On Welcoming March 2015

Why? Because everybody knows that one can count on John Phillips Sousa for a good march.

March in other languages includes Marzo (Italian), mars (Albanian), Hlyd-monath (Anglo Saxon), mart (Armenian), br’ezen (Czech), Marts (Danish), and dawa-ssumpa (Tibetian) … so feel free to contribute others

March was named for Mars, the Roman god of war, who was also the guardian of agriculture

The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar

Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, so and festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by other festivals in October, which closed the season for farming and warfare

March in the northern hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to September in the southern hemisphere

March starts the same day of the week as November every year, and February – but only in common years

March ends on the same day of the week as June every year

Because this is 2015 (preceding a leap year), March 2016 will start on the same day as September and December 2015. However, March 2015 ends on the same day of the week as May 2016

March’s birth flowers are the daffodil and jonquils

March’s birthstones, which symbolize courage, are aquamarine and bloodstone

March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 and thereafter)

Full Moon on March 5th (6:05 pm UTC), and the New Moon displays on March 20th (9:36 am UTC)

March moon are called Crow Moon, Lenten Moon, Sap Moon, Seed Moon, and Worm Moon

Solar Eclipse on March 20 with the total eclipse of the sun being visible in Ireland, Europe, northern Africa, Europe, and Asia

The March equinox on the 20th at 10:46 pm UTC, which means sometime March 21st for many of the world … thus the day marking the transitions of winter to spring or summer to autumn

March has national celebrations in Australia, Bangladesh, Gibraltar, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Korea

March 1st celebrations include Compliment Day, Daughters & Sons Day, Black Women in Jazz & the Arts Day, Wear Yellow Day (Endometriosis Day), Go Bowling Day, Horse Protection Day, Fruit Compote Day, Peanut Lovers Day, Pig Day, Plan a Solo Vacation Day, Refired not Retired Day, Seals Day, Self-Injury Awareness Day, Share a Smile Day, Zero Discrimination Day, Namesake Day (mine is after my Dad’s Army buddy from SF – we went sometime in the 1990s)

March promotes adopting a rescued guinea pig, expanding girls’ horizons in science & engineering, women’s health, dietetic nutrition, cheerleading safety, color therapy, eye donors, literacy, social work, women’s history, fire prevention, transgender healthcare equality, singing with your child, saving your vision, and playing the recorder

March celebrates crafts, child life, deaf history, ideas, mad for plaid, athletic training, kidneys, on-hold, supply management, and American Red Cross

March embraces credit education, employee spirit, Honor Society, expecting success, Irish-American heritage, music in schools, optimism, small press, spiritual wellness, youth art, hexagons, March Madness, and Francophones

March increases awareness in Alport Syndrome, brain injuries, colic, colorectal cancer, deep vein thrombosis, endometriosis, listening, malignant hypertension, caffeine, chronic fatigue syndrome, ethics, essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, nutrition, poison prevention, Trisomy, vascular abnormalities, and epilepsy

March appreciates humorists as artists, mirth, frozen foods, kites, peanuts, umbrellas, quinoa, maple sugar, sauces, flour, noodles, no meat, moustaches, hamburger & pickle, and dolphins

Which music did you enjoy? Do you have any personal celebrations in March?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 174

On Politics
The Republican Party releases a major report about ways they can compete in 2016. All is join and dandy in print, but in reality, as long as organizations as Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) keeps trotting people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Donald Trump in front of the cameras, welcome to reality.

Thanks to The Onion: Authorities on alert as hundreds of crazed psychopaths enter Congressional chambers

Most people know that history comes in several forms. For instance, the US Revolutionary War from the US perspective probably differs from the British perspective. Well, when it comes to the US Constitution, we now have the Texas Republican Party perspective, which is also lawmakers are pushing into Texas schools. For evidence, this will introduce you to Texas’ newest senator – ladies and gentlemen – Mr. Ted Cruz.

James Madison, the Father of the US Constitution, had a recent birthday (March 16th). Here’s some interesting tidbits about him.

Republicans criticizing President Obama for waiting so long to visit Israel is funny because they don’t realize the past history of Republican presidents.

I’m not a Bill O’Reilly fan, but cheers to him for blasting Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Cruel owner chains bike outside in freezing weather
Groundhog beheaded for inaccurate prediction
FDA relaxes definition of Smoothie
Baseball star David Ortiz listed as season to season
NASA designers release 50 new space skirts
Boss gets on man’s ass about finishing NCAA bracket
Another job interview ruin as sutures popping open during handshake

Interesting Reads
About wine ratings
Are polar bears really disappearing?
Why ballroom beats the treadmill
Respites and autism from M3 Red, someone we see here at times
Darwin’s observations on biogeography
Stephen King (author and gun owner) on gun control
Lina and the Wolf: A book review about a Prokofiev and his soprano wife
Can man survive on beer alone?

On Potpourri
Cheers to Robin (Life in the Bogs) as she moves to a new location – Breezes at Dawn. Besides being a good photographer and one who finds the right words for the photographic moments, I’m confident that she’s also – and most importantly – a good person. Visit her new location and if you are new, tell her I sent you.

This week’s post On a Coin Analogy received interesting comments. On a related note, I appreciate these words by Dennis Vemena:

In common English usage, “theory” means something like “guess” or “hunch”. It means something speculative, uncertain. In science, however, the meaning is almost exactly the opposite. In science, a theory is an idea that has stood the test of time. This difference between the common usage and the scientific usage of the word is a frequent source of confusion for nonscientists. In science, a theory is a well-tested idea – an explanatory framework that makes sense of the current facts available, and continues to make accurate predictions about the natural world.

It’s college basketball March Madness in the US, which means my alma mater continues having the 12th longest streak in the country of not participating. How’s this for a catchy marketing phrase: Bowling Green Falcon Basketball – not since 1968

On the SEC getting only 3 teams in the tournament: “This is a BSC league … that shouldn’t happen! (Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin). Coach Martin, good job at identifying the problem because the BSC is about football, not basketball.

The University of Kentucky didn’t (and thankfully so) make the tournament. Hey UK – sell yourself to the devil in favor of winning at all costs, things like this happen. How many of your recruits the past four years are on target to graduate? Answer – not many!

I will feature another classic cartoon character on Saturday.

Readers surprised with the amount of praise for last Monday Morning’s Entertainment post of Donald O’Conner. To send you into the weekend, enjoy Gene Kelly’s famous bit from the same movie: Singin’ in the Rain. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 132

On Politics
Outside of the verbal gaffs, the GOP primary is becoming a snore.

Rick Santorum needs to move on to something else, but not as a mathematics teacher.

Newt Gingrich is right – Government needs new ideas. Sorry Newt – but all aren’t centered in one party/ideology. As a matter of fact, most may be outside of either party.

Oral arguments of some aspects of the US healthcare law starting next week at the US Supreme Court. SCOTUS Blog is a wonderful resources for this topic, especially posts by Lyle Denniston, who already has lately published 3 posts on this topic. I also provide a link to SCOTUS Blog in the sidebar > Resources.

On Headlines from The Onion
Long Lost Jules Verne Story Found: The Camera Phone
Study Finds Newborn Infants Can Tell if Parents are Losers
Atheists Unbless Florida Road
Greenpeace Releases Rescued Dolphins into Forest
Area Woman Loses Respect Earned Last St. Patrick’s Day
Area High School Carrying On Without 2011 Seniors

Interesting Reads
About Military Budgets
Bernacke vs. the Gold Standard
Darth Vader and Project Management
2016 Presidential Race
This Article Generating Thousands of Dollars in Ad Revenue Simply by Mentioning new iPad 

On March Madness
Go ABK … Anybody But Kentucky!

After clawing their way back into the game, my Bearcats lost to a better Ohio State team. Nonetheless, a tip of the cap to the team.

The NCAA says that graduation rates are important. BTW, did you hear about the pearl driver in Yuma, Arizona?

On Potpourri
The teaching profession has always been difficult, yet it is insanely demanding in today’s world. Here’s an interesting read: Confessions from a Bad Teacher.

See this slide show about visiting Tallinin, Estonia.

I will have a post this weekend.

Because I started the week with a Buddy Miles tune, here is another one (Dreams) from the same LP (Them Changes) to send us into the weekend. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor; Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 131

On Politics
America is such a great land of opportunity and freedom, we can elect a senator who recently said this about global warming, “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate is, to me, outrageous.” Meanwhile, he is also a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. (From The Hill)

Directing faults to Bill Maher and his past comments does not clear Rush Limbaugh of any blame of his own doing.

I’m not sure which Romney comment caused a greater frown: The trees are the right height (Michigan), or his recent Mornin’ y’ll and grits reference (Alabama). Who is writing and approving his script?

Columnist Kathleen Parker had two good reads: One regarding the GOP and women, and the other about campaigning in the South.

I’ve seen several polls that over 50% of the public believes the US President is responsible for rising gas prices, which also means that many people need to read my past post about gas prices.

On Headlines from The Onion
Government Admits to Hiding Embarrassingly Lame 1973 ET Encounter
Border Agent Tossed Rocks Over Fences Separating Rock Family that have been Legally in this Country
Neighbor Apparently a Binocular Nut
Lying Asshole Fired for No Reason
Doctors Modify Beer Helmet to Deliver Intravenous Live Cirrhosis Medicine
Obama Waiting for Perfect Moment to Walk by White House Tour

Interesting Reads
How to be Creative
Good News about the Viruses in Your Genes
March Guide to Visible Planets
Congress member turned Lobbyist: How much is the pay raise?

On March Madness
The mania around the college basketball tournament has begun. My hopes for winning lies in ABK – Anybody But Kentucky.

I have my MA from the University of Cincinnati, so the more wins by the Bearcats, the better – but I don’t anticipate them surviving this weekend. Bowling Green, my alma mater, has not been in the tournament since 1968, which is the 13th longest dry spell in the country. Ouch!

Two suggestions for the committee that they won’t take: 1) At-large teams must have a record above .500 in their own league; 2) No First-Four play-in game for automatic qualifiers.

On Potpourri
Bowling alleys in churches are disappearing. Who would have thunk it?

Earlier this week marked the 70th anniversary about the penicillin’s first use. Here is a a reflection about the event and a story about the first survivor.

Cool pictures: World’s Coolest Staircases, Recent Solar Flares

I will have a post this weekend.

To send us into the weekend, (thanks to Xandi at World Music) here is a unique song from Egypt. I don’t know what they are saying, but this is creative. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 88

On Japan
Last Friday we awaken to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I encourage everyone to donate to an organization that can provide help.

Blessings and God speed to all the courageous workers fighting the issues at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, a few continue to refer to the calamities as a punishment from God. Good news is that is NOT the God that I trust.

On an Interesting Signs
Not all that long ago, I was on I-65 south of Louisville, Kentucky, and then saw this interesting sign: Used Cows for Sale. I find differentiating cows as new and used as a bit odd, but also humorous – and I believe that the humor is the sign poster’s intent. If you are ever on I-65 in Kentucky, watch for this sign on the east side between mile markers 78 and 79. Meanwhile, a few hours south along I-65, there also a billboard for Big Jim’s Boobie Bungalow.

On a few Political Shorts
A recent Washington Post poll reveals that Sarah Palin has a very high disapproval rating. Well – there’s a shock, so did we really need the Washington Post to let us know?

As we listen to all the budget talk, let us remember that our legislators will continue to protect the sacred cows of their district and those of their financial supporters. Meanwhile, all their hoopla focuses on about 12% of the budget, thus avoiding the remaining 88% like the plague.

Columnist David Ignatius had this worth-reading piece about the situations about the demonstrations in Arab countries.

On a Rise and Fall
Last fall we vacationed in the Charlottesville, VA area. (FYI: A wonderful area) A friend, who frequently visits wineries in the area, recommended wineries for us to visit – including the Kluge Estate Winery. I’m glad we got there in October because soon thereafter, things started to happen. See this article from Forbes.

On March Madness
The madness of the NCAA tournament has begun. Within two hours of my house, tournament teams include Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Louisville, Kentucky, Butler, and Morehead. For me, I’ll be happy as long as ABK wins … anybody but Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the drought goes on for these schools since their last tournament appearance: Bowling Green (1968) Ouch … that one hurts; Columbia (1968), Tennessee Tech (1963), Yale (1962), Maine (never, eligible since 1962), New Hampshire (never, eligible since 1962), Dartmouth (1959), Harvard (1946), Army (1948), Citadel (never, eligible since 1948), Northwestern (never, eligible since 1948), St. Francis (N.Y.) (never, eligible since 1948), and William & Mary (never, eligible since 1948).

On the Flooding Ohio
Last weekend we were along the Ohio River, with its flooding waters and fast rate of flow. Not only was it a reminder of the days of my youth as I grew up in a small town along the river, but also of the dangers. Very close to our hotel, the water dislodged one of the floating restaurants. Fortunately, it didn’t go far as it hit a bridge and become lodged; plus all the patrons were safely removed.

On a Different Event for the Weekend
Last week I we attended a handbell convention. Definitely an interesting event, and between rehearsals and workshops, there wasn’t much down time. Try to imagine what a 670-member choir might sound like. The video below will give you an idea, but it only has 420 ringers. Have a good weekend.