It’s been on my mind a lot this week.
The Rosewater family has a little too much fun with Halloween.
September: Halloween prep month
October: Halloween month
November: Christmas prep month and post halloween depression month
December: Christmas month
Every other month: sad time
“The four great points of the ancient Irish year are neatly set out in the Ulster tale of the wooing of Emer by Cu Chulainn. Among various tasks which she set him before he could wed her, was to go sleepless from ‘Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest, until Imbolc, when the ewes are milked at spring’s beginning’…In the Yellow Book of Lecan, a high medieval text preserving some early medieval tales, it is said that the common people called Samhain ‘the feast of Mongfind’ instead. Legend made Mongfind a witch-queen married to an early king of Tara, but fact that the same source states that the people still prayed to her on 31 October indicates that we are dealing here with another goddess: queens and heroines were not prayed to, or given commemorative feasts…
“Of the four festivals, there is no doubt whatsoever from the literature that Samhain, which began the year in November, was the most important. Tribal assemblies were held then, rulers and warriors conferred and laws were made. It was also the time at which humans were most susceptible to divine and supernatural interference. At Samhain heroic and royal figures met fated deaths or enchantments. Spirits, monsters or fairies attacked royal capitals, with physical destruction or with evil spells. Divine women allowed themselves to be wooed by human males. Supernatural beings fought or mated with each other, while warriors, gathered in royal halls, made important boasts or challenges. Magical gifts were presented to kings, or things stolen magically from them. It is worth stressing that most of these occurrences took place in daylight, so the whole day of 1 November was regarded as exciting and perilous, and not just (as in modern times) the night before…
“There is the case of Hinton St George, a Somerset village through which, upon the last Thursday evening of October, the children carry hollowed-out mangel-wurzels containing candles. The shells of the vegetables are carved with faces or designs, some of great beauty. They are called ‘punkies,’ and the event bears the name ‘Punky Night’. The popular books upon English folklore and calendar customs published during the 1960s tended to describe thias a vestige of honouring of vegetation spirits at Samhain. At Hinton, as at Killorglin, I was given two explanations by the villagers for what they were doing. One lady told me that the word punkie came from ‘spunkie’, and the word used in mid-Somerset for the little flames of ignited marsh gas known elsewhere as will-o’-the-wisps or jack-o’-lanterns. She went on to say that they were believed to be the souls of dead babies, and that the Hinton tradition was designed originally to honour and to placate them at the season of Samhain. Others among the villagers were quite irritated by her ideas. They agreed upon the origin of the name, but insisted that the punkies were first carved as genuine lanterns, to guide the men of Hinton back from a fair held in late October at a nearby village. Their families would turn out to welcome them home, and the procession and merrymaking became a festivity in its own right which endured after the feast ceased to be held. Nobody in Hinton that night had much time for the idea of vegetation spirits…
“There is ample evidence of the importance of Samhain in all the modern Celtic regions, namely Ireland, Man, the Highlands and Western Isles, Wales and Cornwall, though the focus has been shifted back on to the previous night, called in English Hallowe’en. The rites and festivities concerned revolve around feasting, bonfires and divination. By contrast, there were no comparable celebrations associated with that date in most of England and some of Scotland until modern America helped to transmit the Irish festival to Britain. So it really does appear to have been a feast known all over the Iron Age British Isles, with no equivalent among the Anglo-Saxon invaders…
“Nearly 4,000 years were to pass…Over the same period, several major ancient festivals were Christianized by being awarded to particular patrons: thus, Samhain’s importance was recognized by its transformation into All Saint’s Day…
“One of the most blatant translations of an offering to a pagan deity persisted on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides until the mid-seventeenth century. At Hallowe’en fishermen would go down to the shore, kneel at the edge of the waves and repeat the Christian Paternoster. One of them waded in up to his waist, poured out a bowl of ale and asked a mysterious being called Shoney (Johnny) for a good catch over the next year. Then they went to St Malvey’s chapel and sat in silence for a while before making merry in the fields for the rest of the night.”
– The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles by Ronald Hutton
- Use 8tracks!
http://8tracks.com/ is a great site for compiling your own personal playlists. It’s super easy to put together and share materials from there!
- Use Youtube!
Compile playlists via youtube and share!
- Use spotify!
Spotify also enables you to make a playlist (note: as it’s not accessible for me, I can’t verify how easy this is to do).
What else can you do?
- Give your playlist a cool name!
- Give your playlist a cool cover!
- Check out tumblr’s 8tracks tag for inspiration!
Remember to @fywh-nanowrimo and add your soundtrack to the #NaNo Soundtrack tag!
Like the White House gate jumper, or someone doing the ice bucket challenge. It’s both fun and relevant.
Just don’t do it. I know it might seem self-explanatory, but every Halloween someone thinks this will be a good idea. If you’re white and you want to go as Beyoncé, just find a suitable wig and don’t wear pants. Or, just go as Kesha. She’s scarier.
A mask might seem good at first, but you’ll end up smelling like hot rubber by the end of the night.
And don’t say it’s not a big deal because that’s all in the past and we’re over it now. There are some things handled so poorly in the past that they can’t be rehabilitated, like lead paint, or the first name Adolf.
Also, the risk just isn’t worth the reward. Think of the happiest you’ve ever been in a good Halloween costume, and then think of the saddest you’ve ever been when everyone called you racist. That’s like breaking your sobriety for an Amstel Light– It’s not worth it. Just drink a seltzer with a pretzel in it. Tastes the same.
Now you might be wondering, what if I’m black? Can I dress up as a white person?
I mean, probably?
The Wayans brothers do it in their movies and they seem to get away with it. But why would you want to when you can just go as Beyoncé?
It’s October, it’s cold. You want to be scary, but not shivering. And finally…
People will lose respect for you, and remember, you’re an adult in a Halloween costume, so people don’t have a ton of respect for you to begin with.External image
Since Halloween is next weekend………
Okay, frosted mini-wheats, but what if instead of milk, it’s melted vanilla ice cream?
The 2015 Ig Nobel awards have been as comical as usual.
Image re-composed in Gimp from the official poster (PDF).
All have been very well-deserved
recipients, but my favorites are:
MATHEMATICS PRIZE — Elisabeth Oberzaucher [AUSTRIA, GERMANY, UK] and Karl Grammer [AUSTRIA, GERMANY], for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.
REFERENCE: “The Case of Moulay Ismael-Fact or Fancy?” Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer, PLOS ONE, vol. 9, no. 2, 2014, e85292.
BIOLOGY PRIZE — Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [CHILE], José Iriarte-Díaz [CHILE, USA], for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.
REFERENCE: “Walking Like Dinosaurs: Chickens with Artificial Tails Provide Clues about Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion” Bruno Grossi, José Iriarte-Díaz, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez, PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 2, 2014, e88458.
PHYSICS PRIZE — Patricia Yang [USA and TAIWAN], David Hu [USA and TAIWAN], and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo [USA], for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).
CHEMISTRY PRIZE — Callum Ormonde and Colin Raston [AUSTRALIA], and Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss [USA], for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.
[Image via Network World]
REFERENCE: “Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies” Tom Z. Yuan, Callum F. G. Ormonde, Stephan T. Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin M. Pugliese, Tivoli J. Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Colin L. Raston, Gregory A. Weiss, ChemBioChem, epub January 2015.