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New Year Around the World
All over the world,
people love to make a noise on the last midnight of the year. Church
bells ring out in England (fitted with muffles until midnight, then
allowed their full voice), and in Thailand the temple bells peal at
midnight as people call out Kwam Suk Pee Mai (Happy New Year!).
The People of Nigeria allowed their Ndok ceremony, held biennially in December, to merge with Western New Year customs, as Ndok was a rite of renewal. Only the men engage in Ndok, which sees, as everywhere on New Year’s Eve, much noisy, rowdy behaviour and, as in Iceland, people meeting at crossroads which are believed to be places of assembly for spirits.
In Russia, Grandfather Frost (D’yed Moroz), who looks suspiciously like Santa Claus, and his assistant the Snow Maiden (Snegourka), will pay a New Year’s visit to children, bringing with them gifts. In Greece, however, children will have left out sweets, cakes and drink for St Basil, another Santa-like character, for it is his feast day. They’ll even put a log in the fireplace so he can step easily down the chimney. In Armenia on December 31, goodies are lowered down the chimney on a rope.
New Year’s reveling,
however, has been most shaped by the otherwise generally sensible
Scots, who really know how to kick up their heels to say "good
riddance!" to the Old year and "welcome!" to the new.
The singing of Auld Lang Syne <http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/AuldLangSyne.5.html>,
is, of course as Scottish as whisky, and was recorded from the oral
tradition by the Scottish national poet, Robbie Burns. Now, all over
the world, people mouth the words like football players pretending
the national anthem before a game. Despite its difficult words, it
is one of the world’s best known songs.
While some New Year’s customs go back to ancient Europe and even the Middle East - we know, for example, that 4,000 years ago the Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions - the Scots put their stamp on it, for they always thought it was a bigger deal than Christmas. They have yet to convince the rest of the world, however, to indulge in the Hogmanay sport of "first-footing", in which it is thought to be good luck if the first person over one’s threshold in the New Year comes in the front door, is male, without eye trouble, not splay- or flat-footed, fair haired, carrying a lump of coal and a bottle of Scotch, and leaves by the back door. (In 1966, 19-year-old first-footer Alex Cleghorn was walking on Govan Rd, Glasgow with his two brothers, when suddenly he disappeared and was not seen again. Daft days indeed!) On the Greek island of Carpathos it is a white dog they have to rush inside at the stroke of midnight.
Australians, with their keen sense of culture and modernity, tend not to bother with the lumps of coal, white dogs, elves and crossroads, tending instead to get blithering drunk (like the wassailers of old England, the door-to-door drinkers whose name came from the cry Wass hael!, which approximates to Cheers!) and to pretend to have an ab-fab time …
The head of the
house used to assemble his family around a bowl of spiced ale, nicknamed
‘lamb’s-wool’. He drank their health, then all did so from the bowl
as it passed around. The wassail bowl’s ingredients are hot ale, spices,
sugar, eggs and roasted apples. Try this old recipe:
"Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf." - Albert Schweitzer
"Happiness? That’s nothing more than a good health and a poor memory." - Albert Schweitzer
New Wine Just In Time for New Year’s
Today the year is almost over, and once again, Patti got older. Yes, folks, as I write this, it is Patti’s birthday. She’s already in bed, though, the old fart has no idea this is going to be published.
Patti, I think I can speak for all of us, writers and readers alike, when I say, "Thanks for another year."
On this day in history, December 31, 1960: The farthing ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom. The word itself means "fourth part" and the coin itself was worth ¼ of a cent or 1/960 of a pound sterling. The coins were first minted in the 13th century and were made of silver. As the least valuable coin, few were hoarded and so few survive to date. Many of these small change coins were "cut coinage" where pennies were literally cut into smaller pieces. The earliest minted farthings come from the reign of King Henry III (1216-1272) rather than King Edward I (1272-1307) as previously thought.
With prices rising, more people were less inclined to accept a large number of coins for even small purchases. A push came to end production which took place in 1956. The coins in circulation continued to be used as legal tender until this date. Today, the pound sterling (£) is valued at 100 (new) pence rather than the old system where a pound was worth 20 shillings, each of which was worth 12 (old) pence. The first decimal coins were issued in 1968. The last redesign of British currency took place in 2008.
"The world is an old woman, and mistakes any gilt farthing for a gold coin; whereby being often cheated, she will thenceforth trust nothing but the common copper." - Thomas Carlyle
"Remuneration! O! That’s the Latin word for three farthings." - William Shakespeare
"Virtue knows to a farthing what it has lost by not having been vice." - Horace Walpole
is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of
Why do I do things like this to myself? I mean, I try to be a nice guy and help people out, but somehow it always ends up causing me more grief than it’s really worth.
Allow me to explain. I work with computers. Lots of computers. Sometimes computers get too old to be of practical use to the College. Sometimes they are need of repair, but it isn’t practical to take the time to fix them. In either case, we give them away. Sometimes I take the ones in need of repair and fix them, then I give them away. I did that today.
One of my neighbors wanted a computer. He’s a good guy, quick to offer a hand if it looks like you might need one. Unfortunately, he is living on a fixed income and can’t afford a computer. When I asked him if he wanted one of mine, his eyes got a sparkle in them. His wife used to work for a tax firm, and she’d be able to use the computer to do people’s taxes and take in a bit of money. And that’s all they needed, just a little help.
So I put together a machine for them, a simple XP install with OpenOffice. I explained that she would have to get her own tax software, and that they would need an internet connection. I also explained that since the monitor I was giving them had been sitting in the back seat of my car for a while, they would have to let it warm up before they put everything together.
Now, I’ve done this before so I’ve learned. I didn’t give them the power cords. I gave them the computer, the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, but I knew she would try to put it together without waiting for the monitor to warm up. I gave explicit instructions not to try to plug it in until tomorrow, but I knew they would go unheeded. And sure enough, about half an hour later, I had a knock at my door.
“She says it’s missing some cords.”
“Yes, those are the power cords. I told you not to try to plug it in until tomorrow. That’s when you can pick up the cords.” My neighbor doesn’t know a lot about computers, but he knows I do. Apparently, his wife thinks she knows more. But that’s okay, I anticipated that and no frozen monitors exploded.
After he came back for a couple more “visits”, I figured the monitor had warmed up enough for them to plug it in, so I gave him the cords. And that was my mistake. I knew he’d be back with a problem. They always come back. Always. I told him to hide the cords for an hour as the monitor needs more time to warm up, and he was back in half an hour.
“She says this doesn’t work, it just keeps restarting.”He handed me a floppy disk. I then recalled using that very same floppy disk just days before, but I ejected it so the machine could reboot from the hard drive. She pushed it back in and was trying to boot from that.
Uses For Old Newspaper
around candle bottoms so they’ll fit holders tighter. - NorCalKat
another one submitted by Marian in Ellicott City. Same rules as
last time, use her first line or write a continuation.
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
Re: Spending for the Rich and Famous
Just a quick note to Tazz: Nowhere in the bible will you find the quote about "doing unto others as you would have others do unto you". That quote is form Confucius, at a different time. The quote you mean is :"Judge not, so that you not be judged". I gotta agree with the rest of it, though… if greed didn’t rule the
world, it would be much better place. - Jacques (from S-E Ont.)
Found this on a newsletter (Bizarre News by Lewis, Gopher Central). Don’t know how true this is but thought it was interesting! - Theresa, South Carolina
ROCKVILLE, Md. - Some teenage drivers in Maryland are covering their car license plates with numbers belonging to teachers and others to fake out traffic cameras, a parent says. The DailyTech Web site reported Monday the unidentified parent told the Montgomery County Sentinel a few young drivers in the county print authentic-looking numbers on glossy paper and tape them over their plates. They then race past the traffic cameras, which record the infraction and produce citations based on the fraudulent plate numbers. They call the prank "pimping," the parent told the newspaper, and teachers and fellow students are the most popular targets. "This game is very disturbing," the parent said. "Especially since unsuspecting parents will also be victimized through receipt of unwarranted photo speed tickets." Montgomery Country police and education officials said it was a new one on them but told the Sentinel they would keep an eye out for violators."It is unfortunate that kids have a lot of time on their hands that they can think of doing such a thing," said Edward Owusu, an assistant principal at Wootton High School, where the prank allegedly started.
[Looks like another reason not to trust these cameras. I wonder if the police send you a copy of the picture when they send you the ticket? Then you would be able to prove that the car in the picture was not the one issued that plate number. Then at least you wouldn’t have to pay the fine.]
Now, I can not be the onliest one with an opinion out there, and surely I’m not always right. I am aware of this. I hope to hear from more readers now that this holiday season is over. No one wants to be right all of the time.
Also I really enjoyed the 29-Th’s Tim’s Tales. I like to laugh and while that was a subject that should never be taken lightly it was cool when I read that 35 police were on the seen because it was their party. What kind of silly robs a police holiday party? LOL! Yawl keep on enjoying the holiday season, and have a great and Fantastical Tasmania New Year no matter how you celebrate. In fact, why not write in about how you celebrate. We aught not fuss about all the differences in us we aught to share. Love to all! - REMEMBER, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU HAVE, BUT WHO YOU SHARE IT WITH - HAPPY HOLIDAYS! FROM, CELINE KITTY! THE ROWDY DOG! AND THE, TAZZ!
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
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