Friday, February 3, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Snow Dance!

by Peggy Robin

On Wednesday, February 1, the DC area got the first measurable snowfall of the winter -- and it was the fifth latest on record, according to the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/02/01/washington-dc-first-snow-2023/, which used as one of its prime measuring points the snowfall at the National Zoo -- 0.4 inches.
 
Not even enough for a delayed start to the school day. No snow days at all for the kids so far this year. How disappointed they must be. I know when my own kids -- now well into adulthood -- were of school age, they would follow the forecast like mini-meteorologists, excited at the prospect of "wintry mix" in the evening rush, and positively rapturous at the thought of waking to a "winter wonderland" in the morning.
 
Still, hanging on to the hope of snow was never enough for them. They wanted to make it happen. And they really believed they had the means to do it. That is THE SNOW DANCE! Here's what they did: First, they put on their pajamas inside out and back to front. Then they jumped around and yelled "Snow Day, Snow Day!" till their voices got hoarse or until I made them go to bed. (They didn't know that all the while, I was following my own little ritual and superstitious jinx that I hoped would cancel out their "Snow Day" magic, and let it be a school day, after all.)
 
The inside-out & backwards pajamas dance is just one of many such rituals learned from peers as part of the folklore of childhood. Here's a website listing seven such charms to bring on the snow:
 
While children all over the parts of the US where snow is even a faint possibility will employ many of these time-honored rituals, no one ever prays for a bone-chilling but dry cold snap, do they?. All that gets you is frozen pipes, dead batteries, and sky-high heating bills. Is there a ritual we adults can perform to make the temperature rise to a comfortable level? Sure there is! But it involves buying plane tickets, packing a bag, getting on a flight headed for the tropics, and stepping off the jetway in a place where it never, ever snows! And unlike a snow dance, this ritual always works -- if you can afford it and have the time to spare, that is! 
 
Of course, if you grew up loving snow and never stopped wishing for snow in the wintertime, you can use the plane-trip trick just as easily to fly off to someplace that 's always skiing weather, too.
 
And now for the finish....that is the FINNISH way of bringing on the snow, You do the "Heikki Lunta Snowdance." Never heard of it? Youtube has many versions of the song; here's a very bouncy version in English: 
 
Hope it works....if that's what you really want!



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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Get Out! And come to the opening of "About Time" by DC photographer Gail Rebhan, Sat, Feb 4, 6-9pm at AU Katzen Arts Center

by Peggy Robin


Gail Rebhan: About Time
An exhibition presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art
February 4 – May 21, 2023
The American University Museum - Katzen Arts Center
Massachusetts Avenue at Ward Circle

Panel Discussion/Gallery Talk
Sunday, February 5 from 2 - 3 PM
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Reserve your free spot:

Panelists include Jack Rasmussen, Director of the American University Museum / Steve Nelson, Dean of the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts / Sally Stein, Curator and Professor Emerita, Art History, University of California-Irvine.

Topic: Reconsidering the many ways Rebhan jumps the narrow lane of art-for-art’s sake in terms of resisting the simple power of the mute single image by exploring with a variety of formal techniques the imbricated categories of the-personal-is-political (raised by 2nd wave feminism) & the political is (or defines the) personal.

This event will be held in-person at the museum. 

Please direct any questions about this event to the museum's main contact for this event, Patricia Edwine-Poku at ppoku@american.edu. [ppoku @ american dot edu]

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The "Get Out!" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Still Life with Robin: The Style Invitational Lives!

by Peggy Robin


Do you miss the Style Invitational? Did you think it was the best thing about The Washington Post? Are you mad as hell that Jeff "Full Disclosure, I Own the Washington Post" Bezos killed it? Well, you don't have to take it anymore! I'm happy to tell you that the Style Invitational is not dead; it lives on in cyberspace as  two-headed creature: one is the Facebook group, Style Invitational Devotees, a gathering place for the Style Invitational's funniest fans, and the other is the Substack forum, where new contests are posted and the entries are judged by the former and still reigning Empress, Pat  Myers, along with former Czar and Pulitizer Prize winning humorist Gene Weingarten. 

First, here's the link to the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/5158028689/- click on "Join group." You need to have a Facebook account to join. Once you are admitted to the group, the first thing that happens is you will be welcomed by your fellow Style Invitational devotees making anagrams of your name. 

Here are just three of the welcome messages for new member MIKE RUNDLE:

- Some describe him as, ah, UM, NERDLIKE.
- Mike Rundle doesn't want to be kicked when he meets a farm animal - he would prefer a KINDER MULE.
- He was in charge of the dairy at a naturist farm, yup, he was a NUDE MILKER

And this is a small sample of the welcome given to DOUGLAS FINK:

- He has FUN KID GOALS.
- He doesn't like soccer players who use LOUD FAKINGS
- He worships the drink he carries: IN FLASK, U GOD
- Frisbee: O, A DISK IS FLUNG

And these were among the welcoming words for me:
- Peggy Robin used to go in for a handshake but not since the pandemic: BYGONE GRIP
- She's not happy with her doctor - she has an OB-GYN GRIPE
- She wants a BIGGER PONY

The Facebook group provides ten to twenty new gags a day, many from well-known earners of Style Invitational "ink" (the term used entries that made it into the print version of the paper). If all you want is a continuation of the weekly contests, then skip the Facebook group and subscribe to Gene Weingarten's Substack: https://geneweingarten.substack.com/ or go to:  https://theinvitational.substack.com/. It's free to view the content but if you want to enter, you'll need a paid subscription.

I just wish I could deduct the cost of The Style Invitational subscription from the price I pay for the (increasingly humorless) Washington Post!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Get Out! And See the Smithsonian Castle One Last Time Before It Closes for FIVE YEARS

 by Peggy Robin

 
This week is the last week that you will be able to go inside the Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW, before it closes for renovation on February 1. 
 
Bring the young ones -- as the next time they'll be able to see the inside of the iconic red brick castle, your preschooler may be on the cusp of middle school, while a high school senior may be a college graduate already. 
 
Here's what The Washingtonian says about the final days before the five-year makeover begins:
 
The Smithsonian Institution Building—better known as the Smithsonian Castle—will close Feb. 1 for what’s projected to be a five-year renovation..... 
 
Aside from being an impressive place to stroll through—the 19th-century building is a designated National Historic Landmark—the Castle also houses a small but diverse collection of Smithsonian art and artifacts that provide a sampling of what each Smithsonian museum has to offer. The building’s “Welcome to Your Smithsonian” exhibit delves into the institution’s history as well as the life of its founder, James Smithson, who you can pay respects to inside the building’s crypt. The crypt, which will remain undisturbed throughout the renovation, is the final resting place of Smithson and is open to the public.
 
According to the Smithsonian, this will be the first major renovation of the Castle in more than 50 years. It’ll largely focus on restoring the interior, which has been altered over the years, to its original historic appearance. Notably, among other restoration work, the Upper Great Hall will be returned to its original two-story height, creating a venue for public programming once again.
 
Once it’s closed, passersby can still admire the towers and gothic motifs from the Enid A. Haupt Garden, which will remain open throughout the renovation. 
 
Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm daily until closed on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

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The "Get Out!" event of the week is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Still Life with Robin: The Real-Life Benefits of Playing Spelling Bee Every Day

by Peggy Robin

As you'll know if you've been reading my Still Life with Robin column since the fall of 2021, I am a hopeless Spelling Bee addict [1]. Not to brag [2] but I've been Queen Bee every day since June 6, 2021. 
 
Here's the reason I don't mind spending twenty minutes or more [3] a day on this little game: I often learn new words from it. And not just obscure, only-in-crossword type of words: They're the kinds of words I can actually come across in my reading -- and sometimes will incorporate in my writing.
 
I noticed this relatively quickly, as early as my second or third week of play. One day, I was one word shy of Queen Bee, and the word that was missing was MOTET. I found it through "mashing" -- that's the term for madly typing random letters to see if a combination is accepted as a word. After hitting upon MOTET, I looked it up in Merriam-Webster and found it referred to "a polyphonic choral composition on a sacred text usually without instrumental accompaniment."
 
The very next day, I was reading an article in the New Yorker, and there it was, in the second paragraph: "In 1502, the Venetian printer Ottaviano Petrucci, the chief pioneer of movable-type music publishing, issued a volume of sacred motets, with Josquin’s four-voice setting of 'Ave Maria'...."
 
Without having done Spelling Bee the day before, I wouldn't have known what that was all about. Now I will never forget it.
 
What else have I learned through Spelling Bee? I've been keeping a little list. Well, it's kind of a big list, at this point. Too big for me to post it all here, so I'm just going to give some examples for each letter of the alphabet (minus the X and Z, along with the S, which is not used in Spelling Bee).
 
Abaci. The plural of abacus.
Aglet. The small plastic or metal covering that keeps the end of a shoelace or cord from
unraveling.
Arborio. A short-grained rice.
Attar. A natural perfume derived from rose petals or other flora.
Baht. Thai currency.
Barbacoa. A Mexican cooking technique used on shredded meat, or the cooked meat itself.
Blin. A Russian pancake, singular of blini.
Brogan. A heavy leather work shoe.
Callaloo. A Jamaican vegetable stew.
Celli. The plural of cello.
Chiton. A chemical compound found in exoskeletons, the second-most common polymer found in nature, after cellulose.
Cinquain. A short poem of five unrhymed lines.
Cirri. The plural of cirrus (a type of cloud)
Codon. A type of unit in the genetic code of DNA or RNA.
Dace. A small fish commonly found in lakes and rivers in Europe.
Deckle. A frame for making ragged-edge pages.
Deke. A feint in hockey.
Duple. A musical meter with two beats to the bar.
Eidetic. Having accurate recall of images, e.g., eidetic memory.
Ennead. A group of nine.
Farad.  A unit of electrical capacity (from Faraday)
Galangal. A Thai spice, a form of ginger.
Gamelon. An Indonesia metal drum.
Hamartia. In classical Greek tragedy, the hero's flaw that leads to his downfall.
Heme. The non-protein part of hemoglobin.
Horchata. A milky drink made from tiger nuts (Spanish version) or made from white rice, seeds, jicaro, almonds or other nuts (South American version), mixed with spices, served hot or cold.
Indica. A type of marijuana. The other type is sativa.
Javelina. Another name for a peccary, a feral pig. Shortly after learning this word through Spelling Bee, there was a query on the Listserv about the peccary, asking what distinguished it from the warthog, and I took that opportunity to answer the question by providing a link to a site describing all three: the warthog, the peccary and the javelina -- see Message   on December 19, 2022.
Kola. The correct spelling for the nut (actually, the seed) of the cola tree. 
Larboard. An archaic term for port, that is, the opposite of starboard -- and a continuing source of irritation for legions of Spelling Bee players who have been lobbying Sam Ezersky, the editor of Spelling Bee, to accept ALEE and LUFF, both of which are far more common sailing terms than "larboard."
Llano. An open, grassy plain in South America or in the US Southwest.
Loblolly, A type of pine tree commonly found throughout the Southeast.
Lunula. The little white half-moon found at the base of the fingernail.
Malic. The acid that produces a sour taste in fruits.
Melodion. A type of accordion.
Mentee. One who is mentored.
Meze, also spelled mezze. Small dishes or appetizers in Levantine cuisine.
Minim. A drop of liquid from a dropper.
Mizzen. The mast just behind the main mast, or the sail on the mizzen mast.
Motet. A polyphonic choral composition on a sacred text usually without instrumental accompaniment.
Myope. A person with myopia (nearsightedness).
Naiad. A sea-nymph.
Nankeen. A mustard-colored fabric imported from China that was used to make gentlemen's trousers, fashionable during the Regency period in Britain. The trousers were also called nankeens.
Nepenthe. The forgetting potion used in The Odyssey.
Natant. Swimming or floating.
Ollie. 
A skateboarding or snowboarding maneuver, a jump without the use of a takeoff ramp.
Opah. The moonfish.
Otalgia. Earache.
Outro. In musical composition, the opposite of an intro.
Palapa. A Mexican beach hut with a thatched roof.
Pellicle. The thin membrane of a cell.
Pepita. A pumpkin seed used in Mexican cooking.
Phial. Archaic spelling of vial.
Pipit. A small brown songbird, similar to a lark.
Pillion. The passenger seat behind the motorcyclist.
Podia. The plural of podium.
Quintain. A poem or a stanza of a poem of five lines.
Ramada. A shelter open on all sides, with a thatched or tile roof.
Roti. A round naan bread.
Tabla. A pair of small hand drums attached together, used in Indian music.
Tain. A thin tin plate, or the tin foil used as the backing for a mirror.
Tenon. A projecting member in a piece of wood or other material for insertion into a mortise to make a joint (carpentry).
Thole. One of a pair of pins, inserted into a gunwale to provide a fulcrum for an oar. 
Tilth. Tilled soil.
Tinct. Tinted or tinged.
Tittle. The dot above a lower-case I or J, or any tiny detail (usually when paired with "jot").
Toile. The test fabric used to create a mock-up of a new fashion design.
Torii. The gateway to a Shinto shrine (Japan).
Tubule. A small tube or minute channel, such as the ones found in the kidneys.
Tupelo. A tree that grows in swamps throughout the south and midwest.
Tutee. One who is taught by a tutor.
Uvea. The pigmented middle layer of the eyeball, consisting of three segments: the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid.
Venule. A small vein.
Villanelle. A nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain.
Voile. A sheer cotton fabric.
Wilco. "Will comply" in radio jargon. Often used after "roger" (meaning, "understood.")
Wight. A miserable creature, a wretched spirit or ghost (archaic).
Yech. Alternate spelling of yecch.
Yenned, yenning. Past tense and present participle of "to yen," meaning "to yearn."
 
Let me put that last word to immediate use: I am seriously yenning for a chance to use every one of these new words that I learned through Spelling Bee. Perhaps one day I will find a way to work them all into a 19-line villanelle.
 
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ENDNOTES:
 
1.  Here are the 3 previous Still Life with Robin columns on the NY Times Spelling Bee:
 
Sept 25, 2021: Words that should be included in Spelling Bee but aren't:
 
November 13, 2022: Staying on Twitter to tweet about Spelling Bee.
 
Nov 27 2022: Tomtit and Baobab podcast about Spelling Bee: 
 
2.  OK, it is to brag, and saying it's not is just a convention of speech.
 
3.  Truth be told, it's far more likely to take forty minutes than twenty minutes. But still time well spent!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Get Out! And Celebrate the Lunar New Year! It's the Year of the Rabbit!

by Peggy Robin

Join Mayor Muriel Bowser in the 2023 Lunar New Year Parade to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit!

The parade will include colorful and diverse contingents, a ceremony with traditional performances, and an exciting firecracker finale.

The assembly time is 1 p.m., the parade will step off at 2 p.m. at 6th and I Streets NW, and a staged ceremony will begin at the end of the parade route at approximately 3 p.m. at 6th and H Streets NW.


To request accommodations or translation, contact MOAPIA 7 days in advance at oapia@dc.gov [oapia @ dc dot gov] or call 202-727-3120.


The 2023 Lunar New Year Parade is organized by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Reserve a free spot here

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The "Get Out" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Attention, Chevy Chasers....Is That What You Really Would Like to Be Called?

by Peggy Robin


So I was reading the Chevy Chase Community Listserv a few days ago and I was struck by the subject line of this message: "What Chevy Chasers Have Said They Want in a Community Center" -- not because of topic itself, but because of the term used for the residents of Chevy Chase:"Chevy Chasers" ?? Sounds to me like people running after a Malibu or a Camaro. Right away I'm thinking of some equivalents for other makes of cars besides a Chevy -- like a "Pontiac Pursuer" or maybe "Honda Herder." 

But who am I to tell the people of another neighborhood what they should call themselves? I'm secure in the knowledge that we residents of Cleveland Park all identify ourselves as Cleveland Parkers -- as indeed, anyone who lives in any neighborhood ending in "Park" would do. There are Woodley Parkers, Glover Parkers, AU Parkers,  Michigan Parkers, Manor Parkers, etc., etc.

But that started me thinking about all the other neighborhoods where it's not so clear what you would call yourself when you are identifying yourself by the part of town you call home. In some cases, you might have a choice of terms. Take Tenleytown, You could be a Tenleytowner, or you could be a Tenleytownsman or townswomen, or collectively, Tenleytownspeople. If you wanted to sound more folksy, you could be Tenleytownfolk. 

Georgetown residents, on the other hand, have always been called Georgetowners; they just don't seem like they'd ever be called Georgetownfolk.

Casting around at other DC neighborhoods, I see so many neighborhoods whose residents need a moniker. Happy to oblige!

Forest Hills. Forest Hillyers. Or maybe Forest Hillspeople. Or Foresters of the Hills.
Dupont Circle. Dupont Circlers. Dupont Circlites.
Spring Valley. Spring Valleyites. Or they could be Springers of the Valley.
Adams Morgan. Adams Morganites. Or Adams Morganians.
U Street. U Streeters.
West End. West Enders.
Brookland. Brooklanders
Petworth. Petworthers. But if I lived there, I would go for Petworthies.
Federal Triangle. Federal Triangulators.
Shaw. They could be Shawians, but, alternatively, they could adopt the term used by scholars of the works and philosophy of the playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw: Shavian. If you think that sounds pretentious, yes, it probably does. But I still like it.
Swampoodle. I wouldn't put an "R" at the end but just would call myself a Swampoodle, like a boggy version of the French dog breed, which I'm sure can be found in abundance in the neighborhood. Is it insulting to call someone a poodle? Depends on whether you think of poodles as a smart, elegant breed, or a silly, over-sheared, fusspot of a breed.
Capitol Hill. Capitol Hillyers or Hillers.
Hill East. Well, they can't be called Hill Easters --especially if they don't celebrate that holiday-- so I guess they'll have to be Easterners. Maybe Easties, for short.
Naylor Gardens. They could be Naylor Gardeners or Naylor Gardenians.
Barry Farm. Barry Farmers, of course.
Washington Highlands. Washington Highlanders.
Southwest Waterfront. Southwest Waterfronters, or maybe Southwest Watermen and Waterwomen or Waterfolk. 
Palisades. Palisaders, Palisadians. Palisadists?
Foggy Bottom. I'm sure they don't want to be called Foggy Bottomers. Maybe Foggy Bottomites? No, that's even worse. Foggy Bums? Now we're going from bad to terrible. And now that I'm stumped, I think I'll quite while I'm behind!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Get Out! Drink Beer & Do Yoga for Ukraine: Celebrate 8 Years of Bagels, Cakepops & More with Baked By Yael

by Peggy Robin


It isn't often you get to do something fun and relaxing for yourself and know you're not just indulging yourself but are actually doing good at the same time. 

That's the event I'm highlighting as the "Get Out!" event of the week. It's this one:


January 15: Beer and Yoga Fundraiser for Ukraine


Go Help Now and Lost Generation Brewing Co. are raising money for Ukraine. Your ticket includes a 45 minute yoga session and a beer/drink.


Date and time: 
Location: Lost Generation Brewing Company 327 S Street Northeast Washington, DC 20002
Map: 

Ukrainians have shown immense bravery and stamina during the current war in Ukraine. Yet, many are still without heat, power, and safety this winter.

Go Help Now, a DC non-profit, in partnership with Lost Generation Brewing Company, wants to help.

Come to Lost Generation Brewing Company for a gentle Sunday morning yoga session followed by a beer (or non-alcoholic drink of your choice). Profits from this charity event will support Ukrainians for safe housing solutions, provide cash assistance for basic needs, and expand Go Help Now's volunteer opportunities for crises relief.

* Bring your own mat! Must be 21 to be receive beer/seltzer.

To learn more about Go Help Now, go to www.gohelpnow.org.


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And don't miss.....

Baked by Yael's Anniversary Celebration - Take a Selfie with our 🐼Giant Panda for a
chance to WIN a Dozen Cakepops!

While we usually highlight just one Event of the Week in the "Get Out! column, we'd be remiss if we didn't toot the horn for the Baked By Yael 8th anniversary celebration happening right across from the National Zoo. We feel a special bond with Baked By Yael, who first starting selling cakepops on the Listsserv even before there was a brick-and-mortar store. Listserv members were such enthusiastic customers and supporters, they helped her get the storefront business going, and she's been an annual sponsor and Listserv supporter ever since! And the cakepops, bagels and other baked goods are consistently ranked "Best in DC!"

So come out and celebrate! You've got the whole MLK holiday weekend to stop by:

January 14-16th:
🎉It's Buy 1 Get 1! - Buy one 🐼Panda Pop and receive a FREE Signature Cakepop.
🎉Take a selfie with our 🐼Giant (5ft) Panda for a chance to WIN a Dozen Cakepops.

Baked by Yael

3000 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Open Daily 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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The "Get Out!" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Still Life with Robin: '23 Skiddoo!

by Peggy Robin


My first "Still Life with Robin" of the new year is always the same: I look at the oddities and factoids of the year to come, including:
  • Palindrome dates (which read the same, forwards and backwards)
  • Friday(s) the 13th
  • Astronomical events (supermoons, blue moons, solar eclipses, convergences, other celestial spectacles)
  • Historic anniversaries

The palindromes dates:

There's just one that uses the 4-digit year in American format (M/DD/YYYY) and it's March 3, 2023 = 3.20.2023. It also works in a two-digit year format, March 3, '23 = 3.20.23.

Then, from the 21st of March through the 29th, there's a run of nine palindrome dates in American format, using just the two-digit year:

3.21.23
3.22.23
3.23.23
3.24.23
3.25.23
3.26.23
3.27.23
3.28.23
3.29.23

Friday the 13th: Those afflicted with paraskevidekatriaphobia will want to stay in bed next Friday, as January 13, 2023 is the first of the two Fridays that fall on the inauspicious 13th day of the month. The other is on Friday, October 13, 2023.

For sky-watchers, 2023 yields a quartet of Supermoons (defined as moons that nearly coincide with
perigee
—the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit—resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth. The Supermoon dates are: July 3; August 3; August 30; September 29.
Blue Moon. August 30 is also the date of the only "blue moon" this year. There are two types of "blue moons": it's either the second full moon within the same calendar month, or, if there are four full moons within a season, the third one of four is the one called the "blue moon." 

Eclipses (sorry, nothing visible in the skies over us this year):

There will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses in 2023, according to CNN and NASA :  

April 20: Total solar eclipse (visible to those in Australia, Southeast Asia and Antarctica)
Oct. 14: Annular solar eclipse (visible across North, Central and South America)
May 5: Penumbral lunar eclipse (visible in Africa, Asia and Australia)
Oct. 28: Partial lunar eclipse (visible to those in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, parts of North America and much of South America)

Convergences, comets, and planets (oh my!);

The comet is the most exciting of these events.

The comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) could be bright enough to be spotted with the naked eye as it passes the sun and Earth at the end of the first month of 2023.

March 1: Jupiter meets Venus in conjunction: Venus and Jupiter will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 0°32' to the north of Jupiter. At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse. From Washington, the pair will become visible around 18:44 (MST), 24° above your western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 23 minutes after the Sun at 20:51.

November 9: "Earthshine." Be sure to set your alarm clock for 5 a.m. local time and then head outside on Nov. 9, 2023 to a location with an unobstructed view toward the east-northeast to see the most spectacular moon/Venus pairing of 2023. You'll likely also see the dark of the crescent moon eerily glowing with a blue-gray cast, a phenomenon known as "Earthshine."

And now, the earthly anniversaries of note:

February 16: A century of King Tut. It was 100 years ago on this date that archaeologist Howard Carter opened the door to Tutankhamun's tomb. 

June 5 is the 300th birthday of Adam Smith, economist and philosopher who is known as "The Father of Capitalism", as his precepts laid the foundations for classical free market economic theory. (Don't know whether you want to fete him or curse him on this day.)

October 16 marks a century since the founding of the Disney Brothers Studio. And the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Steamboat Willie," has finally gone into the public domain!

November 22 marks 60 years since the assassination of JFK. There are bound to be commemorations and observances of the 60th anniversary of this somber event.

November 23: It's been 60 years since the first episode of Doctor Who aired. English actor William Hartnell became the first of many to play The Doctor. The show is now the longest-running science fiction drama in the world.

Monarchs in history: It's the 1500th anniversary of the ascent of King Hilderic, who succeeded his uncle Thrasamund to become king of the Vandals and Alans. (The Alans? What about the ones who spelled it Allen? That must have thrown a wrench into the whole affair!) 

Literary event: It's the 2000th anniversary of the publication of The Odes by Horace. Of this ancient collection of Latin lyric poems, Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote that they are "jewels five-words long, that on the stretched forefinger of all Time / Sparkle for ever." Now that is "news you can use"!

Oh, and on the last day in November, we will celebrate two dozen years of the Cleveland Park Listserv, which sent out message #1 on November 30, 1999. That first message came out with odd spacing and so was deleted, and replaced by message #2.) This message is #196694.

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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Get Out! And Join in The Salute to MLK: The Struggle for Democracy and The Vote, Sunday, Jan 8, 3-6pm

by Peggy Robin

DC Public Library image

The DC Public Library and WAMU are hosting a live event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and current-day social justice activists.

Sunday, January 08
3:00pm - 6:00pm  

This event will have compelling conversations hosted by Jenn White, host of 1A; and Kojo Nnamdi, host of The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi. 

Hear from experts on the contemporary state of voting rights and democratic representation. Exclusive after-hour access to the exhibition of "Up from the People: Protest and Change in D.C.," featuring two main galleries of "A Revolution of Values" and "D.C. Represented," will open at 5 p.m. for attendees. 

We want to hear from you! What do you want to ask our hosts and panelists? Please submit your questions in advance here. To participate, you must register by January 7. All registered participants will receive a confirmation email.  

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library - Central Library
901 G Street NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/5o266q6FUocbuczT
Phone: (202) 727-0321 
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The Get Out! event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.