Spring Equinox, Persian New Year, International Day of Happiness & Arts Advocacy Day 2017!

Happy Soul Food Friday for the Week of Spring Equinox, Persian New Year, International Day of Happiness & Arts Advocacy Day 2017!


This week:

Fighting Hunger with an App:
Oscar Ekponimo grew up with very little food in Nigeria. He then became a software engineer and has invented an app that aims to end food waste by connecting retailers with charities who distribute provisions to the hungry.

The One-Winged Eagle that Soared Again:
John Stokes from Tennessee and Osceola , a one-winged eagle, have travelled across America taking part in educational shows. They even had a residency at Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood. But there was just one sadness in their lives – Osceola’s one wing meant he could never fly again. So John came up with an ingenious idea to solve the problem…

Spring Equinox & Persian New Year on Monday, March 20, 2017:
The Spring (Vernal) Equinox fell on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 3:29 am PDT and is a time of changing seasons as well as a significant astronomical event.

The Sun crosses directly over the Earth’s equator. This moment is known as the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and begins the Spring season.

For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the Autumnal Equinox, and begins the Fall season.

On this day the sun rises precisely due East and sets due West.

It is a moment of equilibrium in the year. Translated literally, equinox means “equal night”.  Day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes, twelve hours of each, because the sun is positioned above the equator.

The Spring Equinox signifies a rebirth. The duration of light is about to overtake the darkness.  After the Spring Equinox, the days become longer and the air warmer. The soil becomes fertile and all hibernating life is re-animated.  It is a time to plant seeds of growth.

The Spring Equinox is a time of renewal – in nature, the home, and in us. More than just physical activity, “spring cleaning” removes any negative energy accumulated over the dark winter months and resonates with the positive growing energy of spring and summer.

The Spring Equinox is a time where there is a special quality of energy – to plant, grow and renew our lives. Energy is emerging from the ground where it has been dormant in the earth since the winter solstice.

Wishing you a special day, symbolic of balance in our life and with the environment!

Emotionally Healthy Families are Happy Families:
This past Monday marked the International Day of Happiness, a day for everyone to promote happiness and kindness, aiming to feel fulfilled and having the ability to reach our potential, both of which can be achieved by supporting good emotional health in ourselves and our families…

San Diego, Chula Vista among happiest cities in United States:

Please Urge Congress to Support the Arts! 

This week, March 21st was also Arts Advocacy Day 2017, and OPERA America joined dozens of national arts service organizations to revise and update the national policy briefs.

This year, approximately 650 advocates from across the nation are visiting D.C. to talk to Congress about the issues impacting artists, arts organizations and the communities they serve. In fact, this year’s slate of issues includes 18 different policy briefs that range from support for the National Endowment for the Arts and arts in education, to preserving the charitable deduction and the impact of the arts on healing.

Not in D.C.? Not a problem! You can add your voice to the millions advocating across the country by sending a letter to your congressional representatives. OPERA America continues to represent the field daily in Washington, D.C., meeting regularly with congressional offices, working with national coalitions on a range of issues and providing opportunities for grassroots advocacy.


Support the NEA: Last week, President Trump released a non-binding budget resolution that proposed the elimination of 19 federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts. Congress must still put forward and pass their own budget legislation, which means there’s time to build and strengthen relationships with lawmakers and urge them to save the NEA and fund the agency at $155 million for fiscal year 2018.

Tax Reform: Congress is eager to tackle tax reform in 2017. There have been proposals from both sides of the aisle that would limit giving to charitable communities. The nonprofit sector is urging Congress to preserve the full scope and value of the tax deduction for all charitable gifts.

Visa Policy: With ongoing delays in the processing of visas for foreign guest artists, OPERA America continues to advocate to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State to reduce the processing times. Advocates also urge Congress to enact the ARTS Require Timely Service (ARTS) provision, which would support increased efficiency.

To learn more about these and other issues, visit OPERA America’s advocacy page. And please take a minute to join arts advocates from across the U.S. in urging Congress to support policies and legislation that impact the arts sector. 

If you are local:

Local Robotics Team First to Win the Super Regional Championships!


FTC 4216 Rise of Hephaestus, spent over 5000 total hours working together over the past six months and won the Super Regional Championship in Tacoma, WA this past weekend as Team Captain of the Winning Alliance.  This is the first time a San Diego region FTC team has won at this level.  They are partially sponsored by none other than Qualcomm and a variety of other local sponsors.

The precepts they work under are:

Gracious Professionalism – FIRST


Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions.

Here is a newspaper article about them that just came out (see page 7):

And a news conference they were recently in:

Their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/riseofhephaestus4216/

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ftc4216RiseOfHephaestus



Click here to support FTC 4216 Rise of Hephaestus Worlds! by Rise Hephaestus

Please help support our local Point Loma/Ocean Beach First Tech Challenge robotics team FTC 4216 Rise of Hephaestus!  We have spent over 5000 total hours working together over the past six months to advance to the Super Regional Championship in Tacoma, WA and finished as Team Captain of the Winni…

Thanks this week go to Billy S, the team at the Global Presence, & Matt N and the Point Loma/OB First Tech Challenge Robotics Team!

Pay it forward…

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”– Albert Einstein

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