Whew, we’ve almost arrived at February already! In addition to the month-long celebration of Black History, February also kicks off with the Lunar New Year on the 1st of the month, followed immediately by Groundhog’s Day on February 2nd.

Black History Month

Celebrated in the United States and Canada (and more recently, in the UK), Black History Month honors the accomplishments and remembers the struggles of Africans throughout history. In its observance over the last 50+ years, its commemoration has expanded from educational institutions to businesses to social media!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Falling on the second new moon after the winter solstice, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian cultures. It’s the world’s busiest travel period when many return to their rural hometowns from the big cities where they have emigrated. The celebration lasts 15 days and often involves the exchange of red envelopes containing “lucky money.” In China, it is the main festival of the year. This year, 2022, is the year of the Tiger, signaling a prosperous year ahead.

Groundhog Day

Every year on February 2, as legend has it, a groundhog weather forecaster emerges from his den. If Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, sees his shadow when he emerges from his den, we will have six more weeks of winter. If not, it will be an early spring.

It is difficult to think about Groundhog Day without thinking of the movie with Bill Murray in which he plays Phil, the cynical weatherman stuck in a time loop repeating the same day over and over again. The pandemic has left me feeling a little like Phil the weatherman. Have you felt that way? What are you doing to break the spell?

For me, a recent move of my residence created a whole series of “new” things. I drive a different way to my office, shop at different stores, interact with new neighbors and more.

Further Learning: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Smart Contracts

As I wrote in last month’s newsletter, I’ve recently been studying blockchain and cryptocurrencies to understand the coming Web 3.0. The oscillation of the value of the various cryptocurrencies, for no apparent reason, made me wonder if the markets are a good barometer of our society’s current state of mind.  Both digital currency and the stock markets have entered a period of pessimism about the near-term future. However, life is what we make of it. Is your glass half-full? It is up to each of us to decide.