Genesis 1: 14-19
And God said,
'Let there be lights
in the firmament of the heavens
to divide between the day and the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons,
and for days and years.
And they shall serve as beacons
in the vastness of the heavens
to give light upon the earth.'
And it was so.
And God made the two great lights,
the greater light to rule the day,
and the lesser light to rule the night,
and the stars.
And God placed them
in the firmament of the heavens
to give light upon the earth,
and to rule during the day
and during the night,
and to divide the light from the darkness;
and God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning,
a fourth day.
Every 28 years, according to the Talmud, the sun arrives at the exact position it occupied when it was created. (Yes, obviously the Talmud predates modern astronomy.) This year that moment occurs at sunrise on Wednesday, marked by a blessing, Birchat Hachamah. Until recently this was primarily celebrated only by very observant Jews, but the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation decided that even though we don't actually believe the sun appeared on a Wednesday a few days after creation of the Earth, we should stop to appreciate the sun and solar power (the primary blessing, "Blessed are You, Creator of the universe, who makes the works of Creation," is the same blessing that Jews say when experiencing a natural wonder like a thunderstorm or the northern lights). There's more information here if anyone is interested in Jewish spirituality and solar energy.
On Tuesday we paid a visit to the orthodontist to repair the bracket that Adam broke while eating a bagel on Monday. Since we were already in the mall, we then stopped in GameStop to look at the Nintendo DSi, since Daniel has been making noises about replacing his original DS now that the battery doesn't hold much of a charge. Long story short, since both kids had money saved, we came home with two DSi systems, and the very happy boys spent the afternoon (at least during the times when I did not throw them outside to enjoy the fresh air) playing with the cameras, web browsers, and sound distortion applications. I must admit that this is the first Nintendo system I have ever been at all interested in; I still have zero attraction to Pokemon Platinum or Nintendogs, but now you can learn Spanish, check your Gmail, take a photo of your cat and put it on Mario's face, play a Chipmunks-sounding version of "Purple Rain" and various other fun things.
The sea lions didn't seem to mind the rain any more than the monkeys did.
An emerald tree boa in the Rain Forest.
Also in the Rain Forest, a Nicobar pigeon...
...and a pair of flying foxes, happily awake during daylight hours, perhaps because of the overcast skies.
The sheep, lamb and alpacas in the Tisch Children's Zoo apparently did not get fed by as many visitors because of the rain -- they acted very happy to see us!
The fur seal, who spent most of his time in the water while we were there, probably didn't even notice the weather.
And the penguins, of course, live in an air-conditioned building, so they didn't even know about the rain.
Paul wanted to record The Doors on cable and we ended up watching it after dinner while it was on -- more R-rated than I remembered and I still loathe the way Oliver Stone characterizes women in pretty much every film he's ever made, but Val Kilmer and Kyle Maclachlan both give terrific performances and I never get tired of the music. Then we watched the NCAA women's final, where I rooted halfheartedly for UConn -- for them because I like the fact that the school supports their women as much as they support their men, halfheartedly because I knew my in-laws would announce that both the UConn men AND women should have won and I'd find myself actually secretly glad that it was the much-despised (around here) UNC instead. Then Colbert made me howl hysterically with his NAMBLA and evil Star Trek twin references, so I can go to bed happy.