Thursday, February 28, 2013

how many popes?

The first pope of the Catholic Church was St. Peter. Since then, there have been a total of 266 popes in a continuous line of apostolic succession spanning almost 2000 years. The current pope (#266) is Benedict XVI. (FYI, if you find discrepancies in this official number sometimes, it’s because there have actually been 264 popes but 266 pontificates. Pope Benedict IX served multiple times, but with interruptions. So depending on how you count that, the number may vary.)

The current pope has revived an old kind of papal hat called the camauro, which is a sort of red (white around Easter time) cloth bag with an ermine lining. 

jpr: I love this bag hat and recall Pope John 23rd wearing it often.

poem: A Caution To Everybody

Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked. 

vatican city's flag

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New oil fields

Marcellus deposit left, Utica deposit right
Exxon Mobil views the Utica shale formation as a prime petroleum resource. A Reuters news item reported that Exxon is acquiring acreage in eastern Ohio for oil drilling. The Utica deposit lies below the Marcellus deposit. 

jpr: The numbers and amounts of gas and oil are no way settled at this time.

burial place of the Prophet Samuel

 Mount Samuel has been traditionally acknowledged as the burial place of the Prophet Samuel. The prophet lead Israel and anointed  Saul the first king and then David.  It is situated to the north of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot

jpr: The Crusaders had much to do with preservation of the tombs of biblical characters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Emily Blunt

A  pip of British actress!

Remember by Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

spring's first show

we have buds among the briers

Three Spring Haiku by Kobayashi Issa
Spring breeze—
the pine on the ridge
whispers it

Its Raining Dead Mice in Guam

Guam, the U.S. territory, is being overrun with brown tree snakes -- some 2 million -- that have decimated the populations of other critters on the Pacific island. The latest effort to rid the isle of its slithery pestilence involves dropping dead mice loaded up with painkillers from helicopters during April and May.  The idea is that the mice will get stuck in jungle foliage, and the snakes will die from eating the poisoned rodents.  I love science, but has anyone consider what other creatures might eat the mice?

bee in a flower

Bees get a positive electric charge on their bodies from their flights. Flowers have been found to store  negative electric charges. The resultant electric field from flower to nearby bee signals the honest presence of nectar and honey. Researchers have placed electrodes in flowers and recorded a bee's landing. The resulting flower's field change persists for some time signaling to other bees of a previous visit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celtic Thunder

Celtic Thunder is known for its eclectic style with songs ranging from a soloist to an ensemble focus. The group is backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic effects via lighting and choreography as well as a stage set resembling an ancient stone pathway suggestive of those referenced in Celtic lore.

jpr: A group of Celtic lads all with exceptional voice. I  viewed them for the first time on dvd. If you can listen through the nonstop screams and squeals of the ladies in the audience then the quality of the men is appreciated.   

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mystery of Neolithic Religions

Artist rendition of Scottish neolithic religious site 3500 BC.

Since 2002 archaeologists have been working on the Scottish Island of Orkney on one of the most promising neolithic sites yet discovered.  Orkney, an isolated, relatively barren island home to some hardy farmers, has an impressive number of neolithic sites. But the Ness of Brogar, dating from at least 3500 BC, surpasses everything yet discovered.  A sophisticated temple complex surrounded by domestic buildings, with plenty of standing stones, enclosed in a massive stone wall, the site has already produced valuable information.  Evidence of painting and decoration, plus carved figurines for example, are the first found in a neolithic site.  The Ness predates Stonehinge by 700 years.  Researchers are confident that the more than 100 as yet untouched structures at the site will explain Stonehinge and substantially change our understanding of this period in prehistory.


Two separate chambers; one occupied by movable stuff the other empty. If an opening between chambers occurs then some of the stuff moves into the empty chamber. This is the law of entropy. The reverse can never happen naturally.

a tree in wait

by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
     THINK that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.
    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;
    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.
    Poems are made by fools like me,
    jpr: Robin watch has begun.
    But only God can make a tree.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Running for love

Washington, DC’s Cupid’s Undie Run DC is an annual philanthropic run that takes place around the streets of Washington every February. With the average run length being 1 to 2 miles, Cupid’s Undie Run occurs in over a dozen U.S. Cities as well as in Sydney, Australia. As the title of the run suggests, participants strip down to their underwear in order to be a part of one of the most unique and fun runs across the globe.  The event seeks to promote awareness and fund raise for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the world’s largest non-government organization that researches and seeks to find a cure to Neurofibromatosis (NF). NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body.

The event begins with mandatory pre-run pub gathering for all runners and ends in a stupor.  My wife refused to allow me to participate this year.  Something about the condition of my underwear.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a shed hunger in a snowy wood

jpr: Alas, this fellow has taken a road never traveled_by.

Monday, February 18, 2013


WHO's worst urban pollution: 

1. Ahwaz, Iran
2. Ulan Bator, Mongolia
3. Sanadaj, Iran
4. Ludhiana, India
5. Quetta, Pakistan
6. Kermanshah, Iran
7. Peshawar, Pakistan
8. Gaberone, Botswana
9. Yasouj, Iran
10. Kanpor, India                              

     jpr: According to Nat Geo. half the world's population lives in urban areas.

Time to Remember Pope Joan

Legend holds that an Englishman John of Mainz (Johannes Anglicus) occupied the papal chair for two years, seven months and four days around 855.  He was, it is alleged, a woman. When a young girl, she was taken to Athens in male clothes for her formal education (only available to men).  An exceptional student, she returned to Rome and taught science as a man.  Her brilliance and demeanor brought her to the attention of the intelligentsia and eventually to the papacy.  Later she gave birth to a child and was murdered by an outraged crowd.

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the popess legend was held out as fact by some church historians.  Her carved bust stood with those of the other popes in Seina Cathedral for 200 years. But Pope Joan is entirely the figment of the imagination of writers at that time and 20th century movie makers (see The Life of Pope Joan).  Yet the legend lives on and is still believed by many.

more bog bones (by the hundreds)

Bones of 200 slaughtered soldiers from the time of Christ are so well preserved in peat bog that their DNA can be studied. Bones of around 200 soldiers have already been found preserved in a peat bog near the village of Alken on Denmark's Jutland peninsula. Experts say they expected to find more bodies dating back 2,000 years to around the time of Christ.

I Do, I Will, I Have by Ogden Nash

How wise I am to have instructed the butler
to instruct the first footman to instruct the second
footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered
into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a
woman who can't sleep with the window open.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between
flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people
one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other
never forgetsam,
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate
or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the
windowsill, it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right,

it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of
the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life,
particularly if he has income and she is pattable. 

University Welcomes Wiccans And Pagans

File photo of a young adult female wearing a purple Wiccan robe praying outdoors (© Thinkstock/Getty Images)

The University of Missouri has added the eight major Wiccan holy days, including Samhein, the Wiccan New Year  (Halloween),  to the latest version of its University Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations.  Faculy is advised to adjust their course schedules to skip exams and excuse absences on these days, in what is clearly a move to attract more students from the much desired witches, wizards, and pagan demographic.  The move has also enhanced the school’s party image as well.   The University has also added a lesser-known Hindu festival to its Hindu section.  And Chinese New Year has been included for the first time as well.  Faculty may use any of the remaining four non holy days for testing.

A civil suit by the student Atheists Alliance and ACLU was settled out of court when the University  agree to student demands for a non-religious holy day.  The Alliance has not yet announced a suitable date.  Recent demonstrations for parody by the student Circle of Druids and NASCARS for Jesus have led to several meetings with University officials.  Some compromise is expected.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

king solomon's temple

 The orginal! The temple took seven years to build.

a deer in a snow covered wood

jpr: The last two morns the woods in back have looked as this. Both days the deer stand out as a shadow among the white. My pup doesn't see 'em or hear 'em. If I lead him to their vacated spot, then he'll get their scent. Dog's don't hunt deer!

A Big Foot Haiku

Big foot lay in splendor

Crisp autumnal leaves’ pungent smell

Knowing not, he was watched

Saturday, February 16, 2013

some fun

Farside Bigfoot Cartoon.
jpr: Yeti, Sasquach etc. Heard of'em since I was in jr high.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI

“Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.”
– Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer Vigil With Young People, Madrid 2011

Flying Squid?

 Scientist confirm squid can fly: A recent study from Japanese scientists documents the assumed protective behavior of neon flying squid. IMAGE, file
Flying Squid Photograph

An old sailor’s legend about flying squid, long thought to be the product of too much drink and too many days at sea, have been proven to be a reality by Japanese scientists.  They observed, for the first recorded time, Todradeos Pacificus propel themselves out of the water by shooting a stream of pressurized water from their body.  The squid then spread their arms to reveal web like appendages that act as wings.  They flew an average of 100 feet in three seconds.  

What next, BIG FOOT?

The new Irish Migration

Brophy, a native of Ashbourne, one of many Dublin satellite towns packed with modern housing estates where property values have more than halved since 2008, lost her job just before the birth of her first son five years ago.

One of many ghost estates in Ireland
Her husband, an engineer, lost his own job three years later before moving to London, part of a flow of over 7,000 people a month leaving to work abroad.

Old Tea Poem

The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second shatters my loneliness.
The third causes the wrongs of life to fade gently from my recollection.
The fourth purifies my soul.
The fifth lifts me to the realms of the unwinking gods
    Chinese Mystic, Tang Dynasty

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ottawa Public Library

Stained glass at Ottawa Public Library features Charles DickensArchibald LampmanDuncan Campbell ScottLord ByronAlfred, Lord TennysonWilliam ShakespeareThomas Moore
The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is the largest bilingual library (English and French) in North America. The library was founded in 1906 with a donation from the Carnegie Foundation.

jpr: Tourists usually get a free 3-day pass. You gotta love them Canadians. This is on my list of places to visit.

Happy New Year

Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival Display
February 10 marks the beginning of the Chinese New year and China's biggest holiday, known locally as the Spring Festival.  Traditionally its a family and religious holiday.  Honor and respect for ancestors forms a major part of the celebration.  On New Year’s eve a special dinner is held for the family and the spirits of
ancestors are invited to attend.  Places will be set for them at the table.

Participants are encouraged to wear red clothing, the sign of good luck and happiness.  Brooms and dustpans are locked away until after New Years for fear that someone will accidentally sweep in the house, sweeping away the new good luck associated with the holiday.  No mention of death is allowed, nor may anyone speak the word for the number ‘four’ which sounds very much like the word for death.

Celebrations will end on February 24, the Lantern Festival.  Cities have spectacular lantern displays, lantern parades are held, and children make their own paper lanterns. The traditional food associated with the Lantern Festival are Yuanxiao Dumplings – sticky rice dumplings with sweet or savory fillings.


Studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; and bring about mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Purist by Ogden Nash

I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, "He never bungles!"
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
"You mean," he said, "a crocodile." 

More Saloon Lore, Pope Resigns.

Seven popes have resigned since the reign of St. Peter.  Nothing is known about the first three. All occurred before 400 AD.   The first well documented one was Benedict IX in 1045, who stepped down  after selling the papacy to his godfather, Pope Gregory the sixth.  Gregory himself resigned the following years when he faced prosecution for violating canon law that prohibiting the buying and selling of sacraments or holy offices.  The last resignation was Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 to avoid civil war in the church led other ‘popes’ or claimants to the papacy (antipope Benedict XIII and antipope John XXIII).  Current Pope Benedict, who will retire to a convent on Vatican grounds, will be the eight.

Benedict IX remains one of the church’s great embarrassments.  He had no qualifications for the position, which was purchased for him by his powerful father when Benedict was 19 or 20  (some records say 11-12).  Openly homosexual, he was accused at the time of responsibility for numerous murderers.  He was deposed 3 times by military forces, and new popes were elected.  but  he returned to power through force each time.  His godfather, a pious priest, finally got him to resign for cash.  The godfather, Gregory VI, then assumed the position.  Benedict returned again and for several years he, his godfather, and a third contender held themselves out as the rightful pope.  German military forces finally removed Benedict in favor of Gregory, who stepped down for violation  of canon law and to allow for an election of valid pope.

moons of Pluto

Discovered in the last two years, the two small moons of Pluto are now dubbed "P4" and "P5." 

 New Horizons is a NASA spacecraft half way to Pluto. It has an estimated arrival date at the Pluto–Charon system of July 14, 2015. We shall see if there is a ring around Pluto.

Monday, February 11, 2013

death of a crocodile

The remains of the 1-ton crocodile (20 feet 3 inches) , named Lolong,  is to be placed in a museum in Bunawan , Philippines to keep tourists coming.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

To the Moon by P. B. Shelley

  ART thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
    Wandering companionless
  Among the stars that have a different birth,—
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye         5
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Apres' Mikey

Address To A Haggis by Robert Burns

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.                             ( lang = long)
sonsie = jolly/cheerful)

(aboon = above)
(painch = paunch/stomach, thairm = intestine)


His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An' cut you up wi' ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!
(dicht = wipe, here with the idea of sharpening)
(slicht = skill)

(reeking = steaming)

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

(skinkin ware = watery soup)
(jaups = slops about, luggies = two-"eared" (handled)
continental bowls)

blood moons

A dusty  atmosphere may result in sky light of a deeper red color. This causes the resulting coppery-red hue of the Moon. However there are most rare times when the moon only turns red during a lunar eclipse

On the 20th Sept. 331 B.C., before the Battle Of Gaugamela between Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander The Great) and Emperor Darius III of Persia, an eclipse of the moon was observed..Despite Alexander's army being considerably outnumbered, to astrologers of the time, the eclipse foretold Darius's defeat. As night fell on the battlefield, the eclipsed moon glowed a deep blood red, signaling blood would be spilled on that night, but not in Alexander's army.
A blood red moon is credited with saving Christopher Columbus  and his crew when their damaged ship (on his fourth voyage to the New World) was forced to land among hostile Jamaican natives in 1504 AD.


Friday, February 8, 2013

rapes by country

#1 United States: 95,136 
#2 South Africa: 52,425 
#3 Canada: 24,350 
#4 Australia: 15,630 
#5 India: 15,468 
#6 Mexico: 14,373 
#7 United Kingdom: 13,395 
#8 Germany: 8,615 
#9 France: 8,458 
#10 Russia: 6,978 
#11 Korea, South: 6,139 
#12 Peru: 5,968 
#13 Spain: 5,664 
#14 Zimbabwe: 5,567 
#15 Thailand: 4,020 
#16 Argentina: 3,036 
#17 Venezuela: 2,931 
#18 Italy: 2,543 
#19 Belgium: 2,436 
#20 Japan: 2,357

jpr: Many third world countries have NO RAPE laws ...beware!

Haiku: Snow

Forecast: Winter Storm
Shovel handy, boots by door,
Let It Snow, Snow, Snow

Snowed all day long
Winter Season has begun,
The land is turned white

Snow came silently
Fell all day, turned Earth to a
Winter Wonderland

While waiting for Spring
Snow transformed the land to
a white fantasy

Snow came in the night
Turned the whole world white
A cold wintry site

The Blizzard Wizard
Waved His wand, crystal stardust fell
And ice fairies danced

Snow falling today
Creative juices flowing
Writer’s Block is gone 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Irish Tinkers

Irish Travelers near Tralee - County Kerry
Irish Travelers, sometimes called tinkers or gypsies (but no relation to the Romani) are a nomadic Irish people currently numbering about 20,000 in Ireland with populations in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,  and America.  DNA shows they are a distinct Irish people separated from the mainstream Irish at least 1000 years ago.   

Travelers speak English plus a private patois that combines English and old Gaelic with some unique word structures. Shelta, the most common, has been dated to the 1700's, but may have originated in the 13th century.  Their ‘moral’ principles are codified in the Travelers Code, but Travelers are often associated with criminal behavior.   Every year during Christmas they come from all over the world to visit the village of Rathkeale, their spiritual home.  Elaborate weddings and christenings are held but marred by violence from inter clan rivalries.  

The population is dwindling due to a declining birth rate, high infant mortality rate, poor group health, and a high traffic accident death rate.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tulip Season

Is there a greater proof of the existence  of God?

largest animal liter

The largest mammalian litter ever recorded at a single birth is 36, in the case of the common tenrec (Centetes ecaudatus) found in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands

some interesting world population figures

2000  BC                      27 million     time of Abraham
1300  BC                  ~ 40 million      time of Moses
 0        BC                   170 million       time of Christ  

According to the Bible there were 650,000 men of military age under Moses command.            

Monday, February 4, 2013

Anton Chechov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
  6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator's Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano [a healthy mind in a healthy body].

More saloon lore


More Saloonlore

Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary, military commander, physician, and folk hero, was born in Argentina.  His real name was Ernesto Guevara Lynch.  That’s right LYNCH.  Named for his father, the family descends from Irish immigrants to Argentina (Argentina has the fifth largest Irish population in the world).  The family was well aware of their Irish roots, and when asked why his son did what he did, his father explained that “the blood of Irish revolutionaries flows in his veins.”

And Che demonstrated many practices commonly associated with the Irish personality.  An avid reader with a life-long love of poetry, he was an exceptional student, a well respected Rugby player, and an avid socialist from early adolescence.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Irish Limmerick

Ireland’s Magical Three

The magic number is Ireland’s Three,
A wonderful grouping, between you and me.
Here is one version:
The Crone-Mother-Virgin.
All faithful will hear it:
Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
This is no rarity:
Faith, Hope and Charity.
Just one more fit
Is Love, Valor, Wit.
Read all these threesomes put down here to see
The magical number of Ireland’s Three.

by Denise Rodgers

jpr: rather sweet me thinks

Clonycavan and Old Croghan Men

 Within the past dew years, and near the town of Clonycavan, County Meath, and near the town of Croghan Hill, County Offaly, two bog bodies were found within three months of each other. Radiocarbon dating showed that Clonycavan Man lived between 392 and 201 B.C. and Old Croghan Man between 362 and 175 B.C. Both men were young, showed few signs of physical labor during their lives, and were healthy at the time of their deaths which resulted from ritualistic execution.  They had been  buried in separate bogs 25 miles apart

a typical Irish bog
Clonycavan Man’s diet was rich in vegetables, and that he was killed in the summer or early fall when fresh produce would have been available. His hair also created much interest for both scholars and the public for the unusual way it was twisted over his head and held in place with gel made of plant oil and pine resin. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Groundhog Day.

Today is Groundhog Day and marks the ancient and important Celtic festival of IMBOLIC, from which groundhog day originates.  Celts in Ireland, Scotland and other locations celebrate this mid point between the winter solstice and spring equinox as the beginning of spring, and pay special homage to their goddess Brighid.

Brighid, the Celtic goddess of fertility, is said to visit the homes of the righteous during the night.  People leave strips of cloth for her to bless.  Called ‘clouties’ (Dr, Martin reference here) they are then hung about to ensure good fortune.  During the day people visit the blessed wells associate with the goddess.  (Brighid and practices associated with her were Christianized by St. Patrick and his colleagues. Interestingly, her feast day of is February 2.)

Traditionally,  the presence or absence of shadows during Imbolic were interrupted as predictions of a ‘second winter’ or early spring.  A German variation of this tradition brought Groundhog Day to Pennsylvania.  

King David's Tomb

The second King of Israel's remains are traditionally held to be  in this tomb but it has not been disproved. It is located on Mount Zion just outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo Boo

While one might assume 'hoopieism' is disappearing because of globalization and the completion of Rt 22, rest assured it is alive and well.  TLC broadcasts a weekly reality show featuring the 7 year old beauty pageant star Honey Boo Boo' and her amazing family, all from their home in rural Georgia.  The hoopie aficionado, home sick former hoopies, or hoopies in training will enjoy every moment of the show with concepts like ‘forklift foot, neck crust, toe jams, eaten roadkill, the joys of obesity,  butt cracks, jiggly jiggle (hanging body fat)‘ and a range of similar hoopie favorites.  My favorite show is when mom feeds her 7 year old ‘go go juice’ (red bull and mountain dew ) to get her fired up just before one of her pageant appearances.  And mom's ability to get child support checks from the 4 fathers of her 4 children was a ‘life lesson.

So anyone interested in hoopieism will more than benefit from an evening with Honey Boo Boo and her family.  Caution, unless you speak hoopie some translations may be necessary.  Check out videos at  

Hoopie (Mold Color) Alert, Breaking News, Good Taste Threatened

Mountain Music, such as that which has been promoted in a previous entry (by JP) is sometimes "code"for "hoopie" music.  The question becomes - who is paying off JP to promote Hoopie Harmonics?
Hoopie is a slang term used in the Upper Ohio River Valley in the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia area. Originally used in the East Liverpool, Ohio area to refer to people from the hill areas of West Virginia who would bring saplings in to town to sell to coppers to make barrels, it is a derogatory term, much like hillbilly and hilljack, that is still in use today.   Anyone living in the Northern Panhandle and contiguous environs, can be considered a Hoopie according to some lexicographers.
Wiki answers.

PS Over the years there have been several attempts by citizens to have their "hoopie" credentials or status revoked.  None of the appeals have been honored, primarily because no Hoopie Court considers such a request to be made by any but a  "crazy Hoopie" , invoking Guardian Ad Litem post Prandial authority.