Monday, October 31, 2016
- Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.
- All Hallows Eve is the evening before All Saints Day, which was created by Christians to convert pagans, and is celebrated on November 1st. The Catholic Church honoured saints on this designated day.
- Halloween culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feast of Samhain, which was annually on October 31st to honor the dead. Samhain signifies "summers end" or November.
- Samhain was a harvest festival with huge sacred bonfires, marking the end of the Celtic year and beginning of a new one. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition. The Celts believed the souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all spirits were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to pacify the evil and ensure next year’s crops would be plentiful. This custom evolved into trick-or-treating.
Halloween costumes originated from the Celts when they lit huge bonfires and celebrated Samhain by dressing up in elaborate animal skins and heads to disguise themselves as spirits and demons so that the real ones couldn't distinguish them as being human. Their ceremonies consisted of dancing, telling stories, and reading fortunes.
Jack 'O Lanterns
- The traditions of carving jack 'o lanterns comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack.
- According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting sloshed with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn't bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.
- When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn't fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became "Jack of the Lantern" or "Jack o' Lantern." Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.
Trick or Treating
- The custom of trick or treating evolved in Ireland, centuries ago. In preparation for All Hollow's Eve, the poor would call upon the rich folks and request money, gifts and food. The food was gathered for a huge feast and celebration.
- Most experts trace trick-or-treating to the European practice of "mumming," or "guysing," in which costume-wearing participants would go door-to-door performing choreographed dances, songs and plays in exchange for treats. According to Elizabeth Pleck's "Celebrating The Family," the tradition cropped up in America, where it would often take place on Thanksgiving.
In northern Ireland, it was customary for Druids to perform ritualistic ceremonies and make sacrifices to pacify their gods. The Celts would bring wood and start their Samhain bonfire or, fire festival, on the hilltop. Often, they would throw the bones of slaughtered cattle into the flames. The word "bonfire" is said to be derived from such "bone fires". Bonfires and sacrifices guaranteed that the sun would burn brightly after a long, dreary winter. It's common to witness hundreds of traditional bonfires in Ireland every year on Halloween Night.
Orange and Black
Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the autumn harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986) was a philosopher, speaker and writer. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the organization behind it. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.
Continuing the countdown of the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie lines.
The list dates from 2005, hence a lot of famous lines won’t be included. I will add to the list once we reach Number 1.
Spoken by Diane Keaton as Annie Hall in Annie Hall (1977)
- Diane Keaton's real name is Diane Hall and her nickname is Annie.
- The film's working title was "Anhedonia" - the inability to feel pleasure. United Artists fought against it (among other things, they were unable to come up with an ad campaign that explained the meaning of the word) and Woody Allen compromised on naming the film after the central character three weeks before the film's premiere. Other titles suggested were "It Had to Be Jew", "A Rollercoaster Named Desire", and "Me and My Goy".
- Alvy makes a joke about the political magazines Dissent and Commentary merging to form "Dysentery." Dissent is a famous liberal magazine and Commentary is a famous conservative magazine.
“There's no crying in baseball!”
Spoken by Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own (1992)
- The storyline was inspired by the career of baseball legend Dottie Collins. During WWII, Collins played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and pitched 17 shutouts during her six-year career.
- The film portrays the league as initially unpopular and unprofitable, until demeaning gimmicks are used to attract male audiences. In reality, the league was popular and profitable from the start, largely because it played in towns in the upper Midwest that had no way of watching a live baseball game. Eventually, the league grew into a ten-team two-division league. The advent of televised baseball games in the early fifties, however, would lead to the demise in the popularity of the league.
- When Rosie O'Donnell's character, Doris, asks "What are you, a genius?" to Dottie, Geena Davis actually has an IQ of 140. Having an IQ of 140 is actually considered the starting point for the "Genius" level.
- The famous line, "There's no crying in baseball" has some basis in fact. According to author Daniel Okrent, Rogers Hornsby (to whom Tom Hanks refers) was chewing out a line of minor league hitters he was instructing, when Ron Santo (toward the end of the line) was quoted as saying, "If he says that to me, I'll cry."
“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.”
Spoken by Groucho Marx as Captain Jerry Spaulding in Animal Crackers (1930)
- For this film, Harpo Marx switched to a lighter red wig which actually photographed as blonde. In the film, he is referred to as a redhead. He would use the lighter wig in all future The Marx Brothers movies. He went back to the darker red wig for The Story of Mankind (1957) which was filmed in color.
- The 1929 stock market crash occurred during the stage run of "Animal Crackers." Groucho Marx lost a lot of money in the crash and responded by throwing out much of the play's original dialogue and improvising bitter jokes about the stock market. At least one of these survives in the film: the quotes of stock prices at the end of the "Strange Interlude" spoof.
“You had me at ‘hello’.”
Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire in Jerry Maguire (1996)
- Renée Zellweger admitted that the day she was cast in this film, it had been so long since she had worked that when she went to an ATM, she did not have enough of a balance to make a withdrawal.
- Renée Zellweger's famous line "You had me at 'hello'" served as the inspiration behind Kenny Chesney's 1999 single with the similar name "You Had Me From Hello." In 2005, Zellwegger married Chesney, only to have it annulled after four months.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Continuing on from the couple of cartoons about mobile phones (if you're American, read "cell phones") I posted a few days go, here is some further humour (if you're American, read "humor") on the same topic.
Mobile phones have become a ubiquitous part of modern living, especially for young people, so much so that Megan Fox commented "We live in a world where losing your iPhone is more dramatic than losing your virginity."
Or how about . . .
Enjoy Funny Friday and have a great weekend.
A family was on its way to the hospital where their sixteen-year-old daughter was scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy. During the ride there, the teenager and her parents talked about how the procedure would be performed. Anaesthetics, incision, suturing afterwards, and so forth.
"Dad," the teenager asked, "how are they going to keep my mouth open during the surgery?"
Without hesitation, the man replied, "They'll just give you a cellphone to hold."
Speeding along at 60, there was a buzz from my mobile on the dashboard.
"Your phone just went," said my wife.
"It's only a text," I replied. "I'll check it when we get there."
She picked up the phone, and looked at it suspiciously. Then she tapped the screen, scrolled down and started reading. "I thought so," she sneered. "It's yet another crap joke from Dave about women being bad drivers."
"Watch the road," I snapped. "You just ran a red light."
I said to my mate, "You should treat your girlfriend the same way you treat your cell phone."
He said, "What, take good care of her, and never lose her."
I said, "No, upgrade every couple of years."
Whenever I delete an app on my iPhone, the shaking icons make me feel like they're panicking over who's next to go.
Customer Care Executives (CCE) get all sorts of calls, some with genuine problems and some with no problem at all. There was this caller called David, who was paged by "Lucille." He was instructed that he would have to call her and tell her to stop paging him. "She never leaves any number, so I can't call her back," David said.
After sometime the CCE asked how he knew it was Lucille if she didn't leave a number. "She leaves her name," was the reply from David.
After establishing that the customer had a numeric-only pager, the CCE asked "How does she spell her name?"
"L-O-W C-E-L-L" was the reply from David.
Some years ago Michael Caine told of sitting near Her Maj, Queen Elizabeth, at a dinner and that Her Maj asked if he knew any jokes. Flustered at not knowing any clean ones to tell Her Maj, she told him this one:
Sales person: Hello, may I speak to the man of the house please?
Youngster: (whispering) No, he's busy.
Sales person: Well then, can I please speak to your mother?
Youngster: (in a whisper) She's busy too.
Sales person: I see, how about your brother or sister? Can I speak to him?
Youngster: (whispering) No. They're both busy too.
Sales person: (losing patience) Is there anybody else there I could talk to???
Youngster: (in a whisper) Yeah, the police are here... but they are busy too....
Sales person: ( by now quite exasperated) What are all these people doing that keeps them so busy?!!!
Youngster: (still whispering) Looking for me.
How true is this . . .
“I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free."