Superstition

SniperK2

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#31
In my deepest self, I know it has no effect ( there are so many damn magpies around here that I'm lucky I have no superstitions regarding them) , but there's that little niggling, ' what if ' that flashes on at some moments. Having had the unverse fequently drop piles of ill fortune on my head, I ' know ' that sticking a finger up at the whole thing would result in something walloping me over the head. :)
 

escargot

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#32
My personal superstition about angels being associated with death springs from religious teaching in my childhood that people who die are chosen and sent to become angels. This idea fills me with deep horror even now and gave me nightmares as a child.

I don't think it's even a real superstition, except that I hated to hear people call my children angels when they were small.
'Angel' is a common compliment here up north for well-behaved or pretty children.
Seemed like tempting fate, as if 'someone' might hear that they had suitably angelic qualities and whisk them away. :eek!!!!:
 
A

Anonymous

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#33
Fair enough.

I must admit to the though occuring when I see pairs of magpies, that were I superstitious, that would be lucky, but that's as far as I go.

I was just wondering whether people actually took them seriously. I do think however that in certian cases, extreme superstition is actually OC disorder begining to manifest itself outwardly.

LD
 

lemonpie3

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#34
Having debated with many of you on numerous issues and knowing healthy skepticism to exist here, I must honestly ask, do any of you really believe that your response to these things, be it saluting magpies or driving may blossom from your abode, has any effect whatsoever, and if so explain how?
I don't believe in the slightest that it has any effect. Just... well... just in case... *looks sheepish*

Actually this magpie thing for me, there's one that hangs out near the first tee at my golf course. Golf, well, it's such a thin line between a good day and a bad day, I kind of think, well it can't hurt, can it?!? :D
 

phi23

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#35
I only hail a magpie if it is on its own. There's a rhyme I learnt when I was young that expalins the significance of magpies:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy.

Five for siver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
 
A

Anonymous

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#36
strangefruit said:
Thats where the "Hows your wife and children" bit comes into it. Perhaps to make it think you didnt know it had been widowed....maybe....I dont know!
Which strikes me as being rather insensitive, after all :D
 

kitsunegari

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#38
pi23 said:
I only hail a magpie if it is on its own. There's a rhyme I learnt when I was young that expalins the significance of magpies:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy.

Five for siver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
or :

One's sorrow,
two's mirth,
three's a christening
four's a dearth
five's heaven
six is hell
seven is the devil his ane sel' (own self)

Also:
One for sorrow
two for joy
three for a girl
four for a boy
five for silver
six for gold
seven for a secret never to be told
eight a wish
nine a kiss
ten is a bird you must not miss
 

Peripart

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#41
I've got a morbid fear of sharks, so I always carry a towel, as someone once told me that sharks only ever attack wet people. Don't know how true that is. Sounds a bit silly to me, but so far, so good!
 

Pentecost4

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#43
bugmum said:
There's a thought - since May is an unlucky month for weddings, and may flowers can be unlucky, perhaps emeralds were either assigned to May because they were unlucky too, or stigmatised by the connection?
Could it be that May is considered unlucky for marriage because it was, in fact, the BEST month for marriage to pre-Christain (i.e., pagan) Romans? Early Christians would certainly have wanted to discredit this belief by starting the tradition of its being unlucky.

I'm sure they weren't overly fond of the sensuality of pagan May/marriage celebrations either... ;)
 

James_H

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#44
I've noticed in folk songs, often unlucky events happen "in the month of may".

What about the researches that were in the papers a few years back proving that superstitious people were less intelligent? I felt somewhat affronted by that :p
 

psychicsue

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#45
Im not that superstitious, but I still wont walk under a ladder.
My mum is very superstitious though, she wont pick up a comb or brush if she drops it, she does the salt thing, and she also wont allow certain flowers into the house at certain times of the year. I really dont have a clue as to why though :?
 

Stormkhan

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#46
Some superstitions (such as not walking under ladders or leaving scissors open) stem, in fact, from common sense avoidance of accidents.
*Trips over a black cat, drops his hand mirror and falls head first down an open manhole.*
 

Ringo

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#47
You must never...ever...pass somebody on the stairs. Not sure why, my Mum told me so. To this day, if I meet somebody on the stairs, I walk back down (or up) and wait for them to go down (or come up)!! :D

Me too for salt throwing, magpie saluting, ladder dodging, umbrella banishing, cutlery uncrossing, no shoes or hats on beds, no shoes on tables and remember...(takes deep breath) NO PASSING ON THE STAIRS!!!
 

Stormkhan

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#48
No passing on stairs? Reducing the possibility of accidentally(?) knocking a person over, then down, a flight of stairs?
 

fluffle9

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#49
escargot1 said:
It is also said that a lost item will only be found in the last place you look for it.

Why this belief came about, I cannot say.
Well that's obvious, 'cos you stop looking when you find it, but what I want to know is why it's also in the first place you looked, two hours earlier, before rearranging the contents of your entire house looking for it.

I think the no shoes on furniture rule is pretty sensible, because shoes are dirty.
 

luvpixie

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#50
No ones mentioned broken mirrors yet have they.?
In our family if a mirror was broken,we used to bury the broken pieces somewhere they wouldn`t be disturbed,to deflect the 7 years bad luck we believed would befall us.lol!
:lol:
 

escargot

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#51
The passing on the stairs thing is, I've always believed, connected to coffins being carried out of a house. You'd have to stand aside to let the bearers pass and you don't want to tempt fate by doing that too realistically! :shock:

I use a spiral staircase several times a day at work and often pass people coming the other way. I say cheerily 'I hope you're not superstitious!' as I breeze by - can't somehow see the undertakers dragging a coffin down there! ;)

Anyway, here's a nice little Guardian article about caterers' superstitions -

A Thai restaurant in London changed sites the other day, and marked the occasion by calling in Buddhist monks to bless the new venue. This practice is apparently de rigueur in Thailand: the chanting, incense and holy water, the romance and ritual, are thought to imbue a business with good fortune and the prospect of success.

It turns out, in fact, that religion, superstition and a belief in the paranormal are surprisingly common among restaurateurs.
etc
 

Yithian

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#52
Poke around in enough Chinese and Korean restaurants and there's a fighting chance that you'll turn up a golden pig.
 
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#53
A novel approach to examining superstition and how it affects markets.

Artist tests superstition on the stock market with robot analyst
August 6th, 2012 in Technology / Software

(Phys.org) -- Shing Tat Chung, a designer, artist and graduate of the Royal College of Art, has partnered with Jim Hunt, computer programmer with a British trading group, to create what appears to be the world’s first computer controlled investment fund buyer/seller program that uses superstition to make its choices, rather than math, or science. Called Sid the Superstitious Robot, the program is the result of The Superstitious Fund Project, which Chung started to raise interest, and funds, for his initiative.

Chung has a lifelong interest in superstition; his mother was a big influence (and one of his investors). Growing up he became fascinated by the decisions people make that have no real basis in science, such a fear of black cats, or walking under a ladder. After graduation, he started a blog detailing his ideas and thoughts on the topic which included his musings following the Flash Crash of 2010, which was when worldwide stock markets took a dive, apparently because of issues with the automated buy/sell programs now used routinely throughout the world by large investment companies. This got him to wondering if such a program built on algorithms that followed superstition, rather than logic, might turn up some surprising results.

Not being a programmer himself, Chung partnered with Hunt, and together the two of them decided on the kinds of superstitious events that might impact stock purchasing decisions, i.e. Friday the thirteenth, full moons, new moons, etc. Hunt then coded those along with other standard stock trading procedures into an open source investment program and then the two turned to the internet to see if anyone would be willing to add real money to their cause. There were, they managed to garner £4828.88 via 144 investors, just prior to their official start date of June 1st, which was deemed an appropriately superstitious “good” day, by a fortune teller Chung consulted.

Thus far, the fund hasn’t done very well, it’s down about five percent, but Chung has been diligent in reminding investors that the project could result in total loss of an investment. The point is, after all, he says, to see if stock market purchasing and selling decisions are as susceptible to suggestion as are many of the other financial decisions people make on a daily basis. He also points out that the program Hunt wrote is designed to learn as it goes, thus making it potentially smarter at recognizing good and bad days, and in the end, finding out if it’s possible to make money in the stock money, using superstition as a guide.
© 2012 Phys.org

"Artist tests superstition on the stock market with robot analyst." August 6th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-08-artist-sup ... alyst.html
 

rynner2

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#54
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#55
rynner2 said:
ramonmercado said:
A novel approach to examining superstition and how it affects markets.

Artist tests superstition on the stock market with robot analyst
August 6th, 2012 in Technology / Software

...

http://phys.org/news/2012-08-artist-sup ... alyst.html
Yith posted a longer version of this story here:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewt ... 14#1244914
That was the Yith, must have missed it. But you're right its much more comprehensive.
 
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#56
Peanuts, Blackjack and Pee: Strangest Space Mission Superstitions
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/ ... rstitions/
By Tanya LewisEmail Author August 10, 2012 | 4:07 pm | Categories: Space

The tension was palpable in the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the minutes leading up to the Aug. 5 landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. Rows of headset-clad flight controllers in matching pale blue polo shirts huddled over their computers, awaiting the rover descent’s ”seven minutes of terror.” Then, seemingly from nowhere, bottles of peanuts started to appear, and soon all the engineers and scientists were munching on handfuls of the proteinaceous snack.

It’s just one of a slew of superstitious NASA traditions, and the Russian space program has its own share. So much for scientific rationality.

“We all have our rituals, and we create values associated with them,” said space historian Roger Launius of the National Air and Space Museum. “Over a period of time, institutions adopt mores that acculturate individuals into the group or define the organization. I don’t think they’re consciously created for that purpose,” he said, but “people tend to find themselves a part of this culture and want to perpetuate these traditions.”

The peanut tradition started in the 1960s during JPL’s Ranger missions, which were spacecraft designed to fly into the moon and take pictures of it. The first six Ranger spacecraft failed during launch or while leaving orbit, but on the 7th launch, someone brought peanuts into mission control, and the mission succeeded. It’s been a tradition at JPL launches and landings ever since.

These are some of the other timeless traditions of the world’s space-exploring elite:

NASA Traditions

On the day of their launch, many NASA astronauts eat scrambled eggs and steak, as a tribute to astronaut Alan Shepard, who ate this breakfast before his Mercury Freedom 7 flight in 1961.

Before a launch, the commander must play cards (supposedly either Blackjack or 5-card poker) with the tech crew until he loses a hand. The tradition’s origins are a mystery, but it may have begun during the two-man Gemini missions.
The suit-up room, where astronauts must wait an hour while purging their bodies of nitrogen, contains the same recliner chairs as it did during the Apollo era.

After the shuttle orbiter was successfully transported from the Orbital Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the managers would provide the team with round donuts and bagels. It may have to do with the fact that these foods are round like the wheels of the shuttle transporter.

After a successful launch at Kennedy Space Center, the launch controllers enjoy a hearty meal of beans and cornbread. The tradition started when Former NASA Test Director Chief Norm Carlson brought in a small crock-pot of beans after the first space shuttle launch, STS-1. Here’s his recipe (.pdf).

Dating back at least to the Apollo missions, astronauts have awoken in space to music chosen by mission control, such as Dean Martin’s “Going Back to Houston.”
Gene Kranz, the famous mission controller of Apollo 13, had his wife make him a new waistcoat for each mission. As Kranz worked to save the crew of Apollo 13, he was wearing a white vest, as depicted in the 1995 film. The vest is now displayed in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
After a launch at Kennedy Space Center, it is customary for rookie launch directors, test directors and engineers to have their neckties cut (an aviation tradition following a pilot’s first solo flight).

Russian/Soviet Traditions

Before leaving the Star City training complex near Moscow, Soyuz flight crews leave red carnations at the Memorial Wall in memory of first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and four other cosmonauts. They visit Gagarin’s office, sign his guestbook, and supposedly ask his ghost for permission to fly.

As the train that carries the Soyuz rocket booster approaches the Baikonur Cosmodrome, people place coins on the tracks to be flattened into good-luck charms.

The crew are forbidden to attend the rollout of the Soyuz rocket to the launchpad because it is said to be bad luck; instead, they must have a haircut on this day.
The night before launch, cosmonauts attend a mandatory screening of the 1969 cult movie “White Sun of the Desert.”

On launch day, the cosmonauts have a champagne breakfast and autograph their hotel room door.

At the hotel, a Russian Orthodox priest blesses the Soyuz crew and sprinkles them with holy water. This is a post-Soviet tradition, started by cosmonaut Aleksandr Viktorenko, who requested a blessing before the Soyuz TM-20 crew’s launch to Mir.

As the crew leaves the hotel, the Soviet-era rock song “The Grass Near My Home“ is played by the band Zemlyane (“The Earthlings”).
The cosmonauts travel to the launchpad in buses outfitted with horseshoes for good luck.

On their way to the launch, Russian cosmonauts are known to urinate on the right rear wheel of their transfer bus, an act supposedly performed by Yuri Gagarin. Female cosmonauts are excused, but certain women have been known to carry vials of their urine to spill in solidarity.

The Soyuz capsule carries a small talisman hung from a string, chosen by the crew commander, which signifies when weightlessness is achieved.
 

escargot

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#57
After the shuttle orbiter was successfully transported from the Orbital Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the managers would provide the team with round donuts and bagels. It may have to do with the fact that these foods are round like the wheels of the shuttle transporter.
TOTALLY rational. :roll:

One wonders what would happen to an astronaut or NASA engineer who wasn't superstitious or just didn't eat steak.
 

GNC

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#58
Here's one which baffled me: I finished reading Iain Banks' novel Espedair Street recently, and in amongst a paragraph about superstitions he mentioned blue sheets on the bed were supposed to be lucky.

Have any of you heard of that, and if so, what is it about? Or was it something made up for the book?
 

escargot

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#59
I've not heard that one before!

Edit - there's a Mexican superstition about honeymoon bed sheets being blue, to ensure that the couple's sex life will be fulfilling. Blue representing masculinity and all that, y'know.
 

GNC

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#60
Thanks, there's nothing about Mexico in the book though, if anything from the context it would be a Scottish superstition, but I've never encountered it.
 
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