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March 2014  Issue 135

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index   2012 Index   2013 Index  2014 Index

 

MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

This issue of The Akumalian is coming from the temporary office in Chatham, Massachusetts as the new office in Harwich is being prepared for occupancy.  It is a fairly long issue, so please do enjoy it with a delicious cup of coffee or glass of wine.

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.

 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

 

IMPORTANT MARCH FACTS

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.
 

MARCH BIRTHDAYS

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
9          Shaileen Rounds
12        Paige Clements
12        CeCi Chiosso
13        Lydia Pontius
13        Karen Goudy
13        Lynn Chase
14        Patricia Murray casa San Francisco
15        Kevin Fredette      
 19        Sharon Fredette 
20        Natalie Novak Perez
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

We got them all again!
 

TIM HORTON’S BRIER, MARCH 1 – 9th   

Tim Horton’s Brier is being held on March 1-9, 2014 at the Interior Savings Centre, Kamloops, BC

History of the Tim Hortons Brier
  
The Brier is probably the truest of any Canadian sporting championship.  Twelve teams, representing each of the ten provinces, plus the Yukon/NWT and Northern Ontario, compete for the Brier Tankard, the refurbished silver trophy that was presented to the winners of the Brier during Macdonald Tobacco’s 50-year sponsorship.  The trophy was re-introduced in 2001 in Ottawa at the first Nokia Brier, when the famed Labatt Brier Tankard was retired after the 2000 Brier in Saskatoon.

The Canadian men’s curling championship began in 1927 in Toronto and has been contested each year since, with the exception of the war years (1943, 1944 and 1945).  After being held in Toronto from 1927-1939, the Brier went ‘national’ in 1940, staged in Winnipeg.  It has been held in every province at least once and in 31 cities from coast-to-coast.

Manitoba has won a leading 27 Briers, the last by skip Jeff Stoughton in 2011 in London; Alberta is next with 22 victories.  Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Yukon/NWT have yet to win.

In 1927, all games at the inaugural Canadian men’s curling championship were 14 ends.  Two games actually went to a 15th end. Nova Scotia (skip Murray Macneill) won that first Brier in Toronto, in which eight teams competed, including ones from Toronto and Montreal.  From 1928-76, games where shortened to 12 ends and beginning in 1977, games were reduced to 10 ends.

More than 7,000 curlers attempt to qualify each year forthe Brier through club, zone, district and eventually provincial championships, the latter taking place from late January through mid-February. Some of the provincial championships are sponsored…the Labatt Tankards (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador and PEI), Keith’s Tankard (Nova Scotia), Kia Cup (Alberta), TSC Stores Tankard (Ontario), Dominion of Canada Championship (Northern Ontario), SaskTel Tankard (Saskatchewan) and Safeway Championship (Manitoba).
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, MARCH 7TH   

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 andjury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for March. 

 "Rooster" won the contest for February, and those photos are at February Best Shirt.

 

U.S. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), MARCH 9th  

In the United States Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March, the 9th.  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.
 

MEXICO DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), APRIL 6th 

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.

In 2010, ten Mexico municipalities that 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.

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 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.

 

\frac{426880 \sqrt{10005}}{\pi} = \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(6k)! (13591409 + 545140134k)}{(3k)!(k!)^3 (-640320)^{3k}}\!

   

PI TRIVIA

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

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."

 

IDES OF MARCH, MARCH 15th 

The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martii or Idus Martiae) is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March.  It was marked by several religious observances, and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.  The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

Although March (Martius) was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the oldest Roman calendar it was the first month of the year.  The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations.

In modern times, the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.  Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate.  As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved.  According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March.  On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."  This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."  The Roman biographer Suetonius identifies the "seer" as a haruspex named Spurinna. 
 

FULL MOON, MARCH 16th 

The Full Worm Moon is on Sunday, March 16, 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.  
 

HOLI FESTIVAL, MARCH 17th 

One of the major festivals of India, Holi, is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.

Holi is an ancient festival of India and was originally known as 'Holika'.  The festivals finds a detailed description in early religious works such as Jaimini's Purvamimamsa-Sutras and Kathaka-Grhya-Sutras.  Historians also believe that Holi was celebrated by all Aryans but more so in the Eastern part of India.

It is said that Holi existed several centuries before Christ.  However, the meaning of the festival is believed to have changed over the years.  Earlier it was a special rite performed by married women for the happiness and well-being of their families and the full moon (Raka) was worshiped.

Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions.  But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Comings:

  • Gary Ness was in town for the Super Bowl at Lol Ha
  • Tricia Hayes was here the last two weeks of February.
  • Doreen Turin Waitt was in town to celebrate her Big 50.
  • Stefanie Fredette was here for one last visit to Akumal.
  • Lucy James was/is here visiting her parents, Tony & Judy.
  • Tony, Joan & Alex Gonzalez were back for President’s Week
  • Dean & Alison Keegan are back and living in their new house.
  • Mike & Linda Mulgrew were back for a short visit.
  • Schatzi was spotted at the Beach Bar on Friday.
  • Jana Simpson finally made it back after numerous attempts
  • Frank & Lennie Hatch are back at Casa del Sol.

 Goings:

  • Denny & Diane Mahan were in Costa Rica for a week.
  • Steve & Kathleen Cole took a road trip to Oaxaca.
  • Redbeard drove the RAV4 to Massachusetts
  • Abby, Jake, Kim and Zach Kilmer went to Texas for 10 in February
  • Lero & Margaret Wiedeman went to San Cristobal before returning to Alaska.
  • Steve & Ingrid Clouther have left Akumal - thanks for the memories.

 

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 Sunday.
 

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.

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.

You might need to go back and read that again.

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.
 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

Road Blockade Takes Hostages at Lol Ha
   
On Friday, February 7, after the Best Shirt Award at the Beach Bar, there was a blockade across the road, just before the bridge, out of Akumal, and it has been reported that the reason had something to do with certain people who were not there at the Best Shirt Award and the missing trophy.  The blockade prevented people from driving out of Akumal, and a huge backup of vehicles soon formed.  Six of the Best Shirt Award attendees, including The Staff of The Akumalian, were hostages at the Lol Ha Restaurant, where they were forced to keep eating and drinking until the blockade was lifted later in the evening.  While waiting word of their release, they were plotting various exit options, including walking to South Akumal.

According to Por Esto, the Best Shirt trophy has not been recovered, but a number of people are still under suspicion.  No reward had been posted as of going to press.

 

Redbeard Announces Quiet Wedding
  On February 13, Kevin “Redbeard” McKee and Ingrid Clouther announced they were married in a ceremony presided over by the Rev. Robin Goble over Thanksgiving weekend, 2013.  Three days later, Redbeard left town, driving Ingrid’s RAV4 back to Massachusetts, and Ingrid followed on the 27th.

 

 

The Staff Leaves Boogie Board at Tequilaville
 
Before leaving Akumal, the Staff of The Akumalian left behind a small memento of their being here.  It comes in the form of a boogie board, and it can be found hanging from the ceiling of Tequilaville.
 

 

 

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 Americas’ praise.
 

COMET HOLMES, MARCH 27th

On November 6, 1892 British astronomer, Edwin Holmes, was looking at the Andromeda Galaxy when something flared—becoming much brighter.  It was a comet, and it would soon become known as Comet Holmes (17P/Holmes).  For decades the comet went observed after being spotted in 1892, 1899 and 1906. It was found once again in 1964, and was occasionally referred to as “The Lost Comet”.

The next perihelion of Comet Holmes will occur on March 27, 2014.  It will be the first of many comets in 2014.  It won't have an easy act to follow.  This appearance of Comet Holmes will follow in the immediate wake of what several astronomers felt would be one of the brightest comets in history, Comet ISON.  Sadly, Comet ISON did not live up to its billing.

Comet Holmes orbits the Sun once every 6.88 years – never straying beyond Jupiter.  It is among a handful of the over one billion suspected comets, including Comet Encke, whose orbit occurs entirely within the inner solar system.  It was captured centuries or millenia ago in the inner solar system by Jupiter, preventing it from returning to the Kuiper Belt?

On October 23rd and 24th of 2007, as Comet Holmes was moving away from the Sun, it flared unexpectedly.  Why did this outburst occur?  Nobody is quite certain.  There were suggestions that the estimated 2 mile (3.2 km) wide nucleus collided with a meteor, but researchers at the Max Planck Institute published a paper in Astronomy and Astrophysics claiming ice, trapped inside the comet, became steam and exploded through the surface.  Regardless of the reason, less than a month after the initial outburst, Comet Holmes had increased in brightness by a factor of 1,000,000 times.  It was the third brightest object in the constellation Perseus, from Earth’s perspective.  This outgassing briefly made the coma, one of the parts of a comet, 869,900 miles (1.4 million km) in diameter.  In other words, by November of 2007, Comet Holmes was the largest object in the entire solar system even larger than our Sun.

Geophysicists Konrad Kossacki and Slawomira Szutowicz, from the Warsaw University and the Polish Academy of Sciences respectively, disagree with the Max Planck Institute's analysis, claiming the comet was likely fueled by carbon monoxide, which exploded as the comet was on its way out of the inner solar system.  They've published their results in the scientific journal Icarus.  The Polish scientists believe that Comet Holmes (17P/Holmes) will likely explode on its next orbit near the Sun.  If so, many on Earth may be treated to a rare celestial show.
 

REMEMBERING ISSUE 100 -  In Celebration

As THE Staff of The Akumalian establishes an off-siteoffice in Harwich, Massachusetts, and the publication slowly winds down, there has been time to look back over the years – the 1st issue was published in September 2002 – and remember when the 100th issue was published in April 2011.  One of the highlights of that issue was a poem sent in by Arlene & Richard Pargot, and it just seems appropriate to publish in this issue.

 In Celebration
For over eight years, you’ve been on a mission,
To give us the best news in every edition -

Frolics & politics, important dates and places,
Your photographs of all the Akumal faces –

All the news that’s been fit to print,
Never any gossip, well maybe just a hint –

All about our tiny community,
Bringing us all close to Akumal unity –

You’ve informed us, amused us, and helped us have fun,
So here’s a big thanks for a job well done.

 

 

EVENTS

Robin’s “Best Shirt Award on Feb. 7th had lots of company with regards to “Events.”  However, none of the other events were recorded by The Staff

 

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