Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Basic Tarot Symbols
The fool in colorful motley clothes, pack tied to a staff, a small dog, a cliff.
Basic Tarot Story
With all his worldly possessions in one small pack, the Fool travels he knows not where. So filled with visions and daydreams is he, that he doesn't see the cliff he is likely to fall over. At his heel, a small dog harries him (or tries to warn him of a possible mis-step).
Basic Tarot Meaning
At #0, the Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he needs to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasizing and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.
In the Tarot, cards like The Magician or The Hermit can often stand for the Querent or for someone in the Querent's life. The Fool, however, almost always stands for the Querent alone, no one else. In standing for the Querent, the Fool represents a time of newness, a time when life has been "re-started" as it were. The person feels that they are back at zero, whether that be in romantic affairs, or career, at their job or intellectual pursuits. Far from being sad or frustrating, the Querent feels remarkably *free*, light hearted and refreshed, as if being given a second chance. They feel young and energized.
In addition, they likely have no idea where they're going or what they're going to do. But that doesn't matter. For the Fool, the most important thing is to just go out and enjoy the world. To see what there is to see and delight in all of it.
Unfortunately, in this childlike state the person is likely to be overly optimistic or naive. A Fool can be a Fool. This is the card likely to turn up when a Querent is thinking of investing his money in a new, "sure fire" business. Or when the Querent is sure that it's "love this time!" Like the Fool, they're so busy daydreaming of what might be that they're ignoring what is. They're about to fall right off a cliff. It's time for them to listen to that watchful little dog, which might be a concerned friend, a wise tarot reader, or just their instincts.
As a card, the Fool ultimately stands for a new start. When it turns up the Querent might be about to make a move, not just to a new home, but new job, new life. There's more than just change, renewal, and a brand new beginning in the Fool, there's also movement, a fresh, exciting new time.
- Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the "Biblical value" of 3.0. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
- Spaghetti trees: The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans.
- Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.
- Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
- San Serriffe: The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that San Serriffe (sans serif) did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. (This comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story.)
- Metric time: Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
- Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success.  In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
- Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported once in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
- Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
- The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks."
- Annual BMW Innovations see a new "cutting-edge invention" by BMW advertised across British newspapers every year, examples including:
- Warning against counterfeit BMWs: the blue and white parts of the logo were reversed
- The "Toot and Calm Horn" (after Tutankhamun), which calms rather than aggravates other drivers, so reducing the risk of road rage,
- MINI cars being used in upcoming space missions to Mars,
- IDS ("Insect Deflector Screen") Technology - using elastic solutions to bounce insects off the windscreen as you drive,
- SHEF ("Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration") Technology, which sees the car's GPS systems synchronise with home appliances to perfectly cook a meal for the instant you return home,
- Marque-Wiper - mini-wipers for each exterior "BMW" logo coming as standard on all future models,
- "Uninventing the wheel" to counter the "EU ban" on right-hand drive cars,
- Zoom Impression Pixels ("ZIP") to counter new "Slow Cameras"
- "BMW Instant Messaging" - using Reactive User Sound Electronic (RUSE) particles to display the driver's words to the car in front on the windscreen.
- A compact disc available to all BMW owners, which when played over the audio system performed minor service and diagnostic checks; when flipped over it played soothing classical music (Australia).
- Canine Repellent Alloy Protection (CRAP)- a means of discouraging dogs from urinating on car wheels. (2008)