Saturday, January 28, 2006

rabbits defy roosters in year of the dog

Every dog should have his or her day in the Year of the Dog beginning on Sunday, the Chinese New Year's Day.

But the outlook for three pretenders to high political office in Australia suggests that this won't be their year, according to the annual predictions from a Chinese Oracle in Hong Kong.

The Liberals' Peter Costello and Tony Abbott, and the ALP's Kevin Rudd were all born in 1957, a Year of the Rooster in the Chinese 12-year cycle.
And the Oracle, supplying his forecasts through the Hong Kong Tourism Board, has this message for Roosters: "Think before you speak and be more realistic in expectations of others, as well as your own ambitions. In an unforgiving period, it is better to live and let live while preparing for the future and gaining from experience..."

Meanwhile, for Rabbits such as Prime Minister John Howard, born in 1939, the Year of the Dog outlook is continuing fair. The Oracle writes of popularity and progress and opportunities for "career success" for Dogs, with exciting travel experiences. (Could this mean further meetings for Mr Howard with his friend US President George Bush, a Dog born in 1946?).
As for the ALP leader, Kim Beazley (1948) is a Rat facing "a challenging year ahead" but is counselled to "keep calm and disciplined".

Meanwhile, other prominent Australian Dogs include Ian Thorpe, preparing for the Commonwealth Games in March, and actor-comedian Barry Humphries, enjoying success in the United States with his alter ego, Dame Edna Everage.

The Oracle says good fortune "favours the brave Dog who seeks opportunities and a wealth of opportunities before they slip past ... earnings should swing up ..."

In sport, Mark Viduka, who will lead the Socceroos in their long-awaited World Cup bid in Germany, is a Rabbit, like Mr Howard.

Cricket's Shane Warne (1969) is another Rooster facing a year of challenge and may consider the Oracle's advice to "budget carefully in what could be an expensive year". His wife Simone, reportedly seeking a $10-million divorce settlement from the champion bowler is also a Rooster although born in 1970 - her birthday is in mid-January some days before the Chinese New Year, otherwise she would have been a lucky Dog.

Here are the Oracle's predictions for the Year of the Dog; the Hong Kong Tourist Board says that while it has endeavoured to ensure that the information is correct, "no warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is given to their accuracy":

For the full article click here.  Shown are the dog and horse (being mine).

Dog:

birth years 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994

This is your year and it holds excellent prospects, so man's best friend should forget past setbacks and seize the day. Good fortune certainly favours the brave Dog who seeks opportunities and a wealth of possibilities before they slip past. It is time to forget earlier disappointments, resist your temperamental mood swings and move forward. Also, encourage other members of your "pack" at home or work to share your ambitions. They can be a great help with valuable advice. Keep a keen eye on finances, however. Your earnings should swing up but stay vigilant and try to save. Travel opportunities are bright and you may even decide to move home. Your natural loyalty and honesty will win new friends and closer relationships. Both socially and romantically, your year is better favoured than it has been for a long time.

Horse:

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Your galloping spirit is well suited for the busy year ahead. Run swiftly at the front of the field to capitalise on exciting opportunities when they present themselves - but don't speed too far ahead of yourself or waste your energy on the latest craze. Sometimes you are too independent for your own good. Career prospects are especially promising and even though wealth holds little interest for you, finances are favourable so long as you are prudent with spending. Draw comfort and support from the companionship you crave. Both relationships and home life should make you appreciate what's in your own backyard, with some memorable highlights. Despite your roaming nature, curb restless tendencies - your life is active enough and the year is lucky if you accept the support of those closest to you.

- theage.com.au

picture of mum's dog Foxy.

Friday, January 13, 2006

strange but true

Just a few interesting bits of trivia on this our most superstitious day.

• More than 80 per cent of high-rise buildings do not have a 13th floor.

• Gate 13 is missing from many airports. Melburnians are safe – gates at Melbourne Airport are numbered 1-12.

• Many aeroplanes don’t have a 13th aisle. For example Continental Airlines, Air France, AirTran, KLM, and Iberia.

• It’s not unusual for hotels to skip room number 13.

• Italians omit number 13 from their national lottery.

• House numbers in Florence jump from 12 to 14 – the number 12 ½ replaces 13.

• In France, a group calling themselves Quatorziens (Fourteeners), offer their services as 14th guests for dinner parties, should the guest total unexpectedly stop at 13. It was believed that the first person to rise from a table of 13 guests would die within a year, but could avoid this fate if all guests rose at the same time.

• NASA’s ill-fated moon mission, Apollo 13, was launched at 13:13 hours, from pad 39 (3 x 13), and aborted on April 13.

• Thirteen letters in a name brings the devil’s luck: Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy.

• Lawmakers in Indiana once decreed that all black cats wear bells on Friday 13th.

• Friday was Hangman’s Day in Britain; hangmen were once paid 13 ½ pence, particularly if it falls on a Friday.

• One hundred years ago, in an attempt to abolish this maritime superstition, the British government commissioned a ship, named HMS Friday. Critical stages during its commissioning were conducted on a Friday: laying the keel, launch, and crew selection, including one Captain Jim Friday. HMS Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.

(Herald Sun)