The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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March 2013  Issue 123

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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 ( ) and enter your e-mail address yourself.

 Do not forget the other local publications, Sac-Be - The Costal Source for Travel in the Riviera Maya, the Pelican Free Press, and the CEA Newsletter



Pisces:  February 19 - March 20

Aries March 21-April 19

 March Birthstone:  Aquamarine
This lovely blue-green crystal is a semi-precious stone and looks terrific wrapped up in silver wire, set in a ring or pendant, or loose in a special display. This March birthstone is big enough to make a display by itself.  Aquamarine is mined primarily in Brazil, Nigeria and Zambia.

 March Flower:  Jonquil
   A daffodil is also known as a jonquil or narcissus.  It is a symbol of rebirth - a sign of spring.  It is the flower for March, because that is when the spring equinox begins.


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)
1          Alma Boada (CEA)
2          Betty Simpson
3          Demetrio
3          Nan Armstrong
5          Bart Smith
5          Bob Doebert
7          Greg & Karen Goudy Anniversary
8          Steve Clouther
8          Rick Tompkins
8          McKinlee Anne DePaola
8          Tony Gonzalez
8          Jana Boettger
12        Paige Clements
12        CeCi Chiosso
13        Lydia Pontius
13        Karen Goudy
13        Lynn Chase
14        Patricia Murray
15        Kevin Fredette                       
19        Sharon Fredette 
22        Sherwood Anders 
23        Kelly Flynn
24        Rhett Schober
25        Rocio Cue Romero
26        Tom & Judy Baxter Anniversary
27        Lois Radlinsky
27        Christian Li Schober Thai
28        Marisol & Carlos Danu’s baby girl, Marisol
29        David Wolfe
31        Lance Schober
31        Aileen Andreatta

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

 Missed February Birthdays

18        Marie Baxter 


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. 

 Larry Kantor won the contest for February, and those photos are at February Best Shirt.



As 2013 begins, there are two comets to get excited about.  One is Comet PANSTARRS, which will be brightest in March 2013.  The other is Comet ISON, which might become a daylight comet in late 2013.  Although a comet’s movement in our sky can be predicted, its brightness cannot be. It’s too early to know whether Comet PANSTARRS or Comet ISON – the two exciting comets of 2013 – will dazzle or fizzle.  But these two are worth watching!

The Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) telescope in Hawaii discovered this comet in June 2011. Since comets carry the names of their discoverers, it has been designated C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS). Only the largest telescopes on Earth could glimpse Comet PANSTARRS when it was first discovered, but amateurs telescopes began to pick it up by May 2012. By October 2012, its surrounding coma was seen to be large and fine at an estimated 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) wide. In March 2013, by some estimates, this comet should get as bright as Venus, but do remember that comets are notoriously difficult to predict. As comet-hunter David Levy once famously said:

 Comets are like cats; they have tails, and they do precisely what they want.

 March 5, 2013. Comet PANSTARRS passes closest to Earth at 1.10 Astronomical Units, (AU).  One AU equals one Earth-sun distance, about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. In other words, this comet will pass slightly farther from us than our distance from the sun. No worries about it hitting us.

 March 10. The comet passes closest to the sun – as close as our sun’s innermost planet, Mercury – at 0.30 AU – or about 28 million miles (45 million kilometers). Comets are typically brightest and most active around the time they are closest to the sun when solar heating vaporizes ice and dust from the comet’s outer crust. Not only will the comet quickly brighten, but it should also develop the long classic comet dust tail.

 Throughout March 2013. The comet should be visible in the Northern Hemisphere evening sky low in the west after sunset. It will higher each night during March 2013 as it moves from being in front of the constellation Pisces to being in front of the constellations Pegasus and Andromeda. At this time, the comet should have its bright dust tail, and be visible to the unaided eye. It should, at least, if it lives up to expectations.

 April 2013. No matter how bright it gets in March, the comet will surely fade as April arrives, as it moves away from the sun and back out into the depths of space. But it will be located far to the north on the sky’s dome and will be circumpolar for northerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. That means it might be visible somewhere in the northern sky throughout the night for northern observers. What’s more, the comet will be near in the sky to another beautiful and fuzzy object in our night sky, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the nearest large spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. If the comet truly is bright then, and if it still has a substantial tail, it’ll be an awesome photo opportunity! 


In the United States Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March, the 10th.  On the first Sunday in November, the 3rd, 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:

In the 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 31st, and ends the last Sunday in October.  In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.  This year it’s March 31 to October 27.



In most of Mexico, daylight saving time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April.  On the last Sunday in October, areas on daylight saving time fall back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. local time.  Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth.  The state of Sonora does not observe daylight saving time.  During daylight saving time turn your clocks ahead one hour.  At the end of daylight saving time turn your clocks back one hour.

NEW!  In 2010, ten Mexico municipalities that share a border with the United States will begin daylight saving time three weeks earlier on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.  Previously all of Mexico, with the exception of the state of Sonora which does not observe daylight saving time, began and ended daylight saving time at the same time.  The Congress of Mexico passed legislation in December 2009 which allowed these ten border cities to adopt a daylight saving time pattern consistent with the United States.

This change in daylight saving time observance was requested by local governments and political leaders to help facilitate commerce with the United States.  Industries such as transportation and banking were especially affected by the differences in daylight saving time.  In some cases, businesses had to open an hour early than usual to conduct business with US companies during the 3 weeks in March when the two countries were on different times.



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, 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."


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.




  • Sam & Sharon Gobi were back in Playa Caribe.
  • Jim & Jackie Power were back in Jade Bay.
  • Jock &Joyce Horner, among others, were visiting the Mahans at Solymar.
  • Lucy James was back with her friend, Jim.
  • Tony & Judy James were here too.
  • Mike & Debbie Jones were here to close on their property.
  • Tom & Barbra Miller were back for Groundhog Day.
  • Dave Bliss and a friend were to check on the Vodka farm.
  • Rod & Joyce Flake pooped in for a short visit.
  • Larry & Heidi Nurse were at the CEA Gala.
  • Myrna Sparks was also at the CEA Gala with a friend.
  • Linda Mulgrew is in town with some neighbors.
  • Paul & Gayle Rasmussen are also back in town.



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.



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.

The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.  This happens either on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.  On any other day of the year, the Earth's axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun.  But on the two equinoxes, the Earth's axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun, like the illustration shows.

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.  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.

One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations was the Mayan sacrificial ritual by the main pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico.  The main pyramid – also known as El Castillo – has four staircases running from the top to the bottom of the pyramid's faces, notorious for the bloody human sacrifices that used to take place here.  The staircases are built at a carefully calculated angle which makes it look like an enormous snake of sunlight slithers down the stairs at the precise moment of the equinox.



The Akumal Dive Shop Is Awarded With Excellence
The Akumal Dive Shop underwent many changes at all levels (directive, administrative and operational) to meet the program's criteria making processes more efficient and create new improved working protocols.  Thanks to all this hard work and to all the staff that got well adapted to the changes, The Akumal Dive Shop got awarded the Distinction with Excellence!

MODERNIZA, is a management system that improves the quality of services offered by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the tourism sector.  The program is derived from an interagency strategy implemented by the Secretariat of Economy (SE) and the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) to boost tourism MSMEs.


            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.


The Full Worm Moon is on Wednesday, March 27, at 03:28AST.

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.  


In Akumal, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April (the 7th ).  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.

Most of the country uses Central Standard Time.


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 3.

Rocio & Mark’s Wedding on February 9

CEA Silent Auction on February 20.

CEA Gala Dinner on February 27

Ak- Nah Galeria Art Show on February 28


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