupiter.

            The color in which the topaz is most commonly found is yellow, and that is the color in which it occurs in one of the major German gemstone rocks, the Schneckenstein (a topaz-bearing rock said to resemble a snail) in Saxony.

 November Birthday Flower: Chrysanthemum
Commonly called "mums" or "tansies," this popular perennial's name comes from the Greek "Chrysos" (gold) and "Anthos" (flower).  

            The chrysanthemum has been the focus of Oriental adulation for centuries. Mums were considered one of the four Chinese "noble plants", and were the official badge of the Old Chinese Army.  Since chrysanthemums were considered the flower of the Chinese noble class, they were prohibited in a lower-class person's garden.  The Chinese believe that a chrysanthemum given to one's beloved, after it’s being used to wipe one's month after drinking wine, will ensure undying love and fidelity.  
 

NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Marilyn Fenton
3          Paul Sanchez Navarro
6          Schatzi
7          Christian Duraud
12        Beniko Scarlett Schober
13        Mike Pontius
15        Charlene
15        Monica Meyer
15        Elli Paige Clements
17        Sven Titze
21        Wendell & Lynda Day
23        Russ Motley
25        Gary Vardell
27        Cami & Richard Mazzola, Anniversary
27        Woody Brenton
30        Carly (Carol) Flores

 There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.

 Missed October Birthdays
11        Hollis Hines
17        Nancy Poor
21        George Plamondon
 

AKUMAL DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME, OCTOBER 30th   

In Akumal and Europe, DST ends on Sunday, October 30.  Do not forget to turn the clocks back one hour.

 

AKUMAL DODGES HURRICANE RINA

In case you might not have heard, Akumal and the Riviera Maya were threatened by Hurricane Rina during the later part of October, but Rina stayed off-shore and weakened to a tropical storm as she went by.  Akumal got some rain, a little wind, and very minor storm surge.  It was no worse than a ‘normal’ tropical storm.
 

$30 MILLION AD CAMPAIGN SAYS MEXICO IS SAFE 

By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY October 21

The Mexico Tourism Board is fighting U.S. perceptions that it's unsafe to travel there with a new $30 million ad campaign.  Part of the campaign will feature TV ads -- due to premiere in the next couple of weeks -- that will feature real-life vacationers arriving back from South of the Border getaways.  The idea: "Americans talking to Americans to communicate that it is a great place and a safe place," tourism board chief marketing officer Gerardo Llanes says.

He says those picked for the "Mexico Taxi Project" are offered a ride home at the airport and don't know they're being filmed in vehicles driven by actors.  The driver asks about their stay, including safety, then cameras are revealed and riders sign papers giving permission for their comments to air.  So far, respondents have been positive about their stays, Llanes says.  "Most of the people say, 'Anything we can do for Mexico,' " when asked to give permission, he says.  He thinks having Americans tout Mexico is more effective than "an institution" saying good things.

"We don't deny there are some spots in the country that have issues,"  Llanes continues, such as drug cartels run amok and crime.  But he says tourist areas such as Cancun shouldn't be considered treacherous.

A website due to be up and running soon, www.mexicotaxiproject.com (click on the link now), will have ad clips and more.  And, Llanes says the campaign will include a social media blitz and even billboards in places such as Times Square showing vacationers having fun in the sun, live.

Readers, what do you think? Have any of you visited Mexico recently? And if not, would you go?

A look at the secret wiring for cameras and microphones to record tourists talking about Mexico in Courtesy of the Mexico Taxi Project 

 

 Finally, an interesting report on “Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico Now?” by Peter Greenberg with Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet at Peter Greenberg.
 

DAY OF THE DEAD, NOVEMBER 1 & 2 

This is an ancient festivity that has been much transformed through the years, but which was intended in prehispanic Mexico to celebrate children and the dead.  Hence, the best way to describe this Mexican holiday is to say that it is a time when Mexican families remember their dead, and the continuity of life.

The origins of the celebration of The Day of the Dead in Latin America can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as the Zapotec, Aztec, Maya, Purepecha, Nahual and Totonac.

Rituals celebrating the lives of dead ancestors had been performed by these Mesoamerican civilizations for at least 3,000 years.  It was common practice to keep skulls as trophies and display them during rituals to symbolize death and rebirth. The festival which was to become Día de Muertos fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, near the start of August, and was celebrated for the entire month.  Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, known as the "Lady of the Dead".  The festivities were dedicated to the celebration of children and the lives of dead relatives.  The Aztec tradition included the making of bread in the shape of a person which is perhaps the origin of the pan de muerte.

When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in America in the 15th century they were appalled at the indigenous pagan practices, and in an attempt to convert the locals to Roman Catholicism moved the popular festival to the beginning of November to coincide with the Catholic All Saints Day (in which saints are honored) and All Souls Day (of observance and prayer for those who have died and those souls in purgatory).  All Saints' Day is the day after Halloween, which was in turn based on the earlier pagan ritual of Samhain, the Celtic day and feast of the dead.  The Spanish combined their custom of All Souls' Day with the similar Mesoamerican festival, creating the Día de lo Muertos, The Day of the Dead.  This is an example of syncretism or the blending of a significant event from two different cultural traditions.  Indigenous people of the Americas often would outwardly adopt the European rituals, while maintaining their original native beliefs.

The souls of children are believed to return first on November 1, with adult spirits following on November 2.
 

THE MELBOURNE CUP, NOVEMBER 1st

163 horses were entered in a quest to win this year’s race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup, and the entries were significantly down on last year’s number of 253, given the later nomination date.  The final field is limited to 24.

The $6.175 million Emirates Melbourne Cup is a truly spectacular event and the focal point of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.  2011 will see the incredible 151st running of this iconic event.  While most of Australia stops to watch or listen to the race, there’s nothing like being there amongst the 100,000-plus throng to experience this truly unique event.

The Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s most famous and best-regarded thoroughbred races.  The 3,200m race is Australia's richest and is run at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November each year. 

Emirates Melbourne Cup Day has gained a reputation for fashion with a penchant for drama. It is the day to make your strongest fashion statement with an exotic or outrageous ensemble - hats are essential and so is a yellow rose in the lapel.

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race.  Billed as “The race that stops a nation”, it is for three-year-olds and over.  It is generally regarded as the most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world.  The event is held on the first Tuesday in November by the Victoria Racing Club, on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.  This day was traditionally only a public holiday within metropolitan Melbourne, but is now also observed as a holiday in the entire state of Victoria, and even the ACT.

The race was originally held over two miles (about 3,218 meters) but following preparation for Australia's adoption of the metric system in the 1970s, the current race distance of 3,200 meters was established in 1972.  This reduced the distance by 61ft 6in, and Rain Lover's 1968 race record of 3min.19.1sec was accordingly adjusted to 3min.17.9sec.  The present record holder is the 1990 winner Kingston Rule with a time of 3min 16.3sec.
 

TULUM AIRPORT UPDATE

Admittedly, you need to consider the source, but on September 5, 2011, Investment Properties Mexico reported the following in Mexico Real Estate News and Blog.

 In a recent interview with Travel Agent Central, Dario Flota Ocampo, who is the Riviera Maya tourism director, said the new airport that is planned for Tulum will put a spotlight on the Riviera Maya, causing a tourism boom.  The airport is scheduled to be in operations by 2014 or 2015 at the latest. 

 “Tulum has always been a very popular spot amongst seasoned Mexico travelers,” said Ocampo. “It's a place where people who have visited Mexico before usually go to see some great Mayan ruins and something a little different from the rest of the region.  But with this new airport, we are hoping to open up tourism in Tulum to everyone.  Tulum will be a place where the first-time Mexico traveler would want to visit simply because of the easy flights, the ruins and the addition of several luxury resorts there.”

Although work on the new airport in Tulum is currently at a brief standstill while several minor design flaws are being worked out, Ocampo revealed that they fully expect the project to be up and running again by the end of this year.  This time frame will allow the airport to be completed on schedule, which is a huge priority for Mexico.

 Remember, that back on May 20, 2011, Mexico’s Communications and Transport Ministry said that all three proposals it received for a license to build and operate an airport in Tulum, on the Yucatan peninsula, were inadequate.  The ministry said in a statement that it rejected–together with Mexican development bank Banobras, the country’s civil aviation authority and the airport authority–a joint proposal from mining firm Grupo Mexico (GMEXICO.MX) and airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (PAC, GAP.MX) because it didn’t meet operational and security standards, and because it showed legal inconsistencies.

Airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste SAB (ASR, ASUR.MX), which operates the nearby Cancun airport, did not present the necessary documentation after Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission barred it from participating in the tender.

The ministry also said it turned down a third group because they didn’t meet operational and security standards while also showing legal inconsistencies.  The ministry said it will later determine whether to launch the tender again.

 Here is a view of the tentative location and planned by-pass around Tulum.

 

 

“CELTIC FUSION GROUP” PLAYS LOL HA, NOV. 3rd   

Laura bush reports, “Enjoy the magnificent sounds of the violins with our very own Bogdan from Arpason!  The Celtic Fusion Group, with Bogdan, will play at the North Palapa of the Beach bar.  Bogdan tours with Bowfire, and we are privileged to have some of their group – under the name of Celtic Fusion Group - with us!  The owners of Bowfire do not want us to use that name, because it is not the entire group playing.  November 3rd.  Save the Date!”

There are two seatings, with the first one at 6:00 and the second at 8:00; the music starts at 6:30 and 8:30.  There is a $50 pesos cover charge that includes one beer. Tickets are on sale at Super Chomak and at the door (there's a door at the Lol Ha Beach Bar?).  Reservations are required: call 206-3500, ext 604, or send e-mail to lolha@hotelakumalcaribe.com

Bowfire is the Total String Experience.  Virtuosity in the hands of Masters.
The hottest new show to hit the stage is quickly becoming a major international success.  It is at once an exceptionally high quality music experience and a fast paced theatrically staged show.

Bowfire has continually proven itself to be a "must see" event everywhere it is presented, with audiences clamoring for more and standing ovations routine.  Bowfire presents an "All Star Show" of the finest lineup of fiddle and violin virtuosos ever assembled on one stage.  It takes its audiences on a musical journey that moves seamlessly from Jazz, Classical, Bluegrass, Celtic, Rock, Gypsy, World, Texas Swing and Ottawa Valley and Cape Breton styles and mixes in incredible step and tap dancing and a beautiful voice.  All of this gets wrapped around a fast-paced show with first class production values that include great sound, choreography, dramatic lighting, set design and costumes.

The Bowfire company is composed of virtuoso string players who are at the forefront of their respective styles, combined with equally gifted and respected backup musicians: piano/keyboards, bass, drums/percussion, guitars and cello.  Fiddlers in the company are world-class step dancers and tap dancers.  This avalanche of talent is brought together under the guidance of Creator and Artistic Director, Lenny Solomon and Broadway acclaimed Stage Director, Stafford Arima.

Formed in June 2000, Bowfire made its debut performance the following month at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany.  Audience response was wildly enthusiastic, and the group was subsequently invited to perform on the Governor-General's Awards telecast, the Canadian equivalent of the United States' Kennedy Center Honors.

The ensemble made its American debut in a series of performances during the summer of 2001 in New York City, and embarked on their first U.S. tour during the 2002-2003 season.  In December 2003, Bowfire made its Asian debut with performances in Taiwan.  Bowfire has enjoyed many highly successful touring seasons since then.  Bowfire is a one of a kind musical and theatrical experience which strings together one show-stopping hit after another in a fast paced theatrically staged production.

Sean Connery was surprised by the group on August 20 last year with a special performance for his 80th birthday.  His son, Stephane, organized the event to honor his father with his favorite musicians. According to the group’s website, they were greeted with warm hugs and handshakes from the world famous knighted actor.

            Who and what will Bowfire bring to Akumal as the Celtic Fusion Group? And, will Chef Carlos deliver a special Fusion Menu?
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            Comings:
·        
Steve & Ingrid Clouther returned from their two week visit to the northeast.
·        
Scott Pargot visited Las Vigas with his friend, Katie.
·        
Richard & Arlene Pargot are back at Las Vigas with Zoe.
·        
Larry & Karen Kantor were back at Mariposa for a couple of weeks.
·        
Jim & Jackie Power were back for a brief visit.
·        
Sharne Hampton returned to Seven Seas for a short visit.
·        
Bill & Oetka Brab were back in South Akumal for a brief vacation; some golf for Bill.
·        
Bill & Oetka had a number of friends visiting with them, including Wynn &  Jim Allen, and Diane & Barry Hickman, all from Louisville, KY.  Bud Brewer, Norm Zanger and Dick Tongberg arrived later for some golf. 
·        
Bay Haas was back at Seven Seas for a short spell.
·        
Barbara Miller and her daughter, Annie, are here.
·        
David & Nancy Poor are back in town.
·        
Wendell & Lynda Day are back for the winter.
·        
Donny & Cheryl Hall have been spotted around town with their dogs.
·        
Dean & Alison Keegan are back at Playa Caribe.
·        
Gayle Rasmussen is back in Jade Bay.
·        
Richard & Cami Mazzola are back, and the gallery is set up for high season.
·        
Dave & Nita Stockton were in town visiting with the Russ & Steph Motley.
·        
Kathy Sonheim is back, albeit without Jim.
·        
Macon & Susan Gravlee are back in South Akumal.
·        
Terry Turner returned to South Akumal for Rina.  Gary Vardell was here too.
·        
Karry & Karen Kantor return later in November.

  • Tom & Judy Baxter are also in South Akumal|

  • Steve & Sharon Wandler are over in Punta Sur.

    Goings:
    Only Hurricane Rina!!!
     

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT, AWARD NOVEMBER 4th  

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” worn by a male for November.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, and they seem to be changing as we move into the Fall.

The October competition drew a huge number of contestants, and Larry Kantor from Mariposa won out over all the other colorful contestants. 

The photos are located at October Best Shirt Award.

  On the same evening, Dave & Michelle Bliss hosted an off-site Best Shirt Award event at their house in Austin, Texas, and these photos can be seen at Off-Site Best Shirt Award Event.
 

HST FLY-OVER, NOVEMBER 4th  

The Staff of The Akumalian has been working with NASA to make this month’s Best Shirt Award a very special occasion for the winner.  While enjoying the Best Shirt Award event at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, take time to step outside around 6:46pm and see the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) as it flies directly overhead, celebrating the winner of the November Best Shirt Award.  The HST will be flying in a WNW – ESE direction.

 

TAURIDS METEOR SHOWER(S), NOV. 6th and 12th  

During the first two weeks of November, the Earth encounters dusty meteor streams left behind by periodic Comet Encke’s passages through the inner solar system.  One crosses the Earth’s orbit on or about the 5th while the second crossing occurs on or about the 12th; this shower is actually two streams, the North Taurids and the South Taurids.  The Taurids, a minor shower, radiate out of the sky in the constellation Taurus the Bull (visible soon after sunset in the eastern sky), not too far from the easily recognizable Pleiades star cluster.

With dark sky conditions one can expect to observe from five to ten slow but bright yellow meteors per hour at peak.  These meteors plunge through our atmosphere at around 17 miles per second, sometimes producing brilliant fireballs that frequently fragment into multiple meteors.

Occasionally the Earth may experience enhanced activity around the time of Encke’s return to our local neighborhood in space.
 

U.S. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), NOVEMBER 6th  

For the U.S., and only the U.S., DST ends on November 6.  Remember, on August 8, 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  This Act changed the time change dates for Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.  Beginning in 2007, DST begins on the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.  The Secretary of Energy will report the impact of this change to Congress.  Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time schedule once the Department of Energy study is complete.
 

FULL MOON, NOVEMBER 10th  

The Full Beaver Moon occurs on November 10th at 17:28 AST.

This was the time to set beaver traps before the mangroves froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.  Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter; it could also refer to the raccoons in North Akumal.  It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

North Akumal Road Update
   NARC - Russ Motley of Akumal Investments and Rhett Schober of Akumal Villas, has been diligently continuing their superior efforts to make North Akumal a better community for all the owners and visitors there, and it is time to provide an interim photo update on what has been happening there.  Take a look at North Akumal Road Photos and see for yourself.

Turtle Bay Café Open for Dinner
  
Turtle Bay Café is back in business for dinner.  The re-opening was on Wednesday, October`9, as Bart & Jen gear up for high season. 

Lol-Ha To Be Open for Thanksgiving
  
The Lol Ha restaurant will open November 19th and close November 30, so it is open for Thanksgiving, with the traditional Buffet and Flamenco Dancers.  A few other items from the menu will be available, including seafood, steaks, Mexican dishes, and a kids menu.  Reservations are being accepted. Please email laura@hotelakumalcaribe.com .

Then, Lol Ha will open again around December 15th for the duration of high season.

Akumal Arch Closed to Pedestrians
    It remains to be seen, but it has been reported that the road through/under the arch entrance to Akumal will be closed to pedestrians, effective November 1.  This is a SAFETY ISSUE!  It has absolutely nothing to do with trying to prevent people from access to the beach.  How this will be enforced, or what punishment will be inflected on violators remains to be seen.  Time will tell.

            There seems to some conflict here between “Akumal” and the people selling snorkel and fishing tours from the little shack at the end of the parking lot across from ReMax.

 CEA Modifies Access Through Its Property to the Beach
  This seems to go hand-in-hand with the closing of the arch to pedestrian traffic, because CEA is always painted as the “bad guy”.  Anyway, CEA has modified the access to the beach through its property, and apparently it is better, easier, and SAFER to reach this access by walking to the left of the arch and by Richard Mazzola’s Gallery by the stage area.

 TULUM

Hechizo Will Not be Open for Thanksgiving Weekend
 Stefan and Hui have announced that Hechizo will not be opening Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday,) as they have in past years.  Sorry about that.

           Hechizo will re-open for the season, around December 13. 

 PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Sears is Open in Plaza las Americas
  It has been awhile since The Akumalian reported that Sears was planning to open a store in Plaza las Americas, but it has finally happened.  Have not been there yet, but expectations are high.

 Planet Bowl to Open in November
  
The Staff has it from a very good source that Planet Bowl at the Centro Maya Mall in Playa del Carmen is definitely going to open in November, but no specific date has been defined.  It looks like it is ready to go now,

 Is Akumal ready to revive the ABC (Akumal Bowling Consortium)?

 CANCUN and RIVIERA MAYA

Hard Rock Resorts Coming to Riviera Maya

   Hard Rock International has announced that it will be opening the first Hard Rock resorts in Mexico.  They'll be all-inclusives in Cancun (due this winter), Puerto Vallarta (spring 2012) and on the Riviera Maya (fall 2012).

The resorts will be on existing Palace Resorts properties and will be run by Palace, but will be re-branded with Hard Rock touches such as rock memorabilia and live music programs, says Michael Shindler, Hard Rock International executive vice president, hotels & casinos.  Hard Rock Riviera Maya will put together two adjacent Palace Resorts properties, Aventura Cove Palace and Aventura Spa Palace.

Hard Rock, which already opened a resort on a Palace property in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, aims for a "growing presence in Latin America, sparked by the upcoming Hard Rock Panama Megapolis," Hard Rock said in a press release.  All-inclusives are hot now among vacationers, because of their perceived value -- all the booze and food you can handle, plus room, for one price that you know upfront.

Mexico isn't viewed as the safest destination at the moment, "but the key words are 'at the moment,' " says Shindler, and "this, too, shall pass". 
 

AKUMAL COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING, NOV. 11th  

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 11 at 10:00 AM, and it will be held at CEA. 

There is no Agenda per se, but this meeting will provide updates on recent activities with reports on security, public access to the beach, pedestrian traffic through the arch, and a number of other very important topics. 

The Akumal Council’s web site can be found at Akumal Council.

 

AKUMAL TO CHALLENGE JIMMY BUFFET’S RECORD

            The Akumalian stopped doing rumors a long time ago, because too many people believe they were true.  Well, here’s one that could not be passed up, because it just seems so appropriate for Akumal and the Lol Ha Beach Bar.

            Sam, Victor, and Sinhue are planning to challenge Jimmy Buffet’s Guinness World Record for the largest margarita. 

In mid-October, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Casino at the Flamingo casino resort in Las Vegas concocted an 8,500-gallon margarita, and the word from the casino is that the giant margarita contains 2,125 gallons of Margaritaville Gold Tequila, 708 gallons of Margaritaville Triple Sec, 5,667 Gallons Margarita Mix, plus 22,267 limes.  The recipe serves 181,333 12-ounce margaritas.

The Akumal Beach Bar team is reportedly shooting for 8,717-gallons, and a Christmas celebration.

They have their work cut out though, because the mixing of the colossal 8,500-gallon beverage, appropriately named “Lucky Rita,” took six months of planning before its first pour on October 11.  Lucky Rita took an estimated 300 work hours to mix the concoction.

            Needless to say, the Beach Bar team has a number of logisticalproblems to work out, least of all, who is going to drink it all.  Here are some of the issues “under control”:

  • Boxito is prepared to provide a 33,000-liter (8,717-gallon) tanico
  • Each of the waiters are bringing 10 limes to work every day
  • Because it is Akumal, they want to use only Tortuga Tequilla

 

LEONID METEOR SHOWER NOVEMBER 17-18th

The Leonids is one of the better meteor showers to observe, producing an average of 40 meteors per hour at their peak.  The shower itself has a cyclic peak year every 33 years where hundreds of meteors can be seen each hour; the Leonid meteors are debris shed into space by the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which swings through the inner solar system at intervals of 33 years.  The last of these occurred in 2001.  The shower usually peaks on November 17 & 18, but you may see some meteors from November 13 - 20.  Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight.

The meteors will appear to emanate from out of the so-called "Sickle" of Leo, but prospective viewers should not concentrate on that area of the sky around Leo, but rather keep their eyes moving around to different parts of the sky.  Leo does not start coming fully into view until the hours after midnight, so that would be the best time to concentrate on looking for the Leonid meteors.

The predicted outburst, perhaps with rates of 100-500 Leonids per hour, strongly favors Asian observers, who should watch on the morning of November 18.  North American observers should especially try to cover the morning of Tuesday, November 17 in case of unusual activity leading up to this peak.  Just keep radiant elevation in mind wherever you're observing from. The radiant rises between 10pm and midnight for the bulk of the Northern Hemisphere. Leonid activity will be nonexistent before this time, and relatively very low for a couple of hours thereafter. Morning hours tend to produce the best rates, although the few earthgrazing Leonids seen around radiant-rise can be very impressive.

The Leonids are very fast meteors.  The shower is active at a low "background" level for about a week from November 14-21. Quite a few sporadic and minor-shower meteors join the cast, especially in the predawn hours.
 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “RADIATE”?

Because meteor shower particles are all traveling in parallel paths, and at the same velocity, they will all appear to an observer below to radiate away from a single point in the sky.  This radiant point is caused by the effect of perspective, similar to railroad tracks converging at a single vanishing point on the horizon when viewed from the middle of the tracks. 

Meteor showers are almost always named after the constellation from which the meteors appear to originate.  This "fixed point" slowly moves across the sky during the night due to the Earth turning on its axis, the same reason the stars appear to slowly march across the sky.  The radiant also moves slightly from night to night against the background stars (radiant drift) due to the Earth moving in its orbit around the sun.

Meteor showers are named after the nearest bright star with a Greek or Roman letter assigned that is close to the radiant position at the peak of the shower, whereby the declension of the Latin possessive form is replaced by "id" or "ids".  Hence, meteors radiating from near the star delta Aquarii (declension "-i") are called delta Aquariids.  The International Astronomical Union's Task Group on Meteor Shower Nomenclature and the IAU's Meteor Data Center keep track of meteor shower nomenclature and which showers are established. 
 

MEXICAN REVOLUTION DAY, NOVEMBER 20th

November 20: Mexican Revolution Day.  This official Mexican holiday commemorates the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and it will be celebrated Monday, November 15, 2010.

This year is the 101st anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

The Mexican Revolution was brought on by, among other factors, tremendous disagreement among the Mexican people over the dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz, who, all told, stayed in office for thirty one years.  During that span, power was concentrated in the hands of a select few; the people had no power to express their opinions or select their public officials.  Wealth was likewise concentrated in the hands of the few, and injustice was everywhere, in the cities and the countryside alike.

Early in the 20th Century, a new generation of young leaders arose who wanted to  participate in the political life of their country, but they were denied the opportunity by the officials who were already entrenched in power and who were not about to give it up.  This group of young leaders believed that they could assume their proper role in Mexican politics once President Diaz announced publicly that Mexico was ready for democracy.  Although the Mexican Constitution called for public election and other institutions of democracy, Diaz and his supporters used their political and economic resources to stay in power indefinitely.

Francisco I. Madero was one of the strongest believers that President Diaz should renounce his power and not seek re-election.  Together with other young reformers, Madero created the ''Anti-reeleccionista'' Party, which he represented in subsequent presidential elections.  Between elections, Madero traveled throughout the country, campaigning for his ideas.

Francisco I. Madero was a firm supporter of democracy and of making government subject to the strict limits of the law, and the success of Madero's movement made him a threat in the eyes of President Diaz.  Shortly before the elections of 1910, Madero was apprehended in Monterrey and imprisoned in San Luis Potosi.  Learning of Diaz's re-election, Madero fled to the United States in October of 1910.  In exile, he issued the ''Plan of San Luis,'' a manifesto which declared that the elections had been a fraud and that he would not recognize Porfirio Diaz as the legitimate President of the Republic.

Instead, Madero made the daring move of declaring himself President Pro-Temp until new elections could be held.  Madero promised to return all land which had been confiscated from the peasants, and he called for universal voting rights and for a limit of one term for the president.  Madero's call for an uprising on November 20th, 1910, marked the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.

On November 14th, in Cuchillo Parado in the state of Chihuahua, Toribio Ortega and a small group of followers took up arms.  On the 18th in Puebla, Diaz's authorities uncovered preparations for an uprising in the home of the brothers Maximo and Aquiles Serdan, who where made to pay with their lives.  Back in Chihuahua, Madero was able to persuade Pascual Orozco and Francisco Villa to join the revolution.  Though they had no military experience, Orozco and Villa proved to be excellent strategists, and they earned the allegiance of the people of northern Mexico, who were particularly unhappy about the abusive ranchers and landlords who ran the North.

In March of 1911, Emiliano Zapata led the uprising of the peasants ofMorelos to claim their rights over local land and water.  At the same time, armed revolt began in many other parts of the country.  The "Maderista" troops, and the national anger which inspired them, defeated the army of Diaz within six months.  The decisive victory of the Mexican Revolution was the capture of Ciudad Juarez, just across the river from El Paso, by Orozco and Villa.  Porfirio Diaz then resigned as President and fled to exile in France, where he died in 1915.

With the collapse of the Diaz regime, the Mexican Congress elected Francisco Leon De La Barra as President Pro-Temp and called for national popular elections, which resulted in the victory of Francisco I. Madero as President and Jose Maria Pino Suarez as Vice-President.
 

REOPENING OF AK-NAK GALERIA, NOVEMBER 23rd     

   Richard & Cami Mazzola announce the GRAND REOPENING of Ak-Nah Galeria on Wednesday, November 23, at 7:00 pm -10:00 pm with wine.  This is in conjunction with "Las Tortugas Bailando" (Fred & Lydia's new shop) adjacent to Ak-Nah Galeria, and the show will feature various artists and jewelry, and art from Bali.
 

THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 24th

History
The Pilgrims who sailed to America were originally members of the English Separatist Church.  Before going to America they had fled to Holland to escape religious persecution.  Although, in Holland, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disillusioned with the Dutch way of life.  In the hope of a better life in, they took the help of a London stock company to move out to America.  Most of those making this trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists.  Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.

They reached Plymouth in 1620.  There, they had to face a terriblewinter.  Around 46 of the original 102 had died by the next fall.  But fortune turned in their favor and the harvest of the next year was bumper.  And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year.  It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives.  The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "thanksgiving" observance.  It lasted three days.  Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese.  It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast.  However, it is certain that they had venison.  The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.

Another modern staple at almost every Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie.  But it is unlikely that the first feast included that treat.  The supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries of any kind.  However, they did eat boiled pumpkin, and they produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop.  There was also no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter.  There was no domestic cattle for dairy products, and the newly-discovered potato was still considered by many Europeans to be poisonous.  But the feast did include fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums.  This "thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year.  But in 1623, during a severe drought, the pilgrims gathered in a prayer service, praying for rain.  When a long, steady rain followed the very next day, Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, again inviting their Indian friends.  It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established.  By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving.  It is notable that this thanksgiving celebration probably did not include the Indians, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the colonists' recent victory over the "heathen natives".  October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration.  It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga.  But it was a one-time affair.

George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it.  There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday.  And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving.  It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving.  Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine, and later, in Godey's Lady's Book.  Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln.  The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season.  Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later.  And in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.

  

THE RIVIERA MAYA 2011 JAZZ FESTIVAL, NOV. 24 - 26

Now in its 9th season, this event will take place from the 24th to 26th of November 2011.  The musical celebration, which over the years has succeeded in capturing the hearts of music lovers far and wide, arrives renewed with incredible artists, ready to take Playa del Carmen by storm.

The Jazz Festival has become the great musical event of the destination, and overall it has become a great attraction in the Riviera Maya. This is part of the commitment to offering an unforgettable experience for our visitors, providing the opportunity to enjoy 3 days of not only the best activities, but also excellent music to delight the ears of everyone around.

Thursday the 24th of November
  
The festival begins on Thursday the 24th of November with Natalia Lafourcade, a bold, talented and irreverent artist who has managed to defend her musical insolence in order to compose melodies that are at once honest and inventive. Winner of MTV awards and nominated for the Latin Grammies, Big Band Jazz of Mexico’s invitation to her to play a concert with them lead her to form her own jazz band, with whom she performed a season of shows in Mexico City.  The freshness and energy of Natalia Lafourcade promises to be a great start to the festival. 

The evening will continue with keyboardist and composer from Philadelphia, Jeff Lorber, an excellent example of jazz fusion- a mixture of traditional jazz with rhythms and elements of rock, R&B, funk and electronic sounds.

The first night concludes with R&B, rock and jazz great Randy Brecker. A trumpet player from Philadelphia, he is known for accompanying big artists such as James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan and Frank Zappa.

Friday the 25th of November
  
The second day starts with a veil of nostalgia and memories that will invade the now traditional setting of Playa Mamitas; Enrique and Fernando Toussaint, along with Enrique Pat, will pay homage to the work of one of the best musicians and composers of jazz and music in Mexico: Eugenio Toussaint.

The night continues with a performance by Jon Anderson, vocalist for the legendary progressive rock band Yes.  In the summer of 1968, Anderson joined a group called Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, also made up of bassist Chris Squire and guitarist Peter Banks.

Stanley Clarke, music legend and Grammy winner for the Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2011, will close the second night, which promises to be a very special evening. Artist, performer, composer, director, producer and composer of music for film; he is one of the most celebrated bass players in the world, with a career that spans over 36 years.

Saturday November 26th
The last night of the 9th edition of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, begins with Alex Otaola, a well-known musician who has been part of Mexican groups such as Santa Sabina, la Barranca and San Pascualito Rey.

Otaola, during his 15-year professional career, has performed in the principal venues and festivals in the country, as well as in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toulouse, Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Richard Bona will then perform, a musician who promotes his concept of universal music: generous and accessible to all. Born in the small town of Minta, Cameroon, Bona finds in his instruments the fluidity necessary to give way to his organic compositions. What makes this instrumentalist especially unique is that he draws inspiration from distinct places and styles including Africa, jazz and fusion.

The incomparable rhythms of the Yellowjackets will close out the 9th edition of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. In 1981 they launched their first studio recordings and since then they have been constantly active, recording more than 20 albums and touring many corners of the world.  Today, they celebrate more than 30 years together as a fusion jazz group.

Aficionados of Jazz as well as lovers of music in general will be given the opportunity to experience these masters playing beneath the stars on the beautiful beach of Playa del Carmen, Playa Mamitas, with the waves of the Caribbean Sea providing the perfect acoustics as they break on the sand.
 

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, NOVEMBER 27

Advent is a spiritual season of preparation before Christmas celebrated by many Christians.  In Western Christianity, the season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24.

Many Christians in the United States attend a church service on the first Sunday of Advent and may engage in activities such as special prayers and contributing to ideas on enhancing peace.  Many Advent traditions are observed in the United States in the prelude to Christmas Day.  For example, the Advent wreath is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.  The wreath can be seen in various churches across the nation around this time of the year.

It is uncertain as to when exactly the celebration of Advent was first introduced in the Christian church. Some sources say that Advent began on November 11 (St Martin's Day) at some time in the fifth century in the form of a six-week fast leading to Christmas.  Advent was reduced to its current length at some stage in the sixth century and the fasting was later no longer observed.  Advent is originally a time to reflect and prepare for Christmas similarly to how Lent is in preparation for Easter.  Advent has sometimes been referred to as the Winter Lent.  In recent times the restrictions that Advent brings to Christians have become more relaxed.

Advent traditions spread from Europe to the United States, especially the Advent calendar, which became very popular in the United States after World War II as American military personnel and their families who were stationed in Germany brought them home and made them a part of the pre-Christmas traditions.  Some people credit President Dwight Eisenhower with helping the tradition of the Advent calendar spread in the United States during the 1950s.

Advent calendars of all designs are also given as gifts at this time of the year.  The calendars feature openings in the form of windows or doors that are numbered to count the days to Christmas. Calendars may contain chocolates, toys, or candy and are given to children as a fun way to observe the Christmas countdown.  Some traditional Advent calendars show 24 days but many Advent calendars showing 25 days, with the last opening on Christmas Day.
 

EVENTS

Just the usual Robin’s Best Shirt Award.  And there was the remote Best Shirt Award in Austin, Texas.

 Then again, there are "The Uxbridge Birthdays" and while listed under Trips, there is The Staff's "Feasibility Study of Publishing The Akumalian from Cape Cod."

There was the Stand Up Comedy at La Buena Vida on Friday, October 28, and a couple of early reviews were unanimous: "Not funny."  There was a Halloween Party on Saturday, October 29, also at La Buena Vida.  The Staff was unable to make either event.

 

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