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Devo and Stevie Wonder. What do they have in common??

Hint: Step on a crack. Break your Momma’s bask.
Very superstitious writings on the wall?

Ding ding ding ding. You are correct. Each wrote a song whose lyrical content refers to superstitions.

On this eve of All Hallows Eve, (Otherwise knows as Halloween) my wife suggested I devote an article to superstitions. I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope it comes out OK.

Miriam- Webster defines superstition as: “a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck”

I intended to explore the world of superstitions and why they are what they are. You know what I mean, black cats, broken mirrors, walking under ladders, knocking on wood, the number 13, that sort of thing.

When I started my research, I went to yahoo.com and plugged in: “13 why is it bad luck”

This is the answer I received:
Sorry, something has gone wrong (500). We couldn’t give you the page you requested just now. Please try again.
You may think I am making this up but I am not making this up. Even I thought I was making this up, so I went upstairs from the Wedwand Camel Cave and watched the news.

There were no happy stories. https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/143/

Just to ease my curiosity (which by the way killed the cat whether it was black or had 9 lives or not) I checked again. SAME response.

So, anyhoo, the sports world is quite superstitious.

Hockey players grow those goofy hockey playoff beards which have now found their hairy way into baseball this World Series. Note to Players. You all grow these beards for superstitious good luck, but did you ever realize they are at best only 50% successful?

After every hockey series, one team shaves, the losing one. Every team ultimately shaves the beard except one. Do the math. It doesn’t work, really it doesn’t. AND, they are ugly.

Speaking of sports and superstitions, players sometimes actually pay other players to get “their” number likely for superstitious reasons . Really, it happens more frequently than you know. In June this year, Darrelle Revis paid Mark Barron $50,000.00 for his number 24 when he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

http://www.businessinsider.com/darrelle-revis-paid-a-teammate-for-his-uniform-number-2013-6

I bet you didn’t even know who Darrelle freaking Revis was and that he had 50K to pay for number 24. If anything screams professional athletes are overpaid, well maybe that’s it. https://wedwand.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=212&action=edit

Although, I DO like the John Kruk / Mitch Williams number exchange from the baseball glory days of 1991. “Wild Thing” got the number 28 from John Kruk for ten bucks and two cases of beer.

On the eve of the eve of Halloween, I would be remiss if I did not define what it all means. November 1 is All Saints Day, often called All Hallows Day. The evening before, All Hallows Eve. Shortened and said very fast it becomes “Halloween”.

Dress up. Have fun. Toast a saint. Boldly wear a 13 on your sleeve while holding a black cat as you walk under the ladder as you step right on that crack.

It could be worse. You could be a Cubs fan.

FOOTNOTE:
The search engine did ultimately came up and revealed there is absolutely NO plausible reason why black cats and 13 should be considered unlucky. In fact, some cultures consider the pair to be lucky.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/670/why-is-the-number-13-considered-unlucky
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_cat

So, superstition, appears to be a choice. Whatever happens will happen whether you wear your lucky shirt or not. Take care. I gotta shave this beard.

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It’s been fast. It’s been quick. It passes some of us by like a speeding car on the Interstate. Others jump on board and take it for a ride. It’s called progress.

In the movie “Hoosiers” set in 1951 Indiana, Ollie (he the hero of the underhanded free throw) gives examples of what progress is — “electricity, school consolidation, church remodeling, hay balers, corn pickers, grain combines, and indoor plumbing” — among others.  Oddly, school consolidation ultimately means the end of the fictional small town Hickory High. There will be no sequel.

(I am including the Opening sequence to this film because it screams Midwest Fall (or do you say Autumn) during a simpler time.

We’ve come a long way from that two lane road to Hickory until now. We have traveled all the way from The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 that launched the Interstate Highway system to the Information Super Highway of the 1990’s and beyond.

Remember when Al Gore first invented the Internet (sorry, it was on the tee, I had to take a swing), we all used to say the entire internet name when referring to a specific site? We’d used to say the “www”, we used to say the “dot” and we used to say the “com.”

(E.g. (1) When verifying the above comment, we would have said, we visited, “www dot Snopes dot com” to confirm the Al Gore thing. Now we just say, “Checked it out on Snopes.”) (2)

By the way, I DID check Snopes and according to that site, the whole “Al Gore claimed he invented the internet thing” is False:

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

They even cite a quote from Al that says “I took the initiative to create the internet” as proof that he never claimed to have invented the internet. What could be clearer? 

In general though, progress often involves making things faster, more efficient, and less time consuming. For big business, this gives them the chance to eliminate jobs. For us common folk, it gives us time for more meaningful activities like Candy Crush when our jobs have been eliminated.

Regarding communication, we have evolved from actually visiting people, to talking with them on the phone, to texting them, to generically refer to them in the social media. Progress.

We even gone so far as to abbreviate phrases in texts just to save key strokes in our instant messages. (Sad is the fact that we text and instant message because it just takes too much time to really talk to people.)

Some say “bigger is better” but all too often these days “shorter means better.” BRB, JK, PPL, LOL, BFF. In case you are saying you yourself, “IDK what that means” here’s a helpful source.

http://textingabbreviations.blogspot.com/

Your thoughts on progress? TTFN.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) “E.g.” is an old-fashioned abbreviation that has been around for a while. It means “for example” and comes from the Latin expression exempli gratia, “for the sake of an example.” (Keeping Roman tradition alive baby.)

https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/roman-numerals-football-and-dinosaurs/

(2) In case you didn’t know, Snopes is an internet site dedicated to squelching internet rumors.

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Why do we learn Roman Numerals (or do you say Numbers) in school, but not Latin?

(In case you were wondering about the difference between a number and a numeral, here’s what I found: “A number is an abstract concept while a numeral is a symbol used to express that number.” STILL wondering, eh? Math. So very valuable, yet so very misunderstood.)

Latin may be a dead language, but those damn numerals are kept alive by the NFL every Super Bowl, fittingly enough since the game involves gladiators in a ring. Perhaps the Games are numbered as such as a tribute to Rome.

In researching this, it appears that in fact, some schools are fazing out teaching Roman Numerals, but the NFL is spear-heading a drive (pun intended) to “Keep The Numerals Alive.” To be a true tribute to the Romans the NFL should go all-the-way in 2016 (Super Bowl L) and name the game, “Venatio Magnus XLVII”

Speaking of the Roman Empire and its ultimate demise in 476 AD (which ironically was the last time the Chicago Cubs went to a World Series), I recently read an article about the causes of the Fall of the Roman Empire (or do you say autumn). (1)

Here are just some of them:

• Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor
• Decline in Morals
• Political Corruption and the Praetorian Guard
• Constant Wars and Heavy Military Spending
• Barbarian Knowledge of Roman Military Tactics
• Failing Economy
• Unemployment of the Working Classes
• The ‘Mob’ and the cost of the ‘Games’

Does any of this sound familiar?

So if we are to learn from the mistakes of Rome, we must continue to keep the Roman Numeral alive. If we stop teaching them, then we may suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs.

I gotta think the dinosaurs would gladly have loved a forewarning like this. (Sorry I wasn’t there for you guys.) Happy they were traipsing about America, some eating plants, some eating cavemen, wondering if an animated movie about them would be a success, when BANG an asteroid hits and no more dinosaurs.

So I dedicate this one to those dinosaurs in Washington DC who have shut down the government since the beginning of the month. The Cantagreeosaures. (Read it closely)
Perhaps one day they will become extinct.

Sumus populus. E pluribus unum.
Word.

FOOTNOTES:
(1) Books have been written about this, but if you want to read the article and get further information (or should I say get the IV-I-I) here it is: http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-empire/causes-for-the-fall-of-the-roman-empire.htm

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