Letter From New York 03 14 15 In celebration of PI Day

Having successfully survived Friday the 13th, I awoke to a dark, drear, drizzly world. At least it is relatively warm. As I write this, I am doing the mundane things of life, doing a load of wash after finishing picking up around the house today. This week a desk made by my grandfather, a master furniture maker, was returned to me after being away some months having all its joints worked on. Old age had made it more than a bit wobbly; now it’s back, sturdy as ever.

For those of us who are not nerds, let me tell you that today is PI Day. PI is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Its first five digits are 31415, an event that will not happen for another century. 3/14 is also the anniversary of Einstein’s birth and therefore a cause of celebration of all things math related. I would have been in blissful ignorance of this if not for one of my train companions yesterday, who is a computer geek nerd wonderful chap, explaining it all to me in some detail.

So tonight, when I make a martini, I will lift my glass to PI Day. And Einstein.

There is no celebration happening today in the South Pacific as Cyclone Pam has left a trail of destruction as it passed through the island nation of Vanuatu. Winds up to 170 mph roared through accompanied by torrential rains. The full damage will not be known for days as communications have been severely crippled in the wake of the storm.

Cyclone Pam may be one of the worst storms to have ever passed through the region.

In Israel, Netanyahu is also facing a storm. His polling numbers are flagging and he is blaming a worldwide global conspiracy of the left for his slippage. While we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the Israelis will be voting and the world will be watching.

Some within Likud, Netanyahu’s party, are saying that if they fail in Tuesday’s election, Netanyahu may lose his position as head of the party. The stakes are high for “Bibi.”

Stakes are high, too, in Iraq. There some government officials are saying Tikrit may be liberated within the next three days, a week at the most, despite booby-trapped roads and fierce resistance. It will be a psychological blow for IS to lose Tikrit, hometown of Saddam Hussein. IS is still holding on to a cluster of palaces built for the former dictator.

In Rome, Pope Francis has said he does not think his papacy will be a long one. Pope Benedict XVI may have started a precedent of retiring popes. Personally, I hope he doesn’t go too soon.   He also has said that he misses being able to go to a pizzeria and getting a slice. He’s too famous now.

Also famous is Vladimir Putin, who still has not been seen in Moscow. Rumors are flying rampantly around the Russian capital. The most logical one is that he has been felled by a virulent flu that has broken the back of the capital. It is also rumored that he has been in Switzerland for the birth of a child by his mistress. It has also been whispered that he’s dead or a captive in the Kremlin of the far right. [It’s hard for me to think of anyone more right than Putin.] But rumors are all that the city has. He’s just not been seen. Tomorrow he is supposed to travel so if he doesn’t the rumor mill will probably explode.

Also exploding, but in a good way, is the live action version of “Cinderella” that opened last night, zooming its way toward a magical $70,000,000 weekend. Starring Lily James, Downton Abbey’s Lady Rose, and Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother with Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother it has rocked past the competition and garnered brilliant reviews.

Hoping to garner brilliant reviews for the dinner I am preparing for four neighbors tonight, I must head off to the store to pick up a couple of ingredients I forgot when I did the morning shopping.

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