Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

The worst thing about the cellphone is its SMS facility. One becomes, the unwitting and unwilling recipient (victim?) of jokes, petitions, sales offers, jokes, bargain discounts, jokes, prayers, jokes... and often the reluctantly-obliged-to-respond, especially at this moment of the year, to insincere new year greetings composed/forwarded by short texting maniacs, in purple prose, trashy sentiment and shallow philosophy.

So the following two were ones I received which stood out because they were different, even if the first one is rather a weak attempt at schoolboy humour.

  • "May 2 double-O 7 be the year of BONDing..."
  • "Cheers to the New Year and another chance to get it right."
Whatever it is, Happy New Year, every year, to you!

However, here's an interesting mail I've got from Rahul as a New Year greeting, which I'm reproducing verbatim:
"For those of you who follow the Gregorian Calendar, New Year Greetings, and wishes for a peaceful year ahead.

Delving a little into the history of the calendaring system (a fascinating subject, on its' own - intrigue, violence, emperors, donkeys and monks) is a source of much education and amusement.

change from the Julian to Gregorian was not without incident - the original motivation was to ensure that Easter fell on the same day for the various Churches. Many countries therefore felt that it was a Catholic imposition, and resisted it - leading to much unrest, unwitting hilarity and the October Revolution actually occurring in November (ignore if you are an Orthodox Russian priest).

2007 will be the International Heliophysical year, studying the interconnectedness of the entire solar-heliospheric-planetary system - from what I understand, an analysis of the interaction between 'solar wind' and the surrounding environment. 2007 will also be the start of the clumsily-named International Polar Year which goes on all the way till 2009. Many geological phenomena, research into the atmospheric and magnetic systems will be started, and hopefully, many ID-ists will be pissed off.

Also today, Ban Ki-Moon becomes the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Between the 24th and 28th of this month, the World Economic Forum takes place, in Switzerland, so put on your protesting suits.

On the 14th of April, the Sir Arthur C Clarke Awards, the 'Space
Oscars' are given out. Later that month, elections are being held in Nigeria. Later in the year, on the 30th of June, in an event just begging for badly written headlines, a calendar blue moon occurs; a full moon will occur twice in the month. On the 7th of July, the New Seven Wonders of the World will be announced - and votes are still being accepted. Sometime in November, the Large Hadron Collider will be switched on at the CERN.

Clearly, an eventful year, and one that we cannot but help find ourselves part of."

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