On April 2015

Note: Opening Night for Meals: The Musical is Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US) with songs with any of the following in the title: Meal(s), Breakfast, Lunch, Lunchtime, Brunch, Dinner, Dinnertime, Supper, Snack, Snacktime, or Food(s).

April, spring in the Northern hemisphere, but autumn in the Southern hemisphere, therefore

April and October are seasonal equivalents.

April, the second rainiest month of the year (after July)

April, starting the same day of the week as July in all years, and January in leap years

April, ending on the same day of the week as December every year

April, called Aprilis by the Romans

April, fittingly for the blooming action of the season, its traditional etymology from the verb aperireto open

April, the second of the earliest Roman calendar

April, sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess

April, the fourth month of the current calendar year, but it originally had 29 days as Julius Caesar added its 30th day

April, called Oster-monath or Eostur-monath by the Anglo-Saxons

April, huhtikuu in Finnish, which refers to burning the vegetation to clear farmland

April, mail traven in Slovene, meaning when plants start growing

April Symbols

  • Zodiac Signs: Aries (The Ram) Apr. 19, then Taurus (The Bull) Apr. 20 – May 20
  • Birthstone: Diamond, White Sapphire / Meaning: Innocence
  • Birth Flower: The Daisy or the Sweet Pea symbolizes curiosity, playfulness and tenaciousness

April, whose moon is called Slash-and-Burn Moon, Egg Moon, Grass Moon, Hare Moon

April, with a Full Moon on April 4th 12:05 UTC, and a New Moon on April 18th 18:56 UTC

April in movie titles include April in Paris (1953), The April Fools (1969), April Fool’s Day (1986, 2008), April Morning (1987), Enchanted April (1992), Pieces of April (2003), Sometimes in April (2005), April Love, April Showers (2011), April Snow (2012), April Morning (2012)

Songs titles (other than the videos) include Sometimes It Snows in April (Prince), April (Deep Purple), A Rose in April (Ann Gray-Raven-Seanachie), April Is In My Mistress’ Face (John Rutter), April Rain (Al Jolson), I’ll Remember April (Charlie Parker), January April and Me (Roy Clark), Little April Shower (Disney, from Bambi), Pieces Of April (Three Dog Night), and The April Fools (Dionne Warwick)

April, the first name of many pornstars – but not everyone named April is a pornstar

April, the time of a series of 1834 insurrections in France against the government of Louis Philippe that led to violent oppression – thus the name, The Days of April

April, a series of Mackey Chandler books

April promotes adopting a greyhound, ASPCA, astronomy, car care, Confederate history, defeating diabetes, fair housing, financial literacy, child nutrition, home improvement, informed women, Twit Awards, African-American women’s fitness, decorating, pest management, safe digging, physical wellness, preventing Lyme Disease in dogs, women’s eye health & safety, community service, and tackling your clutter

April aims to increase awareness in alcohol, autism, cancer control, bereaved spouses, Cesareans, distracted driving, emotional overreacting, genocide & human rights, habitats, Irritable Bowels Syndrome, DNA-Genomics-Stem Cell Education, facial protection, heartworms, multiple births, health of minorities, Parkinson’s, sarcoidosis, STDs, youth sports safety, pet first aid, Rosacea, testicular cancer, workplace conflict, anxiety, and stress

April celebrates amateur radio, diversity, couple appreciation, fresh Florida tomatoes, frogs, Grange, holy humor, guitars, gardens, knuckles down, occupational therapy, pets, poetry, rebuilding, school library media, soy foods, zoos & aquariums, welding, and Thai heritage

April embraces Atlanta food & wine, Arab-American heritage, child abuse prevention, community spirit, customer loyalty, jazz appreciation, libraries, young children, military children, card & letter writing, grilled cheese sandwiches, humor, kites, landscape architecture, pecans, straw hats, woodworking, math education, recycling, smiles, and pets are wonderful

Do you have any special occasions in April? Which songs did you enjoy?

On Grace and Elegance

Ballroom dance has taught me many things. It’s not easy, it can be graceful, but leads must be subtle.  We’ve also met many wonderful people, thus have our dance friends.

Ballroom dance is a niche, thus there is a ballroom community. Although we know only a small portion, we recognize many faces because we attend the same functions. Dancers are at all levels, yet we note differences. Many know numerous steps, but the don’t look good doing them because they’ve primarily (or only) learned from group classes – but they enjoy themselves, which is important. Others look better, but don’t know as many steps – those are the ones who take private lessons.

Their timid and stiff nature identifies the beginners, but hey – all of us were there once. A handful have danced for more than 20 years, and let’s just say that some of them are very good .. the few that stand out. Even on a large floor with two hundred people, those that are trained, experienced, and/or competed at a high level are easy to identify – after all, they probably practiced, too! Reality is that most of us are between those two extremes.

It didn’t take long for us to identify Madam M. As she danced down and around the floor with her competitive partner, her movements defined elegance and grace as her smile beamed joy. Madam M is a relatively tall, attractive woman, and her firmly anchored partner knew how to display her. While watching them dance, I would think – Someday – maybe someday – I will join her for a smooth dance – a foxtrot or a waltz. Keep in mind, this is 4-5 years ago, which was early in our dance experience.

Over time, we’ve had several encounters with Madam M, and most importantly, she’s very pleasant. Maybe a year or so ago we were talking and she suggested we dance. Although it was a west coast swing – not my best dance – of course I accepted, … but that didn’t count as that dream dance. Later, there would be times when I would step toward her direction, but only to be intercepted by another invitation.

Image from Microsoft Office

Image from Microsoft Office

At a recent small ballroom gathering, there was Madam M sitting alone at a table. The DJ played a Foxtrot, so I asked her to dance. We went to the floor where I offered my left hand as a starting position, she took her place then arched back into my right hand after I lightly placed it on her back. I straightened my frame, and in no time, long strides were gracefully gliding us around the floor (at least to me).

I kept the patterns simple because my Foxtrot timing has gone in the toilet the past few months. The dance was wonderful, and afterwards, I told her how I just accomplished one of my goals. Her laugh and words conveyed both, That’s silly and Thank you … but my soul was beaming.

A short time later, it was a waltz, thus I couldn’t resist. Again, we glided and I followed various shaping that she led with subtle precision. We were both casually dressed and in a less-than elegant venue, but it was easy for me to envision my tux with tails and her flowing gown in a grand ballroom. At the end she told me that I dance well, which I found reassuring as I checked the box on my personal bucket list … even better, I checked it twice.

On Dirty-Dancing Monday

Another weekend has gone. Hopefully, the last blast of cold weather has left us. How was your weekend? Come on … inquiring minds want to know!

Surprise, surprise – ours was full with my work, a night of ballroom (where we struggled as both of us were very tired), a trip to IKEA (I’ve never seen so many people in any store at one time), dinner at a friend’s house, and Quickstep formation practice.

Considering that this week is the opening for Meals: The Musical, the start of a new month, our wedding anniversary, and the Easter weekend, this could be a week of posts that are out of the routine – in other words, time will tell how it unfolds. Meanwhile, I have my share of work to catch up on visiting.

A reminder that Opening Night for Meals: The Musical is Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). Songs for Act 1 must include any of the following words in the title: Meal(s), Breakfast, Lunch, Lunchtime, Brunch, Dinner, Dinnertime, Supper, Snack, Snacktime, or Food(s).

Thanks to those providing corrections regarding the rollover information in the sidebar featuring other blogs.

Celebrations for Your Week

  • (Week) Nano Day, Week of the Ocean – (Starting Wed) Publicity Stunt Week, Be Kind to Spiders Week, Popper Scooper Week, Golden Rule Week, Laugh at Work Week, Medication Safety Week, Testicular Cancer Awareness Week
  • (Mon) Turkey Neck Soup Day, Hot Dog Day, Pencil with an Eraser Day, Egg Incubator Day, Double-Deck Bridge Day, Alaska Purchase Day, Bi-Polar Day, Take a Walk in the Park Day, Van Gogh Day, I Am in Control Day, No Homework Day, Doctors Day, Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence
  • (Tues) Coloring Crayon Day, Bunsen Burner Day, Sleep Apnea Day, Hug a Medielvalist Day, Eiffel Tower Day, Tater Day, Clams on the Half-shell Day, Orange & Lemons Day
  • (Wed) April Fools Day, Fun Day, Boomer Bonus Days, Tatting Day, Library Snap Shot Day, Myles Day, Day of Hope, Fun at Work Day, Walking Day, Poetry & the Creative Mind Day, Reading is Funny Day, Whole Grain Sampling Day, Sourdough Bread Day, Check Your Batteries Day, Sliced Bread Day, One Cent Day, Lupus Alert Day, Dollar Sign Day, Apple Computer Day, Dishwasher Day, Belerusian Day
  • (Thurs) Ferret Day, Autism Awareness Day, Reconciliation Day, Peanut Butter & Jelly Day, Love Your Produce Manager Day, Children’s Book Day, Yo-Yo Day, Youth & Teen Hockey Day

Here’s another relatively new commercial to start your week, which I happened to see shortly after selecting last week’s Monday video. Have you seen this one?  (There is a short version.) Have a good rest of the week.

 

On a South American Wonder

Water is the driving force of all nature. (Leonardo da Vinci)

I love the sounds and the power of pounding water, whether it is the waves or a waterfall. (Mike May)

The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness. (Chris Evans)

There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you! (Mehmet Murat ildan)

Just as a waterfall grows slower and more lightly suspended as it plunges down, so the great man of action tends to act with greater calmness than his tempestuous desires prior to the deed would lead one to expect. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

One will never find in the waterfall of sights anything else than the Illusion of Life, which falls in torrents on the granite rocks of the souls. (Sorin Cerin)

Friends of ours just returned from an Argentina-to-Chile cruise. The day before boarding the ship, they took a tour of a place I didn’t know along the border of Argentina and Brazil. Once I saw this video, I knew this was a fitting post for us to explore … and the music is a perfect match for the scenery.

Have you heard of these? Have you been there? Which of the quotes stuck you?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 252

This week was the fifth year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since then, the White House and its departments did a lousy job educating the public, and Congress has done absolutely nothing to improve the ACA. On the other hand, nothing is something Congress does well. Cheers to Ron Fournier for this National Journal article.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. I smiled at the announcement because I continue to say his nomination is exactly what the Republican party needs. Maybe I should endorse him.

During the first three months of their Congressional majority, Republicans have not shown me that they can lead.

Have you ever seen the International Space Station fly overhead? Thanks to Jim in Iowa, here’s a website to determine when that happens in your area.

The leading thought was that college basketball player Lauren Hill wouldn’t see Christmas. Well, she did … and New Years Day … and Valentine’s Day … and St. Patrick’s Day. Although she may be struggling, she is a fighter and her attitude remains positive.

Did you realize I’m mentioned in Lorna’s video?

For the sidebar, I followed Catherine’s suggestion of displaying the blogger’s location with a rollover. See yours if it’s correct, and let me know if you want me to change it. I need help with List of X.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an edition of the Explore series is ready – thus you can wonder if it will be a person, place, or thing.

Meals: The Musical debuts next week, and I’m side-stepping my normal protocol. Act 1: Meals will feature songs with any of the following words in the title: Meal(s), Breakfast, Lunch, Lunchtime, Brunch, Dinner, Dinnertime, or Supper. More about the debut on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a week in pictures.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Report: Employees most innovative when brainstorming dramatic quitting scenarios
  • Man filled with gratitude at sight of other customers in nice restaurant wearing jeans
  • Study: Not many Disco songs about daytime
  • New speech recognition software factors in user’s mouth always being full
  • Siblings playing tense game of chicken to decide who takes care of mom
  • Michael Dukakis still drives old tank everywhere

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Crossword Puzzle Days, Listening Weekend
  • (Fri) Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, Joe Day, Corkscrew Appreciation Day,Celebrate Exchange Day, Viagra Day, Spanish Paella Day, Kite Flying Day, Photography Day, Steam Fire Engine Day, Education & Sharing Day
  • (Sat) Barnum & Bailey Day, Be Mad Day, Virtual Advocacy Day, Weed Appreciation Day, Earth Hour, Black Forest Cake Day, Something on a Stick Day, Hot Tub Day, Eat an Eskimo Pie Day, Children’s Picture Book Day
  • (Sun) Vietnam Veterans Day, Mom & Pop Business Owners Day, Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day, Love Your Children Day, Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, Coca Cola Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a relatively recent video of a classic from the 1979 album Breakfast in America – enjoy Supertramp’s Take the Long Way Home. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On an Undeniable Review

UndeniableBillNyeIn February 2014, Bill Nye debated Ken Ham (President, Answers in Genesis, AIG) about evolution-creation at AIG’s Creation Museum on Cincinnati’s Kentucky-side of the river. This book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, is a result of Nye’s preparation for and participation in the debate.

Although Nye initially trained and worked as a mechanical engineer, the general public got to know him as The Science Guy through his television shows in the early 1990s.

Bill Nye is noted for a fast-paced, engaging style to explain scientific topics in laymen’s terms to the masses – and that style is what readers get in this book. His wit, sense of humor, knowledge, and ability to stay at the layman level is his brand. Those familiar with him may even hear his voice while reading.

The chapters a short – actually rather bite-sized with most chapters being less than 10 pages. Nye intertwines stories and analogies amid the chapter’s main premise while using historical and present-day applications.

Typically, each chapter focuses on a specific topic; and Nye covers a wide range of topics, such as evolution, natural selection, punctuated equilibrium, biodiversity, fossils, thermodynamics, convergence, competition, extinction, gene flow, genetic bottlenecks, homologous structures, selection, mutations, and population isolation. Given these topics and his simplistic approach, Nye explains the natural process of evolution.

Although Nye frequently mentions claims made by Ham about evolution, he does not address faith … but to his defense, faith is not the intent of this book. Those desiring more about the interchange between science and religion will be disappointed.

Given that’s the science-religion interchange is not his intent, I don’t like the “Science of Creation” portion of the book’s title … but that’s me because of my level of understanding about the interchange. On the other hand, the “Undeniable” portion of the title is very appropriate – even for the pun lovers who see UndeNEYable.

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation is Bill Nye’s latest effort in bringing science to the masses. Given the debate about appropriate subjects in public school science classes doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, I applaud Nye’s efforts because the majority of the public is poorly informed.

One for the bookshelves? Maybe, depending on the reader’s background … but definitely not for those with a firm understanding of evolution and its subtopics. Yes, it covers the basics, thus Undeniable is a primer … a good place to start … but it lacks the depth and breathe that others may desire because Undeniable is not a book for extensive study of evolution.

Bottom line – the reader must decide if this is a good book for them … but for the vast majority of people, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye is a good read.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 126

Welcome to midweek. How’s your week been so far?

March weather in Cincinnati is quite wide-ranging with cool to warm and snow to thunderstorms. Whew! The last half of the week looks to be cold. Yuk! That’s OK because my golf clubs remain in the backroom.

A reminder that Thursday is Name Your Own Holiday Day. Do you have any suggestions? I’m proposing Flying Rutabaga Day, Turtles with Prehensile Tails Day, and Hats Off to the Women of CNN Day.

This week’s midweek dose of satire is for RoSy, who (long ago) requested a sports set from The Onion’s archives.

Don’t forget the Combo Challenge – that is, making your own satirical headline from the words in the headlines below. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

New report suggests it kind of weird baseball uniforms have belts

Man watching World Cup thought he would have seen more bicycle kicks by now

Goalkeeper announces plans to frantically wave and yell at teammates before corner kick

Exhausted cyclists ask for some drugs so they can finish Tour de France

Michael Phelps apologizes to entire nation after tasting Subway for the first time

Amnesty International blasts hockey league for penalty box conditions

Hockey jersey tucked in for date

Student athlete graduates with 3.8 grade point average

Player’s season depends on if he can stay healthy

Report: Majority of baseball players swallow up to six baseballs during sleep each year

My Combo: Exhausted hockey players frantically swallow entire Subway in penalty box causing goalkeeper to wave and yell for first-time date