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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cool Stuff On Ravens - The Tower of London

It case you missed our previous post, let us introduce you again to the Tower of London Ravens...
Beefeater Raven
Marley, a male, born in North Somerset, age 3
Erin, a female, born in North Somerset, age 3
Merlin, a female, born in South Whales, age 4
Baldrick, a male, born in Dartmoor, age 4
Munin, a female, born in North Uist (Scotland), age 14
Thor, a male, born in Hampshire, age 14
Hugine, a female, born in North Uist (Scotland), age 14
Gwylium, a male, born in Welsh Mountain Zoo, age 21

Source: The Historic Royal Palaces website,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Superstition of the Week - Clocks

ClockThere is a superstition that says if a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cool Stuff on Ravens - Learn a New Language

Is one of your 2011 New Year's resolutions to learn a new language? If so, here is your bilingual Raven....

Raven in Kilt
Bilingual Ravens

Scots Gaelic....Fitheach, Fhitich

Friday, January 7, 2011

Superstition of the Week - Rabbits

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2011 is the year of the Golden Rabbit, which begins on 2/3/11 and ends on 1/22/12. Here are a few superstitions on our fine floppy-eared friends.


  • A rabbit running through your yard is a sign of fertility either meaning it is a good year to have children or to grow a garden.
  • A rabbit running down the street means there will be a fire in the neighborhood.
  • Dreaming about a rabbit means you could soon be confronted by misfortune.
  • Seeing a white rabbit is a death omen, this might stem from British folklore where it was believed that wicked witches turned themselves into white rabbits or hares.
  • Seeing a black rabbit is unlucky. Not sure if this is related to the black cat superstition or that in some folklore it was thought that black rabbits host the souls of human beings.
  • A superstition to gain good luck, usually a present, that was also common in many part of Great Britain, with several variants, was saying ‘Rabbits’ three times before going to sleep on the last day of the month, and then ‘Hares’ three times first thing when waking in the morning. Another version of this myth states that on the first day of the month you should shout out ‘White Rabbit’ when you wake up in the morning and then shout out ‘Black Rabbit’ right before you go to bed that night and you will have good luck throughout the month. A more modern version states the person should say “rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit” upon waking on the first day of each new month, and doing so will bring good luck all month long. Yet there are other versions that say instead of the first day of the month it should be the first day of the new moon.
  • And finally...the rabbit’s foot. The most common superstition of this supposed lucky charm says the rabbit’s foot will bring luck and protect the owner from evil spirits if carried in the pocket. Though some versions say the original owner must give their rabbit’s foot away and the recipient of the gift would have good fortune. If the owner were to keep the foot for themselves, they would in turn have bad luck. Also if the recipient loses the rabbit’s foot, they would also have bad luck. Oh but there is more....
  • In American folklore, the foot of the rabbit is considered an amulet of good luck originating from African-American folk magic known as hoodoo. But not just any rabbit’s foot will do. It needs to be the left hind foot. Here is where it gets sticky. Some say the rabbit must be shot by a silver bullet in a cemetery while others say the rabbit should be captured alive in the cemetery and the foot needs to be cut off while the rabbit is still alive. Also the phase of the moon is important, but again, some say the rabbit should be taken in the full moon where others say it should be taken in the new moon. There are even others that say it should be a Friday, preferably rainy.

We think we will just let them keep their furry little feet and we will find our good luck someplace else.