The White Heron
My friend and choir colleague Charlie sent a video he made this morning of a white heron in flight. I’m trying to include it for you, but don’t know how! Suggestions welcome!
Lacking his, I’m giving you a picture I found online.
He accompanied it with a poem which Rev. Frank Hall, now the Minister Emeritus at the Unitarian Church in Westport, often quoted, “White Heron” by John Ciardi.
The first line is, “What lifts the heron leaning on the air.”
I’ll include more of the poem if I find out how to share his video with you.
Bloomberg News online has a frightening article about oil. Or rather about the potential oil price crash, a decrease in demand driven by the growth in electric cars in the next few decades, if not even sooner.
OPEC and Exxon, the author says, dismiss the signs, and remain confident that electric cars will not be a threat soon. But they may be burying their heads in the sand, the author implies. He mentions Tesla and others who are hard at work on making electric cars that can travel further without a charge and are less expensive.
“Even amid low gasoline prices last year, electric car sales jumped 60 percent worldwide. If that level of growth continues, the crash-triggering benchmark of 2 million barrels of reduced demand could come as early as 2023.”
I know one person who has an electric car. Our town has installed several spots where the car can get a charge. I agree, they’re coming.
Boko Haram Still Active
Yesterday I saw a couple of photos and articles about malnourished children in camps for displaced persons in the Nigerian media. I wasn’t sure whether to include this news until I saw the article in Newsweek. I’m confessing my bias!
The stories and pictures I saw yesterday like those in Newsweek are incredibly distressing. Some 6,500 children are severely malnourished, the author says.
“The United Nations warned earlier in February that 54,000 Nigerians in Borno state are at risk of starving to death, as the insecurity in the region makes it almost impossible for aid deliveries to take place or for civilians to escape. A total of 3.9 million people in northeast Nigeria require some degree of food aid, the U.N. said,” according to Newsweek.
I wish President Buhari and his government had not made the claim about “technically defeating” Boko Haram. The terrorist group continues to attack.
People are still being displaced, even though the government has said they were moving refugees so they could reopen schools. That seems nearly impossible, given the news now.
What’s happened to the multi-national force from Nigeria and the surrounding countries?
Here’s at least a small answer. I just found this from Sahara Reporters: “Following the dislodgement of Boko Haram terrorist camps in the border towns of Kumshe and Talala by joint operations of Nigerian and Cameroonian forces, the terrorists made a futile attempt on Dikwa early today.”
Are Leap Years, Even Fixed, Enough?
I often read “Your Morning Briefing” in The New York Times. This morning, at the very end of the article, I learned how our calendar came to be called the Gregorian calendar. I’m sure I knew this once, but I couldn’t have told you!
The Leap Year was already in effect in the 1500’s. But it didn’t synchronize precisely with the earth’s movement around the sun.
Pope Gregory XIII’s advisors realized that if they eliminated a very occasional February 29’s, they would be closer. So they declared that any year ending in 00 is only a leap year if it’s divisible by 400. Thus 2000 was a leap year, but 3000 will not be.
On February 24, 1582, the pope proclaimed the change. The calendar has had his name ever since.
“Britain, along with its American colonies, adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752. Russia waited until 1918.”
The most fascinating bit of info came at the end. The writer said, “Even with the elaborate system of leap years, the calendar will still require another tweak. A day will need to be dropped in about 3,000 years.”
Will there still be a pope? A calendar?
Last time I told you that I had on-line chat with Kelvin about a hotel in Jamaica. I told you his name, the same as our son-in-law, seemed like a good omen. And indeed it was.
Kelvin was able to answer all my questions and convince me – it didn’t take much – that we’d have a lovely time in his hotel.
So I booked, and we’re going next week. It will be short. But it will be sunny and warm, unlike the gray we had all day today.
I went to Posh Nails this afternoon and now have lovely Caribbean blue nails – toes and fingers – to match my new swimsuit!
Sisters Uptown Bookstore
On Saturday I’m going to the book club at Sisters Uptown Bookstore in Washington Heights, north of Harlem, at 156th and Amsterdam, New York City. They have a regular book club.
They’re discussing my memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad.
This is how the bookstore describes itself: “We are not just a book store; we are a community resource center for the exchange of information and ideas. Our motto is “Knowledge of Self is the key to Understanding”. We provide an educational, emotional, spiritual and loving environment for a diverse community, where all are welcome.”
If you are nearby and can come, please do. The discussion is to start at 3 pm.