Posts Tagged ‘vernal equinox

20
Mar
14

3.20.14 … Six weeks after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, winter is finally over …

Vernal Equinox, First Day Of Spring 2014 Arrives On Thursday March 20:

Six weeks after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, winter is finally over. The first day of spring, which falls on March 20, hints that higher temperatures are not far off.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox (or spring equinox) takes place in March when the sun passes over the celestial equator. This year, the sun will move across the invisible line between hemispheres on Thursday at 12:57 p.m. EDT.

Earth experiences the astronomical events we know as equinoxes and solstices four times a year. They signify the end of one season and the beginning of another.

Equinoxes occur in March and September and herald the spring and fall, while solstices — in June and December — indicate the beginning of summer and winter. While the people in the Northern Hemisphere welcome spring, people south of the equator enter autumn.

Here are some myths associated with the annual spring equinox:

The length of the day is equal to the length of the night.

Well, not exactly. Though some believe the day is just as long as the night on the spring equinox, it turns “days of day-night equality” take place just before the vernal equinox, National Geographic notes. Geoff Chester, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Naval Observatory, explained that it all hinges on location.

“Exactly when it happens depends on where you are located on the surface of the Earth,” Chester told National Geographic.

The spring equinox falls on the same day each year.

Not always. While the spring equinox tends to occur in late March, the exact date differs from year to year. This has more to do with the number of calendar days than the equinox itself. It takes the Earth slightly more than 365 days to complete one revolution around the sun. However, the Gregorian calendar rounds down to 365 days and does not account for the extra 0.256 days. So the vernal equinox may fall on March 20 several years in a row and occur on March 21 in a later year.

via First Day Of Spring 2014 Arrives On Thursday, March 20.

Charlotte NC: There is a debate going on following this HuffPost article.  I commented that it was scary, but true.  I really do believe that there is a grain of truth in the items on the list.  But I love the debate, and almost universally people who live in Charlotte love Charlotte.  It is nice.

Lately, it seems like Charlotte is topping the list of just about everything. While it is a great place for young professionals and anyone in banking, it can also be a truly bizarre place to live and an even more bizarre place to visit.

via 15 Reasons Why Charlotte Is The Weirdest.

Every time you try to describe it, you interrupt yourself and think of something better. Most people give up on trying to attach any one label to it, so they just say it’s nice.

via This is Charlotte | Our State Magazine.

Have a Sip, Davidson Wine Shop:

All the pieces are coming together – including a last-minute name change – for the Friday opening of downtown Davidson’s newest retail store, Davidson Wine Shop.  Al and Robin Gardner plan a grand opening for the new wine store in South Main Square Friday from 11:30am to 9pm with wine tastings, music and a live radio broadcast from the tasting room.

via Have a sip – Davidson Wine Shop opens Friday | DavidsonNews.net.

Shneeka Center ’14,  Watson Fellowship – Davidson College, female social mobility through sport: Kudos, Shneeka!

The TJW Fellowship, awarded through the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, is a one-year grant for independent study and travel outside the United States awarded to graduating college seniors nominated by participating institutions. It offers college graduates of “unusual promise” a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel – in international settings new to them – to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership, and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community. Each fellow receives a $28,000 stipend.

Center will travel to Sweden, India, Senegal and Peru to study and research the topic of female social mobility through sport.

“My project strives to examine how participation in athletics is enabling females to positively or negatively influence their position in society,” said Center, who will graduate in May from Davidson with a degree in political science. “My Watson year will take me to four locations where sports are providing girls with unique opportunities to change their social standing. I aim to answer case-specific questions and uncover the methods by which sports have an influence on girls’ lives worldwide.”

via Shneeka Center ’14 Awarded Prestigious Watson Fellowship – Davidson College.

authentic pho, Korean BBQ, Pho Nam – Cornelius NC, Living Davidson – The Davidsonian – Davidson College:  I have been saying that pho was the next dish I wanted to learn to appreciate.  As with sushi, I had to have it quite a few times before I knew what good sushi or authentic sushi was.   … And now I will try this exit 28 restaurant and visit the Molls.

One of the best barbecue restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Heirloom Market BBQ. Although barbecue joints abound in the south, Heirloom consistently has lines of people waiting out the door and down the street for their barbecue. Heirloom Market BBQ is so popular because it is unique: It specializes in and serves Korean barbecue.

When I’m home in Atlanta, Heirloom Market is always a great place to eat, and I miss their unique barbecue while I’m at Davidson. Here, I’ve not been able to find anywhere that rivals Heirloom’s Korean barbecue—until now. Pho Nam, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant located off exit 28, serves delicious Korean barbecue.

Although the barbecue was the highlight of my Pho Nam experience, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of food including vermicelli (an angel hair rice noodle), com dia (steamed rice with a choice of toppings), Com Chien (fried rice), Pho (beef and noodle soup), and a selection of chef’s specials.

The small, humble restaurant boasts a friendly staff and delicious food. The staff focuses on creating authentic Vietnamese food and a home-like atmosphere. The owner personally greets every customer when he or she walks into the restaurant; and it is the owner, his brother and son, who run Pho Nam and work at the restaurant every day.

Tai Bassin ’15, frequents Pho Nam weekly. His favorite dishes include the Korean barbecue over white rice and the pho dish. Put quite simply, “It’s Pho Nom-enal,” Bassin said.

via Family restaurant offers authentic pho, Korean BBQ – Living Davidson – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

2014 NCAA tournament bracket, March Madness, Davidson College, Matilda: Loved this! The Mathematician vs. the Matildas – Video – NYTimes.com.

toast, $4 a Slice, Bon Appétit, latest artisanal food craze, Trouble Coffee San Francisco, Pacific Standard: The Science of Society :

Back at the Red Door one day, I asked the manager what was going on. Why all the toast? “Tip of the hipster spear,” he said.

I had two reactions to this: First, of course, I rolled my eyes. How silly; how twee; how perfectly San Francisco, this toast. And second, despite myself, I felt a little thrill of discovery. How many weeks would it be, I wondered, before artisanal toast made it to Brooklyn, or Chicago, or Los Angeles? How long before an article appears in Slate telling people all across America that they’re making toast all wrong? How long before the backlash sets in?

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to go looking for the origins of the fancy toast trend. How does such a thing get started? What determines how far it goes? I wanted to know. Maybe I thought it would help me understand the rise of all the seemingly trivial, evanescent things that start in San Francisco and then go supernova across the country—the kinds of products I am usually late to discover and slow to figure out. I’m not sure what kind of answer I expected to turn up. Certainly nothing too impressive or emotionally affecting. But what I found was more surprising and sublime than I could have possibly imagined.

via How Did Toast Become the Latest Artisanal Food Craze? – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.

Carol Quillen, President of Davidson College, Misadventures Magazine:

Pres­i­dent of David­son Col­lege for the last three years and a pro­fes­sor of his­tory, Carol Quillen is both the first woman and first non-alumnus to lead the col­lege, which was founded in North Car­olina in 1837 but didn’t admit women until 1972. Its biggest head­lines over the last six years have starred for­mer bas­ket­ball player Stephen Curry (maybe you’ve heard of him). Yet David­son, which con­sis­tently ranks among the top 10 lib­eral arts col­leges in the coun­try, is enjoy­ing new media atten­tion and some­thing of a growth spurt since Pres­i­dent Quillen arrived. Under her lead­er­ship, the col­lege has begun to explore online edu­ca­tion, launched an entre­pre­neur­ship pro­gram, and announced the con­struc­tion of a new “aca­d­e­mic neigh­bor­hood.” Sounds magical.

Pres­i­dent Quillen her­self has been in the spot­light recently: she spoke at Tedx­Char­lotte, and was just last week named to Pres­i­dent Obama’s Advi­sory Coun­cil on Finan­cial Capa­bil­ity for Young Amer­i­cans (yes, she flew on Air Force One).

When Carol Quillen arrived at her office for our inter­view she walked quickly and with pur­pose. In one breath she apol­o­gized for being late, beck­oned us into her wood-paneled office, told us to take a seat around an oak table, and asked her sec­re­tary to bring in a Fresca. She had the econ­omy of motion of a per­son whose days are packed. She speaks quickly, though thought­fully, and takes time to laugh. Our con­ver­sa­tion ran the gamut from moments of adver­sity to the mys­ter­ies of Twit­ter. We were riveted.

via Carol Quillen, President of Davidson College | Misadventures Magazine.

22 Hours in Balthazar, NYC, NYTimes.com:

Over the course of what I will be repeatedly told is a slow day, 1,247 people will eat here. (Normally, it’s about 1,500.) But within a narrow range, Balthazar knows how many people will come through its doors every single day of the week, and it can predict roughly what it will sell during every meal. It mass-produces high-quality food and pushes it out to customers, and its production numbers are as predictable as the system that churns out the food itself. Just about everyone who works at Balthazar calls it a machine.

via 22 Hours in Balthazar – NYTimes.com.

3.18.14 lunar eclipse:  I loved the tongue in cheek list, but missed the lunar eclipse …

Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years

Thanks to a lunar eclipse on the longest night of the year, tonight we’ll be experiencing the longest, darkest night in a very long time. It’s been nearly 500 years since the last solstice lunar eclipse.

via Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years.

recipe,  Ginger-Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli,  Meet Your New Favorite Meatball – Bon Appétit:  I must e hungry because this looks really good.

Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli

When it comes to meatballs, who says that pork and beef get to have all the fun? In this light and healthy recipe, chicken takes center stage: It’s doctored up with plenty of big flavor—garlic, ginger, soy, and scallions—and served with spicy Chinese broccoli to round out the meal. Healthy and fresh, plus easy to pull together on a weeknight, this is your new go-to. Why exactly? Because not only is this a great meatball recipe—it’s a great chicken soup recipe as well.

Get the recipe: Ginger-Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli

via Meet Your New Favorite Meatball – Bon Appétit.

Entering World of Literature’s Great Sleuth, NYTimes.com: Looks like a fun exhibit.

From original manuscript pages from “The Hound of the Baskervilles” to props from the current BBC hit “Sherlock,” the exhibition aims to engage all levels of enthusiasts. Galleries feature an examination of Conan Doyle and late 19th-century London, the science behind the Holmes stories and pop culture artifacts, past and present. There is also an immersive interactive Victorian-era murder mystery that visitors are asked to solve, clue by clue, after an introduction to Holmes’s scientific methods of crime-solving.

Careful not to confuse young visitors about reality and fiction, galleries are clearly delineated as containing actual artifacts and scientific data. “We separated the science lessons from the interactive mystery so the mystery was a place to practice and use the information you already learned, not a place to learn the science and history itself,” Mr. Curley said.

via Entering World of Literature’s Great Sleuth – NYTimes.com.

20
Mar
14

3.20.14 … “It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.” This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days. Without that still space we start spinning. We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction. But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks,  (14/40), The Cathedral of St. Phillips – Atlanta, vernal equinox:
As I am driving south on Peachtree Rd. approaching the Cathedral my right, I see the beautiful cherry trees in full bloom. There are two colors: a pale pink and a deep pink.  As I turn into the parking lot, I stopped to take a picture. I realize there’s a woman with a very professional-looking camera also taking pictures. I realize that there is at least one tree with both shades of thinking the same tree. I did not realize that was possible.
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I laughed as I got out of my car … I felt like someone was watching over me:
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The labyrinth this morning is in the shade and is  still damp from the morning dew.  It is cool, but not cold. The birds are chirping loudly. Hello, Spring!
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Atlanta is the perfect place to experience the first day of spring. In many places, it is hardly ever spring-like. Atlanta almost always shines on the vernal equinox.photo 3-1

As I approach the labyrinth, I see and hear a group of three men who appear to be about my age, talking loudly and laughing, more like guffawing, and smoking. They have deep Southern voices. I hear bits and pieces of their conversation. One is talking about his mother and paying taxes. I guess it’s that time of year. Rick is one.  As they leave, one says, “bye-bye.”  One whistles as he walks away.
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A few from the path …
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I shared this space today.  The first to join me was an attractive 30-ish woman. She walks once a month. She did not want to chat, and I respect that. She walks the labyrinth without her shoes in black tights. I wonder if she is/was a dancer. She is very intentional about how she walks and where she places her feet. It is peaceful to watch her.
As I leave, a rough-looking man walks up. He immediately tells me that his husband of 4 years beat cancer today and he is taking a “serenity walk” to celebrate.  “Thank you Jesus.” He mentions his 18-year-old son.  He attempts to talk to the woman.  He tells her he has a walk at his home in Charleston. He only walks about 2 circuits and then walks away. I look back and see that he is carrying 2 trash bags with him. Is he homeless? Is anything true? What is his reality?  I hope he found serenity for a moment. Since he used the word “serenity”, I am wondering if he is in AA.
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As I went through my e-mail this morning, I found this Henri Nouwen devotional.  Since it focuses on my  favorite Psalm, Psalm 46:10, I will reprint it here:
A Still Place in the Market
“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  These are words to take with us in our busy lives.  We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world.  But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.
It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.”  This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us.  It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days.  Without that still space we start spinning.  We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction.  But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.
As I drive back from the labyrinth, I bypass busy Peachtree and take one of my favorite Atlanta drives, Habersham Road. I am amazed,  as always,  at how gorgeous Atlanta is in late March/early April. The daffodils are out as well as the pansies. You could not ask for a more beautiful drive.
And I see my first yard sign for my brothers campaign (although I think I am not technically in GA’s 11th Congressional District.  I am very proud of him for taking this risk.
Enjoy Spring!
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19
Mar
14

3.19.14 … “As of the day after tomorrow, the days will be longer than the nights. More light than dark.” … I think I prefer “spiritually progressive” …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (13/40), Sardis Baptist Church-Charlotte:

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As I drove into Sardis Baptist today, I noticed that on its street sign it identified  itself as “a spiritually progressive church.”  I think that is  very interesting, because I  collectively do not think of any Baptist church as being “progressive.”
I realize that I am stereotyping, and I assume that this is this Baptist church is not part of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is also interesting that there are three Baptist churches near me in Charlotte that have labyrinths and none are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
This is my Walmart labyrinth because it is on my route to and from  the Walmart.  I went this morning at 8 and hit the labyrinth on the way back.
It was another rainy cold labyrinth walk.  I  friend reminded me (on FB) that we are nearing the vernal equinox with his comment, “I am delighted to say, that today is the last full day of winter. As of the day after tomorrow, the days will be longer than the nights. More light than dark.” Amen!
I am walking my way through some issues this Lenten Season.  So it is good that I stay on the circular path!
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After my walk I researched SBC and labyrinths and did not find anything directly on point, but I know that there is some wariness to the practice.  I will add it to my list of research projects.  Without researching the writer, I did find this which expresses the undercurrent against prayer walking … and to which I obviously disagree.

Some churches have something called a labyrinth- a prayer labyrinth. We don’t have one, never will, not as long as I’m breathing. Because here’s the point of the labyrinth- it’s not Christian, it comes from paganism- and it’s walking in a circle. I know: it’s not as exciting as some would say- I don’t understand. And the whole point of walking around the prayer labyrinth in a circle is to walk into the center and be by yourself. And the teaching therein is that the goal of true spirituality is to go into oneself to find answers, light, and truth. That’s exactly the opposite of what we [Christians] believe. If I ever find a prayer labyrinth, I’m going to start in the middle and walk out as an act of protest because I’m a Christian. The answer’s in Him, not in me; my goal is not to close in on myself, but to turn from myself, and outward to Jesus.

via Call To Die: Mark Driscoll’s Critique of Prayer Labyrinths.

I found his perspective very interesting, and he has obviously never walked one.  I hope he finds one and walks.  I don’t care where he starts.  The point is to slow down and “Be Still”.

Blessings!
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