Monday, October 30, 2006

New Sayings for the Internet Age

Home is where you hang your @.

The e-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

You can't teach a new mouse old clicks.

Great groups from little icons grow.

Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.

C: is the root of all directories.

Don't put all your hypes in one home page.

Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.

The modem is the message.

Too many clicks spoil the browse.

The geek shall inherit the earth.

A chat has nine lives.

Don't byte off more than you can view.

Fax is stranger than fiction.

What boots up must come down.

Windows will never cease.

Virtual reality is its own reward.

Modulation in all things.

A user and his leisure time are soon parted.

There's no place like

Know what to expect before you connect.

Oh, what a tangled website we weave when first we practice.

Speed thrills.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Well according to Christian history Friday was just not a good day.

Of course there is Good Friday when Christ was crucified.
Adam and Eve also supposedly ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday,
the Great Flood started on a Friday,
the builders of the Tower of Babel were tongue-tied on a Friday
and the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday.
Wow Friday was just not a good day in Biblical history.

Then there is also the fact that Friday was named after Frigg , a Norse goddess, according to In Norse Mythology, Frigg is the wife of Odin and the goddess of love and fertility, patron of marriage, motherhood and women, symbolizes fertility, love, foresight, cunning, wisdom, and the moon, and she weaves the clouds. She is also the daughter of Fjorgyn and the mother of Balder, Tyr, Hoder, Hermod, and Bragi.

It is said she knows every person's future, but never reveals it to anyone, and spins the thread of fate. With this knowledge, she tried to prevent Balder's death by asking every object in nature for an oath not to harm her son, but she forgot to ask the mistletoe and Balder died from a fig made of mistletoe.

She resides in Asgard in the hall Fensalir ("Water Halls" or "The Ocean Halls") and is rumored to have had affairs with Ve and Vili. It is her job to represent the approachable side of Odin which he is unable to show. Her messenger is Gna, the messenger and traveler goddess, who rides the skies on the horse Hofvarpnir.

Since she is very similar to Freya, it is thought she could possibly be her in another form and Friday is possibly named after one or both of them. They are both mentioned one after another in Lokasenna when Loki reveals Frigg's affair while Odin was away which is the sort of behavior one might attribute to Freya and Frigg could simply be the persona Freya acquired when she married out the Vanir gods into the Aesir. She is also known as Frigga and is thought to also be called Saga as in the Prose Edda it is said that Saga was an Aesir goddess who lived in Sokkvabekk (Suken Hall) which can be compared to Fensalir. It is under this name she is mentioned with Odin in the Poetic Edda:

It has been hinted that Freyja's character was not irreproachable, and that thence arose Friday's ill-repute, but such an hypothesis is wholly untenable. She also had a sacred animal, a black cat. Friday was a holy day for the pagans.

Triskaidekaphobia may have also affected the Vikings — it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god. This was later Christianised into saying that Satan was the 13th angel.

The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1686 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list. This seems to indicate a superstition existed long before the Christian era.

A specific fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevadekatriaphobia.

The following extract from a translation of a Saxon manuscript of about the year 1120 may serve to illustrate the credulity of that epoch in England, and the odium attaching to Friday:

Whoever is born on Sunday or its night, shall live without anxiety and be handsome.
If he is born on Monday or its night, he shall be killed of men, be he laic or be he cleric.
If on Tuesday or its night, he shall be corrupt in his life, and sinful and perverse.
If he be born on Wednesday or its night, he shall be very peaceable and easy and shall grow up well and be a lover of good. . . .
If he be born on Friday or its night, he shall be accursed of men, silly and crafty and loathsome to all men and shall ever be thinking evil in his heart, and shall be a thief and a great coward, and shall not live longer than to mid-age.
If he is born on Saturday or its night, his deeds shall be renowned, he shall be an alderman, whether he be man or woman; many things shall happen unto him, and he shall live long.
Gleaned from

"Of all superstitions, perhaps the most pervasive -- and yet least explicable -- is the aversion to the number thirteen.

Many buildings (particularly hotels) tall enough to have a thirteenth floor will not number it as such. We are told that the registration of Princess Margaret's birth was delayed so that she would not be entered as number thirteen. So firm is its grip upon us that even hospitals, those supposed bastions of rational thought, decline to label their operating theaters with the number.

"Thirteen is especially unlucky terms of dinner parties, referring back to the Last Supper or the Norse feast: it is believed that one of the thirteen diners will die within a year. But the fear exists in every occurrence of the number. Throughout the western world people can still be found numbering their houses '12 1/2,' to avoid living in number 13. The state lotteries of France, Italy, and elsewhere never sell tickets with that number. Hotels and hospitals, and similar institutions, often have no room numbered thirteen; and many big hotels, like the new Cavendish Hotel completed in London in 1966, also have no thirteenth floor.

What is it about the 'devil's dozen' that poses such evil portent? The answer, as with so many superstitions, is biblical. Thirteen gathered in the upper room on the night of the Last Supper. 'And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.' (Mark 14: 17-18). 'Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot . . for he it was that should betray him.' (John 6: 70-71).

According to another interpretation, the number 13 is unlucky because it is the number of full moons in a year. Women living in a natural environment tend to have their period during a full moon. A woman typically has 13 periods in a year. In the past, a woman who "bled" during a full moon was seen as a witch. The fear of women's connection to the moon, as well as the association of the full moon with mental disorders has, according to this theory, caused the number to be seen as bad luck, and connected to supernatural forces.

As for Friday the 13th: a lamentable intersection of unlucky number and dire day. 'And on a Friday fil al this meschaunce,' wrote Chaucer in 'The Nun's Priest's Tale'. The superstitions surrounding this fateful day -- particularly Good Fridays -- are numerous: a child born on Friday is doomed to misfortune; do not feed anyone butter churned or eggs laid that day. Courting, and especially marriage, on Friday is a folly. Do not move to a new home or new job on that fateful day; do not rise from an illness; and please, please do not take a journey -- for as the fishermen say, 'A Friday's sail, always fail."

And, if having the 13th fall on a Friday isn't bad enough enjoin it with the apperance of a full moon and watch the metaphysical muck fly!!

Most superstitions and stories about bad luck date back to antiquity.

Are you superstitious?

Be it rational or irrational, what methphorical ladder do you not step under? Does it help?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Story of Jack O'Lantern

When the term jack-o'-lantern first appeared in print in 1750, it referred to a night watchman or a man carrying a lantern.It was after this story that beliefs changed, people began to believed that spirits and ghosts left the grave on Halloween and would seek out warmth in their previous homes.

A stingy drunkard of an Irish blacksmith named Jack had the misfortune to run into the Devil in a pub, some say on Halloween night. Jack had too much to drink and was about to fall into the Devil's hands, but managed to trick the Devil by offering his soul in exchange for one last drink. The Devil turned himself into a sixpence to pay the bartender, but Jack quickly pocketed him in his purse. Because Jack had a silver cross in his purse, the Devil could not change himself back. Jack would not let the Devil go until he promised not to claim his soul for ten years.

The Devil agreed and ten years later Jack came across the Devil while walking on a country road. The Devil wanted to collect, but Jack, thinking quickly, said "I'll go, but before I go, will you get me an apple from that tree?" The Devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, jumped on Jack's shoulders to obtain the apple. Jack pulled out his knife and carved a cross in the trunk of the tree. This left the Devil in the air, unable to obtain Jack or his soul. Jack made him promise to never again ask for his soul. Seeing no way out, the Devil agreed. No one knows how the Devil ever managed to get back down!

When Jack finally died years later, he was not admitted to Heaven, because of his life of drinking and being tightfisted and deceitful. When he went to apply for entrance to Hell, the Devil had to turn him away because he agreed never to take Jack's soul. "But where can I go?", asked Jack. "Back where you came from!", replied the Devil. The way back was windy and dark. Jack pleaded with the Devil to at least provide him a light to find his way. The Devil, as a final gesture, threw a live coal at Jack straight from the fire of Hell. To light his way and to keep it from blowing out in the wind, Jack put it in a turnip he was eating.

Ever since, Jack has been doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until "Judgment Day."

Jack of the lantern (Jack O' Lantern) became known as the symbol of a damned soul.

It was after this story that beliefs changed, people began to believed that spirits and ghosts left the grave on Halloween and would seek out warmth in their previous homes.

Villagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts of past occupants, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits, so they would not destroy their homes or crops, but instead move on down the road. They also began to hollow out turnips with a face either painted or carved into it, and place lighted candles inside; hoping the image of a dammed soul would scare the spirits away.

Since I am part English and part Irish, I choose to believe the Celts and place Jack o’ Lanterns on my porch to welcome my deceased family and friends, hoping they will always find comfort, love and happiness within my home.

Additional information:

References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was nasalized by the French into "pompon." The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." Shakespeare referred to the "pumpion" in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin." The "pumpkin" is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Special thanks to LadyofAvalonLand for this post.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blood Moon Rising

Tonight is the night of Full Moon.

October Full Moon is the Hunting Moon, Blood moon and sometimes the Harvest Moon.

In the past, this was the time of hunting and storing.
It was the start of the hunting season for those who lived off the land.
It was also a time to give thanks for what was harvested during the year — not only what was harvested for the body but what was harvested for the spirit. It is a time to reflect and give thanks for the plants and animals that died to allow the balance of nature to be maintained.

This moon is known as the Blood Moon because it reflects the final harvest of livestock and the ultimate sacrifice of the Harvest King as he leaves the world above for the mysterious transformation to be found in the Underworld.

To the Celts this moon — known as the Harvest Moon — was a time of harvesting and storing of crops, preparing for the long winter. They also associated it with protection, prosperity, and healing. It is a time for spells that increase psychic abilities and fertility.

It is a good time to reflect on this moon and think about how we are a part of the natural cycles. A time to begin preparations for the New Year, Samhain or Halloween.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Importance of a Moment

Life is made of millions of moments,
but we live only one of these moments at a time.

As we begin to change this moment,
we begin to change our lives.

"How quickly not now, becomes never."
-- Martin Luther

"Talk does not cook rice."
-- Chinese proverb

"Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!"
-- Donald Gardner

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started."
-- Dawson Trotman

Procrastination seriously drains our energy and our morale. What remains undone nags at us.

"Do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda