Category Archives: Fun Facts

The History of Friday the 13th

Friday, November 13, 2020

In a good year, Friday the 13th carries its reputation of bad luck. In a pandemic year, who knows what it will bring.

The origins of the Western fear of the number 13 is unclear. Some date it back to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party and a 13th uninvited guest arrives.  Others relate the fear of the number 13 to the Code of Hammurabi. The Code allegedly missed a 13th law from its list of legal rules. This event is commonly viewed as simply, a clerical error. However, superstitious people will point to this as proof of 13’s longstanding negative associations. There is a biblical theory as well.  The Last Supper was attended by 13 guests.  Jesus and his 12 apostles attended and one of those apostles went on to betray Jesus.

Why Friday though? Most people look forward to Friday every week. It is the sign of another work week done and ushers in the happiness of the weekend. The negative association with Friday is linked to religious and cultural origins. Biblically, Friday is seen to be more ominous because it is the day Jesus was crucified.

Friday and the number 13, how did these two “unlucky” things get paired together? There are infinite theories and most have been dismissed. Friday the 13th really gained attention and hysteria in the 20th century.  An author by the name of Thomas Lawson published a book titled, Friday, the Thirteenth, which is about a stockbroker who deliberately chooses to crash the stock market on this given date. The following year, the New York Times became one of the first channels to recognize the superstition. Fast forward to the 1980’s when a new movie franchise was born. It featured the anti-hero, Jason Voorhees terrorizing infamous Camp Crystal Lake. “Friday the 13th” became a popular culture phenomenon and added to the superstitions attached to the date.

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Sources: wikipedia.com, History.com and CNN.com

 

Posted in Fun Facts /General Information /global interest /History /

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Laughter is the best medicine… 

Staying healthy sometimes seems like a lot of work.  One way to increase our wellness is to simply laugh.  Life isn’t always funny, but there are good reasons, both physically and emotionally, to laugh!

 

  • Laughter makes us healthier.  It lowers our blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and increases muscle flexion.  It increases the circulation of antibodies in the blood stream and makes us more resistant to infection.

 

  • Laughter touches our soul. Laughter is good for us physically – it’s good for the soul.  It brings us closer to one another and there is something that is wonderful about that.  Sometimes laughter catches us by surprise and that can make us feel great.

 

  • Laughter keeps things in perspective.  Laughter helps us lighten up and take ourselves less seriously.

 

  • Laughter helps us stay positive.  Laughter helps us keep our troubles in perspective and that can help us stay positive.  It creates positive emotions and thus a positive frame of mind.  Laughter is much like changing a babies diaper.  It doesn’t last long but it sure helps in the short term.

 

  • Laughter is loving.  We laugh at our mistakes and foibles.  We find humor with our friends and family.  We laugh together.  These positive experiences give us the gifts of joy and love.

 

~stopdoingnothing.com

laughter

 

Posted in Activities /Fun Facts /General Information /Health Topics /Human Interest /Spiritual Well Being /Uncategorized /

What causes leaves to change colors?

It’s all about Chemistry:

Not all leaves turn vivid colors.  Only a few species of deciduous trees produce the beautiful colors this time of year.  In Minnesota, most notably, we have aspen, maple and oak.  Soil moisture, precipitation, temperature and light all contribute to fall color.  Light, the lack of it, is the main agent.

As autumn days grow shorter, thus less light, chemical changes in deciduous plants cause a “corky” wall to form in between the twig and leaf stalk.  This “corky” wall or abscission layer eventually causes the leaf to drop.

The chemical change seals off the vessels that supply a leaf with nutrients and water.  It also blocks exit vessels, thus trapping simple sugars in the leaves.   Reduced light, lack of nutrients and not water add up to the chlorophyll (which makes the green color) to die.

Once the green is gone, other pigments take over.  Carotene (yellow) and anthocyanin (red) exist in the leaf all summer but are overpowered by chlorophyll.  The brown in autumn leaves is a result of tannin.

Sugar trapped in the abscission layer is largely responsible for the vivid colors.  Sunlight acting on the trapped sugar also helps to manufacture anthocyanin (red).  This is why colors on bright fall days are crisper and duller or more pastel during times of rain.

A wet growing season and a dry autumn filled with sunny days combined with cold frost free nights helps produce the most vibrant colors of fall.

 

Source: Farmer’s Almanac 2020

 

This is a helpful graphic to sort out all the information above:

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Posted in Fun Facts /General Information /global interest /Uncategorized /