Monday, January 2, 2012

Horoscopes and predictions

So it's 2012 and my newspaper of choice has just published the horoscopes for the year ahead.  Not counting the month of May I found 72 instances of 'may' in the text.  As in "You may get a glimpse of what true intimacy means on the Solar Eclipse on November 13th".  'May' is shorthand for 'may or may not' so it's a good word to use when you want to leave yourself an out.  Another such word is 'could' as in 'You could experience additional pressure at work as you're called upon to take on extra responsibilities'.




In the finance area horoscopes are particularly wishy-washy.  They always warn you to consider carefully all investment opportunities and say things like 'Watch your wallet and your bank balance on August 24th. The Sun opposes Neptune and there’s a chance that money may be lost or found'.

Now that's good advice for Leos - but why would it only apply to 8.3% of the population.  No need to worry if you are in the other 91.7%.  There is similar good advice for all e.g. this for Capricorns: 'in early February imaginative Neptune moves into your 5th House of Speculation where it will reside for 14 years. During this time, be especially careful when gambling on risky investments'.

No I'm a Virgo (possibly a Leo but I'll go with Virgo for now - why change the habits of over 50 years?).  I thought I'd be proactive this year and pay attention to my horoscope.  Here are some of the highlights:



Overview

As the year begins you're feeling especially feisty.
Actually I have a bad cold and it's been over 35 °C every day since New Years Eve.  Currently 35 °C at 11 am and heading for a predicted 42 °C.  I'm not feeling at all feisty.

Through July 3rd, you have the will to complete whatever you set your mind to.
A minor point but here in Australia we usually say 'Through to July 3rd' if that's what we mean.  I have every intention of meeting work deadlines before July and after.  Why should I do anything different this year?  Apart from work I have no other set goals this year except to do a bit of camping, see a few birds, read a few books and add to this blog occasionally.  That should be doable!

... your notions of what you are capable of are uprooted. You could find yourself with a surprisingly expanded idea of your creative potential.
This is worrying.  At my age I'm not really into surprises and certainly don't want my notions of my capabilities to be uprooted.  It would indeed be surprising if my creative potential expanded.  I don't have a creative bone in my body.

These are periods when you could feel more unsettled than normal. With communication more challenging it could take less to ruffle your feathers.
More unsettled than normal!  I'm not sure what this means but I assume there will be periods when I'll be more settled than normal to average things out.  No mention of when these periods will occur.  I totally get the communication problems and ruffled feathers thing.  I get very frustrated when the Internet is down.  Luckily I recently purchased a USB modem as a back up.

Love and romance 
Assertive Mars being in Virgo through July 3rd may profoundly impact your relationships.
For the better or the worse?

... making compromises with others
I already do this routinely...

Spiritual and heartfelt affinities take on more import.
Please explain?

... be careful to not float into idealism or think you can help rescue others. More often than not this is a surefire path to disappointment and hurt.
I have to go along with this one.

On October 3rd ... you may find yourself pulled into the tides of romanticising your significant other.
Another worrying one.  I've never been good at this romance stuff and many of my efforts have not ended well (hence I no longer buy flowers for my significant other).  I've warned my partner to be wary of me on Oct 3rd because there is no such warning in her horoscope (Leo).

Be open to an unexpected glimpse of just how transformational relationships can be.
I'm not completely insensitive!

Career and money
The powerful Solar Eclipse on May 20th signals a new avenue in your career. While the direction may not be extremely clear, have faith that events that are manifesting are setting you on a unique path. Just where you're headed should become more evident over the next six months. Just two weeks later, at the June 4th Lunar Eclipse, you'll get insights into how to better balance your work and home life.
Damn you eclipses!  This obviously refers to the recently announced public sector cuts.  I'm going to be made redundant!  On the other hand:

There's a good chance that more people will readily recognise your skills and talents.
Finally!  Only took 30 years.

 ... take responsibility for your finances and get serious about money matters.
Not going to happen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More on Ear Candles

In a recent post I covered the nonsense that is ear candling and mentioned that one of our town pharmacies had stopped selling them after I wrote them a letter.  They are now selling them again!

These ones from Jo Olley - Australian made and everything.  Jo is keen to point out that they are registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.



I'm keen to point out that this does not mean they do anything useful - only that they are registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration!

Interestingly, the application made by Jo to register the ear candles mentions only "Intended to provide a sense of wellbeing and relaxation when used according to direstions."  - nothing about improving ear health by drawing out toxins (or helping you spell better).



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Delicious but where are the blueberries?

After dinner last evening we opened a block of Lindt & Spr√ľngli Excellence Blueberry Intense chocolate.



If I hadn't noted the name I would have had no issue with this chocolate.  It was delicious and suited the occasion well.  However I was deeply disappointed with the intensity of the blueberry experience.  In stark comparison with the large plump berries displayed on the packaging, the tiny and scarce specks of blueberry in the chocolate itself were unimpressive and far outweighed by the generous pieces of almond. 

On close inspection of the ingredients I found that blueberries make up only 2% of the total (whether of the mass or the volume is not stated).  Almonds make up 3 times as much (6%) and there are unspecified amounts of apple and pineapple although we were not able to detect these.  There is also a risk that some hazelnuts might find their way into the mix apparently.

I suggest that Lindt & Spr√ľngli are drawing a long bow in describing this confection as 'Blueberry Intense"  At least they didn't make any health claims regarding the blueberries!