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Peter B
2002-Apr-22, 12:19 AM
Yippee! The Book has made its way down south to the Land of the Long Weekend! (That's Australia, in case you hadn't worked it out...)

I just wanted to comment about eggs standing on their ends on the equinox. The funny thing is that I'd never heard of this until I visited this site, and didn't know of the background until I read the book.

A good comparison for the belief is Thanksgiving Day, a day which appears to be a big issue for Americans, but not for anyone else in the world. You'd think that if there was anything to it, people outside the USA would've heard of it.

Incidentally, in Australia, the seasons start on the first of the month, not on the solstice or equinox. So if there was anything to this belief, when would our eggs stand up?

(Oh yeah, and the design of Australian toilets seems to be quite different from that of American toilets. What's this about the direction water flows when you flush a toilet?)

Hale_Bopp
2002-Apr-22, 02:48 AM
Actually, meteorological seasons start on the first of the month as well. Meteorlogical winter is December 1st to February 28 (or 29th), spring March to the end of May, summer June to the end of August, and fall September to the end of November.

Oh, and this is for the northern hemisphere obviously /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob

David Hall
2002-Apr-22, 04:16 AM
Here in Japan, I've found quite a few people know of American Thanksgiving, probably from movies and other media, or contact with Americans, but of course almost noone knows anything about it, time, season, or purpose. And that's understandable.

For those of you who don't know, it's one of the biggest holidays in the U.S., falling near the end of November. It originated in a single event in U.S. history and as such, it it is a peculiarly American holiday (Canada has it's own version falling on a different day though). It's a time of feasting and celebrating the successes of the year with your loved ones.

It's very important to most Americans, but we tend to forget that it doesn't reach out beyond our borders, so we often assume everyone else knows all about it (we do that a lot, you know). But then again I'm sure we can find similar examples in most countries of the world.

As for the egg thing, I guess it's another American invention, one that became pretty popular here, but hasn't infected everyone in the world yet. I guess you Aussies just got lucky.

Donnie B.
2002-Apr-22, 11:34 AM
Actually, I'm an all-American boy and I, too, had never heard of the egg-balancing thing until I ran across it on the BA site. I wonder if it could be a regional thing?

In any case, non-Americans should not get the idea that it's all that big a deal, even here. Certainly not as big as, say, Thanksgiving.

By the way, although American Thanksgiving commemorates a particular event (the first harvest by the Pilgrim invad... uh, settlers), does it not have its roots in much more ancient harvest festivals?

odysseus0101
2002-Apr-22, 02:53 PM
Thanksgiving is that very special time of year when many Americans are forced by guilt to visit distant relatives who they don't actually like, so they can sit around talking awkwardly and trying to outdo each other on how great their lives are. Thanksgiving is also the day when shopping malls mark the middle of the Christmas shopping season; and when Bart destroys Lisa's centerpiece.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-22, 04:09 PM
On 2002-04-22 00:16, David Hall wrote:
As for the egg thing, I guess it's another American invention, one that became pretty popular here, but hasn't infected everyone in the world yet. I guess you Aussies just got lucky.

When I first heard of it, around thirty years ago, the newspaper article I read said it had been borrowed from some eastern european custom, I believe.

CJSF
2002-Apr-22, 06:46 PM
On 2002-04-21 22:48, Hale_Bopp wrote:
Actually, meteorological seasons start on the first of the month as well. Meteorlogical winter is December 1st to February 28 (or 29th), spring March to the end of May, summer June to the end of August, and fall September to the end of November.

Oh, and this is for the northern hemisphere obviously /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob


For the MID LATITUDES of the northern hemisphere. And even then, especially in coastal locations, this doesn't always hold true.

CJSF

_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-04-22 14:47 ]</font>

Peter B
2002-Apr-24, 01:00 AM
Well, just one day after I make the sweeping statement that the egg business is basically unknown here in Australia, what d'you think happened?

Someone asked about it on the Self Service Science Forum (www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/).

Oh well, it gave me a chance to plug this site and the book... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Martian Jim
2002-Jun-18, 08:15 AM
curiuse, if this was true (ands it not so dont say) if the gravity made the egg able to stand only on one day would this gravuty not affect othert things? (i.e italy tower of piza?)

its spring! quick! get away from the tower

(tower falls down)

Conrad
2002-Jun-20, 11:02 AM
On 2002-06-18 04:15, Martian Jim wrote:
curiuse, if this was true (ands it not so dont say) if the gravity made the egg able to stand only on one day would this gravuty not affect othert things? (i.e italy tower of piza?)

its spring! quick! get away from the tower

(tower falls down)



... tourists arrive in flocks to see the Lying Tower of Pisa ...

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-20, 12:29 PM
On 2002-06-20 07:02, Conrad wrote:


On 2002-06-18 04:15, Martian Jim wrote:
curiuse, if this was true (ands it not so dont say) if the gravity made the egg able to stand only on one day would this gravuty not affect othert things? (i.e italy tower of piza?)

its spring! quick! get away from the tower

(tower falls down)



... tourists arrive in flocks to see the Lying Tower of Pisa ...



. . . and The Large Pile of Rubble, that it Made, When it Landed on a Nearby Building, Killing Dozens!

Kizarvexis
2002-Jun-24, 02:53 AM
On 2002-04-22 14:46, Christopher Ferro wrote:


On 2002-04-21 22:48, Hale_Bopp wrote:
Actually, meteorological seasons start on the first of the month as well. Meteorlogical winter is December 1st to February 28 (or 29th), spring March to the end of May, summer June to the end of August, and fall September to the end of November.

Oh, and this is for the northern hemisphere obviously /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob


For the MID LATITUDES of the northern hemisphere. And even then, especially in coastal locations, this doesn't always hold true.

CJSF

_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-04-22 14:47 ]</font>


Exactly. Florida for example has two 'real' seasons. Spring from November to March-ish and the too dang hot Summer from March-ish until November. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis

ljbrs
2002-Jul-05, 12:33 AM
Actually, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been buttressed against falling over, permitting tourists once more to climb to the top. It was once a great spot for testing the dropping of objects of different weights to demonstrate that they both would land simultaneously (although I am not certain that Galileo actually dropped anything from the Pisa tower).

If one reads a lot, one will find references to balancing eggs on the date of the Vernal Equinox. Then again, almost any silly explanation can be found to substantiate almost any silly notion. I suggest that everybody should make up his/her own stupid fake idea and announce it to the world via the media (which would seem to be eager for any silly notion to announce on the evening news). Somebody is bound to pick it up and run with it, and a new flapdoodle idea will germinate from it. Of course, this will necessitate that new books be written to show the errors involved -- and so on, ad infinitum...

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Wiley
2002-Jul-05, 11:53 PM
On 2002-07-04 20:33, ljbrs wrote:
Actually, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been buttressed against falling over, permitting tourists once more to climb to the top. It was once a great spot for testing the dropping of objects of different weights to demonstrate that they both would land simultaneously (although I am not certain that Galileo actually dropped anything from the Pisa tower).


I'm currently reading Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" and he apparently did drop stones from the tower. It should be noted that the stones were of different size (of course) and were affected differently by air resistance. The stones did not land at the same time. Thus to the staunch Aristotle dogmatists, proving Aristotle. Yes, Galileo was only slightly wrong and Aristotle was really wrong, but guess who they sided with. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

2002-Jul-08, 11:36 AM
I actually heard about the egg balancing on the local radio station last spring when a school student phoned in to the breakfast show and said how she had been doing the egg balancing experiment at the exact moment of the equinox. Apparently her high school science teacher had been discussing it in their lessons:-(

The incidence of Egg Balancing BA may not be as common in Australia as it is in the USA but it is here none the less.

With regards to the beginning of seasons in Australia being on 1 December, 1 March, 1 June and 1 September my understanding that this "tradition" dates back to when Australia was a colony under British military rule. Apparently the soldiers and officers had to change from summer uniform to winter uniform on 1 June and back again on 1 December. Thus officially defining winter and summer. I assume the other seasons were added to provide an appropriate balance.

I suppose that bureaucratic simplicity was more important than scientific fact.

KarenS
2002-Oct-19, 03:03 PM
I first heard about egg-balancing in elementary school, from a teacher who introduced the myth so he could debunk it. I guess I was pretty lucky back then.

Smaug
2002-Oct-28, 02:45 AM
After I read the egg section in the site I immediatly tried it. To my surprise I accomplished this task with relative ease. Then I showed my sister and she didn't believe that it was standing all by itself. She insisted that it was being supported by salt. So she lifted it up and said "Oh, so it was standing there by itself... OOPS!" Then I tried to do it again for the rest of the day and the other day too without success. I guess im jinxed?

man on the moon
2003-Jul-07, 01:05 PM
if you dropped an egg from the tower of pisa on the equinox, would it smoosh on end? :lol:

no, seriously, there are so many people (warning: national-centricsm ahead) coming to the US all the time, there's no real way to tell where every little smart aleck idea comes from.

Alex W.
2003-Aug-06, 01:54 AM
Good example of a holiday unknown outside of its own home- Guy Fawkes Night, AKA Bonfire Night, AKA Fireworks Night, in the UK, a time to celebrate the fortunately foiled attempt (or damn good attempt, depending on your point of view) by Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliment.

We set off tonnes of fireworks a la 4th of July. And burn stuff. Unlike Independence Day, which I imagine is quite warm, we celebrate this on November the 5th, when it's freezing cold and/or raining, and exactly the wrong time to be out at night trying to get fireworks to work.

We don't get time off, but I couldn't think of anything else...

Do people have Boxing Day (extra day off after Christmas) in the US? I think I heard it happens in Canada...

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-06, 04:20 AM
Yep, we have it, but I'm not sure if you get off of work for it. Doesn't apply to schools, you get two weeks holiday at Christmas anyway...

man on the moon
2003-Aug-06, 09:06 AM
nope. not in the US. the day after Christmas here is the day after Christmas. we do have Thanksgiving though, the last Thursday of November. and the day after that is the biggest shopping day of the year. not exactly a holiday...but nice to have off none-the-less.

kucharek
2003-Aug-06, 09:19 AM
In Germany, the gifts are giving on Christmas eve, the 24th. 24th usually counts as a half holi-day. 25th and 26th we call First Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day. Both are holidays. We have some holidays related to christian events. One couriosity is Easter Monday. Even in the Vatican it is a normal workday, but here it is a holiday. This doesn't means Germans are christian fundamentalists. Only few take these holidays for some spiritual stuff. They are just some days off. Some years ago the government thought, they should cancel it, to boost the economy. Dumb idea...

SeanF
2003-Aug-06, 01:24 PM
. . . we do have Thanksgiving though, the last Thursday of November. and the day after that is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Urban legend (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/shopping.htm).

BTW, my niece was in England this summer. She was there on July 4th, and we tried to tell her that England has really big fireworks celebrations on the 4th and she should ask about 'em, but I don't think she believed us. :-s

kilopi
2003-Aug-06, 01:33 PM
. . . we do have Thanksgiving though, the last Thursday of November. and the day after that is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Urban legend (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/shopping.htm).
Snopes is slipping. That link says that it's false that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in America--but then goes on to admit that it is the busiest day, but it doesn't have the highest dollar amount of purchases.

I would have said it was true, based upon the info at that webpage alone. There's just two possible interpretations--and I usually think of that day in terms of crowds, not dollars.

ToSeek
2003-Aug-06, 02:32 PM
nope. not in the US. the day after Christmas here is the day after Christmas. we do have Thanksgiving though, the last Thursday of November. and the day after that is the biggest shopping day of the year. not exactly a holiday...but nice to have off none-the-less.

Nitpick on a different topic: Thanksgiving isn't the last Thursday in November, it's the fourth Thursday in November, which is usually but not always the same thing. Thanksgiving can never be the 29th or 30th of the month.

SeanF
2003-Aug-06, 02:37 PM
. . . we do have Thanksgiving though, the last Thursday of November. and the day after that is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Urban legend (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/shopping.htm).
Snopes is slipping. That link says that it's false that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in America--but then goes on to admit that it is the busiest day, but it doesn't have the highest dollar amount of purchases.

I would have said it was true, based upon the info at that webpage alone. There's just two possible interpretations--and I usually think of that day in terms of crowds, not dollars.

Well, not really. It says it "may be the day the greatest number of Yuletide shoppers traipse through malls" and quotes a spokeswoman as saying it's "one of the busiest days in terms of traffic." I wouldn't really call that "admit[ting] that it is the busiest day" (all emphases mine).

Snopes' provided link (http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/?id=XMASGIFT.PUR) puts it bluntly:


Although many believe the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is not. It is the fifth to tenth busiest day.

Although the rest of that page seems to be talking more about sales figures than customer numbers as well.

NASA Fan
2003-Sep-18, 03:50 AM
I'm Danish, and living in the US. I always have fun when I have to explain to friends and co-workers that NO, Denmark does not observe thanksgiving. I sometimes try to get people to figure out for themselves.

Me:How did thanksgiving come about? What is the most basic thing that we celebrate on thanksgiving?

When they still don't get it, I have to explain that it is a US holiday.

Now mind you, I have only had a relativly few number of people that I have to explain it to.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-19, 12:00 AM
Try explaining that your country celebrates it, but in a different month. Oy! #-o

Donnie B.
2003-Sep-19, 12:03 PM
Try explaining that your country celebrates it, but in a different month. Oy! #-o
Just tell them it's called Givethanksing. Then they won't mind it being a different date... :wink:

TriangleMan
2003-Sep-19, 04:52 PM
Try explaining that your country celebrates it, but in a different month. Oy! #-o

I always tell them that Canadians celebrate it one month earlier because we're so far north we have to harvest crops earlier. I'm sure that's not the real explanation but for some reason people accept it. :)

(I know, I know, its bad to spread BH (Bad Holidays)). :(

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-19, 07:59 PM
I don't even really know the real reason why... I should go find out...

SeanF
2003-Sep-19, 08:31 PM
I remember learning that Canada used to celebrate Thanksgiving in early November but moved it into October when they established Rememberance Day.

I kind of like what this guy (http://www.angelfire.com/ct/CanadianSlackers/thanksgiving.html) says, though. ;)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-19, 10:08 PM
Oh no, they're on to us... 8-[

TriangleMan
2003-Sep-20, 05:03 PM
I kind of like what this guy (http://www.angelfire.com/ct/CanadianSlackers/thanksgiving.html) says, though. ;)

:o Ummm, uh, no its really because of the early harvest, honest! :wink: