Inspiration for the Day for March 19: The Tortoise And The Hare

 

 

The Tortoise And The Hare

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Like the tortoise and the hare, we all arrive at the same destination, together, eventually.

The classic tale of the tortoise and the hare reminds us that different people take life at different speeds and that one way is not necessarily superior to another. In fact, in the story it is the slower animal that ends up arriving at the destination first. In the same way, some of us seem to move very quickly through the issues and obstacles we all face in our lives. Others need long periods of time to process their feelings and move into new states of awareness. For those of us who perceive ourselves as moving quickly, it can be painful and exasperating to deal with someone else’s slower pace. Yet, just like the tortoise and the hare, we all arrive at the same destination together, eventually.

People who take their time with things are probably in the minority in most of the world today. We live in a time when speed and productivity are valued above almost anything else. Therefore, people who flow at a slower pace are out of sync with the world and are often pestered and prodded to go faster and do more. This can be not only frustrating but also counterproductive because the stress of being pushed to move faster than one is able to move actually slows progress. On the other hand, if a person’s style is honored and supported, they will find their way in their own time and, just like the tortoise, they might just beat the speedier, more easily distracted person to the finish line.

It’s important to remember that we are not actually in a race to get somewhere ahead of someone else, and it is difficult to judge by appearances whether one person has made more progress than another. Whether you count yourself among the fast movers or as one of the slower folks, we can all benefit from respecting the pace that those around us choose for themselves. This way, we can keep our eyes on our own journey, knowing that we will all end up together in the end.

Daily OM

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Get A Jump On Tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Wednesday, March 20

Moon Alert

Caution: Avoid shopping or important decisions from 11 AM to 10 PM EDT today (8 AM to 7 PM PDT). After that, the Moon moves from Virgo into Libra. The Full Moon in Libra peaks at 9:43 PM EDT (6:43 PM PDT).

Aries (March 21-April 19)

If you can use your wealth or possessions to help someone else – this is the perfect time to do this because your rewards will come back to you multiplied. The old axiom that what goes around, comes around is always in play – but sometimes (like today) it’s magnified!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You have powerful energy within you right now. (You can feel it.) This means you have a chance to wield more influence in your daily life and environment, especially to use this power to make improvements in your world. Keep at this!

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Be wary of hidden energy that might be negative, for example, someone who does not have your best interests at heart. This kind of negative energy might be empowered now, which makes it easier for you to spot and avoid it.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Now is the time to define long-range goals. Think about what you want to change about yourself and your world, and what you have to do to start to make those changes a reality. You will be able to maintain a sustained effort for a long time. Bonus!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Your ambition is aroused! You have big ideas and you intend to achieve them. The best ideas to work on will be ideas that benefit others as well as yourself because then your success will really be remarkable. Capisce?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Use your influence through the media, publishing or higher education to make the world a better place today. For example, can you help someone less fortunate in another country or another culture? If you can, you will be rewarded and gratified.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

You have the power today to make beneficial changes and improvements to how a joint sum of money is handled. Or perhaps you can influence how a partner’s wealth can benefit someone else? Look for ways to do this today.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Today is a Full Moon plus it’s an excellent day to explore how you can improve your closest relationships, especially with partners and close friends. Whatever improvements you introduce should not just improve your own situation, they should improve the lives of others as well.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This is the perfect day to introduce reforms to where you work; however, make sure these reforms benefit others as well as yourself. Having said that, it’s also a good day to think about how you can improve your own health.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Can you do something to improve the welfare of children in your life? This is the perfect day to look for ways to do this. These children might be your own kids, they might be children in your community, or children who are suffering in another land. (On my website, a mosquito net sent to Africa costs only $10.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You have lots of energy today to make improvements to your home. Look around you to see what can you do that would make the biggest impact to benefit everyone. Likewise, what can you do to improve family relationships?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

We are gregarious creatures. We need to communicate with others. Generally our communications are relatively trivial but comforting. Today you can make your communications count in a way that benefits others – perhaps through teaching, telling others something or writing.

If Your Birthday Is Today

Director-producer-writer-actor writer Spike Lee (1957) shares your birthday today. You have a wonderful imagination. You are also brave, outgoing and sensitive. Congratulations because you are in your year of harvest. All kinds of major achievements will come to fruition now as you reap the benefits of the last decade. Expect to enjoy power and leadership in all your relationships. You deserve this time of success. Make the most of it!

–GeorgiaNichols

If You Were March 19th, Happy Birthday Pisces!

(why let a perfectly good graphic go to waste)

Happy Birthday Pisces!

IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS March 19, your birthday personality is one of your greatest assets. Your friends think the world of you, Pisces. You are a devoted team player that has a lot of discipline and practicality.

If today is your birthday, you pay close attention to the little things so you can easily pick up on things most people take for granted. This is what makes you a unique Piscean.

The Pisces birthday horoscope for March 19th shows that you are loyal to your friends and family members. You are intelligent, to say the least. You are capable of solving problems with apparent ease.Those that trust you with their innermost thoughts are people that admire you. Pisceans born on this day are always thinking of ways to bring joy into their loved one’s life.

The March 19th birthday meaning shows you, to be frank, trusting and finely tuned Pisceans. With this connection to your friends and family, you receive the same treatment. This is important to you as it shows appreciation for your time and efforts.

You have realistic expectations but sometimes, you can guard against those that are stunned by your prudent nature. In those relationships necessary to your environment, you should make an effort to let go of past misunderstandings. If you had a blemish, Pisces, this would be it. Holding on to grudges only affects you adversely in the long haul.

As a lover, people with birthday March 19, you are protective and idealistic. You suffer many disappointments because of it. You hope that each relationship will be your last. Your birthday characteristics show you to be a sentimentalist and while sensitivity is a desirable quality, Pisces, you must stay grounded. Your impulsiveness can give way to burning bridges and spoiling the compatibility in relationships.

Today’s birthday horoscope predicts that it is your choice to be successful. You work toward it every day. Pisces’ communication skills are impeccable and you would make a great fit for leadership positions. You could be responsible for inspiring a student if you so choose to become an educator at your local high school or university.

You could become famous for writing the inaugural speech or be a feature editor in some world-renowned magazine. You have so many natural talents, Pisces; you can literally be what you want to be. It is as easy as closing your eyes and pointing. You can do it… You are a Pisces!

Overall, March 19th Pisces zodiac birthdays people are cheerful beings. It could be that you choose what thoughts you have. You make a choice to remember some things and others, you reinvent. You should not change things that could be crucial to your history. It is deceitful to do so even if the damage is to yourself.

Pisceans born on this day are generally physically healthy. Maybe you had some illnesses as a child but have since grown out of them. The only thing that should concern you is being partial to alcohol or pills. You have a likelihood to take to these things for comfort instead of using them for the purpose they were intended.

The March 19th birthday analysis shows that you as a parent, Pisces, have different ideas when it comes to raising your own. Those born on this day may lack certain skills.

You should not be ashamed. You love them but give your children too much rope. Perhaps seeking a balance between creative freedom and lackadaisical parenting would make educating, training, disciplining matters easier.

Those born on March 19 are Pisceans that are highly thought of. Although you have a pleasing personality, you can hold grudges, Pisces. You need to let that go as well as reinvent your past to soothe what ails you. Face it… get on with it.

 

The 19 March birthday astrology suggests that you have far to go in this life and even though you are physically in good shape, it would be smart to leave the drinking to another fish.

Pisces, you want to set a good example for the children, but do not know how. There is help out there. Reach out for it. You can do this! You are capable of finding solutions to everything!

 

Famous People And Celebrities Born On March 19

Casey Anthony, Bun B, Ahmad Bradshaw, Garrett Clayton, Glenn Close, Wyatt Earp, Vida Guerra, Jawan Harris, Moms Mabley, Bruce Willis

 

This Day That Year – March 19 In History

1227 – Count Ugolino of Segna appoints Pope Gregory IX
1644 – To show loyalty to the Emperor, suicide is committed by 200 members of the Peking imperial court
1775 – Italy; after 37 days of being buried by the snow, 3 out of 4 people survive
1918 – Daylight saving time becomes effective as do time zones

March 19  Meen Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign)
March 19 Chinese Zodiac RABBIT

March 19 Birthday Planet

Your ruling planet is Neptune that symbolizes faith, compassion, sensitivity, and imagination.

March 19 Birthday Symbols

The Two Fishes Are The Symbol For The Pisces Zodiac Sign

March 19 Birthday Tarot Card

Your Birth Day Tarot Card is The Sun. This card symbolizes illumination, rejuvenation, power, and energy. The Minor Arcana cards are Ten of Cupsand Queen of Wands

March 19 Birthday Compatibility

You are most compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign Aries: This will be a passionate and energetic match.
You are not compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign GeminiThe relationship will be difficult and fail because of difference of opinions.

March 19 Lucky Numbers

Number 1 – This number stands for innovation, pioneer, enthusiasm, and command.
Number 4 – This number is an organized, hardworking, simple and down to earth.

Lucky Colors For March 19 Birthday

Turquoise: This is a positive color that symbolizes equilibrium, faith, trust, elegance and intuition.
Orange: This is a color associated with action, vigor, enjoyment, and optimism.

Lucky Days For March 19 Birthday

Thursday – This day ruled by Jupiter stands for vigor, energy, activity and plentiful.
Sunday – This day ruled by Sun stands for determination, power, willpower, and independence.

March 19 Birthstone Aquamarine 

Aquamarine is a soothing gemstone that helps you meditate deeply and improve spiritual consciousness.

Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gifts For People Born On The 19th Of March:

A hand made photo frame for the man and a quirky T shirt for the woman.

 

–SunSigns.org

The Daily Horoscopes for Tuesday, March 19th

Moon Alert

We have the “all clear” today to shop and do business. The Moon is in Virgo.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

For the next four weeks, it’s all about you, dear Aries! The Sun is in your sign giving you a chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of year. This will also attract people and favourable circumstances to you. Enjoy!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You will prefer to work alone or behind the scenes in the next four weeks because you want to be more low key. However, since your personal year is ending, this is the perfect time to define goals and think about what you want your new year (birthday to birthday) to embrace.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

You will enjoy increased popularity with friends and groups in the next four weeks. This is also a lovely window of time to share your hopes and dreams for the future with others to get their feedback. Try it. Everyone loves you!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

For the next four weeks, the Sun is at the top of your chart casting a flattering spotlight on you, which makes you look great in the eyes of parents and bosses. (You don’t have to do anything special.) Obviously, you can use this influence to advance your agenda!

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Grab every chance to travel or get further training or education in the next four weeks because this will please you. You’ll be hungry to expand your horizons and learn new things! You want to seek out the stimulation of adventure, new faces and new places. Yeah!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You will have more interest in shared property, taxes, debt and insurance issues in the next four weeks. Coworkers will be supportive and old friends who are back in your world might help. (Or not.) Prioritize what you want to get done.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The Sun is opposite your sign for the next four weeks, increasing your focus on partners and close friends. This placement of the Sun allows you to learn more about your style of relating to others because it gives you greater objectivity about yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You will give more thought to how you run your life and how you might improve the efficiency of your daily world in the next four weeks. It’s a bit of a self-improvement kick. By extension, you might also want to improve your health. This is a wonderful impulse.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Lucky you! The next four weeks will attract marvellous opportunities to play, flirt and enjoy social outings, including fun activities with kids. This happens only once a year so make the most of it. Romance will flourish and sports events will appeal!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Your focus will turn to home, family and your private life much more during the next four weeks. In fact, many of you might be more involved than usual with a parent. In particular, you will enjoy chances to cocoon at home and relax among familiar surroundings.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks. Just accept this and go with the flow! Your schedule will be busy with short trips, errands, appointments, conversations with siblings, neighbours and relatives plus increased reading, writing and studying. (Gasp.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

In the next four weeks, you will reflect more upon your values. What is really important to you? You might want to make some big purchases. You might also want to show something off. Basically, you want to establish greater control of your life through the things that you own.

If Your Birthday Is Today

Actress Glenn Close (1947) shares your birthday today. You are a dreamer with big ideas. You have a quirky sense of humour and a sunny disposition. What you learn this year is crucial for your progress and success next year. Therefore, focus on teaching and learning. This is an excellent year to explore meditation, yoga or any discipline that helps you get a better understanding of who you are.

 

–GeorgiaNicols

Daily Cosmic Calendar for Tuesday, March 19th

COSMIC CALENDAR

Small is beautiful can be your mantra for the day with the lunar orb continuing its monthly transit through detail-oriented Virgo. The little things in life can either magnify your potential success or put you on the defensive with your back against the wall. Investment strategies should be scrutinized carefully to gain an advantage over the competition as Vesta makes a supportive, 60-degree tie with highly-perceptive Pluto (11:39 a.m.).

Avoid falling into webs of intrigue or traps of illusion in key relationships as the moon makes its monthly polarity to often chaos-bringer Neptune (9:14 p.m.). Get set for one of this year’s major astro-zodiacal turning points tomorrow when the equinox closely coincides with a powerful full moon.

[Note to readers: All times are calculated for Pacific Daylight Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Copyright 2018 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. 

Astrology.com

Since Spring is Almost Here, That Means SPRING CLEANING, YEAH! (Not!)

 

HOMEMADE CLEANERS: FOR CARPET, FLOOR, GLASS, DRAINS

January 23, 2010

Here is advice on how to make homemade cleaners and stain removers for your home. If you have any great tips, please post your own comments below!

FLOOR CLEANERS AND POLISHES

  • Need to polish the floors? Try polishing with baking soda to make them sparkle.
  • Wash away grease spots and dull, greasy film on no-wax linoleum floors with a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ gallon of water. Your floor will look sparking clean.
  • For linoleum, damp-mop using a solution of a mild detergent and water for day-to-day cleaning. Keep water away from seams and edges to prevent loosening of the tiles. To preserve the floor, add a capful of baby oil to the mop water.
  • For brick and stone floors, mix 1 cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. Scrub floor with a brush and vinegar solution, then rinse.
  • For ceramic tile floors, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. This solution removes most dirt without scrubbing. Soap doesn’t work well if you have hard water.

CARPET CLEANERS

  • Blood: Sponge the stain immediately with cold water or club soda, and dry it with a towel. Repeat as necessary.
  • Ink: Soak ink stains in lemon juice.
  • Muddy footprints: Sprinkle salt on the mud and let it dry before vacuuming.
  • Urine: Dab the area with a towel, wash it with suds of liquid hand-dishwashing detergent, and rinse it with ½ cup of vinegar diluted in one quart of warm water. Lay towels over the spot and weigh it down to absorb excess moisture. Let it sit for 6 to 8 hours; then remove the toweling, brush up the nap, and let the carpet dry completely.
  • Vomit: Mix one part white vinegar to eight parts water in a bucket or spray bottle. Spray onto the stain and allow it to set for one to two minutes. Then blot up the remaining vinegar with absorbent paper towels until no more moisture comes up.
  • Soot: Sprinkle the area generously with salt. Allow the salt to settle for a least 15 minutes before vacuuming.

FURNITURE POLISH

  • Mix 2 parts vegetable or olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth. This leaves furniture looking and smelling good.

GLASS AND WINDOW CLEANERS

  • ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
  • ½ cup ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
  • To clean cut glass, sprinkle baking soda on a damp rag and clean the glass. Rinse and then polish with a soft cloth.
  • Remove stains on glass by rubbing them with toothpaste. Polish with a soft cloth.

GREASE REMOVERS

  • For grease on kitchen floors, immediately pour salt on the spot to absorb the grease and prevent staining.
  • If you spill grease on a wood floor, immediately place ice cubes or very cold water on the spot. The grease will harden and then can be carefully scraped off. Finally, iron a piece of cloth or folded paper towel over the grease spot to soak up any remaining grease.

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANERS

  • Mix together vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaning.
  • Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a general cleaner. Or, use baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda will clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

DRAIN CLEANERS AND OPENERS

  • To avoid clogged drains, use a drain strainer to trap food particles and hair, and collect grease in cans rather than pouring it down the drain.
  • Weekly, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to melt fat that may be building up, or pour some vinegar and baking soda down the drain to break down fat and keep your drain smelling fresh.
  • To open a drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Add ½ cup of white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let it sit for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it.
  • Another way to open a drain is to pour ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this with 6 cups of boiling water. Let it sit overnight and then flush it with water. The hot water wil help dissolve the clog, and the baking soda and salt serve as an abrasive to break through the clog.

 

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac

 

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for March 18: FULL MOON ON THE SPRING EQUINOX

 

FULL MOON ON THE SPRING EQUINOX

March 15, 2019

This is one of those rare years when the full Moon lands right smack on the spring equinox—on March 20, 2019, in North America. This only happens three times a century, on average.  And it’s the third and final “supermoon.” Enjoy the extra-bright equinox full moon Wednesday night!

  • For most people, the equinox’s main significance is that it’s the start of spring, so to be exact, you can wave flags and pour extra treats into the bird feeders at 5:58 PM EDT Wednesday afternoon, March 20.
  • It’s also the day when the Sun rises and sets precisely due east and due west. So on Wednesday you can rotate and calibrate your sundial, that job you’ve been putting off for so long.
  • It’s the day when the Sun moves across the sky in a laser-straight line. It’s when the noonday sun stands in its medium or average height above your southern horizon.
  • And, yes, the days and nights are sort of equal for people throughout the world. Not exactly equal, but close enough.

FULL MOON ON THE VERNAL EQUINOX

The Full Moon of March happens just a tad less than four hours after the equinox, at 9:43 PM EDT on March 20 2019, so it will indeed appear perfectly round Wednesday night.

This is the closest coincidence of the vernal equinox and full moon since March 20, 2000. For the Northern Hemisphere, this March full moon ushers in the first full moon of the spring season; in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the first full moon of autumn.

Further, this is the third and final “supermoon” of 2019—which is just a catchy term for a full moon closely coinciding with perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.

MOONRISE AND SUNSET COINCIDE!

The equinox and full Moon are a close enough match that you can look for moonrise at very nearly the same moment as sunset!  Both of our major sky lights hovering opposite each other—the sun setting just as the full moon is rising.

Very cool, and yet their opposition is not perfectly precise. The Sun will do its job and set at the true west spot on your horizon. You’ll be able to ascertain how your home is oriented to the cardinal directions. But the Moon’s orbit is tilted five degrees from the Sun-Earth plane, so the trio of celestial bodies is rarely aligned in all three dimensions, which is why total solar eclipses are so uncommon.

On Wednesday evening, at the time of moonrise, the Moon will be four degrees north of the ecliptic plane, which will make it come up a whopping eight full moon diameters to the left of due east.

Yet, if you want the Moon to guide your eyes to true east, it’s doable. But you must wait 40 minutes after moonrise, as the Moon slowly glides up and to the right. Then it will hover precisely due east. We can’t give you an exact time because we don’t know where you live. But roughly speaking, when you see the Moon just a few degrees above the horizon that evening, it’ll be hovering true east.

And that’s the full Moon equinox story. We’re out of room, which is why we neglected eggs balancing on edge, squirrels speaking French, and all the other supposed effects you find on the Web.

 

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s hub for everything stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe!

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for March 18: FIRST DAY OF SPRING 2019: THE SPRING EQUINOX

 

FIRST DAY OF SPRING 2019: THE SPRING EQUINOX

CELEBRATE THE VERNAL EQUINOX AND THE START OF SPRING!
March 15, 2019

The spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy our spring equinox facts, folklore, photos, and more!

WHEN IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING?

Spring begins with the vernal equinox, which always occurs on March 19, 20, or 21.

Year Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)
2019 Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 P.M. EDT
2020 Thursday, March 19, at 11:49 P.M. EDT
2021 Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 A.M. EDT

A FULL MOON ON THE SPRING EQUINOX!

The last time the Full Worm Moon happened less than one day of the March equinox was 19 years ago, in 2000, and the next time will be 11 years from now, in 2030.

But that’s not all: March’s full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger than most of the other full Moons this year.

What an extra-bright way to greet spring!!

 

WHAT DOES THE EQUINOX MEAN?

The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night).

On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.

With the equinox, enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.

 

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE MARCH EQUINOX?

On the March Equinox, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. It’s called the “celestial equator”  because it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator.

If you were standing on the equator, the Sun would pass directly overhead on its way north.

Equinoxes are the only two times a year that Sun only rises due east and sets due west for all of us on Earth!

While the Sun passes overhead, the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (Note, however, that the Earth never orbits upright, but is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5 degrees.)

After the Spring equinox, the Norther Hemisphere tilts toward the Sun, which is why we start to get longer, sunnier days

 

SPRING EQUINOX FAQS

Q: IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING ALWAYS MARCH 20?

A: No, it’s not always March 20. And your answer also depends on your definition of the “first day of spring.”  Both are accurate; they’re just from different perspectives. We’ll explain …

Astronomically speaking, the first day of spring is marked by the spring equinox, which falls on March 19, 20, or 21 every year. The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, though our clock times reflect a different time zone. And, as mentioned above, this date only signals spring’s beginning in the Northern Hemisphere; it announces fall’s arrival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Interestingly, due to time zone differences, there isn’t a March 21 equinox in mainland U.S. during the entire 21st century! Plus, we won’t see a March 21 in the world again until 2101.

Meteorologically speaking, the official first day of spring is March 1 (and the last is May 31). Weather scientists divide the year into quarters to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem, as these dates can vary slightly each year.

Q: ARE DAY AND NIGHT EQUAL ON THE EQUINOX?

A: No, but they are close to equal. In reality, day and night are not exactly equal at the equinox for two reasons: First, daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’

Q: ACCORDING TO FOLKLORE, YOU CAN STAND A RAW EGG ON END ON THE EQUINOX. IS THIS TRUE?

A: Folklore or not, this egg trick sounded like fun to us. One spring, a few minutes before the vernal equinox, several Almanac editors tried this trick. For a full workday, 17 out of 24 eggs stood standing. Three days later, we tried this trick again and found similar results. Perhaps 3 days after the equinox was still too near. Perhaps the equinox has nothing to do with it. Perhaps we just don’t like to take ourselves too seriously! Try this yourself and let us know what happens.

Q: WHICH DAY HAS THE MOST SUNLIGHT IN NORTH AMERICA?

A:  The Summer or June Solstice is called the “longest” day of the year! The date of the longest day actually varies between June 20 and June 22, depending on the year, and the local time zone. By “longest day,” we mean the day that gets the most daylight (versus darkness).

HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE THE VERNAL EQUINOX?

The vernal equinox signals new beginnings and nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere! Many cultures celebrate spring festivals, like Easter and Passover.

Observe nature around you!

  • Worms begin to emerge from the earth. In fact, the March Full Moon is called “The Full Worm Moon” for this reason.
  • Notice the arc of the Sun across the sky as it shifts toward the north. Birds are migrating northward, along with the path of the Sun.
  • Speaking of birds, did you know that the increasing sunlight is what triggers birds to sing? Cool, eh?
  • Trees, shrubs, and flowers are sensitive to temperature and day-length, too! Since ancient days, people have used them as indicators of when the weather is right for planting. For example: Blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishes, parsnips, and spinach.
  • Of course, the longer days bring warmer weather! Both we and the animals around us strip off our clothes and heavy coats!
  • Ready, set, plant! March is time to start gardens and sow seeds in many regions.

ANCIENT EQUINOX TRADITIONS: THE SNAKE OF SUNLIGHT

Scientific explanation aside, our ancestors were more connected to the Sun than we are today. They observed its pathway across the sky; they tracked how the sunrise, sunset, and day length changed, using the Sun (and Moon) as a clock and calendar.

There are many ancient sites that mark the equinoxes (and solstices). One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations was at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The Mayans built a huge pyramid around the year A.D. 1000.  The play of the Sun’s light on it signals the beginning of the seasons. On the spring equinox, it looks like a huge snake is slithering down the steps. Mayans called this day “the return of the Sun serpent.”

SPRING VERSE, QUOTES, AND SAYINGS

Verse

  • For glad Spring has begun,
    And to the ardent sun
    The earth, long time so bleak,
    Turns a frost-bitten cheek. 

    – Celia Thaxter, American poet (1835–94)
  • Spring-time sweet!
    The whole Earth smiles, thy coming to greet. 
    – Unknown
  • Never yet was a springtime,
    Late though lingered the snow,
    That the sap stirred not at the whisper
    Of the southwind, sweet and low.

    – Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, American writer (1838–1912)

Quotes

  • Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
    – Robin Williams (1951–2014)

Sayings

  • Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.
  • One swallow does not make a spring.
  • In spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell last year.
  • When the dandelions bloom early in spring, there will be a short season. When they bloom late, expect a dry summer. 
  • Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.

 

Source

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Celebrations Around the World, March 18: St. Joseph’s Eve

St. Joseph’s Eve

Type of Holiday: Religious (Christian)
Date of Observation: March 19 in the West; July 29 in the East
Where Celebrated: Italy, Sicily, Spain, United States, and by Christians all over the world
Symbols and Customs: Breads, Fruits, and Grains; Fish; Flowering Rod

ORIGINS

Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and foster-father of Jesus, has been honored as a saint since the earliest days of the Christian Church. But very little is known about his life, or even the exact date of his death, which is believed to have occurred when Jesus Christ was eighteen.

The basis of saint day remembrances-for St. Joseph as well as other saints-is found in ancient Roman tradition. On the anniversary of a death, families would share a ritual meal at the grave site of an ancestor. This practice was adopted by Christians who began observing a ritual meal on the death anniversary of ancestors in the faith, especially martyrs. As a result, most Christian saint days are associated with the death of the saint. There are three important exceptions. John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus are honored on their nativities (birthdays). Many who suffered martyrdom are remembered on saint days in the calendars of several Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant sects.

By the thirteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church had instituted canonization, the process of making a person a saint. Before that, Christians venerated people they considered saints. In 1870 Pope Pius IX formally proclaimed Joseph the patron of the universal church.

St. Joseph’s Day is widely celebrated in Italy as a day of feasting and sharing with the poor, of whom he is the patron saint. Each village prepares a “table of St. Joseph” by contributing money, candles, flowers, and food (see FISH ). Then they invite three guests of honor-representing Mary, Joseph, and Jesus-to join in their feast, as well as others representing the twelve apostles. They also invite the orphans, widows, beggars, and poor people of the village to eat with them. The food is blessed by the village priest and by the child chosen to represent Jesus; St. Joseph’s Day

then it is passed from one person to the next. Dia de San Giuseppe, as the day is known, is celebrated by Italians in the United States and in other countries as well.

In Valencia, Spain, it is a week-long festival (March 12-19) called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). Its roots can be found in medieval times, when the carpenters’ guild (of whom Joseph was the patron saint) made a huge bonfire on St. Joseph’s Eve out of the wood shavings that had accumulated over the winter. This was considered the end of the winter and the last night on which candles and lamps would have to be lighted. In fact, the carpenters often burned the parot, or wooden candelabrum, in front of their shops.

In Valencia nowadays the parots have become fallas, or huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities. On St. Joseph’s Eve, March 18, the fallas parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with a spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire.

Among Sicilian Catholics living in the United States, St. Joseph’s Day is a major event-the equivalent of ST. PATRICK’S DAY among Irish-Americans. This is particularly true in New Orleans, Milwaukee, and other cities where there are large Sicilian populations. In Southern California, a custom similar to the Hispanic POSADAS takes place on St. Joseph’s Day: Mary’s and Joseph’s search for shelter is reenacted by children, who go from house to house requesting lodging for the night. When they reach the third house, they are greeted by a large St. Joseph’s Altar and an elaborate meal.

SYMBOLS AND CUSTOMS

Breads, Fruits, and Grains

Cards exchanged by Roman Catholics on St. Joseph’s Day often show specially baked breads, fruits, and grains along with images of the saint. They are a symbol of fertility and abundance, although now the day is more of an ethnic festival than a celebration of spring.

Fish

The tables or altars set up in Sicilian homes on St. Joseph’s Day are often used to display the special foods associated with the holiday. Fish is a favorite choice, probably because this holy day falls during LENT, when meat is forbidden. But it may also have something to do with fish as a fertility symbol (see BREADS , FRUITS , AND GRAINS ) and a symbol of Christianity. The fish often stands for Christ in Christian art and literature because the five Greek letters forming the word “fish” are the initial letters of the five words, “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior.” The fish is also a symbol of baptism: Just as the fish cannot live out of the water, the true Christian cannot live except through the waters of baptism.

Flowering Rod

Mary didn’t choose Joseph to be her husband. According to legend, the priest Zacharius was told by an angel to gather together all the widowers, instructing them to bring their rods (or staffs) with them. Joseph appeared with the rest, and their rods were placed in the temple overnight in the hope that God would provide a sign to indicate which of them he favored. The next morning, it was discovered that Joseph’s rod had burst into flower, and a white dove flew out of it. This was taken to be a clear sign of God’s intentions for him. In paintings of the subject, the rejected suitors are often shown breaking their rods with expressions of envy and disgust. Joseph’s rod is usually shown in the form of a stalk of lilies-the lily being a symbol of purity and the flower most often associated with the Virgin Mary (see LILY under ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY).

FURTHER READING

Appleton, LeRoy H., and Stephen Bridges. Symbolism in Liturgical Art. New York: Scribner, 1959. Bellenir, Karen. Religious Holidays and Calendars. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2004. Biedermann, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons and the Meanings Behind Them. New York: Meridian Books, 1994. Brewster, H. Pomeroy. Saints and Festivals of the Christian Church. 1904. Reprint. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1990. Ferguson, George. Signs and Symbols in Christian Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. Henderson, Helene, ed. Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. Santino, Jack. All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

This Day in History, March 18th: UK Recognizes British Sign Language as Official Language (2003)

UK Recognizes British Sign Language as Official Language (2003)

British Sign Language (BSL) is a sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK), and is the first or preferred language of some deaf people in the UK. There are 125,000[5] deaf adults in the UK who use BSL, plus an estimated 20,000 children. In 2011, 15,000 people living in England and Wales reported themselves using BSL as their main language. The language makes use of space and involves movement of the hands, body, face, and head. Many thousands of people who are not deaf also use BSL, as hearing relatives of deaf people, sign language interpreters or as a result of other contact with the British deaf community.

History

History records the existence of a sign language within deaf communities in England as far back as 1570. British Sign Language has evolved, as all languages do, from these origins by modification, invention and importation.[7][8] Thomas Braidwood, an Edinburgh teacher, founded ‘Braidwood’s Academy for the Deaf and Dumb’ in 1760 which is recognised as the first school for the deaf in Britain. His pupils were the sons of the well-to-do. His early use of a form of sign language, the combined system, was the first codification of what was to become British Sign Language. Joseph Watson was trained as a teacher of the deaf under Thomas Braidwood and he eventually left in 1792 to become the headmaster of the first public school for the deaf in Britain, the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Bermondsey.

In 1815, an American Protestant minister, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, travelled to Europe to research teaching of the deaf. He was rebuffed by both the Braidwood schools who refused to teach him their methods. Gallaudet then travelled to Paris and learned the educational methods of the French Royal Institution for the Deaf, a combination of Old French Sign Language and the signs developed by Abbé de l’Épée. As a consequence American Sign Language today has a 60% similarity to modern French Sign Language and is almost unintelligible to users of British Sign Language.

Until the 1940s sign language skills were passed on unofficially between deaf people often living in residential institutions. Signing was actively discouraged in schools by punishment and the emphasis in education was on forcing deaf children to learn to lip readand finger spell. From the 1970s there has been an increasing tolerance and instruction in BSL in schools. The language continues to evolve as older signs such as alms and pawnbroker have fallen out of use and new signs such as internet and laserhave been coined. The evolution of the language and its changing level of acceptance means that older users tend to rely on finger spelling while younger ones make use of a wider range of signs.[9]

On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised that BSL is a language in its own right.[10]

Linguistics

Linguistics are an integral component to any language because this allows for languages to be understood in a more efficient manner when taught[11]. In general, sign languages have their own ‘words’ (hand gestures) that could not be understood in other dialects[11]. How one language signs a certain number would be different than how another language signs it[11]. British Sign Language is described as a ‘spatial language’ as it “moves signs in space[11].”

Phonology

Like many other sign languages, BSL phonology is defined by elements such as handshape, orientation, location, movement, and non-manual features. There are phonological components to sign language that have no meaning alone but work together to create a meaning of a signed word: hand shape, movement, location, orientation and facial expression [12][11]. The meanings of words differ if one of these components is changed[12] [11]. Signs can be identical in certain components but different in others, giving each a different meaning[11]. Facial expression falls under the ‘non-manual features’ component of phonology[13]. These include “eyebrow height, eye gaze, mouthing, head movement, and torso rotation [13].”

Grammar

In common with other languages, whether spoken or signed, BSL has its own grammar which govern how phrases are signed. [11]. BSL has a particular syntax[11]. One important component of BSL is its use proforms[11]. A proform is “…any form that stands in the place of, or does the job of, some other form.[11]” Sentences are composed of two parts, in order: the subject and the predicate[11]. The subject is the topic of the sentence, while the predicate is the commentary about the subject[11].

BSL uses a topic–comment structure.[14] Topic-comment means that the topic of the signed conversation is first established, followed by an elaboration of the topic, being the ‘comment’ component[11]. The canonical word order outside of the topic–comment structure is object-subject-verb (OSV), and noun phrases are head-initial.[15]

Relationships with other sign languages

Although the United Kingdom and the United States share English as the predominant oral language, British Sign Language is quite distinct from American Sign Language(ASL) – having only 31% signs identical, or 44% cognate.[16] BSL is also distinct from Irish Sign Language (ISL) (ISG in the ISO system) which is more closely related to French Sign Language (LSF) and ASL.

It is also distinct from Signed English, a manually coded method expressed to represent the English language.

The sign languages used in Australia and New Zealand, Auslan and New Zealand Sign Language, respectively, evolved largely from 19th century BSL, and all retain the same manual alphabet and grammar and possess similar lexicons. These three languages may technically be considered dialects of a single language (BANZSL) due to their use of the same grammar and manual alphabet and the high degree of lexical sharing (overlap of signs). The term BANZSL was coined by Trevor Johnston[17] and Adam Schembri.

In Australia deaf schools were established by educated deaf people from London, Edinburgh and Dublin. This introduced the London and Edinburgh dialects of BSL to Melbourne and Sydney respectively and Irish Sign Language to Sydney in Roman Catholic schools for the deaf. The language contact post secondary education between Australian ISL users and ‘Australian BSL’ users accounts for some of the dialectal differences we see between modern BSL and Auslan. Tertiary education in the US for some deaf Australian adults also accounts for some ASL borrowings found in modern Auslan.

Auslan, BSL and NZSL have 82% of signs identical (using concepts from a Swadesh list). When considering similar or related signs as well as identical, they are 98% cognate. Further information will be available after the completion of the BSL corpus is completed and allows for comparison with the Auslan corpus and the Sociolinguistic Variation in New Zealand Sign Language project . There continues to be language contact between BSL, Auslan and NZSL through migration (deaf people and interpreters), the media (television programmes such as See Hear, Switch, Rush and SignPost are often recorded and shared informally in all three countries) and conferences (the World Federation of the Deaf Conference – WFD – in Brisbane 1999 saw many British deaf people travelling to Australia).

Makaton, a communication system for people with cognitive impairments or other communication difficulties, was originally developed with signs borrowed from British Sign Language. The sign language used in Sri Lanka is also closely related to BSL despite the oral language not being English, demonstrating the distance between sign languages and spoken ones.

BSL users campaigned to have BSL recognised on an official level. BSL was recognised as a language in its own right by the UK government on 18 March 2003, but it has no legal protection. There is, however, legislation requiring the provision of interpreters such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Read More….