Wait, astrology is wrong?

It was with a great deal of amusement that I read this piece on CNN about how people’s astrological signs have not changed. Not blog-worthy, mind you, but amusing.

Until I reached the end, and read this:

Astrology is geocentric. It relates life on Earth to the Earth’s environment, and seasons are the most dramatic effect.
– Jeff Jawer, astrologist at tarot.com

And I thought to myself: wait, wait, wait … is this astrologist claiming that astrology has nothing to do with the heavens?

Stepping back

First, let us see what the whole hubbub is about.

Astrology is the belief that the relative positions of objects in the heavens (the sun, moon and stars) influence people’s personalities and events on earth. While the website that Jawer works for does not define it quite so clearly (what’s that? Astrologists being vague?), their definition – “astrology is the ancient system that correlates life on Earth with the ever-changing patterns of the sky” – seems to correspond with mine.

In particular, zodiac signs correspond with constellations. It purportedly means something when your constellation (ie, group of stars that people thought looked liked something familiar to them thousands of years ago) was “in line” with the sun.

So last week there was a little hubbub when the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote an article titled the stars might not actually be aligned in your favour. In it, they observed that the timing of the constellations changes over time, and (as astrologers use timings derived over 2,000 years ago) the standard dates used by astrologers to delineate the zodiac are about a month out.

Stepping forward

In response to this, our astrologist quoted above is saying that he knows this, and it doesn’t matter because astrology revolves around seasons, not constellations.

What?

Here at the Big Bad Blog, it has always seemed quite evident to us that Astrology is a load of bunk, but it’s nice to see somebody who makes a living on it admits the same thing.

Because by claiming that earth’s changing relation to the heavens does not impact astrology, Jawer is saying that the relative positioning of objects in the heaven do not influence personalities and events on earth.

And that’s something we can agree with.

The morning coffee races the jungle cats

The morning coffee has discovered the most insane (and extreme?) safari adventure available: Touring southern Africa by bicycle, and sleeping outdoors at night.

moving_statue
(Sculpture by Peter Janson)

The redheaded amongst us feel more pain, and are resistant to anesthesia.

New Scientist gives us a list of ten human traits that scientists do not understand. Amongst them are “Kissing” and “Superstition”. You’ve got to love scientists: Atheists who can’t find dates.

The morning coffee is superstitious about pants and hats

Scientific American would like to lead off your Friday by telling you about the origins of superstition . Or, as they like to call it, agenticity, which sounds either less hokey, more clinical, or just like a made-up word.

Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot has brought out the greatest hats of England:
ice_cream_hat

Brooksville, Florida has instituted a new dress code. Included in the new code: employees must now wear underpants, and cover open wounds.

Photographers in the UK, be warned: you can be hassled for taking photos of parked police vans. Photographers in Vancouver, worry not: police cannot take away your camera or delete your photos without a warrant (or sufficient cause to arrest you, in which case they are unlikely to begin destroying evidence).