Weekend wound-up: Paraskavedekatriaphobia

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Friday the 13th is considered a bad luck day in many parts of the world.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen appearing in any case.

The word itself is enough to scare me.

Comments

Where did that Blackwater Cat come from today?

The number 13 th is enough to scare the crap out of me! * James

You got that right! I suggest you don't attend any Knight's Templar lodge meeting today!

The Knights Templars Arrested (1307):
Unlucky 13?

It was on this date, October 13, 1307 — and presumably on a Friday — that King Philip IV ("the Fair") of France arrested all of the Templar Knights. The religious order had been the subject of rumors of blasphemy and irreligious practices, but in fact the Knights of the Temple of Solomon or (from their logo) the Red Cross Knights, were "just brutal, pious, simple-minded men," who became wealthy and corrupt as soon as the Church showered blessings and money on the order.

The Templars were formed after the First Crusade as a body of knights charged with prosecuting the crusades, and with living morally upright lives in the service of their church. So unpopular was that second qualification in the Middle Ages that the core of the Templars was only nine knights. The number slowly increased until, in 1128, they were incorporated as a monastic order with the usual three vows. By 1200, they were so rich and loose in morals that a contemporary jibe for heavy drinking was "He drinks like a Templar." Their wealth increased through the same ruse the Jews used to circumvent the Church law against lending money at interest — the original meaning of usury. The party only came to an end when the Templars became so corrupt and so powerful that Philip, at the urging of Pope Clement V, had to extinguish them.

The leaders were tortured into confessing impiety and sodomy in their houses and, although the method is not conducive to extracting truth, it is clear that the practices were rampant. The methods were standard: "The feet of the accused were oiled and fired, splinters were driven under their toe- and finger-nails, weights were tied to their genital organs, and so on," says McCabe. "Some underwent torture six or seven times. A large number, including the Grand Master [Jacques DeMolay] and three other leading Masters, confessed and were burned alive."*

The popular legend that the end of the Templars took place on a Friday the 13th, and that that is the origin of the bad luck associated with the day, is just as fabulous as that it arose from the 13 Christian apostles (including the traitor Judas) at the Last Supper. The legend of Loki crashing a banquet of 12 Norse revelers in Valhalla was another, later, turn on the fable. But although there are some references to Friday being unlucky in Geoffrey Chaucer's time (14th century: "And on a Friday fell all this mischance"), there appears to be no reliable reference to the unluckiness of Friday the 13th before the 1800s.

In the Gregorian calendar, the 13th is slightly more likely to fall on a Friday than on any other day of the week, and any month beginning on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th, but rational thinkers ignore the superstition. Still, Paraskevidekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th, seems common enough to be the reason many people will skip work, refuse to travel, and not start anything new on that day — and why some buildings have no 13th floor and Room 13 often disappears. Is there something to the superstition? We might remember the troubles in 1970 during the flight of Apollo 13.

But Friday the 13th is considered unlucky only in Western, Christian-dominated cultures: there is no such superstition in Asia or the Islamic world. The superstition can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, people will engage in what logicians call "confirmation bias" when bad things happen on a day you already believe is bad. When Philip the Fair decided to arrest and torture and burn the Templars on this day in 1307, he had back of him no tradition of bad luck or good luck associated with the 13th day of the month — but it was unfortunate for about one hundred Christians!

Be nice?

Want to try telling that to those I work with?

Sincerely Yours,
Satan's Dominatrix

Tim Russert, 58, Dies of an Apparent Heart Attack

From NY Times blog:

Tim Russert, the host of “Meet the Press,” and NBC’s Washington bureau chief, has died. He was 58.

Mr. Russert was a towering figure in American journalism and moderated several debates during the recent presidential primary season.

Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, came on the air at 3:39 p.m. and reported that Mr. Russert had collapsed and died early this afternoon while at work. He had just returned from Italy with his family.

“Our beloved colleague,” a grave Mr. Brokaw called him, one of the premier journalists of our time. He said this was one of the most important years in his life, with his deep engagement in the network’s political coverage, and that he “worked to the point of exhaustion.” Mr. Brokaw said Mr. Russert was a true child of Buffalo and always stayed in touch with his blue collar roots and “the ethos of that community.”

He said Mr. Russert had just moved his father, who is in his late 80s, from one facility to another in Buffalo. He said he loved his family, his Catholic faith, his country, politics, the Buffalo Bills, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals.

“This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice,” Mr. Brokaw said.

After Mr. Brokaw made the announcement, the network switched to Brian Williams, the anchor of the NBC News, who is reporting from Afghanistan this week. Mr. Williams broke down as he tried to describe what the loss meant to his network family.

The network is struggling through shock and grief to bring the story of Mr. Russert’s life and journalistic achievements to its viewers immediately. Andrea Mitchell is describing him as “the pre-eminent journalist of our time” and said he was her mentor.

Mr. Williams said that Mr. Russert, trained as a lawyer, was “always about fairness.” The network is replaying moments of Mr. Russert and Mr. Williams co-moderating a recent debate.

Mr. Russert worked for two prominent New York Democrats, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo, before being hired in 1984 by NBC in its Washington bureau. He became bureau chief four years later

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Incredible.

This statement really ended the primary this year.

I'll miss Russert.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Sad news

and a sobering reminder that life is short, really short.

Sticky, sticky, sticky

Just finished two batches of strawberry jam. The blackberries will be ripe soon.

I have figured out that I didn't plant enough beans and peas or pickling cucumbers. My Early Girls are late. Okra is beautiful when it flowers. It's fun watching birdhouse gourds grow. I want more space for lettuce and corn next year.

....and that's the end of Betsy's farm report.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You don't plan on pickling

any of that okra, do you? Because if you did, I'd be more than happy to take some off your hands. :)

I'm generally against slimy vegetables, but my (Arkansas) grandmother turned me on to pickled okra, and the store-bought stuff (when you can find it) doesn't taste right.