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Stan # 103: Tuesday is swearing day. Is everybody happy? You bet your f***ing life we are! April 2015

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The Country which has withdrawn from the EU was, of course, Greenland, so called to persuade settlers to move there. It is, of course, almost entirely white. There was a referendum. It has been suggested that Algeria was also part of the EU/EEC because part of current Algeria was an integral part of France during the early years. France has this unusual way of organising territories. For example, St Pierre et Miquelon is also a part of France even though it is just off the coast of Canada. The same applies to La Reunion which is near Mauritius. There are many others.

Easter is the time when (in the Northern hemisphere) things start to grow, animals and birds reproduce and Christians celebrate the rebirth of Jesus. We feel it is a good time to refresh the garden and redecorate. It’s the busiest time of the year for d-i-y shops. Sales of chocolate soar with 10% of annual sales being made at Easter. The first chocolate egg was made in 1875 by Fry’s of Bristol and each child will receive 8.8 chocolate eggs on average (the 0.2 being bitten off by a parent). I have no information on the size of these eggs, or how long they last or the effect of the choc-fest on the health of the children. I do know that most people attack a chocolate bunny by biting off the ears first. Is this you?

Have you ever considered how odd the names of the days are? Called after Norse gods. The seven-day week is pretty ancient. The Greeks had it, but it was by no means universal. The Romans were a step ahead with an eight-day week, the eighth day, the nundina, being for markets, sacrifices and invading Gaul. The Romans who were so efficient at so many things, were useless at numbers, so they didn’t have names for the days of the week, just names for three days of the month. Calends, nones, ides. To get a specific date, you counted back from a fixed day. And then they moved from an eight-day week to the continental seven. The books say they did this gradually. How do you lose a day gradually? ”, you said you’d finish the decorating three days before ides, and here we are, six days after calends and it’s still not done”.”Hang about Julius, keep your toga on. You’re still playing with the full eight-day week. We’re phasing it out, dear. We only use the eighth day once a month”.

The Ottomans, the plonkers who invented bureaucracy, made a huge book-keeping cock-up. They had two calendars. One for civil servants, the other for agriculture. Over the years, they diverged so much that tax dates lost contact with the harvest, and the empire collapsed in a brainache of pederasty, silk strangulation, sherbet and rotting pomegranates. The Mayans also had two calendars: one was astronomic, the other predestinatory. That was a list of things that had happened on certain days of the year for hundreds of years. They augured good or evil for particular dates. So you’d arrange to have your wedding on the one calendar and then check that this wasn’t the day where they always lost FA Cup matches and it usually rained. The Mayans collapsed in a depression of bad luck when they realised that every day of the year was going back-to-school day.

The first day of the week is Sunday, the day God rested. Unless you’re Jewish in which case, it’s Saturday, as it was for the Romans. For computers, atheists and some diaries, it’s Monday as do the Slavs and the Balts, but not the Finns. In Iceland, Saturday is, Laugardagur:washing day. Most of the rest of the week is simply numbered. Northern Europe took on the Norse god names in the Dark Ages, during the general Krautification of Latin. The Wagnerian deities kicked out their opposite numbers. Monday, the Moon god, was called Mani. Tuesday, Tyr or Tiw, was the one-armed god of battle and swearing. If you are trying to moderate your language, you could just try swearing on Swearing Day or Tuesday. Thursday was for Thor, who, like Jupiter, had a thunderbolt as his superpower. Friday was Freya’s day, who replaced Venus as a blonder, more pneumatic disciplinarian goddess of love, sex and bondage. Sunday was the sun god.

Maednesday belonged to Odin, though the Germans oddly call it Mittwoch (midweek). The Romans knew it as Mercury’s day. Mercury and Odin have little in common, except - and here’s the good bit - they were both psychpomps. A psychopomp is a guide, an intermediary between the living and the dead. They take souls over the river. Almost every religion owns this character, who without judgment and great solemnity, helps the shades to the further shore. Charon is the most famous, but Jung used the mystical idea of the psychopomps as a link between the ego and the id, the ethereal conductor of dreams, from the unconscious to the conscious.

Now I hope all is clear why there is much confusion in the World.

 

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