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Feb 27, 2017 at 09:17 PM

Merry Religious Assimilation Day
Written by Jackspace   
Dec 23, 2005 at 05:07 PM
from: OmniNerd

VnutZ79 writes, "Nearly 4000 years past, ancient Egyptians celebrated the Winter Solstice by rejoicing in the sun god, Ra, for the coming increase in sunlight meant the fertile season approached. Honoring the sun god continued into Roman times with great feasting during Saturnalia, a week of festivities spanning the solstice week. The first recorded Christmas on December 25th took place in the 4th century, a date coinciding with the birthdate of Mithras, the Persian sun god. Pope Julius I is rumored to have adjusted Jesus' birthday to match Mithras' because the church was unable to stop the pagan celebrations and thereby could associate their festivities in Jesus' name.

Other traditions owe their roots to non-Christian origin. Evergreen trees were revered by Druids for good luck and fertility because they withstood the hardships of winter. The tree became a religious symbol of everlasting life and was decorated to symbolize the sun's power. In the 16th century, Christians began decorating the trees as means of redirecting tree worship. Yule logs were lit to remind the family of the sun's coming and its ashes were used for protective powers. Mistletoe from oak was considered magical by Druids, who even carried out ritual sacrifice to release the aphrodisiac powers from the tree's soul for fertility. Today's decorative mistletoe is a variety found only in North America. Even the story of Santa Claus predates St. Nicholas to Norse legend as Hertha appearing in fireplaces to bring luck or Wodan who left gifts beneath the evergreen tree. The tale perverts through time to include the enslavement of an elf and a horned creature that visited children of ill behavior.

Last Updated ( Dec 23, 2005 at 07:27 PM )
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Genetic implications of a good dancer
Written by Jackspace   
Dec 23, 2005 at 04:40 PM
from: The Independent

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Darren Gough was unwittingly showing off more than his prowess on the dance floor when he swept to success in Strictly Come Dancing. Scientists have found that good dancing is also a sign of genetic perfection.

Charles Darwin was the first to suggest that the universal human need to dance is part of an evolutionary phenomenon known as sexual selection - when individuals choose mates on the basis of some measure of physical attractiveness.

Now scientists have produced the first real evidence to show that dancing is indeed linked to physical well-being and that women in particular use performance on the dance floor as an indication of genetic superiority.

A study has found that men and women more admire the dancing ability of those members of the opposite sex who happen to have a greater degree of body symmetry - a proven measure of biological well-being - even though the symmetry won't have been obvious at the time.

Scientists believe the findings show that dance may have evolved to be so important in human culture because it is a way of allowing men and women to judge the symmetry and therefore underlying genetic fitness of potential mates.
Last Updated ( Dec 23, 2005 at 05:02 PM )
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Oakland council denies cannabis clubs' legality
Written by Jackspace   
Dec 22, 2005 at 08:12 PM
from: Inside Bay Area

OAKLAND — Measure Z, which made private adult use of cannabis the police department's lowest priority for law enforcement, does not allow commercial sales of the drug at private clubs, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Brimming with outrage, more than a dozen supporters of the measure, which passed with 65.2 percent of the vote in November 2004, accused council members of thwarting voters by narrowing the measure's scope.

However, a majority of the council decided allowing private clubs to sell cannabis to adults would threaten the city's medical marijuana dispensaries by inviting the federal government to crack down on Oakland.

"It would be an enforcement nightmare," said Councilmember Jean Quan.

Councilmembers Nancy Nadel and Desley Brooks voted no, and Vice Mayor Jane Brunner abstained.

Nadel and Brooks said they favored referring the matter to the Measure Z oversight committee to craft a definition of private marijuana use, cultivation, sale, possession and distribution under the ordinance.
Last Updated ( Dec 22, 2005 at 08:22 PM )
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