Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
HappyEnd of Daylight Saving Time
Halloween Party at La Buena Vida - Sat Oct 30 at 8:00
November 2010 Issue 95
October was a fairly quiet month in Akumal, with Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” being the big highlight, but it looks like the November holidays will perk things up a bit. There’s quite a lot of “Comings and Goings”
were no Tropical Storms or Hurricanes to report, as Hurricane Richard stayed
well south of Akumal. Watch out for Tomas.
MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF
We are getting this issue out a little earlier this month as a public services regarding Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving Time in Akumal ends on Sunday, October 31, at 1:59am, so do not forget to turn the clocks back one hour tonight. For those of you in the US, you turn the clocks back next week, on November 7th.
By Thanksgiving, all the restaurants in Akumal will be open, so there will be plenty of choices for that holiday dinner.
It is time for The Staff to update the online Akumal Telephone Book, and this should be completed sometime in November. This has come in handy on numerous occasions, so it is imperative that you check to see if you are in it or not, and if you are, is the info (especially the telephone number and e-mail address) accurate. Same goes for the Birthdays and Anniversaries. Report any changes to The Staff.
We are heading into the last month of the 2010 hurricane season, and in late October, we dodged another bullet as Hurricane Richard made land fall as a Category 1 hurricane about 20 miles south-southwest of Belize City. Akumal had some cloudy days, but nothing serious.
But hold onto your hats and animals!! We now have to worry about how Hurricane - yes HURRICANE - Tomas is going to track over the coming days. It is now a Category 1 hurricane with winds up to 75 mph, and it is moving WNW at 15 mph. From this graphic, it looks like Akumal 'could be' in line for some serious wind, rain, and surf towards the end of the 1st week in November.
IMPORTANT NOVEMBER FACTS
Libra - September 23 - October 22
Birthstone: Yellow Topaz
Birthday Flower: Chrysanthemum
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.
Birthdays and Anniversaries
There must be more than this. Let’s hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.
FRENCH GUIANA SPACE CENTER LAUNCHES BSAT-3b
On Thursday, October 28 at approximately 4:51pm AST, the French Guiana space center, also known as Europe’s Spaceport, launched the Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace. The payload included the BSAT-3b broadcasting satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for the Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) of Japan. BSAT-3b features 12 130 W Ku-band channels, eight operating simultaneously, and will be located at 110 degrees East longitude. With a design life of 15 years, BSAT-3b is based on the A2100A platform manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. No news of this being used by Shaw Direct, SKY, or Dish Network.
Europe's Spaceport is situated in the northeast of South America in Kourou, French Guiana, an overseas department of France. Kourou lies at latitude 5°3', just over 500 km north of the equator. Its nearness to the equator makes it ideally placed for launches into geostationary transfer orbit as few changes have to be made to a satellite’s trajectory.
Launchers also profit from the ‘slingshot’ effect, that is the energy created by the speed of the Earth’s rotation around the axis of the Poles. This increases the speed of a launcher by 460 m per second. These important factors save fuel and money, and prolong the active life of satellites.
Thanks to its geographical position, Europe’s Spaceport offers a launch angle of 102°, enabling a wide range of missions from east to north. In fact, Europe’s Spaceport is so well placed that it can carry out all possible space missions.
The actual launch was viewable over the Internet at http://www.videocorner.tv/index.htm , and if you go there now, you can see a replay of the launch.
Sherwood Anders for the “heads up” on this.
NEWS FLASH\UPDATE 10/30/2010 3:22pm AST:
The second satellite on board, the Eutelsat W3B communications satellite,
fell victim to a significant propellant leak shortly after separating from
its Ariane 5 rocket, prompting the company to declare the five-ton
spacecraft a total loss. The W3B spacecraft was a
total loss and the company would be filing an insurance claim on the
satellite. The Paris-based satellite communications firm announced the
anomaly early Friday, just hours after a seemingly flawless launch was
declared successful after deployments of two payloads. Officials will
continue reviewing data from the Ariane 5 rocket, according to the
spokesperson, but so far engineers see nothing that points to the launcher's
culpability. The mission's other payload, Japan's BSAT 3b broadcasting
satellite, is healthy after Thursday's launch.
DAY OF THE DEAD, NOVEMBER 1 & 2
This is an ancient festivity that has been much transformed through the years, but which was intended in pre-hispanic 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.
of children are believed to return first on November 1, with adult spirits
following on November 2.
THE MELBOURNE CUP, NOVEMBER 2nd
The $6.175 million Emirates Melbourne Cup is a truly spectacular event and the focal point of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. 2010 will see the incredible 150th 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.
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 on the first Tuesday in November 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
ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT, AWARD NOVEMBER 5th
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 continue to be somewhat nebulous, and they seem to be changing as we move into winter.
Considering all the 'heavy hitters' that arrived back in town at the end of October, the November Event could have some very serious competition. If you are not going to be involved as a competitor, you should be there to see what has recently been brought back from the US.
The October competition drew a huge number of contestants, and Ken Sutton from Casa Konomi, won out over all the other contestants. Apparently, there’s a (good) story that goes with the shirt, even though that was not part of the criteria last month.
are located at
October Best Shirt Award.
U.S. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST), NOVEMBER 7th
For the U.S., and only the U.S., DST ends on November 7. 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.
WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?
Day of the Dead Shrine at Lol Ha Beach Bar At the north end of the beach bar, Laura has installed a small shrine/altar for the Akumalians who have passed away over the years. There are photos of those who have gone.
Lol Ha Restaurant Has a
“We are thrilled to have him. He will be working on entirely new dishes for Lol Ha, but we will be keeping some of the long time favorites!”
Check these dishes out.
Lol-Ha To Be Open for
La Buena Vida
Hechizo to be Open for
After Thanksgiving, Hechizo will close until they re-open for the season, around December 15. Once again, Stefan and Hui will offer a prix fixe menu on both December 24th and December 25th, with seatings at the normal 6:30pm 7:30pm and 8:30pm. They have not finalized the menu yet, but they are taking reservations.
Stefan & Hui are
managing the rental properties at Ranco San Eric, and they have a web site
www.ranchosaneric.com and under
“About Us” there is a link to Hechizo.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN
AKUMAL COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING, NOVEMBER 12th
The next scheduled meeting is on Friday, November 18 at 10:00 AM, and it will be held at CEA.
There is no Agenda per se, but this meeting will provide updates on recent activities with reports on security, working with the Municipality of Tulum, and the improvements to the main entrance to Akumal. The focus of the meeting will again be on regularization with more information on what forms are needed for various activities.
The Akumal Council’s web site seems to be behind in posting the minutes from the General Meetings, but it is up to date with reports from CSN (Central Security Network). Check them out at Akumal Council.
LEONID METEOR SHOWER NOVEMBER 17-18th
The Leonids is one of the better meteor showers to observe, producing an average of 40 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower itself has a cyclic peak year every 33 years where hundreds of meteors can be seen each hour; the Leonid meteors are debris shed into space by the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which swings through the inner solar system at intervals of 33 years. The last of these occurred in 2001. The shower usually peaks on November 17 & 18, but you may see some meteors from November 13 - 20. Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight.
The meteors will appear to emanate from out of the so-called "Sickle" of Leo, but prospective viewers should not concentrate on that area of the sky around Leo, but rather keep their eyes moving around to different parts of the sky. Leo does not start coming fully into view until the hours after midnight, so that would be the best time to concentrate on looking for the Leonid meteors.
The predicted outburst, perhaps with rates of 100-500 Leonids per hour, strongly favors Asian observers, who should watch on the morning of November 18. North American observers should especially try to cover the morning of Tuesday, November 17 in case of unusual activity leading up to this peak. Just keep radiant elevation in mind wherever you're observing from. The radiant rises between 10pm and midnight for the bulk of the Northern Hemisphere. Leonid activity will be nonexistent before this time, and relatively very low for a couple of hours thereafter. Morning hours tend to produce the best rates, although the few earthgrazing Leonids seen around radiant-rise can be very impressive.
are very fast meteors. The shower is active at a low "background" level for
about a week from November 14-21. Quite a few sporadic and minor-shower
meteors join the cast, especially in the predawn hours.
MEXICAN REVOLUTION DAY, NOVEMBER 20th
November 20: Mexican Revolution Day. This official Mexican holiday commemorates the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and it will be celebrated Monday, November 15, 2010.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.
This official Mexican holiday celebrates the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
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 the peasants 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.
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.
FULL MOON, NOVEMBER 21st
The Full Beaver Moon occurs on November 21st at 17:28 AST.
This was the time to set beaver traps before the mangroves froze, 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.
THE RIVIERA MAYA 2010 JAZZ FESTIVAL, NOV. 25 - 28
For four days Riviera Maya again becomes the host of the best national and international Jazz performers of all time! The Riviera Maya 2010 Jazz Festival is a gathering of amazing and talented musicians in one of the most beautiful areas of the Riviera Maya. As is now the custom in Playa del Carmen, the most important Jazz Festival of the Mexican Southeast will take place from November 25th to 28th, 2010. What a fantastic opportunity to see Jazz superstars perform in paradise!
All concerts will take place at Mamita’s Beach starting at 7pm (doors open at 6pm), and the best of all, entrance is free for all jazz lovers!
2010 Riviera Maya Jazz Festival web site for information about the
THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 25th
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.
Just the usual Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”.