Misc.

My Alternative Christmas Message





Christmas always reminds me that one day I would like to have kids. I’d like to bring back the magic of it all. Remember the sleepless nights on Christmas eve? Genuinely spending hours flicking through catalogues preparing your letters to Santa and forcing your eyes to sleep. I miss that feeling of Christmas. I know I’ll never be like that myself again but I can’t wait to help play the role for my own kids. I won’t even mind them waking me up at 5am asking to open presents while I am still nursing the effects of Santa’s brandy. 

At my age, as someone who hasn’t started their own family, Christmas gets more and more like another day where the family are forced to spend time together because society says so. There is a kind of loop where you enter it as a kid completely under Santa’s spell  but then after a while the 25th just misses something and you don’t really get it back until you go full circle and have to play that role for your own kids. Most of you who know me well know that Christmas has never been that big a deal in our house and that might be the reason my opinion is slightly biased. I understand some people my age are still as excited about Christmas day as they were when they were 5 years old and kudos to their families for obviously having a healthy relationship with both alcohol and each other, either that or they just get spoilt rotten ever year. 

However you have to admit, Christmas is becoming more of a social event than a religious celebration. I am in no way religious so I am not calling for the end of Christmas: l personally can’t wait to host my own one day. You all may think of me as someone that thinks the idea of a settled life is petrifying but there is that side of me that can't wait to have a garden, a huge kitchen and some dogs. I can’t wait until I am older I can have everyone I love under one roof (however, I know that is an impossible task for me), cook them a lovely meal and get very jolly on mulled wine as we sit round to watch Dr Who. This is not just including my own family but also the families of my closest friends as they often know me better and I often consider these people as much part of my family as I do my blood relatives.  Although (other than with food), I’ve never been a fan of the excessive nature of Christmas that fills up my news feed with people taking photos of their new car using their brand new iPad. In my eyes not even food should be allowed to be spoilt, let alone people. A few modest gifts are fine but spending hundreds, even thousands of pounds on almost any present is madness to me. 

As nice as it is to have an annual excuse to get everyone together (assuming you all get on) I just hope the magic doesn’t get lost before I have a chance to be the magician myself. I fear that with the new internet generation, belief in Santa will die out completely. Thinking about it believing in Santa is like another strange religious aspect of Christmas. As a child you can’t explain how it all happens, you just can’t as a child’s brain is fuelled by magic, but you still believe he’s come for a visit. It’s only when you start to question this “magic” do you doubt yourself and start asking other kids in the playground. Either that or some loud mouth kid ruins it for everyone. Nowadays though, kids can just search the internet and find out for themselves. Although their parents wallets will no doubt be relieved at this point. However, even without the mystical figures that are behind the modern celebrations of Christmas, it is one of the best times of year to have everyone together - the middle of December when the weather is no doubt making everyone feel shite, surely that is reason enough for a get together?





Thistlebank

Almost ten years ago now my Grandpa ,Ian MacInnes, died and I wrote the following passage for a school task. On Thursday his wife and my Granny, Jean Park Buchan, passed away and since it is often hard for me to express myself verbally I thought it was appropriate to resurface this fond memoir I have of them. 




Thistlebank is the home of my grandparents and has been for decades. It overlooks my hometown of Stromness and is one of the elegant houses hidden from the harbour behind a wall of trees. You walk in through the red gate and are greeted by the massive garden with a vast lawn on the left surrounded by trees and rose bushes which served as  my childhood playground.


In the summertime the whole family arrive in from exotic locations as far as Poland and even Lincoln. My cousins and I would play capture the flag in the garden while our  parents would all be on the patio at the top of the slope in the garden enjoying some homebrew. A giant tree on sat on the slope with a rope swing attached and it became a popular attraction in Thistlebank from the early 1960's. The tree acted as a huge parasol protecting our fair skin from the midday sun; cowering over creating a cave of leaves and timber. When on the swing we had to slowly walk backwards gaining height making sure that there were no branches peering out waiting to catch a victim before you let go and flew into the high branches.


A concrete stairway split the grassy slope into two and I would attempt to make my way up the stairs before Grandpa would swoop down collecting me as well as  empty pint glasses. He would drop me at the top of the stairs and his familiar smell of heather ale lingered in his woolen gansey[jumper] as I followed him into the kitchen. Grandpa had been bald for as long as l could remember; though his favourite blue flat cap would often cover it up leaving just a few whisps of white hair on his neck. I was told that he used to have a head thick red hair like mine but it was hard to believe as it had disappeared long before myself or a colour camera was brought into the family. Grandpa's other prominent features were his sticky-out ears and were constantly the punch line of his jokes if he wasn’t just wiggling them to make us laugh.


A large bucket of brewing heather ale was propped up on a stool and the flowery scent became stronger as I stretched my legs to let my nose touch the brim. Grandpa always let me do the job of dropping in the hydrometer and watching it bob up in the flowery froth as if a boy at sea. Grandpa would look over me cautiously as he filled up the beer mugs. He knew all too well that alcohol and small children is never a good combination - especially when the child is accident prone and the alcohol is filling a ten litre bucket.


The kitchen had a glass window looking through to Grandpa's studio. Every visible (and some no longer visible) storage space was taken up by art materials and half-finished paintings. Grandpa would often let us use his paints and those tall enough, his easel. After retirement he continued to teach, maybe not officially but he taught us as his grandchildren and was always proud when we brought home some artwork our teachers commended. On the floor of the studio there were three floorboards that had been loosened and could be lifted. Underneath there was a gateway to the house foundations and those who were small enough got the privilege of climbing around in this chamber. Soon it grew into a small underground maze, as we discovered  more than one area with loosened floorboards. It soon became a hiding place when we were told that we had to go home in ten minutes; though it took a couple of attempts to work out how long we could stay in there before a serious search party was about to be called -or so we thought.


 Across the hall from the studio was the living room. The furthest wall from the door had a fireplace in the centre with bookshelves of equal size set symmetrically on both sides. Granny spent a lot of time in this room, she had her seat next to the fireplace with the best view of the television and Grandpa sat in an armchair across from her. She sat next to the telephone as she liked to be in charge and know what was going on. Grandpa had painted a portrait of Granny in the 1940's and she was very elegantly dressed, thin, with black waved hair, Mediterranean skin tone and her hand on her hip. The only thing that had changed was her hair, it was now paper white and everything else was the same. She still carried an air of grace and class than I didn’t inherit a single drop of.  She had smoked for most of her life and was told to quit when she was eighty, though the smell of tobacco still clings to the walls if only slightly. Granny spent most of her time in the chair by the fireplace armed with the remote ready to control the telly at 6pm to start the soap marathon for the evening. With a crossword and toffees to keep her amused she would happily spend her days talking to the endless stream of visitors that came to the house - as long as it wasn’t during quiet time or the soaps. A tame seagull appeared at the living room window almost everyday, it was a mystery whether it was the same seagull or one that had heard there was free food going around. It would come and knock on the window with its beak and grandpa would greet it with his leftover toast from breakfast. The bird was aptly named Checkov after my Grandpa’s love of Russian literature.


As well as in the summer my Polish relatives would come and stay for Christmas each year.
The night before would usually consist of us all watching re-runs of Christmas specials while
begging if we can open one present since it was Christmas Eve. Once it got late we pretended to sleep though we could hear our parents being merry downstairs drowning out the sound of Santa Claus' reindeer trotting on the roof. Grandpa created the rule that we must have breakfast before opening anything but since the four of us woke up about five hours before anyone else, this rule was often breached.

New Year was also spent up at Thistlebank and there was a routine that was carried out every year. My parents, my sister and I would go up at about ten and the first hour would be meeting and greeting with a constant flow of relatives. At eleven Esti and Maria would phone their Dad in Poland and send him their "Szczęśliwy nowy rok!" Granny would greet the New Year by opening the back door to let the old year out and then the front door to let the New Year in. Everyone knows what comes next, the multiple kisses being flung in your direction from people who once knew you and you still don't know.


My memories at my Grandparents house are some of the fondest of my childhood. Both of them influenced me in obvious ways from my Grandpa’s skills with a paintbrush to my Granny’s skills on the ivory keys. They also have influenced me ways I could not have seen coming and ways I am yet to realise. They helped to reach for my dreams and let me do everything I have been so privileged to do in my still young life. However they never let me forget the importance keeping my feet on the ground once in a while. I will always wish to have spent more time with them but their influence and memories will always stay with me and I can only hope I can make good use of them and make them proud. 
If you still have Grandparents go visit them. Ask them about their life, where they grew up, their first love and their own grandparents. You'll unlock a fascinating key to a simpler time which is now so distant and forgotten. Where communication was always real and personal, broken things were fixed and cherished - not thrown away. Please, you'll regret it when it's too late.
Love,
Rose










Eurovision 2012

I sifted through them so you don't have to...


I've watched Eurovision every year since I was tiny and I think it might have something to do with my obssession with Europe. Anyone knows me that this is my, not so secret, guilty pleasure so I thought I would share with you the best and worst of this years competition, whether you thank me or hate me for it at least these are pretty darn amusing!


The Good:


Lets start with something "nice", this years bookies favourite:
Sweden
Loreen - Euphoria.

Fun fact: Euphoria has already spent three weeks topping the Swedish charts quickly surpassing Platinum status. Neighbouring Norway and Finland were quick to discover this uplifting future anthem and are currently also reporting no.1 positions.

As you may know I listen to foreign radio a lot and this has already been played on Norwegian radio for ages so expect douze points from Norway if not the rest of Scandinavia, not that that is that  big a surprise anyway. I am enjoying the bizarre Kate Bush thing going on as well as the really bizarre dance moves, such as the crab-like shuffling.



The favourite's competition:
Italy
Nina Zilli - L'Amore é Femmina (Out of Love)

Fun Fact: Nina comes from a small town in Val Trebbia which she left early on for Ireland, the US, anywhere her dreams would take her.

This is essentially Italian Amy Whinehouse, but you know as similar as a Eurovision entry can be to Amy Winehouse. She also has a fantastic name. 



Rose's MARRY ME NOW entry:
Germany
Roman Lob - Standing Still

Fun Fact: Roman Lob became famous only months ago, when he won the German talent show Unser Star Für Baku (Our Star for Baku)

Ich habe gerade geschmolzen... 



Catchiest song:
Ireland
Jedward - Waterline

Fun Fact: Most of you will know these two are twins who were forced upon us thanks to X Factor but I bet you didn't know that since their entry last year Jedward returned to Ireland where they performed in front of an audience of 60,000 people at a concert to welcome US President Barack Obama to Ireland AND they came 3rd in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother; they released their second album, Bad Behaviour and completed a sell-out tour across Ireland, UK, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Austria.

I hate Jedward as much as the rest of you, but this is annoyingly catchy, just like their entry last year...




Entries I don't actually mind that much:
Iceland
Greta Salóme &Jonsí - Never Forget

Fun Fact: This is Jónsi's second attempt at Eurovision after performing for Iceland with "Heaven" in Istanbul in 2004

These two have some pretty nice harmonies and it's got an alright arrangement with cellos, pianos and violins which is always a winner with me. Plus the woman sings and plays the violin which worked with Alexander Rybak...


and

Denmark
Soluna Samay - Should've Known Better

Fun Fact: Soluna Samay started singing in the streets at the age of 6, helping her father out, making a living as he performed in streets and alleys all over the world. Her father taught her how to play the drums, the double bass and the guitar, and before the age of 10 Soluna was writing her first songs. Since then she has played, both on her own and together with her father, earning a living every summer.

It might be because this isn't doesn't sound like standard Eurovision or it's the fact she is dressed up in fancy military clothes, but I like this one. Plus she has a nice back story :)


and 

Hungary
Compact Disco - Sound of Our Hearts

Fun Fact:Compact Disco won by popular vote the MTV Europe Music Awards 2011 in “Best Local Act - Hungary” and received a nomination to the European selection for “Worldwide Act”.

These guys seem to be actually pretty good and are big in Hungary too, they are very much like the band Hurts from the UK. I like the video for this too, it's more than the usual Eurovision guff videos.



Entries I like even though I have no idea what they are saying:
Serbia
Željko Joksimović - "Nije Ljubav Stvar"
Fun Fact:  Željko Joksimović was runner up in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest as a performer, took third and sixth places respectively as a composer in the 2006 and 2008 contests, as if that wasn't enough experience of Europe's Favourite TV Show, Željko Joksimović also co-hosted the 2008 contest in Belgrade

Serbia have gone for a different approach since Milan Stankovic( Worth looking at: http://youtu.be/DC7L6SDPL4A) and although the "hook" sounds just like "Paradise" by Coldplay this is pretty good for Eurovision standards even though I have no idea what he is raving on about. 


and

Estonia
Ott Lepland - Kuula

Fun Fact: Ott was already well known in Estonia when he was still a child. He released four albums of children's songs and performed in the theatre, but left the limelight when he became a teenager and focussed on his studies of music. The result is here: he is one of the most respected vocalists in Estonia, an excellent pianist, and the author of some of the biggest radio hits of recent years.

Classic Eurovision ballad and "Kuula" means "ball" so make that what you will. However, the translated lyrics make it "Listen", which makes much more sense (http://wiwibloggs.com/2012/02/16/kuula-lyrics-english-translation-ott-lepland-estonia-esc-2012/15453/)



An unconventional Eurovision entry:
Slovakia
Max Jason Mai - Don't Close Your Eyes

Fun Fact:  Maz Jason Mai reveres all living beings, that’s why he’s vegetarian and he doesn’t wear clothes made from leather, as he wouldn’t want to be a handbag either

This actually sounds like something I'd listen to normally, I salute you Slovakia not only do you make great goats cheese Gnocci but you put decent songs in Eurovision!

The Bad & The Ugly:

The worst (Or best depending on how you look at it)...
San Marino
Valentina Monetta -The Social Network Song

Fun Fact: Valentina Monetta was singing on a Saturday night, and that same night, the SMtv director was there by chance. She listened to her, and really appreciated her. She was the perfect singer for the song they had already selected. On the Monday they organised an audition.

I just don't even know. It's just so weird. You must listen to the lyrics of this, it's what makes it so ridiculous; "Do you want to come to my house and click me with your mouse?" I mean it is a good idea writing something on social networks but they went so wrong on this! However it is perfect Eurovision, auto tune and everything...


Winner of the Cringeworthy category is...
Latvia
Anmary - Beautiful Song

Fun Fact: Listen to the lyrics, she goes on about herself.

The cringeworthy factor is mainly in the video with it's oscar winning acting but the song itself is special too... Oh god the shuddering...


For the "WTF mate!"-factor:
Russia
Buranovskiye Babushki - Party for Everybody
Fun Fact: The eldest member of the group is 76 years old, 77 in the autumn.
I don't know whether I feel sorry for them or what. I was so hoping they were going to stick with some traditional Russian folk music. I was wrong.


Somebody call the police...
Montenegro
Rambo Amadeus - Euro Neuro

Fun Fact: Six years ago Rambo Amadeus was declared for the first ambassador of UNICEF in Montenegro. Lately he used his creativity and fame the best way he could in order to give his contribution to UNICEF’s initiative to create an environment without violence in schools. 

This is just bizarre on many, many levels. A man parading on a donkey telling us to "stop the pollution to save the kids of evolution." Mmm hmm...


Call for back-up!
Georgia
Anri Jokhadze - I'm A Joker
Fun Fact:Anri Jokhadze is the first male Georgian singer ever to represent Georgia and he is famous and loved by the Georgian audience for his distinctive artistic talent and his powerful voice with a great range of no less than four octaves!

I feel violated.


For a classic example of a Eurovision entry:
Romania
Mandinga - Zaleilah

Fun fact: Mandinga consists of 7 members: Elena (lead vocals), Alex (trumpet), Chupi (drums), El Niño (congas), Omar (piano), Zach (saxophone) and Tony (trombone). Only six of them will sing on the stage in Baku, Tony being just their Green Room supporter.

Romania are definitely going with the boobs=points by using Romania's answer to Nicole Scherzinger writhing around in the sand skantily clad.


Some people should just never attempt rap...
Austria
Trackshittaz - Woki mit deim popo

Fun Fact: Trackshittaz are flagship examples of their unique genre - “tractor gangster party rap”. 

Not only does their name sound slightly rude but it sounds like they are shouting "Fuck him mit dem  popo" which sounds like some weird amalgamation of some bizaare English/German insult/innuendo.  Usually I love everything Austria does, but this is just weird, I would love to be able to make out what they are saying...


(All "Fun facts" taken from the Eurovision.tv website)


Best of the Gotye Covers on YouTube.



Somebody That I Used to Know could easily be the most covered song of the year and there are hundreds of version out there but here is my pick of the best:

There are no words, this is just unbelievably impressive:


I love Ingrid Michaelson and this is a wonderful cover under the name of her side project Army of 3


I actually heard this remix on Nick Grimshaw's night time show before I heard the original version, and I think I almost prefer this one...


As you probably know; I love Norway and their people, and apparently I am also a big fan of their recycling. (admittedly this isn't their best mash up, I recommend you look at some as some are fantastic!)


I alsolutely love Orla's voice, plus she pulls some fantastic faces.


Because this is so different to the original it take away the "overplayed-ness" of the original, there is also a wee mash up with the Police song "King of Pain".


This woman has a beautiful voice.f


Oh my. Compare with the first.



I don't think I can ever listen to this song again...

Bonnie Scotland -03/12

I often overlook the natural beauty of Scotland, the place I am actually living in: you get used to it. It's usually shadowed by the new exciting place I am going. Too be fair the grey clouds and rain don't do it much justice but today I am travelling through Tayside on a beautiful sunny day and my god, she looks stunning.

Simple Serendipities -01/12

When I went to Norway two years ago on and expedition with BSES I shared a tent with two girls, Natasha and Gabby, for four weeks and in that kind of situation you are either going to get on each other's nerves or form an intense friendship that will last a lifetime. Luckily for me I got the later and since the expedition we have tried our hardest to meet up at least once a year. What is now, last year we decided to go see Gabriella - who is studying Psychology at Bath university - mainly because I got a cheap rail deal and miraculously we were all free.

 I love trains as it is, but this trip was going to be on another level as I had my very first experience of first class and it was all the way from Edinburgh to London. However, I started off from Dundee to Edinburgh where I had to travel with first class scotrail which, to be honest, wasn't that much different to normal except there was that awkward silence where you knew the few people in the carriage didn't think you were meant to be there. I sat around in Waverley for an hour or so until my platform was called. As I was waiting at the platform a girl came and asked me if it was the right platfrom, she as the friendliest girl I have met in a while; not the kind of person you struggle to hold a conversation with. When the train pulled up it turned out we were the furthest away from the carriages we needed as possible but unfortunately she wasn't in first class, as well she was a normal student. After swapping names and vowed to add each other on facebook we headed to our separate carriages. My encounter with Blanche (fantastic name) reminded me of one of my favourite parts of travelling; meeting really nice strangers on the way, it totally makes the actual getting there so much better!

 The first class coaches seemed to be miles away, considering the train stretches from A-O it probably was a mile away from where I started, and as I got a glimpse of the cream leather seats, coffee cups and menus I got excited. Of course I didn't want to look excited, I already stood out like a sore thumb. Although I was pretty sure I booked a window seat, I didn't have one so I waited to see if I had someone next to me. I was planning on doing some revision as I had free wifi so I sorted my piles of books and folders, there was surprisingly little room for them all, while I waited to see who was going be next too me. A young blond girl came and sat next to me, she might have been in the same position as me where first class was exciting but she looked less studenty than me and then she whapped out her Ipad so I began to think otherwise. A man followed and he did not look out of place at all, as he put his took out his iphone charger from his briefcase. Initial conversation was very typical business class; comparing apple products but soon moved onto more interesting topics and my inital judgements of my first class companions was initially wrong.

Alicia was a graduate of Employment Law from Aberdeen who was recently engaged, she was a very pretty young woman who initially didn't come from much money but she has done well for herself, and this was also her first time in first class. Keith was a very interesting man from South Africa who was initially a lawyer but he now did career guidance, he seemed like the kind of guy I would have loved as a guidence teacher. He had been everywhere and had great stories from each of those places. As the trip went on the topics continued on and it was great, free crayfish and wine were flowing all round. We spoke about university and Keith and Alicia made me feel good about myself and my choices, and the lack of a descision, and convinced me it won't be all doom and gloom when I graduate. They also thought I was selling myself short, which was in a way, nice to hear. Keith lived in London, well he had a base there anyway, and I have learnt to know my way around the Kings Cross/st. pancras complex but Alicia was only out in London for the weekend so we promised to help her find her way once we got to the station. When we did I was quite sad to leave them as I'll probably never see them again, but again I remembered how a boost it can be to serendipitously meet some interesting people. That is the great thing about travel,you meet many new friends and will miss them when you leave, but it is much better than not meeting them at all.


"Empathy"

The problem with caring for people so much is that you kind of have to accept the fact that people aren't always going to give the same compassion you show them. You have to accept that fact and not let it get you down but not to accept it too much that you do not allow yourself to be loved at all. I live my life with those around me for a reason so when they crumble, I follow. Sometimes it’s the person who tries to keep everyone company is in fact the loneliest. It’s funny how the simplest grammatical sentences are sometimes the hardest to say: Help me, I miss you, I love you, I need you. Even just “Hello” can be so fucking hard to say. Even just a hug, I'd love for just one person to know when I need a hug without asking for one.

I've kind of forgotten who I am. I can't really remember what I love to do and what makes me happy anymore. I don't know what to do with myself. I'm trying to keep up appearances but my heart is getting tired and lagging behind. I am constantly missing somebody but nobody in particular although I am surrounded by people I consider to be the closest friends I've probably ever had but I hate that my brain tells me that is not enough. I find myself staring at facebook and twitter waiting for someone to talk to without the trials of face to face conversation which I can be so bad at. To talk to fully, not just under the facade that everything is fine. There is this strange elephant in the room of the world that nobody has bad days unless they are on their period or someone’s died. Sometimes I wish I could just say I’m having a bad day. It's the point in the film where the handsome stranger that ticks all the boxes appears and solves all my problems. However, this director has no sense of direction.

London 

Every time I go to London I never want to leave. I don't know why, I don't even know it that well and I barely know anyone there but there is definately something. Every time I go I realise I miss it. Then again I don't know if I miss the place, or the person it reminds me of.

Mother Tongue 

As much as I love airports, the amount of time I have spent in them has shown me they an example of the genocide of hundreds of languages by the English language for example there are more people in China learning english than there are people in the United States. On a recent trip via Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, everything was read or done in English. Only a month before they were doing the safety briefing in both English and Dutch but now it was just in English. As much as I appreciate the need for a universal language of business, I am a budding linguist and I find it quite sad that these fascinating European languages are potentially on the way out.

I Freakin' Love Airports 

Airports are great. I know most people associate them as being somewhere to hang around fully sleep deprived before getting to where you actually want to go but I see them as an exciting hub of stories and multiculturalism. The more diverse a place with many exotic influences the better in my opinion. Imagine a Britain without pizza, curry or hoisin duck, I don't think I could survive on just carrots.

Everyone in an airport is either about to embark on an adventure or have come back with a rucksack full of stories to tell. As we all know from the film "Love Actually", an arrivals hall in an airport is bursting at the seams with emotion. Even the most cold hearted of us can't help smile when a child grinning to the ears, runs and leaps into their Dad's arms.

It's not just the airports I love, I am fascinated my the machines that they have to thank. The aeroplane is one of those feats of engineering that still seems like magic to the majority of us. I like to think of air travel as the closest thing to time travel that we will probably ever experience. Concorde especially, you could get to New York from London in about three hours and due to the time difference you technically arrived before you took off. I would love to be a pilot, I think they have the best job in the world. As a child I dreamed of getting to go in the cockpit and meet the pilot, I still do to this day! Although essentially you are just a glorified bus driver, there is such a glamour to it that is so much more enticing. I don't think you could get a better view from your office window; the sky is always a cacophony of colours you can only see high above the clouds.

It's not just planes, I am generally a fan of all methods of transport. Be it the freedom you have in a car or the rickety romantic clank of a train they are all there to get you somewhere new and exciting, to reunite with loved ones. As a person who doesn't like to stay still, airports and train stations have become some-what of a home to me. Arriving at your destination is usually considered the beginning of an adventure, but I think enjoying getting there only enhances what is yet to come.

Birthdays - 09/07

When most people get a second homework diary they just stuff it in their bag and let it fade and rot away in the depths of they're school bag. However i decide to let it help me with a challenge i always forget to do. This was to find a Birthday for every day. While i should have been listening to my guidance teacher talk about exams and the future i was flicking through my mind trying to remember my friends birthdays. During lunch i gathered some more dates and names but i didn't quite realise there were so many days in a year. The most annoying thing was that there was several people on the same day. it seems there is actually a mathematical theory behind this coincidence.


This is the probability theory of the "Birthday Paradox." This is that in a group of 23 people there is a 50% chance two people will have the same birthday. At 57+% the statistic is 99.9% but somehow it isn't 100% unless there is 366 people. Though it took me a mere three people before l got a birthday match. According to a recent survey in America most people are born on October 5th and a possible reason for this is that New Years Eve was around nine drunken months previous. Though i am yet to find someone with this Birthday. The survey also said May 22nd was the least common birth date, yet i have actually found one, single sole for that date. So not all statistics are true. So far its May 25th and June 20th at the top. The date of Feburary 29th only happens once every four years because of leap years which are 366 days long and happen every four years because of...


... The normal length of two successive vernal equinoxes is called a tropical year, and it is about 365.2422 days long.
Using a calendar with 365 days would result in an extra of 0.2422 days or almost 6 hours per year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24 days extra(and i think a year is long enough already). By adding leap years approximately every 4th year, there is the difference between twenty-four days and one extra day.


Or something like that anyway ask your physics teacher if you are desperate to know. The main reason i brought that up was because if there is anyone you know born on the 29th February their real age is four times less than it is now. Which is another birthday fact. Also, if you think about it your actual birthday only occurs once every seven years, at least. As the date of your birth moves forward every year and won't return for seven years(leave out leap years this time). For example i was born on Sunday May 31st 1992 so my next "real" birthday is in 2009.


So after finding out one thing i was intrigued to find out there was a lot more behind the Cake and presents that seemed so routine. i suppose they had to start somewhere. 'Guessing that when you celebrate your birthday you aren't doing it to wish away evil spirits? That is where the tradition originates and you would be close to your family and friends to protect yourself and cards would be sent from those who couldn't make it. Nowadays it is all for fun(which is what it should be). it is not quite known where the tradition of a birthday cake originates from but it is thought that the ancient Greeks made a round cake(to symbolise the moon) to the goddess of the moon - Artemis. Candles were added to make it look like a glowing moon. Though it is also thought to originate to the German's "geburtsagorten." Which means "Birthday Place" so it would have been used to celebrate birthdays. The first children's birthday party was held in Germany, it was called "Kinderfeste."


Birthdays are celebrated differently all over the world. Russians do not get birthday cakes, they get birthday pies. instead of icing the messages are engraved onto the pie crust. Until recently most Japanese children celebrated their birthday on January 1st, but now they are beginning to celebrate on their actual birthdays. After leaving primary one of the things that frightened me about my birthday was getting "The Bumps"(though the name has been loosely changed to "the Dumps") This included the "happy" birthday boy/girl being thrown to the sky's and quickly hurled to the ground at a stop speed. if you are in luck it won't be face down. This happening once for every year, and of course one for luck. "The Bumps" is a tradition from Ireland but not the only violent tradition. in Italy and Brazil the child gets a pull on the earlobe for every year of existence and apparently it is a tradition of the home country that the child gets a smack on the behind for every year, thankfully i haven't encountered that one before. One of the stranger traditions is from Canada; the child is first "ambushed" and then greased on the nose with butter (or margarine) and is then thought to be too slippery for evil spirits to catch them.


Our birthday has also been used as a sign into our personality using Astrology. This is when the positions of the stars can be interpreted into readings to organize personality or affairs. The horoscope astrology is the main branch of astrology related to your birthday. Early astrologers made the signs of the zodiac and named them after the constellations they felt were most important; Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. if your are born between March 21st and April 20th then you are Aries and it works that if you are Taurus you would be born between April 21st and May 21st and about a month for each from there. There's also hundreds of symbols and objects such as flowers and precious stones which are not only meant to be the one dedicated to our month it also tell us more about our personality but that we need not know. Though people do find some sort of personal satisfaction out which stone is theirs, and every one of their friends.

So there you go there is more to your birthday than cake and presents.

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