Friday, March 30, 2012

Not a joke

(March 30, 2012) Sunday is April Fools' Day which is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good-humoured or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

This, however, is not a trick: My phone number has been changed temporarily to (908) 617-0656. Messages left at my old number,(908) 832-7420, will not register. I will notify you when that number is again operational, probably within the next month.

This year April 1 is also Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms (and sometimes pussy willows) on Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest and Crucifixion on Good Friday.

For more information on these days and more, read Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online right here at

Those interested in joining the 60+ Recorder bloggers can find out more about blogging by contacting me at or (908) 617-0656.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung

(March 20, 2012) The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis. Today is the first day of spring here, although unseasonably it feels almost like early summer.

On the first day of spring — the vernal equinox — day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wearing o' th' green

(March 16, 2012) Tomorrow, March 17, is St. Patrick's Day, which began as a Roman Catholic holiday celebrating Ireland's patron saint. The feast day originally was observed only in Ireland. It was not until the 1700s when Irish immigrants in the United States started the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City which continues today. In fact, many towns host St. Patrick's Day parades on weekends in March.

The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is explained in differing ways. It's said that blue was originally the color associated with the holiday but over time green took over in popularity due to Ireland's nickname as "The Emerald Isle," the green in the Irish flag and the clover that St. Patrick used in his teachings about the Trinity.

In Ireland, some still follow the tradition where Catholics wear green and Protestants wear orange. These colors are associated with the religious sects and are represented on the Irish flag; the white on the flag is symbolic of the peace between the two.

On the holiday, people in Ireland do not wear as much green or celebrate quite as wildly as revelers do elsewhere, although there is a legend that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns that will pinch you if they can see you.

Traditional food for the day includes corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes. Enjoy!

These traditions and others are noted in Recorder Community Newspapers as well as in their blogs online at Check out the entries.

Any group or organization interested in joining Recorder bloggers is welcome to contact me at (908) 832-7420 or Blogging is a free, simple, 21st century communication tool which requires only a computer and an e-mail.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring forward already

(March 9, 2012) Although spring does not arrive until Tuesday, March 20, daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m.  this Sunday, March 11. So before retiring tomorrow night set your clocks one hour ahead. We will regain that lost hour in the fall when Eastern Standard Time resumes at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.

You may have noticed the annual tradition of daylight-saving time has crept forward a bit. We used to spring forward on the first Sunday in April and fall back on last Sunday in October. But a couple years ago, Congress changed the dates -- adding more daylight-saving time to the calendar. This year, it will run from March 11 until Nov. 4 throughout the United States except in Arizona and Hawaii. U.S. territories Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also don't observe daylight-saving time.

Around the world, about 75 countries and territories have at least one location that observes daylight-saving time, according to On the other hand, 164 don't observe the time change at all.

Keep abreast of important dates and more by reading Recorder Community Newspapers and their blogs online at Anyone interested in joining the growing group of Recorder bloggers is invited to call me at (908) 832-7420 or e-mail me at to find out about blogging, a free, simple communication tool.