Superstition and Other Silliness: January 2004 Archives

January 29, 2004

Superstition in strange places.

When I'm flying, I like to think that my safety is guaranteed thanks to the endless vigilance of teams of maintenance engineers, well-trained crews and alert security staff. So seeing this at Edinburgh Airport (EDI/EGPH) one morning isn't too comforting:

Gate 12; Gate 12B; Gate 14.

(Click for large version) Picture taken 08:35, Friday 16th January 2004. Many airlines have a similar lack of faith in their own competence, and their aircraft have no row 13. The airline I flew with was not one of these.

January 25, 2004

Avoiding temptation

So, you're a teenager, and we all know how hard it is to not bonk, and those who promote abstinence also know that their ideology is about as sensible as promoting holding one's breath to avoid asthma. So, they have used all their knowledge of teenagers to put together a list of useful suggestion for young couples, which will put all thoughts of sex out of their minds. Suggestions like:

  • Play hide-and-seek in a cornfield.
  • Play Twister.
  • Take a walk on the beach.
  • Take a hike in the woods.
  • Play in the leaves.
  • Look at the stars (and share your ideas about life on other planets!).
  • Invent a new game.

Nope, no possibilities for things to turn sexual in any of that.

January 23, 2004

Prayers In Case Of Sin

Israel: An Israeli rabbi has composed a prayer to help devout Jews overcome guilt after visiting porn web sites while browsing the Internet.

January 20, 2004

Santa Researcher Makes List, Checks It Twice

United States: Kids these days don't smile when they visit Santa Claus, according to research performed by Ig Nobel Prize winner John Trinkaus of the Zicklin School of Business. Professor Trinkaus observed children at two large shopping malls and a major department store, noting each child's facial expression as the children visited Santa Claus. Every child was accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What Professor Trinkaus saw surprised and saddened him. More than 95% of the children were visibly indifferent or hesitant as they approached Santa. Only one percent of them smiled or showed other signs of happiness. On the other hand, Professor Trinkaus noted, nearly all of the parents were visibly quite happy and excited.

January 19, 2004

Female Circumcision Surgical Package

Indonesia: It's Indonesia's biggest secret. Most of its women have been subjected to an operation which the World Health Organisation says is unnecessary.

Hospitals across Indonesia are offering new parents a one-price surgical package for their just-born girls — when they pierce their ears, they'll circumcise the girls as well.

January 12, 2004

Poetic Justice

United States: Patricia Parra, a 60-year-old bell ringer for the Salvation Army who suffers from cerebral palsy, was working at a store in South Tucson, Arizona, when Edward Sanders grabbed her collection kettle, containing all of $54, and ran. As he dashed across the street to make his getaway he was run over by a car.

Scrooged - Tuscon Weekly, 1st January 2004 (via Dodgeblogium).

January 5, 2004

It's all headology

Lucky charms don't improve a carrier's chance of winning the lottery, but they do make them feel luckier, which has beneficial knock-on effects on confidence and success.

The study, by Professor Richard Wiseman of the Psychology Department of the University of Hertfordshire, found that carrying a charm had no effect on the chances of choosing winning lottery numbers.
But 30% of those tested felt their luck had improved.
Nearly all those who did report increased luck had said prior to the study that they expected the charm to work, suggesting the charm's efficacy was based on expectation.

It's All in the Mind - The Scotsman, 5th January 2004.

January 1, 2004

Annual end-of-the-world post 2004

So, how many ways will the world come to an end in 2004?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Superstition and Other Silliness category from January 2004.

Superstition and Other Silliness: December 2003 is the previous archive.

Superstition and Other Silliness: February 2004 is the next archive.

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