Friday, July 13, 2007


Paraskevi means Friday, dekatria means thirteen and phobia, of course, means phobia.

What is the original reason Friday the 13th is associated with bad luck?

There have been a number of events known as "Black Fridays" in history. Usually these were devastating. Some historians propose that the origin of the "Black Friday" was the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of Knights Templars on October 13, 1307 (Friday), to be later tortured into "admitting" heresy.

Today, the concept of Friday the 13th has been extended through the 'black Friday' concept to incorporate anything really bad that happens on a Friday. Throughout history there have been a number of calamities known as Black Friday:

Black Friday (1869), a financial crisis in the United States
Black Friday (1889), the day of the Johnstown Flood.
Black Friday (1910), WSPU took militant action when the Conciliation Bill failed.
Black Friday (1919), a riot in Glasgow stemming from industrial unrest
Black Friday (1921), day on which British dockers' and railwaymen's union leaders announced their decision not to call for strike action against wage reductions for miners
Black Friday (1929), a stock market crash in the United States
Black Friday (1939), a day of devastating fires in Australia
Black Friday (1945), largest air battle over Norway, over Sunnfjord
Hollywood Black Friday (1945), the day the six-month-old Confederation of Studio Unions (CSU) strike boiled over into a bloody riot at the Warner Bros. studios leading to the eventual breakup of the CSU.
Black Friday (1978), a massacre of protesters in Iran
Black Friday (1982), known in Britain after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, sparking the Falklands War
Black Friday (1987), the day an hour-long F4 category tornado ran through the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Black Friday (2004), a crackdown on a peaceful protest in the capital city of Maldives, Malé

Other uses of the term include:

"Black Friday" is the name given to the last Friday before Christmas in the United Kingdom. It is a day when widespread anti-social behaviour due to public alcohol consumption is expected to occur, and police are given additional powers to combat it
Black Friday (1940 film), a science-fiction/horror film starring Boris Karloff, Stanley Ridges and Bela Lugosi
Black Friday (2005 film), a Hindi film on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, directed by Anurag Kashyap
"Black Friday", a title of a song by Grinspoon
"Black Friday", a title of a song by Steely Dan
"Black Friday", a title of a song by Megadeth
"Black Friday Rule", a title of a song by Flogging Molly
"Black Friday", the nickname for game 3 of the 1977 NLCS baseball championships. Philadelphia Phillies fans gave the nickname because the Phillies blew an early lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers and a controversial call was made during the game
"Black Friday", a title of a poem written by Dennis Rader, the BTK killer

Sources all excerpted from Wikipedia:

Which is odd because the Greeks have an irrational fear of Tuesday the 13th (tritidekatriaphobia) for reasons unknown to this blogger.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A wildflower partisan

From my good friend Prairie Weather:

Lady Bird Johnson died this afternoon. Her flowers are still blazing outside our house though the July sun may make them go to seed soon.

She was a wildflower partisan, as all Texans know. I made so bold as to steal the drying seed head of one of her perfect, rare, Venetian red galliardias, at the old Johnson ranch, put it in my pocket, and scrunch the seeds into my garden about five years ago.

The next spring I had a beautiful single red galliardia plant.

The next year genetics took over and I had a lot of galliardia plants in the same area of the garden but they were mostly of the more common, less beautiful red-and-yellow variety. The following year, more. This year, thanks to the tremendous amount of rain, galliardia are blooming as far out as a couple of hundred feet from the house. There's still a display of pure Venetian reds right outside the sleeping porch, mixed with mealy-blue sage and some lilac skeleton flowers. The cattle and deer leave them alone.

All wildflowers native to the seven very distinct eco-regions of Texas are now popular, thanks to Lady Bird. "I want Vermont to look like Vermont, and Texas to look like Texas," she said. We may have more authentic, water-saving native gardens in this state than any other. Lady Bird won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

PGA tour pro plays a muni with a weekend duffer

On the sixth tee, Marino stood behind me and watched my tee shot slice over the trees on the right side of the fairway . . . over the course fence . . . over a road . . . over a jogging trail . . . and splash into the Potomac, 150 yards out of bounds.

"I thought you said there were no water hazards on this course," Marino said.

I stepped back, too ashamed to respond, and watched Marino hammer an intentional fade that arched left to right. It soared down the middle of the fairway, cutting a path that mirrored the hole's shape, and dropped to the ground 350 yards away. One of my co-workers from the paper, out on a golf course for the first time in her life to watch this round, offered her evaluation.

"Wow," she said, "his shots even sound different than yours."

Thanks to Tom K for the link.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It depends on what the meaning of "verified" is

Hell, what are we going to do about this? Call for his resignation? Demand Bush fire him? Impeach him?

Can't prosecute him for lying to Congress because Bush will just give him a pardon:

As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers. "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse," Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.

Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

What time does the tea party start?