My father, who I loved and respected deeply, passed quite suddenly many years ago one August 12th. Now don’t worry, tissues not required, this isn’t going to be one of those sentimental posts as you will see in a moment, just setting a principle.
You see ever since that day I always know that when August 12th comes round that is the anniversary of his passing. Not that I do much to commemorate it or anything, but every year – same date – that’s it.
So why am I talking about something that happened in mid August now at the end of March?
Well, because they tell me this weekend is Easter and that always messes with my logic circuits.
Easter is a day that is honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which took place on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary.
So here’s a simple question.
If someone we know dies on a certain day of a certain month that date remains constant, it does not change, the anniversary is the same every year.
So why do we celebrate the Resurrection (death plus three days) of Jesus on such wildly varying dates?
For example in 2011 it was April 24th, last year it was April 8th, this year it is March 31st and next year it will be April 20th.
The only way that makes sense, is if the date we are told to celebrate has as little to do with the Resurrection and Christianity as have eggs, bunnies or candy.
It doesn’t seem to matter any more in America and many other western countries because the powers that be are intent on abandoning their Christian ethos for fear of offending those who refuse to abandon their religious beliefs. They are quite happy with the confusion.
It is, however, fairly clear if you do even a little bit of research on the subject, (and I encourage you to do your own research and not take my word for it), that most of the things people now commonly associate with Easter have in fact pagan, rather than Christian, origins.
And the pagan roots of Easter lie in the worship of pagan gods and in celebrating the spring equinox, which marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of a “dead” season and the rebirth of life, as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.
References to a similar holiday have been found as far back as 2400 BC (that’s ‘B’ as in ‘before’ ‘C’ Christ) when, for example, the city of Ur apparently had a celebration dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox which was held some time during our months of March or April.“Ishtar”, which is pronounced “Easter” was a day that commemorated the resurrection of a pagan ‘god’ called “Tammuz”, who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god. In other cultures he acquired different names, including “Osiris”, “Orpheus”, and “Dionysus”.
The Phrygian fertility goddess “Cybele”, was one of the most popular of these pagan gods, and worship of “Cybele” started in Rome around 200 BC. Ironically, a cult dedicated to her was even located on what is today Vatican Hill.
Even today modern Wiccans and neo-pagans celebrate “Ostara,” or “Eostre” which are derived from the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess, “Eostre”.“Eostre’s” feast day is held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox – a similar calculation as is used for Easter among Western Christians. On this date the goddess “Eostre” is believed by her followers to mate with the solar god, conceiving a child who would be born nine months later on Yule, the winter solstice which falls on December 21st.
Two of “Eostre’s” most important symbols are the hare (both because of its fertility and because ancient people saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg, which symbolized the growing possibility of new life. Each of these symbols continues to play an important role in modern celebrations of Easter.
So Easter, like many other things the establishment encourages us to believe, is not quite what it purports to be.
I’ll leave the last word to someone smarter than me,
They’ve been ‘beautiful’, they’ve been ‘big’ and they’ve been ‘unusual’. Today we have another ‘significant’ number, forty-two, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.
In Japanese culture, the number 42 is considered unlucky because the numerals when pronounced separately — “shi ni” (four two) — sound like the phrase, “unto death”;
There are 42 principles of Ma’at, the Ancient Egyptian personification of physical and moral law, order, and truth. In the judgement scene described in the Egyptian and the Book of the Coming/Going Forth by Day, there are 42 gods and goddesses of Egypt, personifying the principles of Ma’at. These 42 correspond to the 42 Nomes (Governmental Units) of Egypt. If the departed successfully answers all 42, s/he becomes an Osiris;
42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabbalistic tradition;
In Judaism, the number (in the Babylonian Talmud, compiled 375 AD to 499 AD) of the “Forty-Two Lettered Name” ascribed to God. Rab (or Rabhs), a 3rd century source in the Talmud stated “The Forty-Two Lettered Name is entrusted only to him who is pious, meek, middle-aged, free from bad temper, sober, and not insistent on his rights”.
42 is a sacred Tibetan number and there is also a 42 armed Hindu God;
The first book to be printed with movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, is also known as the “42-line Bible”, as the book contained 42 lines per page;
The Forty-Two Articles (1552), largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of Edward VI..
In The Bible
Forty Two, 3½ and 1260 – this is the amount that is given to the wicked or for people to bear fruit. Judgment occurs at the end. It is based on the law that God only expects results after the third year of planting (Leviticus 19: 23-25);
This time period appears in many prophecies as 1260 days, 42 months or 3½ years. It is the period that God allows the beast to operate. Notice that this is equal to 6 x 7 months. It is man’s portion of the jubilee cycle;
Two female bears kill forty two children after they ridiculed the prophet of God. 2 Kings 2: 24;
42 Cities are given to the Levites in addition to six cities of refuge (Numbers 35: 6);
42 men of Beth-azmaveth were counted in the census of men of Israel upon return from exile (Ezra 2:24);
Israel camped 42 times in the wilderness during the 40 year exodus.
The goat’s hair and linen curtains covering the sanctuary have a length of 42 and 40 cubits.
Jesus was forty two generations from Abraham. (Matthew 1).
42 is the product of the first three terms of Sylvester’s sequence; like the first five such numbers it is also a primary pseudoperfect number;
42 is a partition number – the number of different ways 10 can be represented as the sum of natural numbers;
42 is a Størmer number;
42 is a perfect score on the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO) and International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
42 is the atomic number of molybdenum;
42 is the value of the angle rounded to whole degrees for which a rainbow appears (the critical angle);
In 1966, mathematician Paul Cooper theorized that the fastest, most efficient way to travel across continents would be to bore a straight hollow tube directly through the Earth, connecting a set of antipodes, evacuate it (remove the air), and then just fall through. The first half of the journey consists of free-fall acceleration, while the second half consists of an exactly equal deceleration. The time for such a journey works out to be 42 minutes. Remarkably, even if the tube does not pass through the exact center of the Earth, the time for a journey powered entirely by gravity (also known as Gravity train) always works out to be 42 minutes, as long as the tube remains friction-free, as while gravity’s force would be lessened, so would the distance traveled at an equal rate. (The same idea was proposed, without calculation by Lewis Carroll in 1893 in Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.)
The glyph, or character, corresponding to the number 42 in the ASCII character set, is *, the asterisk, commonly known as the wildcard character;
In the TIFF image file format, the second 16-bit word of every file is 42, which is used together with the first word to indicate byte order;
In the reiser4 file system, 42 is the inode number of the root directory;
In the military IRIG 106 Chapter 10 data recording standard, the hex value 0x464F52545974776F (ASCII “FORTYtwo”) is used as a magic number to identify directory blocks;
The GNU C Library, a set of standard routines available for use in computer programming, contains a function—memfrob()—which performs an XOR combination of a given variable and the binary pattern 00101010 (42) as an XOR cipher;
42 is the result given by the web search engines Google and Wolfram Alpha when the query “the answer to life the universe and everything” is entered as a search.
Messier object M42, a magnitude 5.0 diffuse nebula in the constellation Orion, also known as the Orion Nebula;
The New General Catalogue object NGC 42, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Pegasus;
In January 2004, asteroid 2001 DA42 was given the permanent name 25924 Douglasadams, for the author Douglas Adams who popularized the number 42 and died in 2001;
Kepler-42, is a red dwarf in the constellation Cygnus around which orbits the three smallest exoplanets found to date.
The 42nd President of the Unites States of America was Democratic Party William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton, from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. Vice President was Al Gore. Remembered more for ‘blow-jobs’ in the White House, Clinton’s Presidency also oversaw the disastrous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, that repealed the parts of the Glass–Steagall Act which had not already been repealed. This 1999 Act took down barriers to competition between traditional banks, investment banks, and insurance companies, in some cases allowing firms to participate in all three markets thus making distinctions between these categories less clear. It has been held largely responsible for the current financial crisis.
42 is the jersey number of Jackie Robinson, which is the only number retired by all Major League Baseball teams. Although the number was retired in 1997, Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, the last professional baseball player to wear number 42, is currently still using it;
42 is the jersey number of basketball Hall of Famer and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History James Worthy, small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, who retired his jersey number in 1995;
42 is the jersey number of football Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott, safety for the San Francisco 49ers, who retired his jersey number in 2003;
42 is the jersey number of Chicago Bears legend Sid Luckman, which was retired by the Bears;
42 is the jersey number of Pat Tillman, which was retired on November 13, 2004 by Arizona State University;
42 is the number of laws of cricket;
42 is the number of kilometers in a marathon;
42 is the number of a NASCAR car owned by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. It is currently being driven by former F1 star and Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya;
The most notable aircraft with the 42 designation was the XB-42 ‘Mixmaster’. This aircraft was developed initially as a private venture and an unsolicited proposal was presented to the United States Army Air Forces in May 1943 which resulted in an Air Force contract for two prototypes and one static test airframe, the USAAF seeing an intriguing possibility of finding a bomber capable of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress’ range without its size or cost.
The aircraft was unusual in design in that it had a pair of Allison V-1710-125 liquid-cooled V-12 engines mounted behind the crew’s cabin, each driving one of the twin propellers which protruded from the rear of the aircraft’s fuselage. The pilot and co-pilot sat under twin bubble canopies, and the bombardier sat in the extreme front behind a plexiglass nose.
The first XB-42 was delivered to the Army Air Force and flew at Palm Springs, California on 6 May 1944. Performance was excellent, being basically as described in the original proposal; as fast or faster than the de Havilland Mosquito but with defensive armament and twice the bombload. The twin bubble canopies proved a bad idea as communications were adversely affected and a single bubble canopy was substituted after the first flight, a problem that could have been rectified, but the end of World War II changed priorities and the advent of the jet engine gave an alternative way toward achieving high speed.
The AG-42 rifle (official designation Halvautomatiskt Gevaer 42) was developed by Swedish engineer Erik Eklund while working at company C. J. Ljungman AB. Officially adopted by Swedish army in 1942, this rifle served in Sweden until mid-1960s, when it was replaced in service with 7.62mm AK-4 rifle (license-build HK G3 rifle).
In 1939 HWaA (Hitler’s army Weapons command) issued a contract for the development of a “Maschinen karabiner”, or machine carbine (MKb for short), chambered for the new 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge, to the company C.G. Haenel Waffen und Fahrradfabrik.
The famous designer Hugo Schmeisser led the Haenel development team, which produced the first working prototypes of new weapon by 1942. The new weapon was intended as a replacement for submachine guns, bolt action rifles and, partly, light machine guns for front troops. The MKb.42(H) could be fitted with standardbayonet, and has a wooden butt.
A cheaper to produce but much more reliable replacement for the MG 34, the MG 42 was officially adopted as the MG 42, and production commenced in 1941.
In general terms, the MG 42 was a great success. It fulfilled the roles of a light machine gun on a bipod, a medium machine gun (on a newly developed Lafette 42 tripod), and an anti-aircraft machine gun, mounted in single and twin installations, ground and vehicle-mounted.
After the WW2 the MG 42, unlike other wartime designs, lived on, as in 1958, the FRG (WestGermany) re-instituted its official armed force, known as the Bundeswehr.
The simplicity, low manufacturing cost and high effectiveness of the MG 3 attracted several other countries, which either bought the guns from Rheinmetall (such as Denmark), or obtained manufacturing licenses and build (or at least have built in the past) the same guns domestically (such as Italy, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Yugoslavia). In total, at least twenty armies have used or still are using the MG 3 and its versions.
In Books, Movies & TV
The 42nd Parallel is the first of a trilogy of books, (the others being 1919, and The Big Money), written by John Dos Passos and acclaimed by many to be the great American novel;
English author Douglas Noel Adams popularized the number 42 in his best known work called the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The number 42 and the phrase, “Life, the universe, and everything” have attained cult status on the Internet. If you type the answer to life, the universe and everything into Google (without quotes or capitalising the small words), the Google Calculator will give you 42; also, if you go to Wolfram’s Computational Knowledge Engine and type “answer to life, the universe, and everything”, it provides you with the result 42. Microsoft’s Bing search engine will also give you 42. Alphasmart 3000’s calculator, when given any equation that results in 42, will display, “The answer to life, the universe, and everything”. In the online community “Second Life,” there is a section on a sim called “42nd Life”;
In the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode “Quarantine”, 42 are the last two digits in Rodney McKay’s password. After John Sheppard explains to Teyla the meaning of the previous twelve digits, she asks him what 42 is. Then, John says, “It’s the ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything,” at which point Teyla looks confused;
In the TV show Lost, 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42;
In Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Alex browses through records in a record store and we see a record of the, at this time fictional, band Level 42;
“42” is an episode of Doctor Who, set in real time lasting approximately 42 minutes;
“The Kumars at No. 42” is the name of a 2003 BBC television series;
A made for TV movie 42: Forty Two Up – an installment in a series of documentaries wherein the director revisits the same group of British-born individuals every 7 years;
On the game show Jeopardy!, “Watson” the IBM supercomputer, has 42 “threads” in its avatar;
On the Unusuals TV-show there’s an episode called “42”. Detective Leo Banks recently turned 42. On account of his father, uncle, and grandfather dropping dead at 42, Leo is convinced he’ll share their fate. There were 42s all over the episode.
In New York City, 42nd Street is a main and very popular two-way thoroughfare. Landmarks on it include the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, the main branch of the New York Public Library, and Times Square;
Tower 42, originally called the NatWest Tower because it was built for the National Westminster Bank, is the tallest skyscraper in the city of London and the fifth tallest in London as a whole;
+42 is the historic Country calling code for the former country of Czechoslovakia;
42 is the number of US gallons in a barrel of oil;
42 is the number of spots (or pips, circular patches or pits) on a pair of standard six-sided dice;
42 is a free tabloid devoted to technology news in Huntsville, Alabama. It is published by the Huntsville Times and is named for “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”;
Fictional comic book superhero Miles Morales is bitten by a genetically altered spider with a red 42 marked on its abdomen. Morales later assumes the role of Spider-Man as a result of the bite and following the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Marvel universe from Marvel Comics. Morales also wins a coveted spot in a prestigious charter school after his number (42) is chosen during a lottery.
Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fourteen, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.
The number 14 seems to have some regal significance, particularly where these two Royals were concerned:
ascended to the throne on May 14th, 1643 (1+6+4+3=14);
he was saved by Turenne at Blema in 1652 (1+6+5+2=14);
in accordance with an Edict of Charle V, he was declared major at 14 years and governed himself in 1661 (1+6+6+1=14);
he built the Hotel of the Invalids in 1670 (1+6+7+0=14);
he died in 1715 (1+7+1+5=14), at the age of 77 years old (7+7=14);
having reigned 72 years (7×2=14).
England’s King Henry IV
was born 14 centuries, 14 decades and 14 years after the Christian era;
he came into the world on December 14th ;
he died on May 14th :
he lived 4 x 14 years, 14 weeks and 14 days.
The atomic number for Silicon is 14.
The approximate atomic weight of nitrogen 14.
There are fourteen ascending and downward days of the moon.
The fourteenth year is, for the man, the year of the puberty.
The fingers of each of the two hands are composed of fourteen phalanxes.
February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, a fact most men are not allowed to forget.
In the Bible
There are fourteen generations from Abraham to David;
The fourteen epistles written by saint Paul, having on the whole 100 chapters and adding up 2335 verses;
With the return of Exile, after the rebuilding of the Temple, the Israelis celebrated the Passover the fourteenth day of the first month; (Ezr 6,19)
Jacob worked fourteen years for his uncle Laban in order to be able to marry his daughter Rachel, they had fourteen sons and grandsons; (Gn 29,15-30 and 46,22)
The sufferings of the Christ would have begun fourteen days before Passover to finish with his passion;
Every year, the celebration of the Easter is never done in the same date. At the fourth century after Jesus Christ, it was established that this major feast of the liturgical calendar would be celebrated the first Sunday following the 14th night of lunation of March;
In the Book of Enoch (not included in the Bible) it talks about the fourteen preferential trees which remain always green for all season of the year.
According to the Egyptian legend, the body of Osiris was cut into 14 pieces, 13 of which were found by Isis, the 14th, the penis, having been devoured by the fishes.
In Egypt, the Amenti, area westward of the Nile, where go the souls of deaths, was divided in 14 parts.
Among Greeks, the fourteen days “alcyonians” were the 7 days preceding and the 7 days following the solstice of winter. During this period, the sea was supposed calm so as to allow the “alcyons” to build their nest and to brood. The alcyons came from the Metamorphosis of Ceyx, son of the Star of the morning, Eosphéros (in Latin Lucifer) and his wife Alcyon, girl of Eole.
Fourteen also is:
The number of days in a fortnight;
In traditional British units of weight, the number of pounds in a stone;
A number supposedly ‘encoded’ in much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach may have considered this number a sort of signature, since given A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc., then B + A + C + H = 14;
A common designation for the thirteenth floor in many buildings for superstitious reasons;
The number of lines in a sonnet;
The Number 14 airship by Alberto Santos Dumont that was used to test the aerodynamics of his 14-bis airplane;
The number of the French department Calvados;
A Storage server manufactured by IBM. It goes by name of “XIV” and is pronounced as the separate letters “X”, “I”, “V”;
The Piano Sonata No. 14, also known as Moonlight Sonata, is one of the most famous piano sonatas composed by Ludwig van Beethoven;
Age 14 is the earliest that the emancipation of minors can occur in the U.S.
Minimum age at which one can work in many U.S states. Some require parental consent while others don’t;
Minimum age at which one can work in most Australian states with parent’s consent;
Minimum age at which one can drive a vehicle in the U.S. with a driver’s license (with supervision of an adult over 18 years of age, and with a valid, unmarked driver’s license, and at least 365 days of experience driving an actual automobile);
The minimum age limit to drive a 50cc motorbike in Italy.
The fourteenth President of the United States was Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) of the Democratic Party, who served from March 4th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857. His VP was William R. King (March 4th, 1853 to April 18th, 1853, when he died of tuberculosis only 45 days into office, the position being vacant from April 18th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857.)
Then There Was The Fourteen Points
‘The Fourteen Points’ was a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. It was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I, and was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe.
The Fourteen Points were:
There should be no secret alliances between countries;
Freedom of the seas in peace and war;
The reduction of trade barriers among nations;
The general reduction of armaments;
The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers;
The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations;
The restoration of Belgian territories in Germany;
The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine;
The readjustment of Italian boundaries along clearly recognizable lines of nationality;
Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary;
The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia;
Protection for minorities in Turkey and the free passage of the ships of all nations through the Dardanelles;
Independence for Poland, including access to the sea;
A league of nations to protect “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike.”
The Fourteen Points was accepted by France and Italy on November 1, 1918. Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The United Kingdom also wanted Germany to make reparation payments for the war, and thought that that should be added to the Fourteen Points.
The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had little to do with the Fourteen Points and was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In aviation the designation 14 has been used for several famous aircraft. Best known would be the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which entered the fleet in 1973, replacing the F-4 Phantom II. New variants were introduced in 1987 (the F-14B) and in 1990 (the F-14D).
The designation has also appeared on Soviet/Russian aircraft, the most notable being the Antonov An-14 Pchelka, a utility transport introduced in 1966 and primarily used by the Soviet Air Force, Aeroflot, Afghan Air Force and East German Air Force. Production continued until 1972. Known as the “Little Bee”, it was a twin-engined light STOL utility transport first flown on 15 March 1958. Serial production started in 1966, and about 300 examples were built by the time production ended in 1972. A small number of An-14 are still in airworthy condition.
The Ilyushin Il-14 was a commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft that entered service in 1954.
Apollo 14, launched on January 31st, 1971, was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions”, targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.
The astronauts were Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell.
Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5th in the Fra Mauro formation (this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission).
They spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth.
Apollo 14 landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9.
Finally, the No. 14 chair is the most famous chair made by the Thonet chair company. Also known as the bistro chair, it was designed by Michael Thonet and introduced in 1859. It became one of the best-selling chairs ever made with some 50 million being sold between 1859 and 1930. Millions more have been sold since.
Movement 1 from Ludwig Van Beetoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata