Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th. Thought to be by some as the most unluckiest day of the year. Not much is known on why or how this day ended up to be known for it's black cats, broken mirrors, day of dread and most recently, a machete wielding, hockey masked maniac. There are some theories on how it all started but the bottom line is, if you're superstitious then this is the day to stay in bed, pull the covers over your head and wait it out. Here are a few facts about how the number "13" effects us today:
  • More than 80% of high rises lack a 13th floor.
  • Many airports in the United States skip a 13th gate.
  • Airplanes usually don't have a 13th aisle.
  • Hospitals and hotels usually don't have a 13th room on a floor.
  • Italy omitted the number 13 from it's national lottery.
  • Many major cities don't have a 13th street or avenue.
  • Some towns in Italy don't allow a number 13 for a house address. The house between number 12 and 14 is marked as 12 1/2.
  • People who fear Friday The 13th are called "paraskavedekatriaphobia".
  • The British Navy named a ship "Friday The 13th". On it's maiden voyage it left port and was never seen again.
While we're on the subject of superstitions, here are a few well known and not so well known good luck charms, signs of doom and other things to avoid on Friday the 13th:

  • A acorn should be carried in your pocket for good luck.
  • Spit on a new baseball bat before using for the first time to bring good luck.
  • It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed.
  • It's bad luck to put shoes on a bed.
  • You must get out of bed on the same side you got in or you'll have bad luck.
  • A bird that flies into your house is a sign of bad luck or death.
  • If someone is sweeping the floor and sweeps over your feet then you'll never get married.
  • Never take an old broom with you when you move into a new house or apartment.
  • Three butterflies seen flying together is good luck.
  • If a black cat walks toward you it's a sign of good luck. If it walks away from you it's a sign of bad luck.
  • A cat on a ship is good luck.
  • It's bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
  • It's bad luck to pick up a found coin if it's tail side is up.
  • Dropping a comb while combing your hair is a sign of misfortune.
  • Crickets in your house is good luck.
  • Dogs howling in the dark of night,howl for death before daylight.
  • It's bad luck to count cars in a funeral cortege.
  • It's bad luck to wear new shoes to a funeral.
  • It's bad luck to cut your fingernails on a friday or a sunday.
  • It's bad luck to start a trip on friday.
  • It's bad luck to kill a lady bug.
  • It's bad luck to let milk boil over.
  • Unless you were born in October, it's bad luck to wear opals.
  • It's bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight.
  • If you spill pepper you will have a serious argument with a friend.
  • It's bad luck to get up from a rocking chair and let it continue to rock.
  • Put salt on the doorstep of your new house for good luck.
  • Placing a show on a table is bad luck.
  • It's bad luck to leave a shoe upside down.
  • The color blue is good luck.
With these small slices of wisdom I wish you all the best of luck this Friday the 13th. Oh yeah, avoid any crazy looking guys wearing hockey mask.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vintage Valentine's Day Cards

The Valentine's Day card has been around well over one hundred years. I remember as a child in the 3rd grade we would pass out little cards with cartoon characters on them. Each card would have it's own snappy and witty saying such as "There's Snow doubt I want you to be my Valentine". Of course this would be above a picture of a snowman with a huge heart on his chest.

Here's a small collection of vintage Valentine's Day cards from yesteryear.

(Click on the card to see full size.)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Vinegar Valentines and Penny Dreadfuls

There was a time when love wasn't in the air when it came to Valentine's Day. This was a dark side of card giving that even Hallmark would want to forget.

In the late 1800's and early to mid 1900's some people would send a Valentine's Day card that was nick named "Vinegar Valentines" or "Penny Dreadfuls". These cards were usually sent anonymously to a person who wasn't so dear to the sender's heart. The card inside was usually on a single sheet of colored paper with a less than flattering poem written on it along with an even more insulting picture.

Here are some examples of the Valentine's Day cards that were sent, minus the love. (click on the picture to see full size.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Valentine's Day Trivia

It's February and the first thing I think of is Valentine's Day. This is the time of year when the sales of roses, boxes of chocolate, cards and those little Necco candy hearts with the words printed on them all go on sale.

There will be little school children exchanging cards with each other. There will be roses sent to lovers. Heart shaped boxes of candy will be passed around. Love will be in the air for most on this day. Here's a little information I dug up for you concerning the most romantic day of the year. So pull up your sweetheart or a box of chocolates and enjoy.
  • 15% of women on Valentine's Day send THEMSELVES flowers.
  • 73% of people that buy flowers on Valentine's Day are men.
  • One BILLION cards will be exchanged.
  • 3% of pet owners give Valentine's gifts to their pets.
  • 110 MILLION roses, mostly red, will be delivered.
  • Hallmark has over 1,330 different cards for Valentine's Day this year.
  • Funny Valentine's Day cards in the 19th century were called "Vinegar Cards" and Penny Dreadfuls".
  • Children, ages 6-10, will exchange more than 650 MILLION Valentine's Day cards.
  • Little known fact: In the middle ages, young men and women would draw names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be. They would pin the name to their sleeve and where it around for an entire week. This is where the saying "Wearing your heart on your sleeve" comes from.
  • Every year, Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts candies prints saying on the tiny, colorful sugar hearts. Each year the sayings are all related to a certain event. Last year the event was "the weather". This year's sayings are based on "dining out".
I'd like to thank for the terrific facts and brain candy!