Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
March 2012 Issue 111
LETTER FROM THE STAFF
Thank goodness February is over!! It was one very busy and hectic month, as seen by the number of “Events” we had in Akumal, and these are only the ones The Staff was able to cover. Scroll down to “Events” on last page.
With, Easter, 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”.
We have said this many times, and yet it needs to be repeated over and over again. If you receive a message about being ‘deleted’, it is not necessary to send an e-mail about being re-instated. You can go to the SUBSCRIBE box on the top left hand corner of The Akumalian home page (www.theakumalian.com ) and enter your e-mail address yourself.
IMPORTANT MARCH FACTS
Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Aries March 21-April 19
There now are five (5) 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 five.
Birthdays and Anniversaries ¡Feliz cumpleanos!
1 Jorge Vera (CEA)
There must be more than this. Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.
DOUG CHRISTENSEN IS GONE
Thanks to Linda Mulgrew for providing this information and bio.
Doug Christensen, 87, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Ketchum, Idaho, early Wednesday morning, Jan. 25, 2012, of congestive heart failure. Born Nov. 4, 1924, in San Francisco, Doug was the son of Raymond and Louise Christensen. He loved his birth city and attended Aptos Junior High and Lowell High School until his parents moved the family south to Redwood City to provide his younger brother, Ray, with a sunnier environment. Doug graduated from Sequoia Union High School in 1942 and attended San Jose State until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943.
After his honorable discharge in 1946, he helped his parents build their dream house and loved the creativity of building, which became his lifelong career. He moved to Marin County, Calif., in 1949, where he learned the construction business on the job as a journeyman carpenter and foreman. Doug established D. M. Christensen Construction Co. in 1955 and was known for his well-built single-family homes and later condominiums and commercial buildings. He retired from construction in 1981, but remained active as a builder on family projects and as a commercial real estate investor until his death.
On June 11, 1960, Doug and Ann Churchill Lindenberger of Louisville, Ken., were married. They made their home in Kentfield, Calif., with their daughters, Eloise McLean Christensen and Aimée Russell Christensen. Doug's children from his first marriage, Shelley Anne Christensen, Robin Louise Christensen and Colin Lea Christensen, were always an important part of his life and gave him five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
In 1983 the family moved to Sun Valley in central Idaho which had captured their hearts while leading a Sierra Club trip into the White Cloud mountains in 1977. Doug immediately became active in the Idaho Conservation League, serving as board secretary. He was a founding member of Idaho Rivers United and served as board president of the Wolf Education and Research Center for many years. He worked tirelessly for Idaho's salmon, wolves and wildlands.
In addition to Idaho, Doug also fell in love with Mexico, first diving in the Mexican Caribbean in the 1960s with Ann, and eventually building Casa Christensen on his beloved Yalku Lagoon in Akumal. He spent as much time as possible swimming and sunning there and fighting to protect this incredibly special place and the turtles and sea life from overdevelopment, pollution and illegal fishing.
Doug's dedication was recognized in the form of a number of awards to him and Ann, including the Light on the Mountains Humanitarian Award, the Idaho Conservation League's Keith and Pat Axline Award, The Fund for Idaho Nel Tobias Award and Idaho Rivers United's Legacy Award.
skiing, enjoying the ocean and the wilderness, Mexico, helping those without
voices, taking long runs on Mount Tamalpais with his buddy Allen Kreuzberger,
spending time with his family, listening to music, reading The New Yorker
and fighting injustice.
US PLATED VEHICLES MEETING, FEBRUARY 7th
Please be advised that this is only The Akumalian’s interpretation of what was heard at this meeting, and it should not be taken as Gospel, Torah, or Koran.
On February 7th, there was a meeting in Puerto Aventuras concerning the importation and registration of foreign-plated vehicles. Speakers included Samantha Mason, the US Consular Agent in Playa del Carmen, and Lic. Aurea Ma. Munoz Beristain, Mexican Customs Official.
Samantha Mason gave a PowerPoint presentation about what she can and cannot do. It seemed as if there is more that she cannot do than what she can do, which seems to be more geared towards tourists and the very basic assistance.
Then Lic. Aurea Ma. Munoz Beristain spoke – in Spanish with Samantha providing a translation – about the rules and regulations regarding the importation and registration on a wide range of vehicles, including cars, motor homes, motorcycles, and boats. There was a lot of information here, but only a few key take-aways are presented here.
· For cars, the temporary import permit is valid – as per Aduana Article 106 – as long as your Visa (FM2, FM3, or FMM) is valid.
· An important aspect of this is that the Visa has to have had a continuous life since the vehicle was imported. Do not let your FM2 / FM3 expire.
· The FMM is a limited (tourist) Visa, and the vehicle is only valid as long as the importing FMM is valid. If you fly out and return with a new FMM, the car is now illegal.
· Only the FM2 Immigranta Rentista allows a foreign-plated vehicle!
· As long as the Visa is valid, you do not have to drive to Chetumal to get a new sticker every year.
· The police cannot (or at least should not) confiscate your vehicle as long as the visa is valid, even though the import sticker has expired.
Samantha Mason would not make the slides from both presentations available, because, “Things are changing every hour. Check the web site for the latest information.”
Check the law itself at www.aduanas.gob.mx or call the agency from Mexico at 001-800-463-6728 or, from the U.S. or Canada, 1-877-448-8728. The agency has English-speaking information agents.
session concluded, Solomon Freimuth, a law student and consultant with
Calderon & Asociados, spoke about the new, pending changes to the law
regarding immigration categories and permits. There was no concrete
information here: “The laws are changing every day, and things probably will
not be in place for another year.”
AKUMAL COUNCIL INFORMAL MEETING, FEB. 15th
There was an informal meeting of the Akumal Council at CEA on Wednesday, February 15th, and the main agenda item was: 2012-2013 Fiscal Changes.
The Staff thought that the Akumal Council was going to issue Minutes, or at least its interpretation of what transpired during this meeting. Since that has not happened, The Staff has summarized its notes and observations into the following bullet-format. Like the notes on the Foreign-Plate Vehicles, Please be advised that this is only The Akumalian’s interpretation of what was heard at this meeting, and it should not be taken as Gospel, Torah, or Koran.
· Paul Sanchez-Navarro spoke about CEA’s efforts about having Akumal identified/classified as a Turtle Refuge & Maritime Preservation. He had a petition that should be signed by as many individual houses and condos as possible.
· Leticia Cőrdova then spoke about the needs of the Biblioteca “Frida Khalo”, and this includes remodeling of the building, furniture, and day-to-day operations, to the tune of about $224,355 pesos. There was a handout which also spoke about a number of activities and workshops for evaluation for scholarships from the Pablo Bush Romero grants.
Then David Poor introduced a man from the Tulum Municipality
to speak about the Municipality and Akumal, with most of it being directed
towards “Regularization”. He initially spoke in Spanish, with Paul
translating, but he then switched over to speaking English, which was quite
good, albeit soft.
North Akumal Vecinos
· They are going through the process to be a legal entity to turn over to the Municipality. Things (road, water, etc.) need to meet up-to-date specs.
· Audience comment: “They will never meet spec.”
Council cannot just wither on the vine and die. While it is ‘alive’ it
still incurs fees that have to be paid. The official entity needs to be
officially dissolved to be taken off the books, and the BOD is asking each
and every home/condo owner to pony-up $100US to help cover the associated
David Poor, Secretary.
ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, MARCH 2nd
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.
Judy James won the contest for February, and those photos are at February Best Shirt.
HST Fly-over, MARCH 5th
This one is
for you early birds. The HST (Hubble Space Telescope) is flying
directly over Akumal on Monday, March 5th. It will be flying in a WNW
- ESE direction, and it will be directly overhead at exactly
FULL MOON, MARCH 8th
The Full Worm Moon is on Friday, March 8, at 03:39AST.
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.
also be the largest full moon of the year, because it will be
near perigee, its closest point to the Earth. So, get out the beach chair
and sit by the Caribbean shore to watch this moon rise out of the sea at
6:27pm. It could/should be spectacular!!
SILENT AUCTION & RAFFLE, MARCH 9th
March 9th, there is going to be a Silent Auction & Raffle at the
Lol Ha Beach Bar from 5:30 – 7:00. Paintings by Oscar Romero and Gőrant
Hellekant, as well as handcrafts from Indonesia and Panama, will be
featured. Proceeds are for the Hekab Be Biblioteca de Akumal.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), MARCH 11th
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 was first advocated seriously by London builder William Willett(1857-1915. 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. In his pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907), Willett proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. In his pamphlet he wrote, "Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used. When questioned as to why he didn't simply get up an hour earlier, Willett replied with typical British humor, "What?"
It was common practice in the ancient world, and Benjamin Franklin resurrected the idea in a light-hearted 1784 satire. Although Franklin's facetious suggestion was simply that people should get up earlier in summer, he is often erroneously attributed as the inventor of DST while Willett is often ignored. Modern DST was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, although many publications incorrectly credit Willett.
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 25th,
and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at
the same moment. This year it’s March 25 to October 28.
DST IN MEXICO IS DIFFERENT! – April 1st
In Akumal, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April (the 1st ). On the last Sunday in October (the 30TH ), 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. He realized 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"
In Carl 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
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
COMINGS AND GOINGS
If you think the brain is getting rusty, or you want to expand you knowledge base, go to
Merriam Webster web site and take some of the quizzes (Name That Thing
and True Or False) on the right hand side of the page. You will find games
there too, including the L.A. Times Daily Crossword Puzzle.
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
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 5:31 AST.
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 daylength 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 of the Sun 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 solstices.
WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?
The Secret Journal of Dr.
Go to the FaceBook web site at http://www.facebook.com/#!/thesecretjournalofdrwatson and let Phil know you like this. You can pre-order at http://mxpublishing.com/product/9781780921327/The+Secret+Journal+of+Dr+Watson
Phil reports, “I'm headed to London on March 9 to participate in a BBC internationally linked debate dubbed as ‘The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate’. It's the BBC Holmes vs. the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey, Jr. Homes. I'm on the traditionalist side, for Basil Rathbone.”
Hekab Be Library Welcomes New DirectorThe Hekab Be Library has a new director, Mariana Galindo Lando, who comes from the state of Veracruz. Mariana has lived in Akumal six years, and prior to The Hekab Be Library, she was a teacher in Tulúm’s Instituto Vittorio Monteverdi. Mariana has a B.A. in primary education and is a certified elementary teacher. She has worked as a teacher at various schools in Veracruz and in the Riviera Maya.
Mariana understands English, but she only speaks a little, and she is working to improve it. When in the neighborhood, stop in and meet Mariana.
The North Akumal / Lagoon RotaryWork continues on the North Akumal road, and the rotary outside the entrance to Yal-Kul is now completed. It is kinda tight there, but it is in place.
Work on other sections of the road continues, as seen in these photos. The middle one is what used to be the parking area across the street from Las Sirenas. This land was ‘taken’ by the Municipality as the park.
The last photo is of the section just past Ondarte, going towards the Lagoon.
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
Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” on the 3rd had lots of company this month with regards to “Events.” Check out the Photo Galleries for the other Events, which include:
Groundhog Day on February 2.
Super Bowl Party on February 5.
St Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, February 14. (Missed this one)
Solymar Song Fest on February 18.
CEA Silent Auction on February 22. (Missed this one too.)
McElhattens at Beach Bar on February 24
ONDARTE Exhibition and Reception on February 24
Bobby Sapia 40th Birthday Party on February 25 (Missed this one too.)
Oscar Night on February 26.
CEA Gala Dinner on February 29