On December 1, 1955, an African American seamstress named Rosa Parks boarded a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and stepped into history. At the time, buses were segregated, with “Whites Only” sections up front that were created by movable signs. If the white section filled up, drivers adjusted the markers and asked already seated black patrons to move further to the back. Parks, who according to custom paid her fee up front, then exited the bus and re-entered through the rear door, had initially sat in the black section, but when the driver expanded the white area and requested she vacate her seat, she refused.
On February 8th, 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its nominees for the upcoming Oscars, to be presented at 5 PM PDT in Hollywood, California on March 27th. With the Academy agreeing to expand eligibility into films made for streaming platforms, there are a record eleven Best Picture nominations, though acting and directing categories have been maintained at the traditional five nominees per. From an asteroid perspective, Best Picture nominations are a wasteland – just three have exact matches for any portion of their titles (“Nightmare Alley”, “West Side Story” and “King Richard”), though “Drive My Car” weighs in with an alternate spelling (asteroid Carr).
As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing begin to wind down, let’s take a quick look back at memorable moments from the competition. A chart set for the opening ceremonies (8 PM local time, 4 February 2022, Beijing, China) shows an exact conjunction of the Sun with Saturn at 15 Aquarius, pulling focus (Sun) to acknowledged masters and top achievers (Saturn) in their fields, in a quest for professional (Saturn again) recognition (Sun).
Winter can seem a very bleak period, but there’s beauty and wonder everywhere, if you know where to look for it. Last year we had a blizzard in late January, which dropped more than 30 inches on the property, and kept it snowbound until mid-March. In my youth, this used to be the natural state of things in my area, snow cover from Christmas to Easter, but climate change has made that a rarity. The year before there was no measurable snow accumulation the entire season, and this year, though we’re still running below average, we’ve managed to have a series of smaller snowfalls which, aided by bitter cold spells, have helped to keep the ground covered throughout January, if only by a few inches.
We’ve known for years that, as President, Donald Trump was shredding the Constitution, igniting division, and generally flushing the country down the toilet. We just didn’t know it was literal.
But on Friday, 4 February 2022, as Mercury came to its direct station conjunct Pluto, news (Mercury) broke that while in office, Trump routinely destroyed (Pluto) papers (Mercury) relating to the presidency. In doing so, he violated the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which establishes that all such papers, from rough notes and memoranda to correspondence and drafts of Executive Orders, are public property of the United States, to be retained by the National Archives, and not the personal possessions of the president, subject to his whim. Apparently the most common method of destruction Trump employed was to tear papers and toss them into the waste can, after which staffers would retrieve the pieces and tape them back together for preservation at the Archives, although some were in such a state of confetti as to be irretrievable.
At the age of 25, Elizabeth found herself reigning head of an empire upon which the sun literally never set, comprising some quarter of the globe. The seventy intervening years have seen much change and turmoil, both for Britain and the world at large, but the Queen has been a rock in the stream of time, a stabilizing influence for her people, and an invaluable source of information and experience for her governments over the decades.