January 1, 2014 Issue 133
LETTER FROM “THE STAFF”
2013 is now history, and the tourists are returning to Akumal and the Riviera Maya in greater numbers, and home/condo sales have started to pick up. Every business in Akumal reports this to be the best December/Christmas ever!
The month and the New Year kick right off with Robin’s Best Shirt Award on January 4th at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there. One of the contestants assures The Staff that he is a "sure winner". You gotta see this.
IMPORTANT JANUARY FACTS
Capricorn - December 22 - January 19
Aquarius - January 20 - February 18
January Birthstone: GarnetGarnet is a beautiful stone that comes in quite the range of colors. Large garnet gems, while not approaching diamonds or rubies in price, can make your wallet take a deep breath. The red garnet is the one used for the January Birthstone.
Birthday Flower: Carnation
Birthdays and Anniversaries
There must be more than this. Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.
Missed December Birthdays
Nada, that we
ENERGY BILL ENDS PEMEX OIL MONOPOLY, DEC. 20th
Pena Nieto Signs Energy Bill, Ends Pemex Oil Monopoly
On December 20th, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a bill that ends Petroleos Mexicanos’s 75-year production monopoly and will allow for companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to develop crude in Mexico. The changes to the constitution proposed in the bill become law after they are published in the national gazette. The measure was passed by both houses of congress the week before and by a majority of state legislatures earlier that week.
The nation’s most significant economic reform since the North American Free Trade Agreement will allow companies to develop unexplored fields the government says will increase oil production to as much as 4 million barrels per day by 2025. Pena Nieto’s challenge next year will be to quickly implement the law by shepherding secondary legislation through congress and ensuring oil field bidding processes move swiftly and effectively, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex.
Pena Nieto signed the energy bill in the courtyard of the National Palace that houses the headquarters of Mexico’s Finance Ministry. He was joined on stage by members of his cabinet. Loudspeakers played Christmas music including "Jingle Bells" and ""Silent Night" as a crowd of about 300 invited guests and journalists filed in for the event.
Standard and Poor’s raised Mexico’s rating to BBB+ from BBB, forecasting that the energy overhaul will attract private investment and spur major growth within the next few years.
The overhaul could bring an additional $20 billion in foreign direct investment as soon as 2015 and further strengthen the peso as the market absorbs the news, according to Carlos Capistran, chief Mexico economist at Bank of America Corp. S&P forecasts gross domestic product growth of 3 percent next year and 3.5 percent in 2015, compared with 1.2 percent in 2013.
Nieto shepherded through at least 10 constitutional amendments in his first
year in office, including changes enforcing annual teacher evaluations and
curbing the market power of dominant telecommunications companies, such as
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil. He also signed measures to
encourage banks to lend more, and added taxes on dog food, soda pop, and
high-calorie snacks in an attempt to reduce the government’s dependence on
QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER, JAN 3rd
In 2014, the Quadrantids will peak on January 3. A new Moon on January 1, 2014 will create ideal viewing conditions for those in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Quadrantids is the first major meteor shower of the year. It is usually active between the end of December and the second week of January, and peaks around January 2 or January 3. However, unlike other meteor showers that tend to stay at their peak for about two days, the peak period of the Quadrantis is only for a few hours.
The shower owes its name to the now defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis. The constellation was left off a list of constellations drawn out by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1922, but because the shower had already been named after Quadrans Muralis, its name was not changed. The Quadrantids is also sometimes called Bootids after the modern constellation, Boötes.
The Quadrantids are associated with an asteroid - the 2003 EH1. The asteroid takes about 5.5 years to orbit around the Sun.
Quadrantid meteor shower originated from a near-Earth asteroid named 2003
EH1. Although astronomers classify 2003 EH1 as an asteroid, most believe it
to be a dead comet. Observers first recognized the Quadrantids as an annual
meteor shower in 1839.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT METEORS
· To be visible, a meteor must be within about 120 miles (200 kilometers) of an observer.
· Meteors become visible at an average height of 55 miles (90 km). Nearly all burn up before they reach an altitude of 50 miles (80 km).
· The typical bright meteor is produced by a particle with a mass less than 1 gram and is no larger than a pea.
· The hourly rate on a “non-shower” night is approximately 6 meteors per hour.
· A meteoroid enters the atmosphere at velocities between 50,000 and 165,000 mph (81,000 and 265,000 km/h).
ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD JAN 4th
Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.
This month is the start of the 8th year of the Robin’s Best Shirt event, and this makes it a “Gotta be there” event that cannot be missed. 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 January. One of the new criteria seems to be that the design on the front panels of the shirt need to line up
The December competition was won by Tom Baxter. The photos for the Event are located at December Best Shirt Award.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
· Bill & Oteka Brab were here with the grandkids in early Dec. for a short visit.
· Ken & Mary Margaret Goldstein are back for the season.
· Jim & Kathy Farrell have returned.
· Thomas & Sydney Reagan were spotted around town before Christmas.
· Phoebe Barrett has been around and about, keeping a low profile since October.
· Terry & Lisa Turner were in South Akumal for a short stay.
· Larry & Shari Jackson were back at Seven Seas for a very short visit.
· Zoe Pargot was here visiting her parents, Richard & Arlene.
· Scott Pargot and the kids were here with Richard & Arlene over Christmas.
· Rick Tompkins and Lynn Chase are back in Aventuras Akumal until end of March.
· Wendell & Lynda Day have returned.
· Ryan & Natalie Wolfe are back for Christmas & New Year’s Eve.
· Bud & Alice Blatner are back in Casa Zama. Alice’s daughter, Melissa, was here.
· David, Nancy & Charlie Poor arrive on Jan. 1 and plan to be in town until mid-March.
· Many South Akumal homeowners will be here for the HOA Meeting on Jan. 25th
· Bruce & Ellen Eanet arrive on January 14th.
· David Richards is coming down on January 18th.
THREE KINGS DAY, JANUARY 6th
Three Kings Day, also known as The Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas. It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas).
Epiphany (Greek for "to manifest" or "to show"), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate the visitation of the Magi to the child Jesus on this day, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, his manifestation as the Son of God to the world. It is also called Theophany ("manifestation of God"), especially by Eastern Christians.
LOS REYES MAGOS - The Christmas season continues unabated in Mexico through Epiphany, which is called Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day). Echoing the arrival in Bethlehem of Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, children throughout Mexico anxiously await waking up January 6 to find toys and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (Magi). In some regions it is customary to leave out shoes where treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men.
In the days preceding Día de los Reyes, children write letters to the Magi requesting a toy or gift that they would like. On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the nativity scene. Traditionally children would leave out their shoes with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Magi (they are often shown with a camel). When the children would wake up in the morning their gifts appeared in place of the hay. Nowadays, like Santa Claus, the Kings tend to place their gifts under the Christmas tree.
special treat served one this day is the Rosca de Reyes--a
crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruits. Tiny
figures of babies are hidden in the dough before baking. There is much
excitement as each partaker cuts his or her own slice, for whoever gets a
piece containing a baby is obliged to host another party on or before
Candlemas (Día de la Candelaria), February 2, when Mexico's holiday
season finally comes to an end.
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, JAN. 6th
The 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship will take place at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium on Monday, January 6, 2014 between the No. 1 and No. 2 BCS-ranked teams.
After weeks of conjecture and debate about strength of schedule, the matchup for the VIZIO BCS National Championship turned out to be an obvious one.
No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn top the final BCS standings and will play for the national title Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.
The regular season had set up the possibility for a controversial BCS title game with one-loss Auburn on the outside looking in at unbeaten but less-tested Florida State and Ohio State, but Michigan State took the Buckeyes out of the conversation by winning the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Auburn moved up to the second spot in the standings by outscoring Missouri 59-42 in the SEC championship game.
title game is set: Florida State, the nation's only undefeated team, will
face 12-1 Auburn, champion of the conference that has won the past seven
AUSTRALIAN OPEN, JANUARY 13 – 26
Australian Open is a tennis tournament that will take place in Melbourne
Park in Melbourne, Australia, from 13 to 26 January 2014. It will be the
102nd edition of the Australian Open, and the first Grand Slam tournament of
the year. The tournament will consist of events for professional players in
singles, doubles and mixed doubles play. Junior and wheelchair players will
compete in singles and doubles tournaments. Novak Djokovic is the
three-time defending champion in the men's singles, whereas Victoria
Azarenka enters the women's singles event attempting to win the title for
the third straight year.
FULL MOON JANUARY 16th
The Full Wolf Moon is on Sunday, January 16th at 04:52:24am AST.
cold and deep snows of midwinter, the jaguar packs howled hungrily outside
Mayan villages. Thus, the name for January's full Moon. Sometimes, it was
also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it
the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Full Moon
NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, JAN. 19th
The National Football League conference championship games will be January 19. It is too early to set the teams, locations, and TV coverage.
outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl will be held on February 2, 2014 at MetLife
Stadium in New Jersey.
WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?
Sales Tax (VAT)
New Pemex Station
“On Monday to Thursday, it is "tortas" from 10am to 4 pm.
“The Italian restaurant has pastas, sea food, and more open 5pm to 10pm.
“NEW!!!! We will have an exceptional chef from Italy giving cooking classes and & some degustation of real , freshly revisited Italian cuisine with the chances to see him at work while drinking good wine.”
Zamas Celebrates 20
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BIRTHDAY, JAN 20th
The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., often called Martin Luther King Day, is a United States holiday marking the birth date of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15. It is the only United States federal holiday commemorating an African American, and one of only four to commemorate an individual person.
Martin Luther King Day was founded as a holiday promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death in 1968, Rep. John Conyers introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday, highlighting King's activism on behalf of trade unionists. Unions did most of the promotion for the holiday throughout the 1970s. In 1976, trade unionists helped to elect Jimmy Carter, who endorsed the King Day bill. After that endorsement, union influence in the King holiday campaign declined, and the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. 6 million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 The Nation article as "...the largest petition in favor of an issue in US history."
Opposition to the bill was led by Senator Jesse Helms, who questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor. He was also critical of King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused King of having Communist connections.
President Ronald Reagan was also opposed to the holiday. He relented in his opposition only after Congress passed the King Day Bill with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority (338 to 90 in the House of Representatives and 78 to 22 in the Senate).
At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.
January 17, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Day was officially
observed in all 50 U.S. states. The day is marked by demonstrations for
peace, social justice and racial and class equality, as well as a national
day of volunteer community service.
CARNATION DAY JANUARY 29th
The carnation was originally called dianthus by the Greek botanist Theopharastus. The carnation has been cultivated over 2,000 years.
The name carnation has two possible origins. One thought is that the name comes from "coronation" or "corone" since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Another thought is the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh, which was the original flower color.
Carnations in general mean fascination, love and good luck. A white
carnation stands for innocence, devotion and pure love.
There were many events in December, but Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”, was the only one recorded by The Akumalian. Just way too much going on.