SimplytheBest.net
left corner vicom home Print web sites Original Art OpenMinder Archives right corner
left bar
left bar
left bar
left bar
left bar
left bar
left bar
left bar
spacer

Home page Vicom Design Inc
Origina Art

print
Publishing
Web sites
OpenMinder Archive

OpenMinder logo

Home

Previous - Next

Issues List

Issue #15
October 14th 1999

 

 

Halloween Traditions

wizard

This year, Golden Heights Inn and Restaurant will be hosting Grand Forks' First Annual Halloween Festival to Feed the Food Bank! There will be some big prizes for the best displays, including, the first prize, Dinner and Accommodation for two at Golden Heights. Contestants will have to bring at least $10 worth of non-perishable food items for the Food Bank, as well, admission to view the displays will cost an item of non-perishable food. All entries must be in by October 18th and winners will be announced on October 23rd.
Another event this year in keeping with the hallowday is the Spooky Swim on Saturday, October 30th at 1:00to 8:00pm at the Aquatic Centre. There will be a Haunted House at the Pool as well as games, prizes and lots of Spooky Fun.
In order to help get into the swing of things the OpenMinder did a little research on this sortoflikeaholiday called Halloween, or is that Hallowe'en, or is that All Hallows Eve, or....
Halloween was originally called All Hallows' Eve which means the evening before All Saints' Day. "Hallow" is an Old English word for "saint". This was shortened to Hallowe'en and finally to Halloween.
Most of the early traditions of Halloween come from the Celts
who formed as a society around 800 BC. in what is now the United Kingdom, much of Western Europe and an isolated enclave in what is now Turkey. They held a major celebration near the end of our month of October, which they called called Samhain (or Samhuinn) is pronounced "sow-in" (with "sow" rhyming with "cow"). It formed the dividing day between years, sort of like a new years eve. It was a time that was neither in this year or the next.The story that "Samhain" was a Celtic God of the Dead is a pure myth. However, it has been repeated so often by conservative secular sources that it has taken on a life of its own.
Samhain was seen as the beginning of the Celtic winter. It is balanced by the corresponding seasonal day of celebration called Beltain (or Bealtaine, Beltaine, etc) which signals the start of summer, 6 months later. Both of these are fire festivals. The ancient Celts probably held them exactly mid-way between an equinox (when day and night were equal) and the following solstice (when the night time was shortest or longest). Samhain would have been centered between the Fall equinox and the Winter solstice, celebrated about NOV-5 to NOV-7. a time when the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. The Celts believed that upon death, everyone went to a beautiful place free of hunger, pain and disease. It was called "Tir nan Og", sometimes translated as "Summerland". They had no concept of Heaven and Hell that was later adopted in the first century by Christianity. Many believed that two separate and nearly identical worlds existed. When a person died, they were transferred to the "ghostworld"; when they were born, they were transferred from the "ghostworld" to the mortal one. 'The pagan idea used to be that crucial joints between the seasons opened cracks in the fabric of space-time, allowing contact between the "ghostworld" and the mortal one.' The Celts celebrated rituals at this time to make contact with their ancestors who had died before them.
This contact was not made in an atmosphere of dread, fearing some retribution from the dead. Rather it was done in a spirit of expectation, in the hopes of obtaining guidance from those in the next world. "The spirits of dead friends sought the warmth of the Samhain fire and communion with their living kin." Rituals were performed to foretell future events, through various methods of divination. The Celts believed that the future could be predicted most effectively at this time. a time when the herds of domesticated animals were brought down from their summer pasture and culled for the winter. The Celts slaughtered their weak animals that could not be expected to survive the winter reducing the size of the herds to match the available food supply. A time of uninhibited feasting, and a time of increasing nervousness as winter approached.
In celebration of the recently completed harvest, Celts would give offerings of food to the Gods. They often went from door to door to collect food to donate to their deities. Also, young Celts would ask the townspeople for kindling and wood, and take it to top of the hill for the Samhain bonfire. These are two of the possible origins of present day "trick or treating."
Being a fire festival, sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the Gods. The townspeople would take an ember from the bonfire to their home and re-light the fire in their family hearth. The ember would usually be carried in a holder often a turnip or gourd. They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits. So they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their ember holders. They hoped that the spirits would be frightened and not bother them. Children continue to dress up today in various costumes. Pumpkins are now the objects of choice to carve faces into.
Not all halloween rituals came from the Celts the term "Jack-o'-lantern" came from an Irish folk tale of the 18th century. Jack was an Irishman. He had tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree. He then cut a cross symbol in the tree trunk, thus trapping the Devil in the tree, unable to again access to Heaven because of his meanness. The Devil, having a long memory, would not allow him into Hell, so he was forced to walk the earth endlessly. After the devil took pity on him and gave him a piece of coal to light his path. Jack put it inside a hollowed out turnip that he had been eating.
Apples were considered have long been associated with female deities, and with immortality, resurrection, and knowledge. One reason is that if an apple is cut through its equator, it will reveal a five-pointed star outlined at the center of each hemisphere. This was a Goddess symbol among the Romans (Gypsies), Celts, Egyptians, etc. There are many Halloween folk traditions associated with apples:
Unmarried people would attempt to take a bite out of an apple bobbing in a pail of water, or suspended on a string. The first person to do so was believed to be the next to marry. Peeling an apple in front of a candle-lit mirror was believed to produce the image of one's future spouse Attempting to produce a long unbroken apple peel was said to estimate the number of years you had to live. The longer the peel, the longer your life expectancy.
In All Souls' Day, European Christians had a tradition of going from home to home, asking for currant buns. In return, they would pray for the souls of the homeowner's relatives.
American Halloween customs are gradually taking over this celebration, although there are other traditions
In Mexico, in the fall, countless numbers of Monarch butterflies return to the shelter of their oyamel fir trees. The beliefs of the Aztecs live on in many contemporary Mexicans who believe that the butterflies bear the spirits of their dead ancestors. It is these spirits that the people honor during "Los Dias de los Muertos" (The Days of the Dead).
It is a joyous, happy holiday, a time of remembering past friends and family who have died. It is celebrated, during Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, OCT-31 to NOV-2. Altars in the homes are decorated with bread, candy, fruit, and flowers. Candles are lit in memory of their ancestors. The people dress up as ghouls, ghosts, mummies and skeletons. They parade a live person in a coffin through the streets, and vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the coffin. Families visit the cemetery carrying tools to spruce up the graves and decorate them and they stay over-night. (Spooooky stuff)
In England, some of the customs of Samhain have transferred to Guy Fawkes Night each NOV-5. The celebration is also known as Bonfire Night. Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Commons in London. He died a gruesome death, imposed by the courts.
Halloween in North America has become a major folk holiday in the US and Canada. Trick or "Treaters" go from door to door and collect candies, apples and other goodies. Hallmark Cards reports that 65% of Americans will decorate their homes and offices for Halloween. This percentage is exceeded only by Christmas.
Rumors circulated some years ago about adulterated food: poison mixed with candy; razor blades and pins in apples. Although these rumors have been shown to be hoaxes, the fear persists. Many adults now only give out pre-packaged food; many parents check their children's collection and discard anything that could have been adulterated.
For many decades, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has distributed boxes to children so that they can collect money at Halloween time, while during the 1950's, a few US public schools banned the Unicef boxes, over suspicions that it might be a Communist plot.
The town of Hancock, MD has refused for more than 20 years to declare a specific date for Halloween. Their rationale is that if they set a particular date and a child gets hurt during the trick-or-treating, then the town might be liable for damages. The school board of Hillsborough NJ bans all religious celebrations in its schools. So, they have replaced Halloween with a "Fall Festival". St. Valentine's day has become "Special Person Day."
All Saints' Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century. There were so many saints by this time that there were not enough days in the year to accommodate them, so, All Saints' Day was to recognize the saints who were without a unique day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize. It originally was held on May 13, but was moved by Pope Gregory in 835 to November 1 in order to distract Christians from celebrating Samhain. All Souls' Day was created for NOV-2 to honor faithful Christians who had died but were not saints. The three days from OCT-31 to NOV-2 was given the name Hallow Tide.

Looking Good for Grand Forks
A message from the Mayor
In a recent trip to Toronto I was struck by the number of times when I said I was from Grand Forks, and people said, "Hey! I know that town" Between the baseball, the ice storm, the Doukhobore centennial and other national and provincial stories, people are beginning to ask, what is going on in Grand Forks and why are you always on the news.? At the Union of B.C. Municipalities meetings in Vancouver, I was able to talk to elected officials from many small B.C. communities. In comparison, we are doing well. It is hard to convince businesses that we are on the verge of a "growth spurt" when their stores and buildings remain empty and sales are down. But, this is the picture I see. The year 2000 will see a demand for workers in the Grand Forks area. New industries and the expansion of existing industries and the B.C. gas pipeline expansion, will create a demand that will exceed the available local work force. New people will be moving to town. The airport was moved one step closer to commercial status, meaning that we could see commercial flights to and from Spokane and Kelowna, in the not- so distant future. So although, school enrollment is down and vacancy rates are up, I am not only optimistic, but I feel we would be irresponsible not to be planning for this predictable future growth. We need to build on the momentum of the new businesses that are choosing our town as home. We need to expand the boundaries of the community to create compatible sites for light and heavy industry. In short, we need to manage our success. This is also the time to take care that we protect the thing that keeps us wanting to live here in the first place, the nature of the community.

Mistranslations

* "Bite the wax tadpole."
Coca-Cola as originally translated into Chinese

* "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave."
"Pepsi Comes Alive" as originally translated into Chinese

* "We take your bags and send them in all directions."
In a Copenhagen airline ticket office

* "When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor."
From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo

* "Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."
In a Rome laundry

 

Healthy Start
Getting healthy is one of the most common priorities for people nowadays. A healthy body has so many benefits to offer. Improving our lifestyle, and being able to do things that we didn't think we would do or ever do again, in itself is an incredible benefit. Those who already lead a very healthy, active lifestyle, how do you begin and guarantee you success? Which options would you choose? How do you know it will work, before you invest your time and commit yourself?
There are several things to think about before you choose an activity. Firstly, what are you goals and are they realistic? Sometimes our expectations are blown out of proportion due to our exposure to magazines, TV, sports superstars etc. We should start our goals out small, perhaps schedule in a walk around your neighbourhood block 3 time a week for you first month. If you can achieve a feat as this, then there you go, you've completed your first goal! Doesn't that feel good physically and physiologically! Now it's time to up the ante. Add something else to your program that takes slightly more effort but is new and exciting.
Secondly don't even bother attempting an exercise program if you don't know how to eat properly. People make the common mistake of busting into an exercise program full force and neglecting proper diet, only to fail weeks later do to illness or burnout. Oh yeah, there are hundreds of diet books out there to read, but why not just use the Canada Food Guide, it's free! The Canada Food Guide has been around for many years and suggests a simple variety of the four food groups. Copies may be picked up at local fitness centres. With the proper combination of diet and exercise, you may actually amaze yourself.
Benefits of Cardiovascular Training
Reduction in blood pressure - Decreased total cholesterol Decreased body fat stores - Increased heart function Decreased anxiety and depression
Benefits of Strength Training
Increased muscle fiber size - Increased muscle strength
Increased tendon strength - Increased bone strength Increased ligament strength - Increased physical capacity Improved physical appearance - Increased metabolic rate Improved postural alignment

Positively Greenwood
In Co-operation with the Greenwood Board of Trade
Community Enhancement Project!
Welcome to Greenwood! This is the invitation we have worked towards creating in our City. Starting in May of this year and continuing through the summer the Greenwood Board of Trade has, with the assistance of Human Resources Development Canada, had a Job Creation Project happening in Greenwood. We have had two workers working at the Greenwood Museum doing research, which will be used as we develop our web page and create new displays for the museum. We have also had four workers doing outside work to enhance our community and build our tourism base. The work done to date is very apparent at our Outdoor Market Site.

park

We have built parking stalls, built display areas for the old mining equipment that has been donated to the museum from individual miners and from the Teck Corp. Mine that operated at Beaverdell and is now closed down. George Braun has spent many volunteer hours to help put in a railroad track to house some of these displays.
museum stairs

As you have probably noticed we have built an awesome staircase on the lot to go from one display to another. We have also moved and rearranged the signs at the corner of the lot into a more orderly fashion. We are starting to do some basic groundwork at the Greenwood Phoenix Tramway Bore Site. Our long-term plan is to develop this site as a tourist destination. Last, but certainly not least, we are in the process of developing the Boundary Creek Nature Walk. We are building a walkway along Boundary Creek, which can be done in small sections, or if one is feeling ambitious, one can take a 2-km walk! We are presently working along the far side of the creek between the former West Kootenay Power building and Washington Street. This part of the path leads to Lotzkar Park for those interested in exploring the ruins at the old Smelter Site. For local residents, and those passing through, we invite you to take a stroll down the walkway. Please be sure to wear good walking shoes, as it is a nature walk. Our crew can confirm there are some pretty big fish in the creek!
For more information please call the Greenwood Museum at (250) 445-6355 or the Greenwood Board of Trade at (250) 445-6323

 

Musings on Aging
Delia Metcalf
For nine years I have had the privilege of being entrusted with the care of our communities elderly people while employed at one of the local senior citizens homes. While giving hands-on care, I have had lots of opportunity to observe and learn from them. they say that growing old is no fun. "The Golden years" are pretty rough. It seems to me that if one survives to live to old age, the that person has managed to negotiate life's challenges with admirable tenacity and skill. Our elders have learned so much along the way. So if you live to old age a certain fate awaits you. Life is not torn from you, you must let it go. You have to let everything go. All that you have spent your whole life acquiring and building and holding on to, you must let go. This goes from valued relationships, roles, property, independence, health, control, right down to basic body functions and senses. You must experience gradual loss upon loss upon loss! The way I perceive it, if one lives to old age it requires all the skill of a lifetime to face this challenge. Like all of life's challenges we handle some well and some not so well and we feel the consequences. This grief, this inundation of loss can be overwhelming and these people have to live with this. Sometimes I find this awareness overwhelming. However, this is their process, not mine, not yet. Still I can honour them, support them, love them, and give them as much dignity as possible. In many indigenous cultures, old people are respected and cherished for their experience and have a valued place in their society. In our culture, youth is venerated and the aging process is devalued and feared. Ageism is rampant.
We as a society are really losing out here. Our families have really broken down as tribalism disappears and families spread out all over the country and all over the world. Grandparents are often separated from their grandchildren and have little to do with their development. Sometimes it is not just physical distance that is the factor involved. Oftentimes childhood issues separate families and this is pretty hard to solve,. The end result is that many of us do not get personally to share in the process of a loved one aging, and are thus less prepared ourselves. Also our younger ones do not have exposure to elders and our elders miss the young people. This creates a big gap that is causing a lot of pain. Our elders and the young people need each other. In tribal societies, it is often the older persons that looked after the children while the younger adults were occupied with physical wouk of providing and survival. What the elders had lost in physical capabilities was balanced by wisdom, patience and experience required to teach the children, Now we reach outside our nuclear families to fill our needs and to fill the needs of our aged population. This has its advantages undoubtedly but we have lost something along the way. this warrants some considerations. I appreciate that senior citizen's homes are a great service. Old people who now require 24 hour care can receive it along other essential services such as meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance activities as well as nursing care from others without the strain on their families. Often it is easier for people to care for the complicated needs of the elderly unhindered by personal history and entangled family relationship. These caregivers can go home at the end of a shift to refresh themselves and also they have specialized training to understand and meet their needs. More is needed. Somehow society needs more to do with our elderly and our elderly need more contact with society or else we all lose. This connection needs to be valued and nourished. How? It is a up to us to find creative solutions if we so choose and perhaps if we live to be aged, we will be valued and our lives and our society will be enhanced

Weird News

* In April, prominent Canadian geneticist Robert Hegele told a conference in Edmonton, Alberta, that when he revealed to some Newfoundlanders in remote villages that they possessed a genetic flaw that increased their chances of heart disease, they were happy. Their initial reaction, said Hegele, was, "This is great!" They figured, "This means we're doomed, so we . . . don't need to quit smoking or (stop eating fatty foods)."

* Well-Put: After biologists announced in December that, for the first time, they had mapped out all of the DNA of a multicell animal (a microscopic roundworm, with 19,099 genes), colleagues told the New York Times that the revelation had a profound effect on their ability to do the same some day for humans. Said the president of the National Academy of Sciences, "In the last 10 years, we have come to realize humans are more like worms than we ever imagined."

* Life Imitates James Bond: In March, a joint urban-warfare exercise involving British Royal Marines and the U. S. Marines in Oakland, California, marked the first use of a small cannon that shoots a high-speed blast of quick-drying foam that hardens so fast, and with the strength of cement, that it enables troops to cross from building to building.

* A Detroit, Mich., inmate Waukeen Spraggins escaped in February when, impersonating a police official, he called jailers and ordered them to transport him to his girlfriend's house. Said Police Chief Benny Napoleon, "His request was so bizarre that people thought it had to be true."

 

Time

 old man time

Why did daylight saving time (DST) start, and why does it still continue? When asking a random sample of people we heard two answers again and again: "To help the farmers" or "Because of World War I ... or was it World War II?"
In fact, farmers generally oppose daylight saving time. In Indiana, where part of the state observes DST and part does not, farmers have opposed a move to DST. And the chief adversary of daylight saving time in the United States is the Farm Bureau. Farmers, who must wake with the sun no matter what time their clock says, are greatly inconvenienced by having to change their schedule in order to sell their crops to people who observe daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time did indeed begin in the United States during World War I, primarily to save fuel by reducing the need to use artificial lighting. Although some states and communities observed daylight saving time between the wars, it was not observed nationally again until World War II.
Of course, World War II is long over. So why do we still observe daylight saving time?
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided the basic framework for alternating between daylight saving time and standard time, which we now observe in the United States. But U.S. Congress can't seem to resist tinkering with it. For example, in 1973 daylight saving time was observed all year, instead of just the spring and summer. The current system of beginning DST at 2 AM on the first Sunday in April and ending it at 2 AM on the last Sunday in October was not standardized until 1986. The earliest known reference to the idea of daylight saving time, though, comes from a purely whimsical 1784 essay by Benjamin Franklin, called "Turkey versus Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle." It was first seriously advocated by William Willit, a British Builder, in his pamphlet "Waste of Daylight" in 1907.
Over the years, supporters have advanced new reasons in support of DST, even though they were not the original reasons behind enacting DST.
One is safety. Some people believe that if we have more daylight at the end of the day, we will have fewer accidents.
In fact, this "benefit" comes only at the cost of less daylight in the morning. When year-round daylight time was tried in 1973, one reason it was repealed was because of an increased number of school bus accidents in the morning. Further, a study of traffic accidents throughout Canada in 1991 and 1992 by Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia before, during, and immediately after the so-called "spring forward" when DST begins in April. Alarmingly, he found an eight percent jump in traffic accidents on the Monday after clocks are moved ahead. He attributes the jump to the lost hour of sleep. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, Coren explained, "These data show that small changes in the amount of sleep that people get can have major consequences in everyday activities." He undertook the study as a follow up to research showing that even an hour's change can disrupt sleep patterns and "persist for up to five days after each time shift." Other observers attribute the huge spike in accidents on the first Monday of DST to the sudden change in the amount of light during driving times. Regardless of the reason, there is no denying that changing our clocks has a significant cost in human lives.
While some people claim that they would miss the late evening light, a presumably similar number of people love the morning light. And projects, postponed during the sun filled summer, will be tackled with new vigor when the sun sets an hour earlier each day.
Other parts of the world observe Daylight Saving Time as well. While European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, in 1996 the European Union (EU) standardized a EU-wide "summertime period." The EU version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. During the summer, Russia's clocks are two hours ahead of standard time. During the winter, all 11 of the Russian time zones are an hour ahead of standard time. During the summer months, Russian clocks are advanced another hour ahead. With their high latitude, the two hours of Daylight Saving Time really helps to save daylight. In the southern hemisphere where summer comes in December, Daylight Saving Time is observed from October to March. Equatorial and tropical countries (lower latitudes) don't observe Daylight Saving Time since the daylight hours are similar during every season, so there's no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer.
The next time you're changing your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, remember that's its not just trying to mess up your schedule but its purpose is to save energy.
Here is the schedule for the next few years!
Daylight Saving Time, 1999-2004
Year Begin End
1999 2 a.m. April 4 2 a.m. Oct. 31
2000 2 a.m. April 2 2 a.m. Oct. 29
2001 2 a.m. April 1 2 a.m. Oct. 28
2002 2 a.m. April 7 2 a.m. Oct. 27
2003 2 a.m. April 6 2 a.m. Oct. 26
2004 2 a.m. April 4 2 a.m. Oct. 31

 

 
right bar
right bar
right bar
right bar
right bar
right bar
right bar
right bar