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Irish Toasts for St. Patrick´s Day

Irish Toasts for St. Patrick´s Day

March 7, 2013 – CelticRadio.net

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Happy St. Patrick's Day Or in Gaelic - Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Or in Gaelic – Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Toasts are an essential role for any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. They serve as a link amidst the formal ceremony and a less formal atmosphere of the coming celebration. The St. Patrick’s Day toast allows family members and friends to talk their hearts out. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s words from his inaugural address, and you will never go wrong, “With malice toward none; with charity for all.” A toast is a wish, and whether you believe in karma or not, it is always better to wish good than ill; far better to follow Shakespeare and “drink down all unkindness.”

That said, we’ve found it helps us when offering toasts to use the standard pattern that Colonial-era drinkers used. It’s a simple, two-part format in which you first propose the object of the toast and then either explain why it’s worth toasting or offer a wish on its behalf. This will then lead into the toast at which point you should finish by fully drinking your beverage which is hopefully some hearty Guinness!

And now for some time weathered St. Patrick’s Day and Irish Toasts to impress your family and friends during your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Cheers!


May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends gathered below never fall out.

A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.

May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. And our ale never turn musty.

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman, Who through strategy and stealth, Drove all the snakes from Ireland, Here’s a toasting to his health. But not too many toastings Lest you lose yourself and then Forget the good Saint Patrick And see all those snakes again.

A bird with one wing can’t fly. —said to encourage someone to take a second drink It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!

That the tap may be open when it rusts!

My friends are the best friends Loyal, willing and able. Now let’s get to drinking! All glasses off the table!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint– and another one!

Here’s to a temperance supper, With water in glasses tall, And coffee and tea to end with– And me not there at all!

When money’s tight and hard to get, and your horse is also ran, When all you have is a heap of debt, a pint of plain is your only man.

Here’s to being single… Drinking doubles… And seeing triple!

I drink to your health when I’m with you, I drink to your health when I’m alone, I drink to your health so often, I’m starting to worry about my own!

Here’s to women’s kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear; Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss, but a darn sight more sincere!

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

There are good ships, and there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships, And may they always be.

Here’s to you and yours, And to mine and ours, And if mine and ours ever come Across you and yours, I hope you and yours will do As much for mine and ours, As mine and ours have done For you and yours!

To live above with the Saints we love, Ah, that is the purest glory. To live below with the Saints we know, Ah, that is another story!

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load. May the mist of Irish magic shorten every road… And may all your friends remember all the favours you are owed!

Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green, Here’s to each lad and his darlin colleen, Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most. May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!

I have known many, and liked not a few, but loved only one and this toast is to you.

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows your dead. May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

May your heart be light and happy, May your smile be big and wide, And may your pockets always have a coin or two inside!

Always remember to forget The troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember The blessings that come each day.

May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

May the face of every good news and the back of every bad news be towards us.

May neighbours respect you, Trouble neglect you, The angels protect you, And heaven accept you.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May those that love us, love us. And those that don’t love us, May God turn their hearts. And if he doesn’t turn their hearts, May he turn their ankles, So we’ll know them by their limping.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head. May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace… May your troubles grow less as your blessings increase!

May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for!

May the luck of the Irish Lead to happiest heights And the highway you travel Be lined with green lights. Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

If you’re enough lucky to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!

May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold— And at the end of all your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.

May your pockets be heavy— Your heart be light, And may good luck pursue you Each morning and night.


 

The Parting Glass by Celtic Woman

 

 

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Skip the Corned Beef and Cook Up an Authentic St. Patrick’s Day Feast

Skip the Corned Beef and Cook Up an Authentic St. Patrick’s Day Feast

rachel tepperRachel Tepper
YAHOO! Food
Mar 14, 2014

Prepare for your mind to be blown: No one in Ireland eats corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day. Or ever, really, according to Cathal Armstrong, the James Beard Awardnominated chef and owner of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia. Armstrong should know—he grew up on the Emerald Isle.

“How many times can I say it? We never ate corned beef. It’s not really eaten in Ireland,” Armstrong told us, his brogue softened by more than two decades of living in the states. Rather, Irish families traditionally ate lamb, and that’s what they’ll likely be serving on March 17.

“I bet at least 80 percent of households are going to have leg of lamb,” Armstrong predicted. After all, it’s nearly springtime; lambs are ready for slaughter and peas and carrots are in season. “A leg of lamb feeds a good-sized Catholic family, which almost everyone in Ireland [has],” he said, although it might be a smaller “rack of lamb if they weren’t listening at the pulpit when they said, ‘Have as many kids as possible.’”

Armstrong estimated the remaining 20 percent might enjoy a whole Atlantic salmon, which has a long history in Ireland and is richly featured in the country’s folklore. One Celtic legend tells of a druid named Finegas, who for years waited by the banks of a river for the arrival of the “Salmon of Knowledge.” When he finally traps the fish, he hands it to his pupil Fionn to cook. But Fionn accidentally burns himself on the hot fish and sucks his thumb, thus gaining the salmon’s immense knowledge for himself.

If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with a good Irish stew. But just make sure to use lamb rather than beef, and braise the stew for a few hours instead of simply bringing it to boil.

“[Boiled foods] aren’t really a fair representation of the food of the peasant people of Ireland,” Armstrong said. “They had braised hearty dishes that matched the climate.”

Below, enjoy three recipes from Armstrong’s new cookbook, “My Irish Table.” As Armstrong says, these “aren’t your typical diddle-idle-doo dishes.”

Photo credit: Scott Suchman

Photo credit: Scott Suchman

Irish Stew with Piccalilli

from “My Irish Table” by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

Serves 4

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (8-ounce) lamb shoulder chops
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 yellow onions, quartered lengthwise
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large fresh bay leaf
2 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Piccalilli

1. Brown the chops: Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over both sides of the lamb chops. In a flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat
the oil until it shimmers. Brown both sides of the lamb chops well (2 to 3 minutes per side), working in 2 batches so the pot is not crowded. Transfer the browned lamb to a plate and set aside.

2. Cook the stew: Blot the oil from the pot with a wad of paper towels. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf. Top the vegetables with the chops and any collected juices on their plate. Add the potatoes and water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and let the chops simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Adjust the salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Stir in the chopped thyme and serve immediately, with piccalilli on the side. The stew can be made the day before and gently reheated on the stove or in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Photo credit: Scott Suchman

Photo credit: Scott Suchman

Roast Leg of Lamb au Jus with Herb Pesto

from “My Irish Table” by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

Serves 8 to 10

1 (9-pound) bone-in leg of lamb (H-bone removed by your butcher)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup lamb demi-glace
herb pesto
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Roast the lamb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leg fat side up in a flameproof roasting pan. Rub it with the oil and season with the salt. Roast for 11/2 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of the lamb (but not touching the bone) registers 135°F for medium rare.

2. Make the pesto: Meanwhile, place the oil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse briefly. Add the basil and process until a coarse purée forms. Add the thyme, rosemary, and salt and process briefly, until incorporated.

3. Add the pesto to the lamb: Transfer the lamb leg to a cutting board and spread 4 tablespoons of herb pesto over it. Cover the leg loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.

4. Make the jus: Meanwhile, skim and discard the fat from the roasting pan. Add the demi-glace to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Use a flat-edged wooden spatula to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Present the dish: Pour the jus into a small pitcher or gravy boat. Spoon the remaining pesto into a small serving bowl. Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and carve it at table. At about the middle of the leg, use a carving knife to cut a horizontal wedge the width of the leg and about 2 inches wide, cutting at a 45° angle from both sides until you hit bone. Then cut thin slices from both sides of the wedge. Once you’ve carved as much meat that way as you can, grasp the bone and stand it on its end with one hand, using your other hand to cut slices off the leg. Spoon some jus over each serving and place a little pesto on the side. Serve with your chosen side dishes.

baked salmon

Baked Whole Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce

from “My Irish Table” by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

Serves 12 to 14

3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1 (10- to 12-pound) eviscerated whole North Atlantic salmon, scaled
2 large bunches fresh thyme, separated into sprigs
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

1. Prepare the foil wrapper: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay a sheet of 18-inch-wide aluminum foil slightly longer than your salmon on your work surface. Spread the butter evenly over it.

2. Prepare the salmon for baking: Towel dry the fish on both sides and lay it in the center of the buttered foil. Spread the thyme and lemon slices inside the cavity. Tightly wrap the foil around the fish, covering it completely. Lay it on a rimmed baking sheet (the sheet will probably be smaller than the fish).

3. Bake the salmon: Place the salmon, on the baking sheet, in the oven, curling up the tail to make it fit if necessary. (Put foil on the rack underneath the salmon to catch possible drips and keep your oven from becoming a mess.) Bake for 90 minutes, or until the tip of a knife poked through the foil and inserted into the center to the bone is warm.

4. Unwrap the salmon: Remove the salmon from the oven, place it on a large platter, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Use scissors to slice the foil open (watch out for steam) and then peel the foil away, rolling it up and tucking it under the sides of the fish. Peel away the skin between the gills and the tail, using a dinner knife (you don’t want a sharp edge). When you peel back the skin, you will reveal the bloodline. Scrape it away, along with any brown fat beneath it. There should now only be pink flesh visible.

5. Serve: Slice down the center of the fish to the bone horizontally and then cut portions however thick you want down the sides. They will lift easily off the bones. Once you cut away all the top portions, lift off and discard the fish’s spine. Cut portions from the bottom half, scraping away any skin and fat from them. Serve with hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce

from “My Irish Table” by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn

Makes 2 cups

6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups warm clarified butter
Juice of 1 lemon, at room temperature
A few dashes of Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt

1. Beat the egg yolks: Using a large whisk, beat the yolks and water in a large stainless steel bowl until well combined. Then place the bowl directly over low heat and whisk vigorously until the yolks become frothy and very pale, resembling beat egg whites, about 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to cook and whisk until the yolks are completely cooked and thickened and the whisk makes visible furrows in the foam.

2. Add the butter: Remove the bowl from the heat and anchor it on a rolled towel on your work surface. With one hand, continue to whisk the yolks while with the other hand you slowly ladle the warm clarified butter into them. Add the butter in a continuous stream, incorporating it completely into the yolks with your whisk as you go along. After you add about half of the butter, add half of the lemon juice. Continue adding butter until the sauce is the texture of mayonnaise and tastes buttery, not eggy. (You may not need all of the butter. Freeze whatever remains for future use.) Add a few dashes of Tabasco, some salt, and the rest of the lemon juice if the sauce needs it. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl that has been warmed with hot tap water and towel dried. Serve immediately.

All recipes reprinted with permission from My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.

 

 

Top ten Irish superstitions for St. Patrick’s Day

Jay Sia | @irishcentral | March 14,2014

 

blackbirdOne for sorrow!

The Irish are a notoriously superstitious lot, especially during certain times of the year.
Here are the top ten best, ‘old’ superstitions.

animated magpie
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1. If a fisherman sees a red-haired lady he should not put out to sea because ill will befall him.

animated ariel
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2.   If you see only one magpie quickly look for the second.
animated magpie 2“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.”

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3.   To kill a robin is very bad luck as they were considered to be Jesus’ friends while on Earth.

animated robin
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4.   The fairies will often take away an unattended child and leave a changeling in its place.
Yeats wrote the poem “Come Away O Human Child” along that theme.

animated child
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5.   Never skip giving money to a beggar as he will inflict the beggar man’s curse upon you.

animated put that evil on me
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6.   On a leap year day, February 29, the woman must ask for the man’s hand or the marriage will be unhappy.

animated proposal
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7.   The wail of the banshee will be followed by a death in the family.

animated banshee
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8.   A fisherman must give back to the sea the first caught salmon of the year or he will only have bad luck.

animated bear catches salmon
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9. If you trip and fall in a graveyard you will most likely die by the end of the year.

animated open grave
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10. If you pass a funeral and don’t bless yourself, ill will befall you.

animated skeleton rising from grave

Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

LiveScience Staff   |   May 14, 2013

Credit: Heritage Auctions

minerals - snow angelThe Snow Angel

This mineral beauty, dubbed the “snow angel,” was discovered during the digging of a well in India. The specimen is a silicate mineral called apophyllite-(KF), which appears in volcanic rocks. The snow angel is one of dozens of gorgeous minerals up for auction June 2, 2013.

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minerals - gold sculptureGold Sculpture

The opening bid on this natural gold “sculpture” is $15,000. This specimen comes from the Eagle’s Nest Mine in Placer Co., Calif.

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minerals - Linarite

Linarite

A specimen of a copper mineral called linarite contains unusual large crystals and could, conceivably, fetch more than $100,000 at auction, according to the auction house. All of the proceeds from the sale go to benefit Dallas’s new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

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minerals - tourmaline

Tourmaline

This 16-inch (40 cm) tourmaline goes up for auction June 2, 2013 with a starting bid of $30,000. Tourmalines are boron silicate minerals that get their rainbow-like colors from various elements such as iron, sodium or magnesium. This specimen comes from Brazil.

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minerals - cumengeite crystal

Cumengeite Crystal

Tiny but super-rare, this cumengeite crystal perches on a throne of brecca, or broken-up rock and mineral naturally cemented together. Cumengeite is closely related to boleite, which forms cubes of a similar blue hue and is found in lead and copper deposits. This cumengeite measures just a centimeter across and comes from Mexico.

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minerals - stibnite swordsStibnite Swords

These stibnite “swords,” made of the elements antimony and sulfur, were up for auction on June 2, 2013, with an opening bid of $32,500. This frozen firework of a mineral was found in the Lushi Mine in Henan, China and measures 9 by 10 by 4 inches (23 by 25 by 10 cm).

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minerals - rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite

These stunning red rhodochrosite crystals are made of manganese carbonate. The largest of the crystals measure about an inch (2.5 cm) in length.

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minerals - opal egg

Opal Egg

The smooth egg shape of this specimen isn’t natural, but the rainbow-colored opal vein inside is. This specimen was mined in 1985 in Oregon. The brown areas are rhyolite, a volcanic, igneous rock. Opals are made from silica (the same stuff as sand or quartz), but are infused with water molecules. The arrangement of the silica diffracts light, causing opal’s multicolored sheen.

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minerals - cubanite

Cubanite

Copper, iron and sulfur combine to make cubanite. This specimen, up for auction June 2, 2013, may be the largest cubanite crystal on record at 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) across. This cubanite was discovered in a copper mine in Quebec, Canada.

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minerals - wulfenite

Wulfenite

The buyer of this wulfenite crystal (starting bid: $10,000) will also get a complete history of the specimen since discovery. Found in Mexico and first bought for $40, the chunk of wulfenite was owned by some of the early luminaries of the mineral business, according to Heritage Auctions. These crystals are made from lead, molybdenum and oxygen.

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minerals - Strontianite

Strontianite

Delicate strontianite crystals top a Sphalerite (zinc ore) in this specimen from Hardin Co., Ill. Strontianite is made of the element strontium mixed with carbon and oxygen. Yellow and blue cubes of fluorite add a flourish to this otherwise black-and-white bit of geological art.

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minerals - la madona rosa

La Madona Rosa

“La Madona Rosa,” a rose quartz specimen from Brazil, gets its name from a supposed resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Mary’s body is formed out of smoky quartz with a halo of pink rose quartz outlining her. This sparkling beauty stands 15.5 inches (39 cm) tall, taller than other known rose quartz specimens. Quarz is made from silica, and titanium, manganese or iron lend rose quartz its pink hue. Smoky quartz’s color comes from free silicon in the mineral. The starting bid for La Madona Rosa is $100,000.

President John Tyler’s Grandsons Are Still Alive

President John Tyler’s Grandsons Are Still Alive

by Jason English / Mental Floss

john-tyler

Here’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever read about our 10th president:

John Tyler was born in 1790. He took office in 1841, after William Henry Harrison died. And he has two living grandchildren.

Not great-great-great-grandchildren. Their dad was Tyler’s son.

How is this possible?

The Tyler men have a habit of having kids very late in life. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one of President Tyler’s 15 kids, was born in 1853. He fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928.

After we shared this fact in 2012, Dan Amira interviewed Harrison Tyler for New York Magazine. Lyon Tyler recently spoke to the Daughters of the American Revolution. Snopes is also in on the fact.

The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes

The Dark Origins of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes

by Jennifer M WoodMental Floss

ring-a-round-a_rosessmith

In the canon of great horror writing, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley tend to dominate the craft. But Mother Goose isn’t too far behind. Yes, that fictional grande dame of kiddie poems has got a bit of a dark streak, as evidenced by the unexpectedly sinister theories surrounding the origins of these 11 well-known nursery rhymes.

1. BAA, BAA, BLACK SHEEP (1731): Though most scholars agree that “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is about the Great Custom, a tax on wool that was introduced in 1275, its use of the color black and the word “master” led some to wonder whether there was a racial message at its center. Its political correctness was called into question yet again in the latter part of the 20th century, with some schools banning it from being repeated in classrooms, and others simply switching out the word “black” for something deemed less offensive. In 2011, news.com.au reported on the proliferation of “Baa, Baa Rainbow Sheep” as an alternative.

2. GOOSEY GOOSEY GANDER (1784): It’s hard to imagine that any rhyme with the phrase “goosey goosey” in its title could be described as anything but feelgood. But it’s actually a tale of religious persecution, during the days when Catholic priests would hide themselves in order to say their Latin-based prayers, a major no-no at the time—not even in the privacy of one’s own home. In the original version, the narrator comes upon an old man “who wouldn’t say his prayers. So I took him by his left leg. And threw him down the stairs.” Ouch!

3. JACK AND JILL (1765): Admit it, you fooled around with the lyrics to “Jack and Jill” a bit yourself when you were younger, turning what you thought was an innocent poem into something a little bit naughty. But its origins aren’t as clean-cut as you probably imagined. One of the most common theories surrounding the story’s origin is that it’s about France’s Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, who were both found guilty of treason and subsequently beheaded. The only problem is that those events occurred nearly 30 years after “Jack and Jill” was first written. The more likely possibility is that it’s an account of King Charles I’s attempt to reform the tax on liquid measures. When Parliament rejected his suggestion, he instead made sure that the volume was reduced on half- and quarter-pints, known as jacks and gills, respectively.

4. LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN (1744): In 2006, Fergie got saucy with some of this classic kid tune’s lyrics. But the original song wasn’t much better. Depending on whom you ask, “London Bridge is Falling Down” could be about a 1014 Viking attack, child sacrifice, or the normal deterioration of an old bridge. But the most popular theory seems to be that first one. More specifically: the alleged destruction of London Bridge at the hands of Olaf II of Norway some time in the early 1000s. (“Alleged” because some historians don’t believe that attack ever took place.) The song’s popularity around the world is often cited as further proof that it was the Vikings who created it, believing that they brought the tune to the many places they traveled. Oh, and that whole child sacrifice thing? That’s an idea that is also often debated (there’s no archaeological evidence to support it), but the theory goes that in order to keep London Bridge upright, its builders believed that it must be built on a foundation of human sacrifice, and that those same humans—mostly children—would help to watch over the bridge and maintain its sturdiness. Which we’re pretty sure isn’t a practice they teach you in architecture school.

5. MARY, MARY, QUITE CONTRARY (1744): “Contrary” is one way to describe a murderous psychopath. This popular English nursery rhyme, which reads like a solicitation for gardening advice, is actually a recounting of the homicidal nature of Queen Mary I of England, a.k.a. Bloody Mary. A fierce believer in Catholicism, her reign as queen—from 1553 to 1558—was marked by the execution of hundreds of Protestants. (Silver bells and cockle shells are torture devices, not garden accouterments.)

6. THREE BLIND MICE (1805): “Three Blind Mice” is supposedly yet another ode to Bloody Mary’s reign, with the trio in question believed to be a group of Protestant bishops—Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Radley, and The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer—who (unsuccessfully) conspired to overthrow the queen and were burned at the stake for their heresy. Critics suggest that the blindness in the title refers to their religious beliefs.

7. EENY, MEENY, MINY, MO: No, there’s nothing particularly inflammatory about the lines “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo, Catch a tiger by his toe.” But there is when you consider that the word “tiger” is a relatively new development in this counting rhyme, as a replacement for the n-word. Even with the lyrical switch-out, any reference to the poem still has the ability to offend. In 2004, two passengers sued Southwest Airlines was for intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress, following an incident where a flight attendant used the rhyme in a humorous fashion during takeoff when she told passengers: “Eeny meeny miny mo, Please sit down it’s time to go.” (The court sided with the airline.)

8. HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH (1840): Like “Ring Around the Rosie,” “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is often sung as part of a children’s game. According to historian R. S. Duncan, a former governor of England’s Wakefield Prison, the song originated with that 420-year-old institution’s female prisoners, who were exercised around a mulberry tree. Which is probably not the connotation your six-year-old self had in mind.

9. ROCK-A-BYE BABY (1765): One interpretation of this famous lullaby is that it is about the son of King James II of England and Mary of Modena. It is widely believed that the boy was not their son at all, but a child who was brought into the birthing room and passed off as their own in order to ensure a Roman Catholic heir to the throne.

10. RING AROUND THE ROSIE (1881): Considering that some of today’s classic nursery rhymes are more than two centuries old, there are often several theories surrounding their origins—and not a lot of sound proof about which argument is correct. But of all the alleged nursery rhyme backstories, “Ring Around the Rosie” is probably the most infamous. Though its lyrics and even its title have gone through some changes over the years, the most popular contention is that the sing-songy verse refers to the 1665 Great Plague of London.“The rosie” is the rash that covered the afflicted, the smell from which they attempted to cover up with “a pocket full of posies.” The plague killed nearly 15 percent of the country’s population, which makes the final verse—“Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down”—rather self-explanatory.

But Snopes labels this reading false, and quotes folklorist Philip Hiscock with a more likely suggestion: That the nursery rhyme probably has its origins “in the religious ban on dancing among many Protestants in the nineteenth century, in Britain as well as here in North America. Adolescents found a way around the dancing ban with what was called in the United States the ‘play-party.’ Play-parties consisted of ring games which differed from square dances only in their name and their lack of musical accompaniment. They were hugely popular, and younger children got into the act, too.”

11. OLD MOTHER HUBBARD (1805): To many, “Old Mother Hubbard” is not a mother at all—nor a woman. The poem is speculated to have been written as a mockery of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, whose refusal to grant an annulment to King Henry VIII, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, led to his political downfall.

We Expect Respect

We Expect Respect

A Manifesto for Parents of Children With Special Needs

By About.com Children With Special Needs

As parents of children with special needs, we deal with a wide variety of disabilities that raise a wide variety of concerns and require a wide variety of accommodations. We do not speak with one voice on many of the things our children specifically need to be safe and secure and included in the life of their community and the wider world.

But there’s one thing we can all agree on: our children deserve respect.

They are not nuisances. They are not inconvenient. They are not impediments put in your way by troublemaking parents. They have a right to live and to learn and to play and to worship and to dine and to travel and to participate, by virtue of being human beings and citizens of their communities. We recognize that this may not always be easy, and we take responsibility for helping make inclusion happen instead of expecting it to be done for us. But the very first step, always, regardless of the situation, is respect. Respect our children. Respect our families. Or don’t expect us to respect you.

What does respect look like? It does not mean acceding to our every demand and accommodating every problem. (Though that would be fine.) It means taking our children’s needs seriously, and working in a conscientious way to find an acceptable solution. It means stepping out in front and presenting a coherent and compassionate policy rather than waiting for a problem and reacting defensively. It means treating children with special needs and their families as you would any other customer, any other worshiper, any other taxpayer, any other voter, any other community member. It means not sending out a message that says, “You know, we don’t really serve your kind here.”

Because there are a lot of “our kind,” and we are growing. We have been fragmented by our specific challenges and conflicting needs, but we now resolve to be united by our common expectation of respect. When you place an inflight snack choice above the life of an allergic child, you anger us all. When you care more about rude complaining diners than the family of a child with autism, you eject us all. When you value worshipful silence over compassion for worshipers with disabilities, you wound us all. Whether or not our children share those same disabilities, whether or not we would have made the same decisions as those parents, we still know what lack of respect looks like, and we will recognize it in your actions.

And we will act. We will remember. We will find our voice as a special-needs community, and we will stand together. We will demand respect for our children and our families, and for the adults with disabilities our children will become. You will find us to be fierce advocates. We would rather get respect without fear, but we’ll take it any way we can get it. Do the math. And do the right thing.

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If you’re the parent of a child with special needs (or a family member, friend, or well-wisher), and you feel ready to stand up for the rights of children with disabilities regardless of their specific needs, add your name to this manifesto, along with your own message, by replying to the Readers Respond page below. Can we band together for our kids?

Readers Respond: Add Your Name to the ‘We Expect Respect’ Manifesto

Eight Things You Can Do for Children With Special Needs

Eight Things You Can Do for Children With Special Needs

Actions speak louder than platitudes and pretty sayings

By About.comChildren With Special Needs

Maybe you’ve posted a nice message you’ve seen around social media, or an inspirational video, or a heartwarming story, and professed your appreciation for children with differences. But are you practicing what you post? If you really want to support children with special needs and their families, these eight actions will mean a lot more.

1. Give the benefit of the doubt.

Next time you’re tempted to criticize a child or a parent in a public place, consider that things may not be as they appear, and refrain from judging. You honestly may not know when you are in the presence of a child with special needs who will benefit from your grace.

2. Accept some inconvenience.

Whether it’s driving on past that handicapped parking space, honoring school food restrictions meant to protect kids with allergies, or ignoring noise from a child in a restaurant, allow yourself a little discomfort to ease the discomfort of a child with special needs.

3. Watch your language.

You probably don’t mean to be mean to children with special needs when you use words like the R-word, but your language is hurtful and demeaning and reinforcing of harmful stereotypes whether you intend it to be or not. Find some other words to use.

4. Don’t be a bully.

Anything you do that forces a child to feel left out or less than makes you a bully. There are endless rationalizations adults use to try to wriggle out of that, but it’s true nonetheless. Really think about how well you honor kids with disabilities when they’re right in front of you, not in the abstract.

5. Promote inclusion.

Sending kids with special needs out of the mainstream for school and adult living is less and less the norm, which means you will be more and more likely to have an opportunity to interact with, support, and include them in community activities. Step up.

6. Appreciate diversity.

Speaking of adult living, kids with special needs grow up and need jobs just like everybody else. Patronize businesses that employ workers with disabilities, show them patience and respect in their workplace, and offer job opportunities if you can.

7. Save your sympathy.

Feeling bad for kids with special needs and their families may be heartfelt, but it doesn’t do them much good. In fact, it often makes it easier to exclude and overlook them. Try treating kids with special needs like you would any other kid, with appreciation and delight.

8. Celebrate uniqueness for real.

Every child has strengths and weaknesses, just like every adult. All of us have special needs in one way or another. Celebrate the strengths and accommodate the weaknesses of kids with special needs just as you would like others to do for your child, and for your own unique self.

Hopping Of The Rabbits

Running of the bulls? How about the hopping of the rabbits?

By | Yahoo News

For those who don’t have the guts to participate in the running of the bulls, but still want to feel the surge of adrenaline that comes from being pursued by dozens of fearsome creatures, may we suggest this far more adorable option: a jog with the bunny rabbits.

A woman named Yu Yu Lam posted the clip of herself being chased (in an adorable way, not a hungry zombie way) to Facebook, both Gawker and 22 Words report. The pursuing rabbits appear to be quite interested in the woman’s snack food. The clip was reportedly shot in a Japanese park.

Though the footage is only 37 seconds, it manages to cram in a number of dramatic shifts. “Aww, those are some cute bunnies,” shifts to “Um, I’m slightly concerned for the woman’s safety,” shifts to “Ah, OK, she’s feeding them a snack and they aren’t going to attack her. That’s cute.”

THE HISTORY OF SAINT VALENTINE

THE HISTORY OF SAINT VALENTINE

Copyright(c) 2012-2013. All rights reserved. The Celtic Times.
http://www.celticthunder.iehttp://www.theceltictimes.com © Celtic Thunder

Saint_Valentine

Legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young, unattached males. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages in secret for young lovers. When Valentine’s defiance was discovered, Claudius ordered him put to death. Another story suggests that Valentine may have been martyred for trying to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Yet another legend says the saint was the one who sent the very first Valentine. According to the story, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter while he was in prison and sent her a message of affection, signed “From Your Valentine.”

While much of what is written about the saint is, at best, very murky and unreliable, these stories certainly illustrate his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, romantic figure. So, it’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. But why is his day celebrated in mid-February? There are those that believe it’s to commemorate the anniversary of his death which occurred around 270 AD. However, it’s more likely that the Church decided to make this day the feast of St. Valentine in an effort to Christianize Lupercalia, an ancient pagan festival.

In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February – February 15 – was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests sacrificed a goat for fertility, and then, young boys sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goat-hide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman ‘lottery’ system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Much, much later, during the middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14th was when birds began to mate which added to the idea that the middle of February – Valentine’s Day – should be a day for romance.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions at a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings. Here in the United States, we probably began exchanging hand-made Valentines in the early 1700s and then, in the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced Valentines in America.

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Christmas is the first.

While there’s no definitive written account of St. Valentine and his life in the third century, his Irish connection is more recent – and documented. In the year 1836, Pope Gregory XVI sent a gift to the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street, Dublin, in recognition of the work of the church’s former prior, Father John Spratt, who was widely recognized as a very holy man. The gift was a relic of a Christian martyr: a small gold-bound casket containing the earthly remains of St. Valentine. The relic had been exhumed from the cemetery of St. Hyppolytus on the Tiburtine Way in Rome, placed in a golden casket, and brought to Dublin, where it was enshrined in the little church with great ceremony. This year, on February 14th, as it has in every year since, the casket containing the Saint’s mortal remains will be carried in solemn procession to the high altar of the Carmelite Church for a special Mass dedicated to young people and those in love. If you’re lucky enough to be there, this little known Dublin church also sells Valentine’s Day cards. Truly, it can be said – these are the genuine article!

For those wishing to visit St. Valentine’s Shrine in Dublin, the church is located between Aungier Street and Wexford Street, just a few minutes’ walk west of St Stephen’s Green. Besides the cards, one can also purchase various souvenirs bearing the saint’s image.

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