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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Longest night of the year- Magic and Mythologies.

from tahoetopia.com
On December 21 countries in the northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day and longest night of the year when the winter solstice occurs.
Three of the most significant imaginary lines running across the surface of the earth are the equator, the Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn. While the equator is the longest line of latitude on the earth (the line where the earth is widest in an east-west direction), the tropics are based on the sun's position in relation to the earth at two points of the year.
The sun will be as far south as it goes on the 21st as it reaches the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees below equator). Then, on Dec 22, the sun will start returning north toward the Tropic of Cancer where it will arrive around June 21, next year.
It is caused by the tilt of the earth on its axis of rotation relative to the sun, around which the earth circles. For half the year (March 20-September 22) the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun; the other half of the year, the Southern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun. The 23 degrees tilt of the earth is the cause of seasons during the year as the earth travels once around the sun.

Magic and Mythologies

These two solstices (winter and summer) are junctures of the year's progress and they figure prominently in the magic and mythologies of many ancient peoples throughout history. 
The Holly King vs. The Oak King
In Celtic mythology  any discussion of the Winter Solstice and holly from a Pagan perspective would include a mention of the battle between the Holly King and the Oak King. For a number of Pagan traditions, this battle represents a central theme surrounding the solstices – the concept of light and dark; of birth, death, and rebirth. Both of the solstices are strongly linked to holly trees. Sprigs from Christmas holly trees were worn in the hair during the mistletoe ritual performed by the priests of the Celts, the Druids, at the summer festival. The pointy leaves of holly trees were thought to afford magical protection for homes against witches and lightning strikes.
"An Arch Druid in His Judicial Habit" (1815)

The "Oak King" and the "Holly King" were twins, pitted against each other in a never-ending duel for supremacy. Oak trees, sacred to the Celts, are deciduous, while the English, Christmas holly trees native to their lands are evergreen. As cold weather approached, the Celts marveled at how the evergreen Christmas holly trees, hidden among the leafy oaks the rest of the year, now stood out prominently on otherwise barren landscape. The Holly King had won out because the antics of his twin brother had caused all the oaks to shed their leaves. So the oaks stood naked in defeat.
  John Aubrey was the first modern writer to connect Stonehenge and other megalithic                           monuments with Druidry- a misconception that shaped ideas of Druidry during much of the 19th century.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hitler promote ‘values’ in Thai junta propaganda film!

A screenshot from the short film ’30’ shows students painting a picture of HItler. Image via YouTube.
A Thai junta propaganda short film 30 financed by the military government is getting some unexpected worldwide attention- not on the intended promotion of  'values' but due to a more sinister twist! The film by director Kulp Kaljaruek is part of the “Thai Niyom” (“Thai Pride”) movie aimed at promoting the “12 core values” drawn up by by junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha shortly after the military coup of May 22, 2014.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha 
Below is the actual unedited film which has since been taken down from You Tube and replaced with a revised copy. 

Whats drawing unwarranted attention though to an otherwise "noble" project  is the strangely odd and short scene depicting smiling children putting the final touches on a rather stunning portrait of Der Führer! The sequence, done in a stylized children’s coloring book production, shows different school activities,  one of which involves the actors standing in front of a  portrait of Adolf Hitler during art class, while winking suggestively at the camera (0:54 min. in video).
The film screened for free in major theaters was met with ridicule on social media and was condemned by the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok. It was likewise uploaded to YouTube which was promptly removed after outrage on social media ensued. 
After apologizing for the understandably upset Israeli ambassador, the Prime Minister’s Office Minister Pannada Diskul told Reuters that “The director had decided to make changes to the film even before it made news to ease everybody’s concerns.” 
This incident echos similar worldwide social media outrage experienced before at insensitive or misplaced use of Nazi symbols and Adolf Hitler depictions some coming from unsuspecting school and university students  roundly criticized for their trivial use of such images.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12/13/14-Last Sequential Date of the Century!

Today's date DECEMBER 13, 2014 (12/13/14) is interesting not only as a mathematical oddity but more so because it's the last sequential date this century!  The next one won't roll around for 89 years.

Last Sequential Date of The Century—December 13, 2014 (12‐13‐14)
(Aziz S. Inan, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Portland, Portland, Oregon)

A professor at the University of Portland Aziz Inan pointed out that this isn't just any old sequential date — the dates themselves are made up of just four sequential digits: 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

It may just only be a play of numbers mixed with Man's curiosity-but of course...there will always be the religious angle....

from awordforthesoul.com
From Bayo Afolaranmi : "What are you doing now? Is it good or bad? You may be thinking of later repentance. However, hear the words of Solomon: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NIV)."

What does it all mean? Does it mean nothing at all? Who knows.....

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"King" LeBron James commits a Royal foul!

When LeBron touched the future queen of England on the shoulder after a basketball game, royal watchers cried foul! 
LeBron James met Prince William and his wife Kate at an NBA game between Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets in New York where the three posed for a photograph and James put his right hand on the Duchess of Cambridge's right shoulder.
According to protocol in Britain, a commoner is not supposed to touch members of the royal family even if it is an innocent gesture.
The official website of the British Monarchy says "there are no obligatory codes of behavior" for meeting a member of the royal family, "but many people wish to observe the traditional forms."
William, who is the grandson of the queen and second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, was on a three-day visit to the United States with Kate.
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Five Most Powerful Storms to Make Landfall in Human History!

Here are the top five most powerful storms on record in human history to make landfall across the globe: 
Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda)- Samar, Philippines, 2013
Animation of Super typhoon Haiyan through 07, Nov. 2013 Friday (NOAA); See Philippine map at the foreground (left)
It left a trail of death at least 2,500-wide in its wake. Typhoon Haiyan's winds blew at sustained speeds of 195 miles per hour, and blasted out some gusts that reached 235 mph—it was like an island-sized tornado that whipped up 20 feet of flooding, too. An entire city was wiped off the map, along with many smaller villages and communities. It now ranks as the deadliest natural disaster in the history of a nation routinely besieged by earthquakes, hurricanes, and eruptions.
Hurricane Camille in the Gulf of Mexico
A Category 5 hurricane, the storm formed on Aug. 19, 1969 and claimed the lives of 259 people. Winds, which reached speeds of 190 mph, pummeled Mississippi as well as nearby states. The storm surge climbed to 24 feet and the cost of damage was an estimated $1.41 billion.
Pages from the Past: TheTimes-Tribune.com
More than 400 people died after the Labor Day Hurricane made landfall in the Upper Keys of Florida on Sept. 2, 1935. With winds that roared at 200 mph and a storm surge that reached 17 feet, the storm became one of three in the U.S. to be listed as Category 5 storms -- the other two being Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Andrew.
The roof of a petrol station gets damaged by typhoon Megi in Isabela province, northern Philippines.
The super typhoon made landfall on Oct. 18 and hit the Philippines with winds of 145 mph. Dozens of people died and the cost of the damage was calculated at more than $700 million.
Typhoon Zeb (known locally as Iliang)- Luzon, Philippines, 1998
Typhoon Zeb making landfall

Fifteen years before Typhoon Haiyan and 12 years before Typhoon Megi, Typhoon Zeb boomed through the island of Luzon in the Philippines on Oct. 10 with 125 mph winds, claiming the lives of almost 100 people. The cost of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm was estimated at more than $830 million.
nbcnews.com as of November 2013.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cosplay outfits on a BUDGET!

See Thai Cosplay enthusiast Anucha “Cha” Saengchart proves that ‘cosplay is everywhere,’ and that it does not have to be complicated and expensive. He makes costumes out anything and everything he can find in his house, including plastic chair, bananas, powder/flour (lots of it), bag of ice, broom, spoon, fork, etc.
Shared in his Facebook page, Lowcostcosplay, here are some of the most creatively awfull and terribly hilarious costumes:

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