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Thread: Superstitions that are still with us....Yours?

  1. #1 Superstitions that are still with us....Yours? 
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    My mother recently cancelled a trip she had planned because she had failed to look at the calendar and did not want to travel on a Friday 13th.

    I had no idea that my mother was that superstitious. Just shows what can slip by, even in day to day observations.

    That caused me to ponder upon how many otherwise rational people may also observe certain superstitions, some they may not even be cognizant of, and whether or not they would be willing to share them in this thread. Anyways, I thought it might be an interesting and fun topic to explore and I might even learn of some customs that I have not yet encountered. To start, here is the definition of ...

    Full Definition of SUPERSTITION
    1
    a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation

    b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
    2
    : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

    Examples of SUPERSTITION

    It is a common superstition that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck.
    tales of superstition, witchcraft, and magic

    Origin of SUPERSTITION
    Middle English supersticion, from Anglo-French, from Latin superstition-, superstitio, from superstit-, superstes standing over (as witness or survivor), from super- + stare to stand — more at stand
    First Known Use: 13th century



    Superstition - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    I have place this same post on three forums now because the responses are varied and interesting to me. As this is human behavior, I have selected this forum. Please feel free to move if this is not appropriate.


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  3. #2  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I wonder if one of the reasons that superstition remains persistent might not be that there is some profit to be gained through the marketing of fear?

    For the first time in over a decade two of the great Western superstitions will combine bringing potentially a double dose of dire luck.
    Not only is it Friday 13th, but it is also a Full Moon. The last time this event occurred was in Oct. 13, 2000.
    Throw into the mix factors such as late licencing for the World Cup and soaring temperatures, and the more nervous among readers may just choose to stay under the covers and avoid the potential carnage.
    But why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky, and what's the truth behind the superstition? And what of the Full Moon? Why do we fear it so much and does it really affect our behaviour?
    Origins of the myth...
    Clash of the superstitions: Friday 13th coincides with a full moon


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    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    I'm not superstitious about anything. Also, I'm thinking it not appropriate for an atheist to ever be superstitious about anything for any reason. I've always thought that belief in a God is a form of superstition.

    But I might as well ask, how do other members feel about that?
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  5. #4  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I'm not superstitious about anything. Also, I'm thinking it not appropriate for an atheist to ever be superstitious about anything for any reason. I've always thought that belief in a God is a form of superstition.

    But I might as well ask, how do other members feel about that?
    I would think that any organization that follows the practice of exorcism fits the definition in my opening post.
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  6. #5  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I'm not superstitious about anything. Also, I'm thinking it not appropriate for an atheist to ever be superstitious about anything for any reason. I've always thought that belief in a God is a form of superstition.

    But I might as well ask, how do other members feel about that?
    I would think that any organization that follows the practice of exorcism fits the definition in my opening post.
    I think most people only think of the common superstitions such as bad or good luck type things and actions. Sports figures have their lucky pieces of clothing they have to wear for luck. Gamblers of all kinds are a very superstitious group. People that believe in astrology are superstitious and the list goes on and on.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=scheherazade;573913]

    Full Definition of SUPERSTITION
    1
    a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation

    b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
    2
    : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

    In many ways, "A" is more interesting to me than "B", having more to do with brains that constantly look for patterns, causes, and are uncomfortable with meaningless coincidences, however statistically likely they are to occur, as well as how we conceive of chance and probability. Even non-superstitious people find it hard to avoid the "gambler's fallacy", or the"jinx" thing. I remember watching a baseball game last spring that was almost a no-hitter (Texas Ranger's Yu Darvish) and the announcer kept mentioning that fact over and over, as he got closer and closer, and I thought "I wish he'd shut up already - He's gonna wreck it!" Which is silly of course. (But when someone got a hit in the ninth inning I kind of felt like the announcer did wreck it!) Superstitions may seem irrational, but our brains take all sorts of heuristic short cuts in processing information and that may be why even reasonable people are still vulnerable to them.
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Do not send me carnations on opening night!!! Bad luck!
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  9. #8  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Do not send me carnations on opening night!!! Bad luck!
    Please describe the origin of that belief if you are aware of it.
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Scheherazadee, it's well known in the theatre community. We also have the green room.....and it is usually green!! *L*

    Carnations should never be given to actors – this superstition goes back to a custom dating to the 19th century, when actors were employed by theatres all year long. When the theatre director wanted to tell an actress that her contract was being renewed, he would send her roses. If he sent carnations, that meant her contract was being terminated.

    Theatre Games | ArtsAlive.ca Thtre franais
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Same thing with saying, "GOOD LUCK!""....it is considered bad luck.......that is why we say, "Break A Leg".
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    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    I should buy a lottery ticket. All that luck that people aren't having has to go somewhere, so why not to me?
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  13. #12  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    GO Daecon.

    Another superstition...."If I wash my car it will rain."
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  14. #13  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Do not send me carnations on opening night!!! Bad luck!
    In Oxford they are considered good luck, as undergrads we wore them for exams (white for the first paper, red for the last, pink for all the ones in between).
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Do not send me carnations on opening night!!! Bad luck!
    In Oxford they are considered good luck, as undergrads we wore them for exams (white for the first paper, red for the last, pink for all the ones in between).
    And in theatre they aren't!!

    SO don't send me them on August 23rd!! *L*
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  16. #15  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Do not send me carnations on opening night!!! Bad luck!
    In Oxford they are considered good luck, as undergrads we wore them for exams (white for the first paper, red for the last, pink for all the ones in between).
    And in theatre they aren't!!

    SO don't send me them on August 23rd!! *L*
    Whether or not you believe in any superstitions. When your friends and acquaintances believe or practice superstitions, I'm betting you allow them to do so without complaining or calling them on it. Yes I've been guilty of that too.
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  17. #16  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    True, my mum is terrible, she has all sorts of superstitions and little rituals she does without thinking covering everything from accidentally putting clothing on inside out, seeing a spider, hating birds (or even pictures) of them in the house to spilling salt etc. etc (there are too many to list them all these are just the major ones!). I remember even as a 5 year old watching her thinking "what the hell are you doing that for?" but now we just have a chuckle and let her get on with it
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    Forum Senior pineapples's Avatar
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    “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”


    I give you the magpie!



    Now I’m not Superstitious, or so I like to think. However, If I do spot a sole magpie nearby, it can ever so slightly irritate me, known that one magpie is supposed to bring bad luck. If I soon spot a second magpie, then I’m no longer subjected to my irrational annoyance. Either way, I’ll quickly get over it, move on, and forgot all about it. Until the next sighting…
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    Forum Senior pineapples's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I'm not superstitious about anything. Also, I'm thinking it not appropriate for an atheist to ever be superstitious about anything for any reason. I've always thought that belief in a God is a form of superstition.

    But I might as well ask, how do other members feel about that?
    Maybe not so inappropriate as you think? I’ve heard before that pigeons are known to be superstitious. I’m also speculating most if not all pigeons are atheist!

    I think this is where I may have picked this up from -See wiki ‘Superstitious pigeons’ for the experiment
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  20. #19  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I'm not superstitious about anything. Also, I'm thinking it not appropriate for an atheist to ever be superstitious about anything for any reason. I've always thought that belief in a God is a form of superstition.

    But I might as well ask, how do other members feel about that?
    Maybe not so inappropriate as you think? I’ve heard before that pigeons are known to be superstitious. I’m also speculating most if not all pigeons are atheist!

    I think this is where I may have picked this up from -See wiki ‘Superstitious pigeons’ for the experiment
    Damn pigeons! Just another reason for calling someone a bird brain. But let me ask this, if you were gambling, wouldn't you want the other gamblers to believe you were a superstitious fool?
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  21. #20  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    I do see the four leaf clover (But I'm not sharing)
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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    I stopped believing in superstition once I reached the age of reasoning.

    I play the odds, that is about as far into superstition as I go. Such as a slot machine that has not paid out in a while will be more likely to pay out in the future, due to their programming to issue a win so many spins. Of course, slots is one of the worst games you can play, its one of the few where you can play the odds.

    I have no superstitions, Can still get scared on occasion but no superstitions.
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    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post


    I do see the four leaf clover (But I'm not sharing)

    Luck Hoarder!
    "Cultivated leisure is the aim of man."
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  24. #23  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Damn ya Bad Robot!! BUSTED!!!
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  25. #24  
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    Cricketers, Catholics and Chinese all hang on to superstition. Where did it all arise? Possibly from ancestor worship found all over the ancient world, and which the Chinese in particular still practice. Babies need to be born in the Year of the Dragon for the best fortune.
    Ancestors were worshipped because it was believed that they could bring good crops.
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  26. #25  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    We all have a little superstition in us.
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    Walking under ladders and breaking mirrors were two I remember people freaking about when I was younger.
    And seeing one magpie. People would salute it. Although, sometimes if you look around on rooftops etc you might be lucky to see another one.
    Another one was not to give salt away on a certain day of the week. Can't remember it entirely.
    I mean, who borrows salt these days?
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  28. #27  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    We all have a little superstition in us.
    Ms Babe,

    I very much agree, and most people
    have two superstitions in common.
    Can anyone guess what they are?

    Wishing you all the best.

    Good luck,

    JRMonroe
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Don't know Mr. Monroe.....in my family it was seeing a white horse. If you saw one you spit in your palm and clapped!! *L* That was a Slovenian one.

    Mine are theatre ones.

    The Resident Theatre Ghost, Bertha who would move our stuff.

    Carnations.

    The bad luck of wishing good luck...
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  30. #29  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Live Science takes a look at the 13 most common superstitions...

    13 Common (But Silly) Superstitions | Friday the 13th Superstitions | Myths, Legend and Tradition
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  31. #30  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Don't know Mr. Monroe.....
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Wishing you all the best.

    Good luck,
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  32. #31  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Wow! What a list.

    A List of Good Luck and Bad Luck Superstitions



    • 13: An unlucky number
    • 3: a lucky number that signifies strength because of the Trinity
    • 666: The Devil's number, bad luck
    • 7: a lucky number
    • A bird that comes in your window brings bad luck
    • A bride should be carried through the door of their new home for good luck.
    • a buckeye in your pocket is good luck
    • A cat has nine lives A cat will try to take the breath from a baby
    • A cricket in your house is good luck.
    • A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.
    • A drowned woman floats face up, a drowned man floats face down
    • A forked branch, held with a fork in each hand, will dip and point when it passes over water
    • A groom seeing the bride before the wedding is supposed to be bad luck.
    • A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away.
    • A lock of hair from a baby's first haircut should be kept for good luck
    • A peculiar noise heard three times in succession at night, means someone will die.
    • A rabbit's foot brings good luck
    • A ring around the moon means that rain will come in three days.
    • A sailor wearing an earring cannot drown
    • a small new potato in your pocket will help with arthritis
    • After receiving a container of food, the container should never be returned empty
    • An acorn at the window can keep lightning out of the house
    • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
    • An itchy palm means money will come your way
    • Ancient roman soldiers often observed ants. If the ants were fighting, it meant the enemy was near.
    • At the end of a rainbow is a pot of gold
    • Cats go crazy when a death occurs in their environment and consequently are kept out of the house on such occasions.
    • Clothes worn inside out will bring good luck
    • Cold hands, warm heart
    • Cover mirrors during thunderstorms to prevent lightning coming in to the house.
    • Crossing your fingers helps to avoid bad luck and helps a wish come true
    • Don't break a mirror
    • Don't kill spiders
    • Don't let a black cat cross your path.
    • Don't let moonlight shine on your washing, or they'll be the clothes for a funeral
    • Don't marry in may
    • Don't open an umbrella inside - it is unlucky.
    • Don't put new shoes on the table
    • Don't put shoes on a table or counter
    • Don't step on a crack
    • Don't sweep over anyone's feet
    • Don't walk under a ladder
    • Dream of a birth, someone will soon die. Dream of a death, a baby is coming.
    • Dream the same thing 3 times, it will come true.
    • Eating fish makes you smart
    • Evil spirits cannot harm you when you are standing in a circle
    • Find a penny pick it up but only if it faces heads up & you will have a day of good luck
    • Four leaf clover is good luck
    • Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day
    • Garlic protects from evil spirits and vampires
    • Goldfish in the house bring bad luck
    • Goldfish in the pond bring good luck
    • If a bird flies into your house a death will occur.
    • If a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck
    • If a flying bird hits your window and dies, someone will soon die.
    • If all the food on the table is eaten it will be a clear day tomorrow.
    • If an important object from someone cracks, it's a bad omen for them.
    • If bird poop lands on you, it is good luck.
    • If salt is borrowed from anyone, pay it back with sugar or bad luck will come to you.
    • If the bottom of your feet itch, you will make a trip
    • If the groom sees her in her wedding dress before the wedding is also considered bad luck and is believed to lead to an unhappy marriage.
    • If two forks are laid at a plate with no knife you will be invited to a wedding.
    • If you answer a witches question, she can take something from you.
    • If you blow out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first breath you will get whatever you wish for.
    • If you break a mirror, seven years of bad luck will follow.
    • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
    • If you count the number of rigs in a funeral procession you will soon have a death in your own family.
    • If you cut your hair or fingernails at night, ghosts will come around.
    • If you drop a dish towel on the floor, a worse housekeeper than yourself is coming to visit you.
    • If you drop a fork, a man will come to visit you.
    • If you drop a piece of silverware someone is coming from the direction it is pointing
    • If you drop spoon, a woman will come to visit you.
    • if you hold a toad & it pees on you you will get a wart
    • If you pee in the road you will get a sty in your eye
    • If you see a black spider a stranger coming
    • If you shiver, someone is casting a shadow on your grave
    • If you smash a mirror, you have 7 years of bad luck.
    • If you sneeze cover your mouth so your soul doesn't fall out
    • If you spill some salt, pick some of it up and throw it over your left shoulder to stop bad luck from coming.
    • If you start to go somewhere and come back for something you will have bad luck.
    • If you sweep under a person's feet, that person will never get married.
    • If you walk beneath a ladder, you have several years of bad luck.
    • If you wash on the last Friday of the year you wash out one of your family members.
    • If your ear begins to itch or burn someone is talking about you
    • If your index finger itches you should go play the lottery
    • If your nose itches someones coming that you know
    • It is bad luck to chase someone with a broom
    • It is bad luck to put new shoes on a bed (or a table).
    • It is bad luck to sing at the table
    • It is bad luck to sleep on a table
    • It is good luck to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day.
    • It is unlucky to rock an empty rocking chair
    • It's bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.
    • Keep a shallow bowl of water at your kitchen window so keep out evil coming in thru the glass. Evil cannot cross over water.
    • Keep garlic hanging in the doorway of your kitchen to keep out all people who wish you harm.
    • killing a cricket is bad luck
    • Leaving a dwelling from a door different from the one you entered is bad luck.
    • Lift your feet up when driving over railroad tracks for good luck.
    • Never begin a task on a Friday that you can't finish that week, or expect ill.
    • Never invite a door knocker to come in without seeing who is there first. It might be an evil spirit.
    • Never say "thank you" when someone gives you a plant or it will die.
    • Never shut a pocket knife someone else opened, they must shut it themselves
    • Never tickle a baby's feet because it will make it stutter.
    • Our fate is written in the stars
    • Placing a hat on a table is bad luck.
    • Placing a hat on the bed is bad luck.
    • Placing keys on a table means bad luck.
    • Plaster or stone lions or dragons at the foot of stairs will frighten away demons.
    • Play with fire and you will pee in the bed that night.
    • Put a pair of open scissors under your pillow for good luck and to keep away evil spirits
    • Putting a line of salt across all entrances to your house will stop all evil from coming in.
    • See a 'ghost' of yourself, you will soon die.
    • Share a pillow with a dog, and you will have the same dreams.
    • Smell dandelions, wet the bed
    • Step on a crack, break your mother's back
    • The number of fogs in August predict the number of snow storms the following winter.
    • The wedding veil protects the bride from the evil eye
    • To break a mirror will bring you seven years bad luck
    • To cure a sty, rub it with a gold wedding band
    • To drop a dishcloth means bad luck is coming
    • To drop a fork means a woman will visit
    • To drop a knife means a man will visit
    • To drop a spoon means a child will visit
    • To find a four-leaf clover is to find good luck
    • To find a horseshoe brings good luck
    • To find a penny heads up, brings good luck
    • To give someone a purse or wallet without money in it will bring that person bad luck
    • To kill an albatross is to cause bad luck to the ship and all upon it
    • To make a happy marriage, the bride must wear: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
    • To open an umbrella in the house is to bring bad luck
    • To refuse a kiss under mistletoe causes bad luck
    • Toads cause warts
    • Two deaths in the community will be followed by a third.
    • walking past a pole with someone it is bad luck to split up & each go around on different sides of it.
    • Walking with one shoe on & one shoe off will make you have some kind of leg or foot problem one day
    • Warm hands, cold heart
    • Washing a car will bring rain
    • Wearing an opal when it is not your birthstone is bad luck
    • Wearing your birthstone will bring you good luck
    • When a dog howls, death is near
    • When chimney smoke goes to the ground, bad weather will follow.
    • When leaves on trees turn up, a storm is coming.
    • When someone dies in a house cover up all the mirrors or their ghost will get trapped.
    • When you hang a horse shoe on the wall, never hang it facing down or all the luck will run out of it.
    • When you speak of good luck, always knock on wood.
    • When your palm itches, you will come into some money.
    • Wild birds inside the house are considered bad luck.
    • You can break a bad luck spell by turning seven times in a clockwise circle
    • You must get out of bed on the same side you got in on or you will have bad luck
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  33. #32  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I try to find things like a ladder which I will walk under a few times to show I have no superstitions. I owned a black cat.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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  34. #33  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    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”[/I][/SIZE]

    I give you the magpie!

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    I try to find things like a ladder which I will walk under a few times to show I have no superstitions. I owned a black cat.
    Walking under ladders is a daft thing to do for safety reasons.

    But ... black cats. If you're looking for a rescue cat, take a black one if it's there. Animal welfare groups complain that this superstition means that perfectly nice cats don't get adopted just because they're black all over. (A lot of people make an exception for those with white patches apparently.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The owl is a creature surrounded by superstition.

    In some cultures, the owl is bad luck, while in others, it is a blessed creature. Here is an even longer list that that posted by Bad Robot, yet I found it quite fascinating.
    Hopefully, some of you will also enjoy these interesting worldwide beliefs concerning....Whooooooo, whooooooo, whooooooo....?

    Abyssinia: the Hamites held the Owl to be sacred.
    Afghanistan: the Owl gave Man flint and iron to make fire - in exchange, Man gave the Owl his feathers.
    Africa, Central: the Owl is the familiar of wizards to the Bantu.
    Africa, East: the Swahili believe the Owl brings illness to children.
    Africa, Southern: Zulus know the Owl as the sorcerers' bird.
    Africa, West: the messenger of wizards and witches, the Owl's cry presages evil.
    Algeria: place the right eye of an Eagle Owl in the hand of a sleeping woman and she will tell all.
    Arabia: the Owl is a bird of ill omen, the embodiment of evil spirits that carries off children at night.
    According to an ancient Arabic treatise, from each female Owl supposedly came two eggs, one held the power to cause hair fall out and one held the power to restore it.
    Arabs used to believe that the spirit of a murdered man continues to wail and weep until his death is avenged. They believed that a bird that they called "al Sada" (or the death-owl) would continue to hoot over the grave of a slain man whose death had not been avenged. The bird would continue to hoot endlessly until the slain man's death was avenged.
    Arctic Circle: a little girl was turned into a bird with a long beak by magic, but was so frightened she flapped about madly and flew into a wall, flattening her face and beak. So the Owl was created.
    Australia: Aborigines believe bats represent the souls of men and Owls the souls of women. Owls are therefore sacred, because your sister is an Owl - and the Owl is your sister.
    Aztecs: one of their evil gods wore a Screech Owl on his head.
    Babylon: Owl amulets protected women during childbirth.
    Belgium: legend has it that a priest offered the Owl his church tower to live in if the bird would get rid of the rats and mice that plagued his church.
    Bordeaux: throw salt in the fire to avoid the Owl's curse
    Borneo: the Supreme Being turned his wife into an Owl after she told secrets to mortals.
    Brittany: an Owl seen on the way to the harvest is the sign of a good yield.
    Burma: during a quarrel among the birds, the Owl was jumped upon and so his face was flattened.
    Cameroom: too evil to name, the Owl is known only as "the bird that makes you afraid".
    Carthage: the city was captured by Agathocles of Syracuse (Southern Italy) in 310 BC. Afterward, he released Owls over his troops and they settled on their shields and helmets, signifying victory in battle.
    Celtic: the Owl was a sign of the underworld.
    China: the Owl is associated with lightning (because it brightens the night) and with the drum (because it breaks the silence). Placing Owl effigies in each corner of the home protect it against lightning. The Owl is a symbol of Too much Yang (positive, masculine, bright, active energy).
    Croatia: The Owl is a symbol of City of Krk on the island of Krk, and is also protector of the island of Solta, where it is called "cuvitar". (Jadranka Lukacic)
    Ethiopia: a man condemned to death was taken to a table on which an Owl was painted, and then expected to take his own life.
    Etruria: to the Etruscans of Ancient Italy the Owl was an attribute of the god of darkness.
    France: when a pregnant woman hears an Owl it is an omen that her child will be a girl.
    Germany: if an Owl hoots as a child is born, the infant will have an unhappy life.
    "A charm against the terrible consequences of being bitten by a mad dog was to carry the heart and right foot of an Owl under the left armpit." (Encyclopedia of Superstitions)
    Greenland: the Inuit see the Owl as a source of guidance and help.
    Hawaii: Owls feature in old war chants.
    Incas: venerated the Owl for its beautiful eyes and head.
    India: Seizures in children could be treated with a broth made from Owl eyes. Rheumatism pain was treated with a gel made from Owl meat. Owl meat could also be eaten as a natural aphrodisiac. In northern India, if one ate the eyes of an Owl, they would be able to see in the dark. In southern India, the cries of an Owl were interpreted by number: One hoot was an omen of impending death; two meant success in anything that would be started soon after; three represented a woman being married into the family; four indicated a disturbance; five denoted coming travel; six meant guests were on the way; seven was a sign of mental distress; eight foretold sudden death; and nine symbolized good fortune. In parts of the Indian sub-continent people believed that the Owl was married to the bat.
    The Barn owl is the "vahana" (transport/vehicle/mount) of the Hindu goddess of wisdom, Lakshmi. As such, the owl is held as a symbol of wisdom and learning. The eagle owls, especially the rock eagle owl [Bubo bengalensis] and the brown fish owl [Bubo zeylonensis] are called " ullu" in Hindi and the word is also used as a synonym for "idiot" or "imbecile". The most chilling sound during the quiet and cold winter nights in the plains of Bengal is perhaps the call of the " kaal penchaa", the Brown Hawk Owl. The rhythmic "kuk - kuk - kuk" is believed to be a foreboding of impending death. Information thanks to Anirban Brahmachari of Northern India.
    Indonesia: Around Manado, on the isle of Sulawesi, People consider Owls very wise. They call them Burung Manguni. Every time someone wants to travel, they listen to the owls. The owls make two different sounds; the first means it is safe to go, and the second means it's better to stay at home. The Minahasa, people around Manado, take those warnings very seriously. They stay at home when Manguni says so. Information thanks to Alex van Poppel.
    Iran: In Farsi the Little Owl (Athene Noctua) is called "Joghde-kochek". It is said that this bird brings bad luck. In Islam, it's forbidden (Haram) to eat.
    Ireland: An Owl that enters the house must be killed at once, for if it flies away it will take the luck of the house with it.
    Israel: in Hebrew lore the Owl represents blindness and desolation and is unclean.
    Jamaica: to ward off the Owl's bad luck, cry "Salt and pepper for your mammy".
    Japan: among the Ainu people the Eagle Owl is revered as a messenger of the gods or a divine ancestor. They would drink a toast to the Eagle Owl before a hunting expedition. The Screech Owl warns against danger. Though they think the Barn Owl and Horned Owl are demonic. They would nail wooden images of owls to their houses in times of famine or pestilence.
    Latvia: when Christian soldiers entered his temple, the local pagan god flew away as an Owl.
    Lorraine: spinsters go to the woods and call to the Owl to help them find a husband.
    Luxembourg: Owls spy treasures, steal them and hoard them.
    Continued....
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    ...from preceding.

    Madagascar: Owls join witches to dance on the graves of the dead.
    Malawi: the Owl carries messages for witches.
    Malaya: Owls eat new-born babies.
    Mayarts: Owls were the messengers of the rulers of Xibalba, the Place of Phantoms.
    Mexico: the Owl makes the cold North wind (the gentle South wind is made by the butterfly). The Little Owl was called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead", and flew between the land of the living and the dead.
    Middle East: the owl is linked with destruction, ruin and death. They are believed to represents the souls of people who have died un-avenged. Seeing an owl on the way to battle foretells a bloody battle with many deaths and casualties. Seeing an owl at somebody's house predicts their death. Seeing an owl in your sleep is fine as long as you don't hear it's voice. An Owl's sound forecasts a bad day.
    A person who nags and complains a lot is compared to an owl. When someone is grumpy or is delivering bad news, they are said to have a face like an owl.
    Mongolia: the Burial people hang up Owl skins to ward off evil.
    Mongolia, Inner: Owls enter the house by night to gather human fingernails.
    Morocco: the cry of Owls can kill infants. According to Moroccan custom, an Owl's eye worn on a string around the neck was an effective talisman to avert the "evil eye."
    New Zealand: to the Maoris it is an unlucky bird.
    Newfoundland: the hoot of the Horned Owl signals the approach of bad weather.
    Nigeria: in legend, Elullo, a witch and a chief of the Okuni tribe, could become an Owl.
    In certain parts of Nigeria, natives avoid naming the Owl, referring to it at "the bird that makes your afraid".
    Persia: wizards use arrows tipped with a bewitched man's fingernails to kill Owls.
    Peru: boiled Owl is said to be a strong medicine.
    Poland: Polish folklore links Owls with death. Girls who die unmarried turn into doves; girls who are married when they die turn into Owls.
    An owl cry heard in or near a home usually meant impending death, sickness, or other misfortune.
    An old story tells how the Owl does not come out at during the day because it is too beautiful, and would be mobbed by other, jealous birds.
    Puerto Rico: The Owl is called "Mucaro". Back in the 1800s, the people from the mountain coffee plantations used to blame the little mucaro for the loss of coffee grains. The belief was that the coffee was part of the owls' diet, and many owls were killed.
    There are old folklore songs on the subject, one goes like this:
    "Poor Mucaro
    you're a gentleman
    you just want to eat a rat,
    then the rat set up a trap,
    he eats the coffee grains
    and people blame you."

    Romania: the souls of repentant sinners flew to heaven in the guise of a Snowy Owl.
    Russia: hunters carry Owl claws so that, if they are killed, their souls can use them to climb up to Heaven.
    Tartar shamen of Central Russia could assume Owl shapes.
    Kalmucks hold the Owl to be sacred because one once saved the life of Genghis Khan.
    Samoa: the people are descended from an Owl.
    Saxony: the Wend people say that the sight of an Owl makes child-birth easier.
    Scotland: it's bad luck to see an Owl in daylight.
    Shetland Isles: a cow will give bloody milk if scared by an Owl.
    Siberia: the Owl is a helpful spirit.
    Spain: legend has it that the Owl was once the sweetest of singers, until it saw Jesus crucified. Ever since it has shunned daylight and only repeats the words 'cruz, cruz' ('cross, cross').
    Sri Lanka: the Owl is married to the bat.
    Sumeria: The goddess of death, Lilith, was attended by Owls.
    Sweden: the Owl is associated with witch's.
    Tangiers: Barn Owls are the clairvoyants of the Devil.
    Transylvania: farmers used to scare away Owls by walking round their fields naked.
    Ural Mountains: Snowy Owls were made to stay behind while other birds migrate as a punishment for deception.
    U.S.A: if you hear an Owl-cry you must return the call, or else take off an item of clothing and put it on again inside-out.
    Louisiana: Owls are old people and should be respected.
    Louisiana Cajuns (individuals who share the French-based culture originally brought to Louisiana by exiles from the French colony of Acadia in the 18th century) thought you should get up from bed and turn your left shoe upside down to avert disaster, if you hear an Owl calling late at night.
    Illinois: kill an Owl and revenge will be visited upon your family.
    New Mexico: the hooting of Owls warns of the coming of witches.
    Wales: an Owl heard among houses means an unmarried girl has lost her virginity.
    If a woman is pregnant and she alone hears an owl hoot outside her house at night then her child will be blessed.
    In Welsh mythology, Blodeuedd, a woman made from flowers, is cursed by her husband's uncle, turning her into an owl. "You are never to show your face to the light of day, rather you shall fear other birds; they will be hostile to you, and it will be their nature to maul and molest you wherever they find you."
    References:
    Browne, Vee. 1995. "Animal Lore & Legend: Owl". Scholastic
    Collaborative. . "Wikipedia". Wikimedia Foundation
    Knowling, Philip. 1998. "A Wisdom of Owls". Avenue Press
    Weinstein, Krystyna. 1990. "The Owl In Art Myth & Legend". Universal Books Limited
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  38. #37  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    The owl is a creature surrounded by superstition.

    In some cultures, the owl is bad luck, while in others, it is a blessed creature. Here is an even longer list that that posted by Bad Robot, yet I found it quite fascinating.
    Hopefully, some of you will also enjoy these interesting worldwide beliefs concerning....Whooooooo, whooooooo, whooooooo....?
    My list was longer but I had to shorten it due to length constraints.
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  39. #38  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Size matters?

    Okay.

    The point on size is conceded to Bad Robot.

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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Speaking of attitude, I saw the fox jump up on the table on our deck just five feet from the window, looking to see if there was any food in the bird dish. Suddenly, a blur from left field...
    Our cat, Chai, had been sitting motionless on the deck rail and she just launched herself and landed on the head of the fox, who spun tail and bolted.
    The cat was riding the face of the fox and she calmly jumped off as the fox cleared the stairs, and watched it depart.

    Pretty impressive sight.

    We has a guard cat, lol.
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  41. #40  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Superstitions give those who believe in them the illusion of having control and power that they do not.
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Don't know Mr. Monroe.....
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Wishing you all the best.

    Good luck,
    Just don't tell me that on Opening Night!! or I'll have to slap you with a wet noodle!
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Love it scheh!
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  44. #43  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Superstitions give those who believe in them the illusion of having control and power that they do not.
    Belief in superstition also gives away one's power and I suspect that it is this psychology which has allowed them to endure for as long as they have. Fear of the unknown, even something as simple as natural weather events and airplane travel has allowed insurance companies to make a fortune by selling people additional insurance against accidental death, earthquakes , fire etc. 'just in case'. Some precautions are logical and prudent, while others are simply profitable to the broker as they know the improbability of occurrence while they happily milk our apprehensions that have been enabled through the cultural persistence of these ideas.

    No soldier ever went to war thinking that god or fate was on the side of the enemy or as another veteran once said, "There are no atheists in foxholes." Every man there, is hoping that the odds are in his favor.
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  45. #44  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    From Wikipedia...

    Three on a match (also known as third on a match or unlucky third light) is a supposed superstition among soldiers during the Crimean War to World War I. The superstition goes that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, one of the three would be killed or that the man who was third on the match would be shot. Since then it has been considered bad luck for three people to share a light from the same match.

    The belief was that when the first soldier lit his cigarette, the enemy would see the light; when the second soldier lit his cigarette from the same match, the enemy would take aim and note if the soldier was friendly or foe; when the third soldier lit his cigarette from the same match, the enemy would fire. Another explanation for this was that the first to light the match gave an enemy marksman the range to the target, the second gave the windage on the target, and the third one was shot using this information.
    The superstition is popularly alleged to have been invented in the mid- to late 1920s by the Swedish match tycoon Ivar Kreuger in an attempt to get people to use more matches but it appears he merely made very shrewd use of the already existing belief which may date to the Boer War. In the 1916 novel The Wonderful Year the following explanation is given: "It arises out of the Russian funeral ritual in which the three altar candles are lit by the same taper. To apply the same method of illumination to three worldly things like cigars or cigarettes is regarded as an act of impiety and hence as unlucky."[4]

    An article by John G. Bourke, January 5, 1894, describes the superstition among the Mexican population of the Rio Grande region in the southern United States near Fort Ringgold, Texas: "Numbers - If three men light their cigarillos from the same match, bad luck will surely overtake one of them soon. (Alberto Leal.)"[5]
    Usage in popular media


    • In Joseph von Sternberg's 1928 silent film The Docks of New York one character offers the male and female leads each a cigarette, then takes one for himself. He strikes a match and lights his, then the male lead's, then slowly extends the match to the woman. She knocks his hand away, claiming he was trying to bring her bad luck.


    • First National Pictures released a film in 1932 called The Match King, starring Warren William;[6] it was loosely based on the life of the Swedish match tycoon Ivar Kreuger and depicts the protagonist creating the "three on a match" superstition in order to sell more matches.


    • The 1932 Hollywood film Three on a Match made use of the superstition, but also had a graphic of a "Believe it or Not" newspaper clip that explains Kreuger's exploitation of the superstition. The character in the film who is "third on the match" does die at the end of the picture and the final scene depicts the surviving two sharing a match.


    • The 1939 Hollywood film At the Circus makes reference to the superstition when Groucho Marx refuses Chico Marx's offer of lighting his cigar, by way of a midget, by saying "Ah ah! Bad luck, three on a midget!"


    • The 1941 Hollywood film (Warner Bros) Dive Bomber includes a scene during the initial character introductions where Fred MacMurray quickly blows out the match when another pilot attempts to light a third cigarette, then takes a lighter out of his own pocket to finish the job.


    • The 1945 Hollywood film Scarlet Street had this as a piece of foreshadowing in the opening scene. When 2 men light their cigars, Chris (Edward G. Robinson) is offered to light his as well, but hesitates. At that, his boss puts in the dig, "What's wrong, you aren't superstitious, are you Chris?"


    • The 1946 Hollywood film "The Best Years of Our Lives" makes reference to the superstition as the 3 protagonists, Captain Fred Derry, Sergeant Al Stephenson and sailor Homer Parrish are returning to their hometown in the nose of a B-17. After lighting Fred and Al's cigarettes with a match, Homer asks if anyone is superstitious? Although his compatriots reply that they aren't, Homer states that he is and uses another match to light his own cigarette.


    • The satirical 1983 British film Bullshot starts out in the trenches of World War I with the hero of the story, Captain Hugh "Bullshot" Crummond, explaining the concept of "three on a match" to some of the young soldiers under his command.


    • American television series Mad Men referenced the superstition in Season 1, Episode 7 (Red in the Face). While Roger Sterling, Jr. refers to the "original" World War I superstition, the character of Don Draper makes light of it, referring to Kreuger's canny marketing ploy.[7] including the fact that it was used in an attempt to sell more matches.


    • The Perry Mason story and the film based on the novel The Case of the Howling Dog have a reference to 'three cigarettes one match'. Perry Mason uses one match to light Della Street's cigarette then Paul Drake's cigarette and is prevented from lighting his own with the same match by Della Street.


    • The Edwin McCain song "Take Me" from the album Misguided Roses uses extensive metaphors about warfare, including the verse: "Well, now, three on a match is suicide / In the foxhole of my mind / And way off in the distance / The air raid sirens whine."


    • In a flashback during the Archer episode "The Double Deuce" to Woodhouse's time in World War I, the pilot Woodhouse served as a personal assistant to (and developed romantic feelings towards) was killed after asking Woodhouse for a cigarette and the latter lighting it three times (though with different matches) causing an enemy sniper to spot him, take aim and fire with each lighting.




    • Nas's song, "What Goes Around" from his album Stillmatic references the superstition in his extensive critique on the negativity prevalent in modern society, saying "You know, the usual, death comes in threes."


    • Eddie Bell, a character in "Early Doors", a pub sitcom, blows out landlord Ken Dixon's match when he is third in line to have his celebratory King Edward cigar lit, much to Ken's chagrin.


    • In the 2004 French film Clara et moi, Antoine associates this superstition with his girlfriend having been tested positive for HIV, since he lit her cigarette which was third in a row with the same matchstick and forbids his friend from doing so at another point in the film.


    • The Alarm song "Third Light" from the album Declaration includes the verse: "First light: the sniper saw you / second light: took careful aim / third light: he pulled that trigger / on the gun / Dead dead dead."
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    A few other superstitions attributed to the military...

    1) Never step into a helicopter, or onto APC with your left foot.
    2) Never shave before a mission.
    3) Once done packing a parachute, spit 3 times, over the left shoulder.
    4) When lighting a cigarette from someone else's match, always lightly hit their arm 3 times with your finger.
    5) Never clean your boots in the morning.
    6) Never sweep the barrack in the evening.
    7) When loading a wounded guy, always load him with his feet facing the
    truck (helicopter, APC).
    8) Always kiss the last bullet before loading it into a magazine.
    9) While jumping from the plane, always quickly turn your head slightly to the right.
    10) Give a "name" to your rifle.
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    When I was working on the research aircraft there was one guy who never ate anything with wings for 24 hours before a flight. (The backstory is he was once violently ill after eating a smoked pigeon salad for dinner the night before a low altitude flight on which he was spectularly ill -- we're talking full on stomach pump of a technicolour yawn -- he blamed the pigeons revenge and never risked it again )
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Sailors are also a superstitious lot...

    1. No bananas on board.

    At the height of the trading empire between Spain and the Caribbean in the 1700's, most cases of disappearing ships happened to be carrying a cargo of bananas at the time.

    4. No Whistling on Board

    Mariners have long held the belief that whistling or singing into the wind will "whistle up a storm".

    9. Don't Sail On These Days...

    Don't Sail On Thursdays, Fridays, the first Monday in April or the second Monday in August.

    • Fridays: Fridays have long been considered unlucky days, likely because Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday.
    • Thursdays: Thursdays are bad sailing days because that is Thor's day, the god of thunders and storms.
    • First Monday in April: The first Monday in April is the day Cain slew Abel
    • Second Monday in August: The second Monday in August is the day the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

    Superstitious sailors believe that the only good day to set sail is Sundays.

    11. Don't change the name of the boat.


    It's bad luck to change the name of the boat. Boats develop a life and mind of their own once they are named and Christened. If you do rename the boat- you absolutely must have a de-naming ceremony. This ceremony can be performed by writing the current boat name on a piece of paper, folding the paper and placing it in a wooden box then burning the box. After, scoop up the ashes and throw them into the sea.


    13. Avoid Gingers

    Red heads were thought to bring bad luck to a ship if you happened to encounter one before boarding. However, if you speak to the redhead before they get the chance to speak to you, you're saved.

    Very Superstitious: 13 Sailor Superstitions
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  49. #48  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    When I was working on the research aircraft there was one guy who never ate anything with wings for 24 hours before a flight. (The backstory is he was once violently ill after eating a smoked pigeon salad for dinner the night before a low altitude flight on which he was spectularly ill -- we're talking full on stomach pump of a technicolour yawn -- he blamed the pigeons revenge and never risked it again )
    That's an example of a personal superstition, but I'm betting it won't catch on and go viral anytime soon.
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  50. #49  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Sailors are also a superstitious lot...

    13. Avoid Gingers

    Red heads were thought to bring bad luck to a ship if you happened to encounter one before boarding. However, if you speak to the redhead before they get the chance to speak to you, you're saved.
    Now that I think about it, maybe this one is right on the mark. redheads have always been a troublesome lot.
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    I have long been puzzled by the Korean fear of fan death.
    Fan death - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    A drowned woman floats face up, a drowned man floats face down.
    Men have heavier-than-water muscular chests, and women have lighter-than-water fatty breasts.
    So, everything else being equal, perhaps more accurately ...

    A drowned woman floats breasts up, a drowned man floats chest down.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    I have long been puzzled by the Korean fear of fan death.
    Fan death - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Let's talk mass hysteria —

    Koro (aka genital-shrinkage) is actually in the DSM!

    Morgellons (aka delusional parasitosis).
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Sailors are also a superstitious lot...

    13. Avoid Gingers

    Red heads were thought to bring bad luck to a ship if you happened to encounter one before boarding. However, if you speak to the redhead before they get the chance to speak to you, you're saved.
    Now that I think about it, maybe this one is right on the mark. redheads have always been a troublesome lot.
    ~ SQUAWK ~ Once upon a time Mark had a fuller head of hair... and it was of a RED tone..
    and I know of a thespian who will boil your head any minute now... Same of these wonderfully researched superstitions were brought about by some good old fashioned sense.. Broken mirrors are dangerous slithers of glass shards.. messing about under a ladder is a daft idea.. swerving to avoid the black cat is what might be dangerous.. and the rest are just foolish nonsense..

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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    I have long been puzzled by the Korean fear of fan death.
    Fan death - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I would suggest that this urban legend has been born of inaccurate or incomplete reporting and a possible correlation of deaths where coincidentally, there happened to be a running fan found.
    In a warm climate, would it not be more unusual not to have a fan or A/C in the sleeping area?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    sailors are also a superstitious lot...

    13. Avoid gingers

    red heads were thought to bring bad luck to a ship if you happened to encounter one before boarding. However, if you speak to the redhead before they get the chance to speak to you, you're saved.
    now that i think about it, maybe this one is right on the mark. Redheads have always been a troublesome lot.

    swack! Smack! Swack!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Sailors are also a superstitious lot...

    13. Avoid Gingers

    Red heads were thought to bring bad luck to a ship if you happened to encounter one before boarding. However, if you speak to the redhead before they get the chance to speak to you, you're saved.
    Now that I think about it, maybe this one is right on the mark. redheads have always been a troublesome lot.
    ~ SQUAWK ~ Once upon a time Mark had a fuller head of hair... and it was of a RED tone..
    and I know of a thespian who will boil your head any minute now... Same of these wonderfully researched superstitions were brought about by some good old fashioned sense.. Broken mirrors are dangerous slithers of glass shards.. messing about under a ladder is a daft idea.. swerving to avoid the black cat is what might be dangerous.. and the rest are just foolish nonsense..

    I just airmailed him to timbucktwo!! You called it!!
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    Sir PH Demon, you are hilarious!!!
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    I can't take any credit but it's a great show...
    (one of my favourites -- my family sometimes compare me to the main character when I'm being particularly grumpy and sarcastic )
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I can't take any credit but it's a great show...
    (one of my favourites -- my family sometimes compare me to the main character when I'm being particularly grumpy and sarcastic )
    LIKE AND AGREE! *chuckle*
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I can't take any credit but it's a great show...
    (one of my favourites -- my family sometimes compare me to the main character when I'm being particularly grumpy and sarcastic )
    They compare you to Baldrick?
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    Not twice
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    Do old wives tales count as superstitions?
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Do old wives tales count as superstitions?
    I think we require an example before we could make that determination.
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    Our ideas of superstition and its counterpart, religion, originated from our childhood. After such assertions and beliefs being ingrained into the brain from youth to adult, it may be hard for one to completely disregard such beliefs and replace them with rational thoughts, reasoning and facts.
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Our ideas of superstition and its counterpart, religion, originated from our childhood. After such assertions and beliefs being ingrained into the brain from youth to adult, it may be hard for one to completely disregard such beliefs and replace them with rational thoughts, reasoning and facts.
    Very much so.

    The ideas that we absorb when we are young and first learning become deeply embedded in our sensory framework and long after we develop critical thinking skills, we may still encounter an emotional resistance to completely divesting ourselves of this erroneous data. It can be rather disconcerting at times as we become aware of an old superstition which gives our body pause, while a voice in our head is practically shouting "get over it already!"
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    ~ Once again I stride in with my favored view.. Education. Because with a well balanced science based education you can challenge directly the illogical and superstitious. Learning to challenge and test is a directed skill some will not enter into.
    Some 'superstitions' and 'old wives tales' are based on a thin logic.. ie. ; Please do not sit on the table as the table is for food, not bums..
    Walking under the workman's ladder is foolish and dangerous as the dropping of tools or paint.. hazards..obvious.. So that it can be argued that 'some' logic of argument can be extracted from some superstitions.. questioning logic works better. Education works best.
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    I know people in golf who have superstitions.

    They have to wear a certain color in a tournament a certain day..
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I know people in golf who have superstitions.
    I forgot about athletes.

    Who was that baseball player who went through an elaborate batting gloves ritual for good luck?

    Someone did a study and found that ball players get superstitious about activities where their success rate is low, for example, batting compared to a highly successful activity, such as catching in the outfield. Ever see a ritual in the outfield? Hmmm.....
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I know people in golf who have superstitions.
    I forgot about athletes.

    Who was that baseball player who went through an elaborate batting gloves ritual for good luck?

    Someone did a study and found that ball players get superstitious about activities where their success rate is low, for example, batting compared to a highly successful activity, such as catching in the outfield. Ever see a ritual in the outfield? Hmmm.....

    WOW I was just going to say BASEBALL! BIG TIME!!

    And football players used to be no sex before the big game.
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    Karma -is that a superstition ? Also ill gotten gains are supposed to bring bad luck (money can be unlucky).
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I know people in golf who have superstitions.
    I forgot about athletes.

    Who was that baseball player who went through an elaborate batting gloves ritual for good luck?

    Someone did a study and found that ball players get superstitious about activities where their success rate is low, for example, batting compared to a highly successful activity, such as catching in the outfield. Ever see a ritual in the outfield? Hmmm.....

    WOW I was just going to say BASEBALL! BIG TIME!!

    And football players used to be no sex before the big game.
    And if you believe that.... But then superstitions are a way for the non-superstitious to troll the superstitious, and I find it so hard to be sympathetic to the superstitious ignorant people that I sometimes want to join in and have fun with the trolls.
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    Baseball Magic, an interesting read. This paper also says that soldiers are superstitious; I hadn't thought of that.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    i know people in golf who have superstitions.
    i forgot about athletes.

    Who was that baseball player who went through an elaborate batting gloves ritual for good luck?

    Someone did a study and found that ball players get superstitious about activities where their success rate is low, for example, batting compared to a highly successful activity, such as catching in the outfield. Ever see a ritual in the outfield? Hmmm.....

    wow i was just going to say baseball! Big time!!

    And football players used to be no sex before the big game.
    and if you believe that.... But then superstitions are a way for the non-superstitious to troll the superstitious, and i find it so hard to be sympathetic to the superstitious ignorant people that i sometimes want to join in and have fun with the trolls.

    bad karma!! *l*
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    PIRATES were huge into superstitions!!!

    Women on a boat were BAD LUCK


    Made their radar go up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    PIRATES were huge into superstitions!!!

    Women on a boat were BAD LUCK


    Made their radar go up.
    What! All this time I thought women were bad luck anyplace you could find them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    PIRATES were huge into superstitions!!!

    Women on a boat were BAD LUCK


    Made their radar go up.
    What! All this time I thought women were bad luck anyplace you could find them.

    RUN, VERY VERY FAST...I have my broom out....and I can fly on that sucker....so run....Ole ROBOT RUN!
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    ~ Re; superstitions.. I was a little taken back just the other day when a Electronics engineer told me he had sought a 'colour' therapist to help him through his prostate problems.. 'To stop the pain'.. he said.. To which I quipped., " How about talking to your doctor, and telling him you can not endure that level of pain or discomfort ".. Then he went on to talk of some Aunt who had sought a pain relief from a colour therapist and how it had helped.. " Did she see her doctor. I asked " No she died"
    "Cant you see that might not be a desirable result" ..
    The point being that for some people grasping at straws and at to anything that might work.. when science or medicine can offer a better set of choices.. they do not have the presence of mind or the education to understand the futility of superstitions..
    As a society we need to mature to a point where we reject outright any superstitions and nut bar crazy mythology. We should all know better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ Re; superstitions.. I was a little taken back just the other day when a Electronics engineer told me he had sought a 'colour' therapist to help him through his prostate problems.. 'To stop the pain'.. he said.. To which I quipped., " How about talking to your doctor, and telling him you can not endure that level of pain or discomfort ".. Then he went on to talk of some Aunt who had sought a pain relief from a colour therapist and how it had helped.. " Did she see her doctor. I asked " No she died"
    "Cant you see that might not be a desirable result" ..
    The point being that for some people grasping at straws and at to anything that might work.. when science or medicine can offer a better set of choices.. they do not have the presence of mind or the education to understand the futility of superstitions..
    As a society we need to mature to a point where we reject outright any superstitions and nut bar crazy mythology. We should all know better.
    holy Prospero!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenRatio View Post
    I have no superstitions, Can still get scared on occasion but no superstitions.
    Getting scared on occasions is an innate capacity... I suggest that exercising that is rather healthy. But in a civilized environment lacking real objects of fear, what are we to do?

    One could let emotional need manufacture dangers, probably the easy targets like paranoia of our neighbors. Or one could knowingly serve up silly, harmless, yet satisfying fears to oneself. Or - if I were a culture - I'd want to supply my people with such outlets.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Hell ....I have been scared "shitlless" thank you Crosby Stills and Nash at WOODSTOCK
    several times in my life..

    It is k to be scared.
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    But in a civilized environment lacking real objects of fear, what are we to do?
    Just walk down any poorly lit street after dark. All those shifting shadows and rustling noises will give you a good workout.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    But I'm a tall man at home in the gritty side of town. I must find my fear elsewhere.

    I used to feel something ominous about the number 52 - as seen on a digital clock. While that's a silly petty fear, I know, it did have the virtue of being... silly and petty! Given that people must fear something, isn't it better we cultivate harmless superstitions than fear, like, air travel or poison in the tapwater?

    I think I'm suggesting superstitions help society, by diverting some of peoples' innate fearfulness.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Maybe not so inappropriate as you think? I’ve heard before that pigeons are known to be superstitious. I’m also speculating most if not all pigeons are atheist!
    Err, how about most if not all pigeons are pagan: "One who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods." Only a few animals even have higher concepts of independent self, much less that of a God. For example, the mirror test:

    List Nation: 9 Animals that are Self-Aware
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    Does anyone here pay any mind to the superstition that if you walk past a penny on the ground, you are leaving your luck behind? I used to always pick up pennies, and for a time, the bank was paying $6.00 for $5.00 worth of pennies, far and beyond any interest rate being paid on savings or GIC's. Then, as of Feb. 4, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of the penny and businesses were no longer required to give them in change although they must still accept them if tendered. Cash transactions are now rounded to the nearest nickel while all debit and credit transactions still calculate to the cent. Go figure.

    The interesting thing is that while I used to be reluctant to walk past a penny because of that childhood expression learned, since our government made the coin obsolete, I feel quite relieved of the burden of the superstition. That, and there are far few pennies to be found lying about of late.
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    Do my best to ferret them out when ever I come across them in my personal day to day doings, a life-long process that started when I shed Christianity and started reflecting on other things I'd held without evidence.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Does anyone here pay any mind to the superstition that if you walk past a penny on the ground, you are leaving your luck behind? I used to always pick up pennies, and for a time, the bank was paying $6.00 for $5.00 worth of pennies, far and beyond any interest rate being paid on savings or GIC's. Then, as of Feb. 4, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of the penny and businesses were no longer required to give them in change although they must still accept them if tendered. Cash transactions are now rounded to the nearest nickel while all debit and credit transactions still calculate to the cent. Go figure.

    The interesting thing is that while I used to be reluctant to walk past a penny because of that childhood expression learned, since our government made the coin obsolete, I feel quite relieved of the burden of the superstition. That, and there are far few pennies to be found lying about of late.
    Why Is Finding a Penny Good Luck? (with pictures)
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    Just a little note regarding the mirror test..
    ~ If the animal is made familiar with the concept of a reflected image.. It ceases to be frightened by itself..
    Cats dogs all primates, monkeys and racoons squirrels bears pass the test when it's familiar to them..
    Watch a child with video image of it's self.. or in front of a full length mirror.. we are not so cleaver all the time..
    Ask any illusionist. We are easy to fool, and be fooled.

    The whole question of 'superstitions ' is based on ignorance.. It is easy to be afraid if you can not see the risk..
    Being afraid is NOT a fault. Your life could be saved by awareness of risk.. ' While in Northern India walking in the fields of grasses after dusk.. or standing next to rivers edges in Australia's Northern Territory.. Fear is a word and a feeling that might remind you of the impending risk.. So from this I can conclude some superstitious thoughts are triggered by fear.. mostly unfounded.
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    We could have a bit of insight about superstitions. Why we have them, what they do for us. Why is an ominous feeling prompted by a black cat bad & stupid, when that same feeling prompted by a movie not bad & stupid? In both cases one has some suspension of disbelief, and the event slightly affects behaviour. Does our submersion in the cheap thrills of modern entertainment do for our emotions just what superstition did for people a century ago? More, or less?

    I suggest superstitions help society, by diverting some of peoples' innate fearfulness. But if we're unemotional creatures of pure logic then yeah we have no use for superstitions.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    We could have a bit of insight about superstitions. Why we have them, what they do for us. Why is an ominous feeling prompted by a black cat bad & stupid, when that same feeling prompted by a movie not bad & stupid? In both cases one has some suspension of disbelief, and the event slightly affects behaviour. Does our submersion in the cheap thrills of modern entertainment do for our emotions just what superstition did for people a century ago? More, or less?

    I suggest superstitions help society, by diverting some of peoples' innate fearfulness. But if we're unemotional creatures of pure logic then yeah we have no use for superstitions.
    On an individual basis? Could there be a way of showing that a person with a degree of superstitious credences might be less fearful or anxious as a result ?

    If you are into pedantry it should be "people's " by the way!

    I wonder why "credences" is blacklisted by the spell checker.Maybe because it is used very rarely in the plural?

    In so much as my "enemy's enemy is my friend" maybe we should support their use since they seem to get up organized religion's nose .
    Last edited by geordief; July 24th, 2014 at 03:34 PM.
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    how funny our superstitions are

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  94. #93  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    We could have a bit of insight about superstitions. Why we have them, what they do for us. Why is an ominous feeling prompted by a black cat bad & stupid, when that same feeling prompted by a movie not bad & stupid? In both cases one has some suspension of disbelief, and the event slightly affects behaviour. Does our submersion in the cheap thrills of modern entertainment do for our emotions just what superstition did for people a century ago? More, or less?

    I suggest superstitions help society, by diverting some of peoples' innate fearfulness. But if we're unemotional creatures of pure logic then yeah we have no use for superstitions.
    On an individual basis? Could there be a way of showing that a person with a degree of superstitious credences might be less fearful or anxious as a result ?
    I'd also like to know. I think the theory is in the domain of popular wisdom, for example a major theme of Star Trek was that people function best when emotion - not only logic, Mr. Spock - is exercised. Negative emotions like fear, pain, anger, are supposed by this theory to spur us onward. The civilized man who is "captain" of his humanity is able to orchestrate his innate irrational aspects... which is different than denying or suppressing them.

    I think that most of us cope with the bland comfort of modern life by unconsciously seeking outlets for our emotional needs. The 15-year-old boy does not truly understand why he plays combat video games. Neither does the 60-year-old gardener truly understand why she suspects her neighbour sprays herbicides into her yard. These people's emotional investment is palpable, but they can't see it's in themselves not the world outside. How often do we feel an urge to post something on forums because "someone on the internet is wrong!" ...? Well, if people could discretely spit their bile and other excess humours, onto scapegoats such as black cats and numbers thirteen, would they spit less upon the people around them? I have my personal theory, but I'd also like to know for sure by science.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    That is a huge area I begin to realize. I have no training in psychology but my inclination is to doubt that "we're unemotional creatures of pure logic " or that we ever could or should become that.


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    Forum Freshman jjmckane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    How often do we feel an urge to post something on forums because "someone on the internet is wrong!" ...? Well, if people could discretely spit their bile and other excess humours, onto scapegoats such as black cats and numbers thirteen, would they spit less upon the people around them? I have my personal theory, but I'd also like to know for sure by science.
    Let's start with the basics, that we are all massively parallel organic computers. Further, both halves are almost totally separated from each other (right brain vs. left brain), connected mostly by a very thin cable bridge, known as a corpus callosum, between the two. When the two hemispheres have this connection cut by severe epileptic surgery, after healing a patient will try to get up while other parts of his body refuse to cooperate and often have a look of disbelief when the other hemisphere has some kind of physical action. In short, we are at least two computers running connected with intranet, in tandem.

    We have no idea about deeper mysteries of the mind because there are enormous difficulties in proving connections. For example, Economo neurons were discovered circa 1910 but only in the last decade or two has any decent surveys been made on what they do and how they do it. Only a few non- upper primates even have them, AKA spindle neurons or VENs, and all have very large brains and long memories, namely whales and elephants, though none have anywhere close to human's use in breath and number, IIRC.

    So science will take its sweet time to give you the right information.
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  97. #96  
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    Uh, this is psychology. Wouldn't an ordinary experiment having participants play games, answer the question? We want to know if superstition diverts negative feelings away from social interactions. So one group of gamers gets a suspicious object (of superstition) peripheral to the game, and we see if this makes them play more cooperatively. You know the classic movie plot where formerly antagonistic humans forget their differences when threatened by some alien force.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Uh, this is psychology. Wouldn't an ordinary experiment having participants play games, answer the question? We want to know if superstition diverts negative feelings away from social interactions. So one group of gamers gets a suspicious object (of superstition) peripheral to the game, and we see if this makes them play more cooperatively. You know the classic movie plot where formerly antagonistic humans forget their differences when threatened by some alien force.
    Yes, psychology. But psychology is not a hard science as of yet, for the reasons I mentioned. We barely know anything about the hard wire (neurons, etc), and the basics on what is known does not register with persons except those most keen on the subject. The software, like programming culture, hardwired programs (fight or flight you mentioned with aliens), and such are observable from day to day in a sense. But in reality, behavioral scientists themselves have found caught in never ending loops. That is why it is a soft science, as there are too many variables to be tested adequately. (A few areas of complexity in physics also eludes much in the same way, like the massive fluid dynamics of weather.)

    Some of the best work has been done in psychology of sales, especially advertising post 1920. Fake those results and your clients, hard bitten capitalists of the bottom line, will leave you quickly. But arguing an extreme point of view vehemently works in establishing goal posts towards your position. Not sure how that plays into the antagonistic humans and aliens, but IIRC superstition in olden times took away focus upon the grim facts of life.

    For example, life being capricious and fleeting just about everywhere at any age and era. Worse, not much real was known of the causes. So blame it on a superstition and you accept with the comfort of 'knowing'. People collectively latch onto a concept and are all together then.
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    Superstitions can be magical thinking, but probably begin as a heuristic, a weaker one than, say, a rule of thumb, but still based on some kind of past correlation between two events. Here's a superstition of mine - I think small oversights or mishaps are warnings that something much worse is about to happen. But it's not a completely irrational idea, because if I'm rushed or preoccupied and making small errors, there probably is a greater chance that I could have a serious accident or over look something important. It does seem like in hindsight when I've done something really dumb, that there were warning signs leading up to it, but then I've probably ignored all the times nothing else followed.
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  100. #99  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Superstitions can be magical thinking, but probably begin as a heuristic, a weaker one than, say, a rule of thumb, but still based on some kind of past correlation between two events. Here's a superstition of mine - I think small oversights or mishaps are warnings that something much worse is about to happen. But it's not a completely irrational idea, because if I'm rushed or preoccupied and making small errors, there probably is a greater chance that I could have a serious accident or over look something important. It does seem like in hindsight when I've done something really dumb, that there were warning signs leading up to it, but then I've probably ignored all the times nothing else followed.
    Good point. It is a numbers game, like getting malaria. Each exposure with a mosquito has a small chance of risk. If in an area with a lot of mosquitoes and a tropical clime. (In arctic regions so many mosquitoes kick the bucket every winter that the disease in their gut dies off and has to start again with human/other hosts completely anew with each BM/blood meal.) Where were we, oh, numbers game.

    Your mind is probably telling you something is in the danger or sweet spot area, and worth paying attention for bad or good result possibilities. My mind has done the same as yours, and short of damage we probably all do. It up to the individual to ignore or concentrate upon it. And, yes, there are false positives, where your mind confuses connections and there is no link, which superstition is in itself a part of the process, IMO.

    It is the intuition Right Brain area, apparently, to put together lots of details in an artsy way, short of directly identified facts and long on loose details.

    Also an issue is that magical thinking lends to interesting plot devices, like with Harry Potter. It is so much more fun to see some one do things magical in films for many/most viewers. Science and technology routinely do things today that would have gotten you burnt as a witch some centuries ago in the west. Some places it might still happen, though apparently not in Africa or Asia. Maybe still in New Guinea or Amazon:

    "However, like their ancient and early modern European counterparts, modern Africans and Asians who believe firmly in the reality of witchcraft do not lack the power of rational reasoning. To suppose that these are incompatible alternatives is a common mistake. In reality pragmatic and mystical explanations of events usually exist in parallel or combination but operate in different contexts and at different levels."

    "If a boat sinks because it has a hole in its bottom or a car breaks down because its battery is dead, witchcraft is not responsible. Witchcraft enters the picture when rational knowledge fails."

    http://www.britannica.com/blackhistory/article-214882
    Last edited by jjmckane; July 26th, 2014 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Harry Potter & Witchcraft
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  101. #100  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    From my work with horses I have observed that to the horse, once is an anomaly and the second time for anything is the beginning of a pattern. After three introductions of any situation, the horse begins to anticipate and respond according to it's nature or within the parameters as presented by the trainer.

    My thoughts are that humans are quite similar to the horse in this regard.

    The first time something takes place, we take notice. We may not understand save to be aware that 'this is new'.

    The second time it occurs, our brain will seek similarities between the first and second incident and identify a correlation.

    By the third time we encounter a situation, if we observe a correlation, our brain will leap to the conclusion that there is a causation in the correlation, and without full comprehension, a superstition is born, especially if our observation is corroborated by another individual.

    "Same Thing Happened To Me", by John Prine, a musical interlude, for your listening pleasure.

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