Friday, January 20, 2006

Things to do....

You must see this
Judgement at Nuremberg. This film is just as relevent now as it was when it was made.

Bid on
Virgin Mary in Kleenex Tissue. Come on, I know you want it.

Meet new friends
Check out the Onions personals.

And the quote of the day
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Number games

Don't you love it when those crazy conspiracy theory emails appear in your in box. The following was sent to me (Elaine really knows how to get a rant out of me) and concerns the number 11.

1. New York City has 11 letters.
2. Afghanistan has 11 letters.
3. Ramsin Yuseb (the terrorist who threatened the Twin Towers in 1993) has 11 letters.
4. George W. Bush has 11 letters.

Notice that they didn't pick Washington D.C., Twin Towers, George Walker Bush, New York State, Pentagon, United States of America, World Trade Centre, American Airlines, United Airlines, Pennsylvania, etc. The Ramsin dudes first name was usally written as Ramzi, and anyway, they believe his birth name was Abdul Basit Karim. How come they didn't add "Burkina Faso", "Nertherlands", or "Vatican City" (all 11 letters)? Surely if it's a conspiracy the Roman Catholic Church has to be involved?

1. New York is State No. 11.
2. The first plane which crashed into the Twin Towers was flight no. 11.
3. Flight no. 11 was carrying 92 passengers, adding this number gives 9+2=11.
4. Flight no. 77 which also hit the towers was carrying 65 passengers, adding this 6+5=11.
5. The tragedy was on September 11, or 9/11, adding this 9+1+1=11.
6. The date is equal to the emergency number 911, adding this 9+1+1=11.

Let's look at these:
1. But where does that leave Washington D.C.? It's not a state so what's its number? How does it fit in?
2. Why wasn't it flight 9? If it's 9/11 then flight 9 should have been first, then flight 11.
3. I can make 11 and 92 turn into any number. 1+1=2; 1+1+2+9=13;1+3=4; 9-2=7; 9x2=18, 1+8=9; Have a go yourself.
4. Flight 77 actually carried 64 passengers. But why would you want to let a fact spoil a good story.
5 and 6. See 3.

Are you convinced?

Now we have a very upsetting piece.

1 The total number of passengers inside the planes are 254: 2+5+4=11.
2. The day September 11 is day number 254 of the calendar year: 2+5+4=11.
3. After September 11 there are 111 days more to the end of the year.
4. The tragedy of 3/11/2004 in Madrid also adds to: 3+1+1+2+4=11.
5. The tragedy in Madrid happened 911 days after the tragedy of the Twin Towers.

They love adding numbers. Didn't they learn subtraction, mulitplication and division? What numbers can you make? Actually, Madrid happened 912 days after.


Since America is typically represented by an Eagle, Saddam and Bin Laden
should have read up on their Muslim passages.

The following verse is from the Quran (the Islamic Bible) Quran (9:11) for
it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath
of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah, while some! of
the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the
Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace. NOTE THE VERSE

I'll give you $1 million if you can find this passage in the Quran. The actually quote from chapter 9, verse 11 is:
"But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, they are your brethren in faith; and We make the communications clear for a people who know."

Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

1. Open up a blank Word document.
2. Type Q33 NY in capitals (this is the flight number of the first plane to hit the World Trader Centre gate Q33 at NY (New York)
3. Highlight Q33 NY
4. Change the font size to 48.
5. Change the actual font to Wingdings.


I'm freaked.But not because of that. But because the object "Q33 NY" doesn't exist for any of the planes. Here are the plane details:
...American Airlines flight #11.
Took off from Boston destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the World Trade Center.
The tail # was N334AA.
...United Airlines flight #175.
Took off from Boston destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the World Trade Center.
The tail # was N612UA.
...American Airlines flight #77.
Took off from Dulles near Washington D.C. destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the Pentagon.
The aircraft tail # was N644AA.
...United Airlines flight #93.
Took off from Newark destined for San Francisco.
Crashed in Pennsylvania was flight #93.
The tail # was N591UA.

(Thanks to here and snopes.)

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Day, 1/1/2006, or is it?

Why do so many fuss about new years eve? The moment in our calendar when a particular number is increased by one seems to effect some in a strange way. For some, this addition is the only maths they do in the year. Others feel that it gives them the right to molest another. Resolutions are made which are inevitably not adhered to. What makes that moment different to any other moment?

January the first as New Years Day was introduced by the Romans. Before then (and still) other cultures used astronomical events to define the new year. Egyptians celebrated NYD on the first day of the month of Thoth, the day Sirius first rises. This happened to coincide with the flooding of the Nile and represented new life. The Babylonians celebrated on the first visibile crescent of the first new moon after the vernal (spring in the northern hemisphere) equinox. The Chinese celebrate their NYD on a new moon. The Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShana) falls on 1 Tishri. There is a complicated formula for working out when this happens (that's the problem with lunar calendars). The Islamic New Year also follows the lunar cycle and is on the first day of Muharram. The first day of the month is defined as the first visible crescent of the new moon. Because the sighting of this crescent occurs at different times around the world, there is debate as to when NYD is actually held. As with any lunar calendar, this system is out of synch with our solar calendar.

So for us, Gregorian Calendar users, we celebrated NYD this year on 1st of January, 2006. For others that day was:
19th of December, 2005. (Julian Calendar: used by Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches)
2nd day, 12th lunar month, year of the chicken. (Chinese Calendar)
1 Teveth, 5766. (Jewish Calendar)
1 Dhu al-Hijjah, 1426. (Islamic Calendar)
11 Dey, 1384. (Persian Calendar)
11 Pausa, 1927. (Indian Civil Calendar)
Nivose, II du Duodi, 214. (French Republican Calendar) (Mayan Long Calendar)
Tochtli, Atl, Cuauhtli. (Aztec Calendar)

A good book to read about the history of the Gregorian Calendar is 'Calendar' by David Ewing Duncan.