Monday, February 21, 2011

National Love Your Pet Day

Wishing all pets out there a very happy tail-wagging and purring National Love Your Pet Day and very special wishes and love to LaKeit, Nugget, Gretel, Macie, Hansel and Tasha.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Superstition of the Week - Valentine's Day

St. Valentine’s Day...gone to the birds

The origins of this day are not exactly clear but it may have been created from Lupercalia, a pre-Christian Roman festival that was held in the honor of Pan and Juno to ensure fertility and a bountiful harvest. This festival was thought to start on the evening of February 14th and young men drew names of girls from a large urn to discover who would be their partner for the festival.

However, in the 4th century, the Christian Church became concerned about this pagan festival and tried to abolish it, but to no success. Thus they renamed the day after St. Valentine, supposedly an early Christian martyr, though it is highly likely that St. Valentine may have never existed.

The Puritans brought Valentine’s Day to America in 1629 but life was harsh and there was no time allowed for celebrations that seemed frivolous. Consequently, it took about another hundred years for Valentine’s Day to be celebrated in the United States.

During the middle ages there was a superstition believed that the first bird a young girl would see on Valentine’s Day would identify who her future husband would be:

Blackbird = A Clergyman
Robin = A Sailor
Goldfinch = An Extremely Wealthy Man
Yellowbird = A Well Off Man
Sparrow = A Farmer
Bluebird = A Happy But Poor Man
Crossbill = An Angry Man
Woodpecker = Will Never Marry
Dove = A Kind and Good Man

Friday, February 4, 2011

Superstition of the Week - The Oscar Curse

The Oscar Curse

We had not heard of the Oscar Curse but there was a rumored theory that women who win the Best Actress Academy Award are doomed to divorce.

Now according to an article in the Huffington Post, researchers at the University of Toronto have released a study that found the effect of the “Oscar Curse” has the data to back it up.

Researchers compared actresses who won Best Actress from 1936 to 2010 to those who were nominated but didn't win, and found that winners were, indeed, 1.68 times as likely to divorce as non-winners. Of the 265 married nominees, 159 eventually divorced--a whopping 60 percent. The same was not true for men--there was no significant difference in divorce risk for Best Actor winners and Best Actor nominees.

Here are a few notable names who were plagued by this curse: Jane Wyman, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Helen Hunt, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank, and Sandra Bullock.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cool Stuff We Found Related To Ravens (Or In This Case Crows)

Matsumoto Castle, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior, is a premier historic castle in Japan built in 1504 by the Shimadachi Sadanaga clan out of earth, stone and wood. “Crow Castle” was in use from 1504 to 1868 until the outer castle was demolished when the land was reclaimed in the Meiji Restoration. The original black keep and inner walls survived. The “Crow Castle” is now listed as a National Treasure of Japan and is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Tokyo by road or rail.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Superstition of the Week - Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie means “living dead,” and was originally a god in different countries in Africa, particularly in the Congo. However, the term also grew into an integral part of voodoo magic describing a corpse that has been enchanted and brought back to life by having part of its soul restored by a sorcerer, who then has control over the zombie.

It was believed the only people who can become zombies are those who have had an unnatural death. Thus to prevent the sorcerer from being able to bring them back as a zombie, was to symbolically kill them for a 2nd time.

Of course Hollywood has now added several incidents where one might get zombied.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Superstition of the Week - Blue Monday

Watch out, it is that time again: Blue Monday, "the most depressing day of the year."

According to a, well let's just say very creative formula, written by psychologist, Cliff Arnall, in 2005, this upcoming Monday, January 24th, is the day when post-holiday gloom is at its worst.

While on the payroll of a PR firm five years ago Arnall "calculated" that the Monday falling in mid-January was the most miserable day of the year. To make this divination, the former Cardiff University lecturer came up with a complicated equation comprising seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

Consequently, this unique bit of math was used to give academic weight to a press release put out by Sky Travel encouraging people to cheer themselves up by taking a trip during this time of year. Hmmmm.

Soooooo...I guess if you are down in the dumps on Monday, you can say your mood is substantiated by the seven-variable Arnall equation. Even though you are depressed, you will at least sound impressive.