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public holidays

Links and Video of the Week (2009/15)

(I left out the German links again, so there’s not much left…)

Happy Easter!


As could be read in other places already, today is not only Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, but also “Steak and Blowjob Day”, an addition to the well-known Valentine’s day a month before; in Germany, the steaks are replaced with schnitzels, which can be abbreviated as in this post’s title.

Apart from the fact that being single means a bit of a problem to participate in this day’s celebrations – if it were going like on the “official” German site’s graphic…:


…I don’t think it would be that great after all. Or how great could a blowjob be if the woman has to keep a plate steady on her head…?

Happy Holidays!

Inspired by the Friendly Atheist and his opinion on that sign that caused a bit of controversy, here’s my little holiday poem for you:


There is no god
(thus also no son of his),
neither heaven nor hell –
is hell something you’re going to miss?
So let your mind be unfurled,
there is only our natural world.
Reason’s greatings to all :)



If you’re wondering about the seemingly contratictory nativity scene in the header image: It’s just “seasonal decoration” – comparable to those at Easter where most people who use bunnies for decoration don’t believe in the Easter bunny…

Herbs for superstition

Mullein Nothing against medicinal herbs, they can actually help. (Though certainly not against anything that’s been claimed throughout the centuries.) And nothing against some stock keeping if you know how to use the herbs and use them regularly, though nowadays it’s probably not necessary that everybody keeps large stocks. And nothing against seasoning herbs either, of course.

But do you need to carry large amounts of plants like the mullein on this photo to churches for some superstition like a herb consecration on Assumption Day(German), just to put them somewhere on the wall or elsewhere in your home afterwards and hope for all kinds of things?

Well, it’s somewhat consistent, since many twigs, branches and little trees are cut off to decorate the streets earlier in the church year on Corpus Christi(?). And people tend to hope for a lot from many things that’d look quite strange even to them if they’d really think about it. But back to the feast at hand:

“By tradition, the herb bundle is composed of vitally necessary and healing plants such as bread grain and medicinal and seasoning herbs”, Josef Stadler, county advisor for landscape conservation and horticulture in Pfaffenhofen. At the center, there’s usually the mullein, also called [translated from its German names:] king’s candle, weather candle, Mother of God candle.

(All quotes are my translations of the aforementioned German article.)

And for what purpose? (Emphasis mine.)

“According to old folk religion, the consecrated herb bundle has a high reputation. Extraordinary healing powers and effects are attributed to it.

And that just because some specially dressed man moves his hands in an idiosyncratic way and maybe sprays some water? And the number of the herbs is said to be important, even though they can’t decide on how many – 7, 9, 12, 14, 24, 72 or even 99, varying by region? (German Wikipedia) And you have to jump in circles three times on one leg and shout Ommm… sitting cross-legged afterwards? Oh, no, that stuff in the last sentence is no part of this mysticism.

In earlier times, people threw some of the consecrated herbs into the open hearth’s fire to ward off appoaching thunderstorms.

Oh, and they actually noticed that this wouldn’t work? Surprising. Or was this only stopped because open hearths have become quite rare nowadays?