|Photo by Thomas Wolf (via Wikimedia Commons)|
by Peggy Robin
These first two weeks of March have been long, cold, and excessively wintry, and while the weather has finally turned fine today, it looks like we’re in for another blast of the nasty stuff on Monday -- seehttp://wapo.st/1fyYb1m (“Significant Snow Risk on Monday”). All I have to say is NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Fortunately, spring is officially around the corner, arriving with the vernal equinox in 5 more days, on Thursday, March 20 (see http://www.cute-calendar.com/event/first-day-of-spring/6383-northern-hemisphere.html).
To help us make it through the final slog to spring, I thought I would name the days of celebration or commemoration between now and then. I’m actually starting with yesterday, March 14, because it’s one of my favorites --Pi Day -- and it’s never too late to start memorizing the endless decimals of pi. You can do this until the end of time….
March 14. Pi Day. Why? Because it’s 3.14, of course! If you want to be precise about it (not really possible with pi, because it’s an irrational number), Pi Day begins on March 14 at 1:59 and 26 seconds in the wee hours of the morning. Why not at 1:59 PM? Because in scientifically correct style of astronomical timekeeping, there’s no AM and PM; the 24 hour clock is used and 1:59 in the afternoon is rendered 13:59:26 -- and that’s not pi. For more about Pi Day, see http://www.piday.org/ or http://bit.ly/1oTs3e2.
March 15. It’s the Ides of March, which, despite today’s disarmingly lovely weather, is a day of bad tidings and treachery. It’s a day you might want to stay in bed, especially if you’ve been previously warned by a soothsayer, and absolutely, if you’ve got a bunch of seething, plotting underlings that you just can’t trust. See:http://bit.ly/1fFQpYc.
March 16 is Freedom of Information Day (James Madison’s Birthday). This date is commemorated with events that promote open government and public access to information, as well as protection of our Constitutional liberties. See: http://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/freedom-of-information-day/ andhttp://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/govinfo/opengov/freedomofinfo.
March 17. St. Patrick’s Day! http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/st-patrick-day. But you didn’t need me to tell you that, or how to celebrate it.
March 18: Sparky the Firedog’s Birthday, a/k/a Fire Safety Day. Observe this day by changing the batteries in all your smoke detectors. See: http://www.sparky.org/parentpage/parents.htm.
March 19: Return of the Swallows to San Juan Capistrano (St. Joseph’s Day):http://www.missionsjc.com/preservation/swallowsstory.php. If you can’t go to the historic Mission in California to watch the swallows return, you can see them on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZCf1qV94r4
And before you know it, it’s March 20, and spring is here. See: http://earthsky.org/tonight/sun-crosses-celestial-equator-at-march-equinox. Whew!
Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.