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November 2013  Issue 131

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index   2012 Index   2013 Index

MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

The Staff knows it is too late to remind you, but did you remember to turn your Akumal clock back one hour on Sunday, October 27th?  We didn’t.

October was a fairly quiet month in Akumal, with Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” being the big highlight

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 hurricane season is slowly winding down.  Will house buyers follow?

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, hold onto your hat, because the first week of November is chock full of good “stuff”.

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
  

CONGRATULATIONS, BOSTON RED SOX

 

 

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
1          Allyson Sheffield
2          Marilyn Fenton
3          Paul Sanchez Navarro
4          John Rounds
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, Anniversary
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 September Anniversary

 September 8    Alan & Meg Cowley, Anniversary
 

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAN & DAVE 

On Thursday, October 24th, Dan Freeman and Dave Zucker were married in Wilmington, Delaware at the office of the Clerk of the Peace.  A reception followed at the Hotel Dupont, where a very good time was had by all the attending guests.

Just to have more excitement in the week, Dan had a stent is placed in an artery by the heart as part of a procedure called angioplasty on Tuesday, and after an overnight stay, he was ready to go. Dan reports, “I am good for another 100,000 miles.”
 

Quietest Season for Atlantic Hurricanes Since 1982

Invest 97-L close to becoming Tropical Storm Karen as it moves into the Gulf.

 This is the quietest season for Atlantic hurricanes since 1982, but we still have a month to go.   What happened to the hurricane season?

 The predictions back in the spring were quite ominous, with all of them calling for an above-average number of hurricanes: The forecasting team from Colorado State University predicted nine hurricanes would develop, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said there would be seven to 11 hurricanes.  Both the Weather Channel and AccuWeather also predicted unusually active seasons.

Yet, as of late October, with only a few more weeks left in a season that ends Nov. 30, just two hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic Ocean, the fewest since 1982, according to data from the National Hurricane Center.  And, for the first time since 1994, there have been no "major" hurricanes (Category 3 or above) anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's the biggest seasonal forecast bust we've ever had," said Colorado State meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, part of the team of forecasters that first started issuing seasonal hurricane predictions in the early 1980s. "It's a huge surprise, since all of the forecasts were calling for an active season."

And while the number of named tropical storms and hurricanes — 12 — is about average, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes is well below average.  A typical season sees about six hurricanes, of which three are major.

So what happened?  The top reasons include an increased amount of dry, dusty air from the Sahara Desert as well as "sinking" air over the Atlantic, both of which worked to suppress hurricane activity.

Sinking air — caused by high atmospheric pressure areas that force air down — prevents storms from forming by making the air drier and thus more "stable," which stops thunderstorms (which like more humid air) from developing.

Wind shear — a difference in wind speed and direction at various levels of the atmosphere — also worked to tear apart storms before they could strengthen.

Two areas that were somewhat favorable for development this year were the Bay of Campeche and southwest Gulf of Mexico.  These areas produced Tropical Storm Andrea, which made landfall onto the U.S in early June, along with Tropical Storm Barry, Tropical Storm Fernand, and Hurricane Ingrid — all of which impacted Mexico.  Nobody saw this coming.  Indeed, Mexico has been hard hit by hurricanes this year, as the country has been pelted by storms from the Atlantic and the eastern Pacific.

The long-term drought of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. also continues: It's been eight years since a Category 3 or stronger hurricane has made landfall on U.S. shores, according to the hurricane center.  The last was Hurricane Wilma, which battered Florida in October 2005.

It's too soon to know what the season's final levels of activity will be, but the odds that the season will produce the expected numbers of hurricanes and especially major hurricanes are rapidly decreasing.

Though the worst of the season is likely over, it is possible we see a couple of weak systems come and go over the next couple of weeks over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean.

As of October 31st, models are still toying with the idea of maybe a low pressure system trying to organize in the Caribbean next week, but they're not doing much with it, showing just maybe a bit of a moisture flow up toward the Gulf, Florida, and/or Bahamas. We'll continue to monitor for concrete signs of something more.
 

DAY OF THE DEAD, NOVEMBER 1st & 2nd 

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. 
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT, AWARD NOV. 1st   

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 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 Ken Anderson won out over all the other contestants. 

The photos are located at October Best Shirt Award. 
 

WINNER OF “SEND RYAN A POSTCARD CONTEST”   

Remember back on September 21st, when The Akumalian sent out an interim e-mail publicizing the fundraiser for the re-opening of the AKUMAL INTERNATIONAL ARTIST RESIDENCY, the following message was also included.

“Ryan Fredette has started his sophomore year at UMass Dartmouth, and he is celebrating his 20th birthday on the same day, September 27th, as the aforementioned fund raiser at TBC.  So, here’s the deal.  The Akumalian Staff is offering a FREE happy hour drink at the Lol Ha Beach Bar during the November Best Shirt Night on November 1st – which is also All Saint’s Day – to the person who sends the 20th Birthday post card to Ryan at UMass.” 

Well, The Staff is very pleased to announce the winner to be Petra Zimmerman from Germering, Germany.  Petra sent her card from the Oktoberfest.  Unfortunately, Petra cannot collect her prize, so The Staff is considering a home-delivery the next time it is in Germany.
 

AKUMAL COMEDY SHOW, NOVEMBER 1st 

Comedy is back at La Buena Vida! It starts at 7:00pm and the fee is 100 pesos at the door.

 La Buena Vida is the birthplace of stand up comedy in the Riviera Maya, and for the 3rd consecutive year, Stand Up! Records will be a part of the legendary La Buena Vida Halloween Weekend. 

There is a stand-up comedy show at La Buena Vida on Nov 1, 2013.  Stand Up! Records, in conjunction with Comedy Below Sea Level, presents Fiesta de la Comedia!  Hilarious comedy headliners Gus Lynch, Al Klemick, and Craig Norton share with you their eclectic view on life, love, and living as an expat in the Riviera Maya.

 Gus Lynch is a producer, nationally touring comedian, and actor with over two dozen feature film and television credits.  He is one of the founders of The Akumal Comedy Festival, and currently makes his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Comedy Below Sea Level's Al Klemick and Craig Norton bringing us their hilarious accounts of life, travels, and expat living in the Riviera Maya.  Craig Norton is one of the founding members of Comedy Below Sea Level, and Craig’s humour is part every day observations, part absurd twist, sometimes leaving the audience perplexed, but always laughing.  Al Klemick, another Comedy Below Sea Level founder, has been doing stand up comedy for fourteen years, sharing the stage with the likes of Louis CK, Doug Stanhope, Jim Brewer, Robert Kline, Adam Ferrara, Rich Vos, Wendy Liebman, and Steven Wright.
 

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, NOVEMBER 3rd  

We might get a small slice of this with the sunrise in Akumal.

 The final eclipse of 2013 is the most interesting eclipseof the year.  It is one of the rare hybrid or annular/total eclipses in which some sections of the path are annular while other parts are total. The duality comes about when the vertex of the Moon's umbral shadow pierces Earth's surface at some locations, but falls short of the planet along other sections of the path. The unusual geometry is due to the curvature of Earth's surface that brings some geographic locations into the umbra while other positions are more distant and enter the antumbral rather than umbral shadow. In most cases, the central path begins annular, changes to total for the middle portion of the track, and reverts back to annular towards the end of the path. However, November 3 eclipse is even more unique because the central path to begins annular and ends total. Because hybrid eclipses occur near the vertex of the Moon's umbral/antumbral shadows, the central path is typically quite narrow.

 The hybrid eclipse of 2013 is visible from within a thin corridor, which traverses the North Atlantic and equatorial Africa. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes eastern North America, northern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Figure 5).

 The path of the Moon's shadow begins in the North Atlantic approximately 1000 km due east of Jacksonville, FL. From the central line, a 4 second annular eclipse is visible at sunrise (11:05 UT). As the shadow races forward, the narrow 4 km wide path rapidly shrinks to zero and the eclipse changes from annular to total. This all transpires within the first 15 seconds of the shadow's trajectory. For the remainder of the track, the eclipse remains total.

 Greatest eclipse occurs in the Atlantic at 12:47:36 UT, approximately 330 kilometres southwest of Liberia. At this instant, the axis of the Moon's shadow passes closest to Earth's centre. The maximum duration of totality is 1 minute 39 seconds, the Sun's altitude is 71°, and the path width is 57 kilometres.
 

U.S. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), NOVEMBER 3rd

For the U.S., and only the U.S., DST ends on November 3.  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.

In 2010, ten Mexico municipalities which share a border with the United States began 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.  
 

TAURIDS METEOR SHOWERS, NOV 4th-5th & 11th-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 4th while the second crossing occurs on or about the 5th; 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.

Late night November 4 until dawn November 5, 2013, the South Taurids
   
The meteoroid streams that feed the South (and North) Taurids are very spread out and diffuse. That means the Taurids are extremely long-lasting (September 25 to November 25) but usually don’t offer more than about 7 meteors per hour. That is true even on the South Taurids’ expected peak night. The Taurids are, however, well known for having a high percentage of fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors. Plus, the other Taurid shower – the North Taurids – always adds a few more meteors to the mix during the South Taurids’ peak night. In 2013, the thin waxing crescent moon will set at early evening on November 4, leaving dark skies for the peak night of the South Taurid meteor shower. The South Taurids should produce their greatest number of meteors in the wee hours – between midnight and dawn – on November 5. Remember, even a single bright meteor can make your night!

 Late night November 11 until dawn November 12, 2013, the North Taurids 
   
Like the South Taurids, the North Taurids meteor shower is long-lasting (October 12 – December 2) but modest, and the peak number is forecast at about 7 meteors per hour. The North and South Taurids combine, however, to provide a nice sprinkling of meteors throughout October and November. Typically, you see the maximum numbers at around midnight, when Taurus the Bull is highest in the sky. Taurid meteors tend to be slow-moving, but sometimes very bright. In 2013, a bright waxing gibbous moon will bleach out all but the brighter meteors during the evening and wee morning hours. But the moon will set after midnight, providing lots of predawn darkness for watching the North Taurids on the morning of November 12.
 

THE MELBOURNE CUP, NOVEMBER 5th

The $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup is a truly spectacular event and the focal point of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.  2013 will see the incredible 153rd 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.  Crafted by Hardy Brothers Jewelers, the 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy is valued at $175,000 and is created from 2,340 grams of solid 18ct gold which takes more than 250 man hours to produce.

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 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.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Comings:
·      
Steve & Ingrid Clouther returned from their three week visit to the northeast.
·      
Dan & Dave have returned from their wedding trip.
·      
Geore & Josie Pritchard were here for the October Best Shirt.
·      
Mike & Debbie Popler were here for the same event.
·      
Andrew & Lisa Leigh were seen there too.
·      
Allison Keegan And Dan Reece were other attendees at the Best Shirt event.
·      
Paul & Marjorie were also back in October.
·      
Dan Smith & Roz Quintero were also spotted at the Best Shirt event.
·      
David Richards was in South Akumal for 4 days at the end of October.
·      
Russ Motley’s nephew, Alex, and girlfriend, Amber, visited for 11 days.
·      
Karl & Dawn Shubert arrive on the 17th and will be here for a month.
*    Terry & Lisa Turner are in South Akumal
*     Michael Schwartz was reportedly seen on the beach.

 Goings:
  
Jamie & Yolanda have returned to Arkansas to get the furniture for their new house along the Bahia Principe golf course.
 

MAYAKOBA PGA TOUR EVENT, NOV 11-17

The OHL Classic at Mayakoba, México’s only PGA TOUR event, will feature 132 professional golfers participating in four rounds of stroke play competition, from November 11 - 17, 2013, at the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleón Golf Club in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

The OHL Classic at Mayakoba made golf history in 2007 when it became the first PGA TOUR event to ever be contested outside of the United States and Canada.  Today, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, remains México’s only PGA TOUR event and is regarded as one of the finest on the PGA TOUR by professionals and spectators, alike.

Previously played in February, opposite the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play, this year the tournament moves to a new fall date in the expanded FedExCup schedule.  With a purse of $6 million dollars, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba boasts the largest amount of prize money of any golf tournament in Latin America and is the only event in the Latin American region that offers to its champion, an invitation to the Masters. 
 

LEONID METEOR SHOWER NOV 16th - 17th

Late night November 16 until dawn November 17, 2013, the Leonids appear overhead in the night sky.
 

Radiating from the constellation Leo the Lion, the famous Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history – at least one in living memory, 1966 – with rates as high as thousands of meteors per minute during a span of 15 minutes on the morning of November 17, 1966. Indeed, on that beautiful night in 1966, the meteors did, briefly, fall like rain. Some who witnessed the 1966 Leonid meteor storm said they felt as if they needed to grip the ground, so strong was the impression of Earth plowing along through space, fording the meteoroid stream. The meteors, after all, were all streaming from a single point in the sky – the radiant point – in this case in the constellation Leo the Lion. Leonid meteor storms sometimes recur in cycles of 33 to 34 years, but the Leonids around the turn of the century – while wonderful for many observers – did not match the shower of 1966. And, in most years, the Lion whimpers rather than roars, producing a maximum of perhaps 10-15 meteors per hour on a dark night. Like many meteor showers, the Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. In 2013, the full moon will interfere with the Leonid meteor shower. A full moon, after all, shines all night long, leaving no dark time for viewing the meteor shower. Still, the peak mornings will be November 17 or 18. Maybe you’ll see some meteors in the bright moonlight. 
 

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.

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

 Lol-Ha To Be Open for Thanksgiving
   
Laura reports,
"We are opening for Thanksgiving (November 23 - 30) and Arpason will be there for entertainment.  Here is the menu, and reservations are recommended."
      

 

Tequilaville News
           
Ken Anderson reports, “We have many exciting thingshappening, and all of the specials listed below will start mid Nov.  I am postponing our anniversary party until Jan., when Mary will be here.”

1. Revised Menu mid Nov.

2. Rib Night will now be Wed. & Fri.

3. Meat Loaf special Sat.

4. Sundays will be Texas brisket

5. We will be opening Monday's @7 for Monday Night Football and serving pre-made light food for free.  Kitchen will be closed

6. We have improved and extended our bar

7. We will be starting open mike on Friday's

8. Live music on Sat., a variety of good people, playing for tips

·       We are also starting our annual Christmas toy drive for the children in the Pueblo.  Soccer balls were a great hit last year, and some kids were disappointed that they didn’t get them, so that would be a great suggestion to donate; you can deflate them and bring them in so that it’s doesn’t take up too much room in your luggage!!    Kites are also a great idea as well and not much money at the dollar store if they still have them!!  Spanish games if you can find them.  And always baby toys, dolls, cars…….

  

TULUM
    Hechizo NOT to be Open for Thanksgiving Weekend
    
 Stefan and Hui have announced that Hechizo will be not open Thanksgiving.   Hechizo will re-open for the season, around December 13. 
  

FULL MOON, NOVEMBER 17th

The Full Beaver Moon occurs on November 17th at 3:15pm AST.

This is the time to set beaver traps before the mangroves freeze, 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.
 

MEXICAN REVOLUTION DAY, NOV 18th   

 Revolution Day (Día de la Revolución) of Mexico is a public holiday observed in Mexico to commemorate the anniversary of the beginning of 1910 Mexican Revolution against the autocrat José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori.  Porfirio Diaz had led the military rule of Mexico for about 34 year before being forced to resign through a decade of civil war in Mexico.  People in Mexico observe Revolution Day on the third Monday of November every year.

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 thepeasants of Morelos 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.
 

HANUKKAH, NOV. 27th DEC. 5th   

Hanukkah begins at sundown on November 27 and runs to December 5th  .

Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights,” starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. With blessings, games, and festive foods, Hanukkah celebrates the triumphs—both religious and military—of ancient Jewish heroes.

Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has brought greater attention to Hanukkah and its gift-giving tradition.  Amid the ever-growing flood of Christmas advertising, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish culture surviving in a non-Jewish world.

The Hanukkah Story
    
Nearly 2,200 years ago, the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV tried to force Greek culture upon peoples in his territory. Jews in Judea—now Israel—were forbidden their most important religious practices as well as study of the Torah.  Although vastly outnumbered, religious Jews in the region took up arms to protect their community and their religion.  Led by Mattathias the Hasmonean, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, the rebel armies became known as the Maccabees.

After three years of fighting, in the year 3597, or about 165 B.C.E., the Maccabees victoriously reclaimed the temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah.  Next they prepared the temple for rededication—in Hebrew, Hanukkah means “dedication.”  In the temple they found only enough purified oil to kindle the temple light for a single day.  But miraculously, the light continued to burn for eight days.

The Menorah
    The lighting of the menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiya, is the most important Hanukkah tradition.  A menorah is a candle stand with nine branches.  Usually eight candles—one for each day of Hanukkah—are of the same height, with a taller one in the middle, the shamash (“servant”), which is used to light the others.  Each evening of Hanukkah, one more candle is lit, with a special blessing.

The menorah symbolizes the burning light in the temple, as well as marking the eight days of the Hanukkah festival.  Some say it also celebrates the light of freedom won by the Maccabees for the Jewish people.
  

THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 28th    

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 terrible winter.  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 2013 JAZZ FESTIVAL, NOV. 28 - 30

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival dates have been released.  This year’s Festival will be held on the 28th – 30th November 2013 at Mamitas Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

 28th November 2013

AGUAMALA: Playa del Carmen based AguaMala has released 4 CDs and have been present at the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival since 2004.  AguaMala music is a combination of Rock, Funk, Jazz, Mexican Music, and progressive hardcore.

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH: is highly regarded by many people of being of the 2oth century`s most prominent guitarists.  His guitar skills are marveled by many of his fans.

BRENT FISCHER: This talented combination of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms combined with the unique writing skills makes this band extremely popular.

 29th November 2013

SCOTT HENDERSON:  In 1991 Scott Henderson was named the #1 jazz guitarist in the world by Guitar World Magazine.  Scott Henderson is still considered one of the best Jazz Guitarists in the world - undoubtedly a genius!

DENNIS CHAMBERS: Dennis Chambers is highly recognized for is jazz, fusion, funk, and latin music playing, and his drumming skills and speed.

JEFF BERLIN:  Jeff Berlin is a legend of the electric bass. Some have been quoted in saying the Jeff Berlin is of the finest electric bass players in the world.  Geddy Lee refered to Jeff as the “greatest bass player on the PLANET!”

JIM BEARD:  Jim Beard has played on some of the most important stages in the world and has traveled the world extensively.  Jim has over 100 published compositions featured on recordings by John McLaughlin, Micheal Brecker, and many more.

ED MOTTA: This Brazilan born jazz player is one of the greatest talents in the Jazz-Soul World.

 30th November 2013

CELSO PIÑA: This Mexican born singer is well known throughout Mexico and other parts of the world including, France, Denmark, Holland; Germany, Sweden, Poland, Colombia, and Argentina.  Celso has worked with some very famous people including Lila Downs, Café Tacuba, Julieta Venegas, and Alex Lora.

MATTHEW GARRISON: Matthew has been headlining the ShapeShifter Lap in NYC for the last 12 months.  This venue is fast becoming one of the most important music venues in the whole of NYC.

EARTH, WIND  & FIRE:  This uber famous American group will close this year’s Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.  EWF are famous for their mixture of music, including funk, jazz, soul, gospel, blue, folk, African music, and Rock n Roll.  During their long career they have been nominated for 20 Grammys and actually won 6 prizes.  Some of their most famous songs including: “September”, “Lets Groove”, “Boogie Wonderland”, and “Fantasy”  
 

EVENTS

Just the usual Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”. 

 

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