Friday, April 13, 2012

Are you Superstitious? Directionally challenged? Would you like to start the New Year over?

On this day in 1960, the United States launched the Transit 1-B, the world's first operational satellite navigation system. Made obsolete by the more advanced Global Positioning System, Transit ceased navigation service in 1996 - but its contributions to solve the never ending question of WTHAI (Where the Hell am I?) pronounced (what-the-hey?) were already made.

When Garmin and Tom Tom were introduced, I wondered what the big fuss about sliced bread was all about.  Having been born with no directional skills, GPS was my savior.  I now have a copilot (who seems to know where every saloon in the city is) to lead me step by step to anywhere I ask, for free!  By free I mean my cell phone and Google Maps/Navigation.

Thank you Transit, thank you GPS, thank you Google, thank you Android.


Today is also Friday the 13th. What should that mean to you? Nothing. IMHO we have vague notions about an unlucky number while no one can account the actual reasons why. Just because there aren't 13th floors in hotels?  No gate 13 at airports?  No number 13 race cars?  Poppycock.

Taylor Swift was born on December 13th and considers 13 her lucky number due to some very lucky events happening to her when that number appears. She also wears the number written on her hand at her concerts. Taylor Swift as the AntiChrist - you heard it here first.

The Mayans knew the world was ending in 2012 two thousand years ago, does that mean 12 is unlucky?  In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness (see twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve days of Christmas, twelve eggs in a carton).

Someone says twelve to me, I am afraid, very afraid.

By comparison, in Asian cultures 13 is a very lucky number.


If you are in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos or Myanmar (Burma) I would like to wish you a Happy New Year!
Known as the Songkran festival, it is a time of cleansing and renewal.  Buddha statues (inside homes as well as at monasteries) cleansed by gently pouring a fragrant water mixture over them to bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

In many cities, the Buddha statues from large monasteries are paraded through the streets on decorated floats.  Water captured after the cleasing of the Buddha is used to pour onto family members to pay respect to elders and to bring good fortune.  Of course this lead to pouring more and more water onto people and eventually the Songkran turns into a giant water fight for everyone on the streets.


   The Historical Inebriant:  Champagne

In honor of the New Year, GPS and lucky 13, pour yourself a flute of your favorite Champagne and enjoy!

Also, please raise your glass to wish a Happy New Year to Aung San Suu Kyi.  The Nobel Prize winner was recently elected to Parliament after serving 15 under house arrest as a political prisoner by the militarily controlled government in Myanmar.

May it be a wonderful New Year!

As always, have a great and safe weekend!

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