Brilliant Sun Signs Tuesday, Jan 29 2008 

OK. After watching this, I am slightly tempted to erase everything I have ever written about sun sign astrologers. Because it is such a wicked response to this skeptic.

(hat tip: The facebook horoscopic astrology forum)

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Plutomomentum! Friday, Sep 1 2006 

hades_persephone.jpgAlthough not widely reported, Pluto did make a (sort of) concession speech:

Tomorrow morning, our campaign will file the necessary petition with the International Astronomical Union so that we can continue this campaign for a new astronomy of unity and purpose. I will always do what is right for my orbit and Solar system regardless of what the political consequences may be.

Tomorrow is a brand new day. Tomorrow we launch a new campaign — Team Pluto — Asteroids, non-conforming celestial objects and planets.

So this should come as no surprise:

Only a week after Pluto was stripped of its status as a full-fledged planet of the Solar System, rebel astronomers have launched a campaign to have it restored in pomp and glory.

A petition already signed by more than 300 professional researchers is attacking the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decision to expel Pluto from the Solar System’s A-list and doom it to the status of “dwarf planet”.

“We as planetary scientists and astronomers do not agree with the IAU’s definition of a planet, nor will we use it. A better definition is needed,” says the protest, placed on the Web . . . .

After all, as Clyde Tombaugh pointed out, “It’s there. Whatever it is. It is there.”

Anyone Can Do Astrology on TV Friday, Jun 30 2006 

greg-tufaro.jpgEven voice-overs named Greg Tufaro.

Yesterday’s New York Times features a hilarious article about about how a Brooklyn, New York couple gamed a new reality show “What’s Your Sign? Design” (debuting on cable’s Home and Garden channel) to get a free do-over done on their neglected front parlor.

Alex (wife) and Andrew (husband) Postman put their heads together to present a captivating (for a tv producer, at least) dilemna. She hates color and likes it, though in reality, he doesn’t much care and she really really doesn’t like it. It didn’t hurt that they are a good-looking couple (Alex is “glamorously Pregnant”) and (theoretically) it can’t be hard to make a front parlor room of a Brooklyn Brownstone look good. Eventually they were chosen to be the headline couple:

Can a practical Capricorn and a headstrong Taurus really agree on the look of a room? Find out on What’s Your Sign? Design where zodiac charts and fresh paint mix to create incredible makeovers. Watch an expert designer and a talented astrologer make it work using creative design and a little help from the stars in this innovative series that brings design harmony to couples all over the country.

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Some Serious Astrology Tuesday, Jun 27 2006 

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Update: more on Lutin’s astrological views here.

Some tidbits from a Q & A with famous astrologer Michael Lutin courtesy of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY):

Q. I’ve heard this is supposed to be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, which is a time of peace, acceptance and love. Why does it seem like nothing’s getting better?

People always think things are going to be better. They’re never better; they’re just different. We’re moving from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius, but it’s neurotic to think things are going to get better.

I have my birth certificate here. Can you do my chart super quick or tell me something I don’t know about myself?

You know everything about yourself. The client always knows more about him or herself than the astrologer ever could.

If I gave you my birth date and time, could you give me a fast read?

I would give you that. I couldn’t do anything real for you.

When did you start getting interested in astrology?

I was a teenager. … I didn’t really believe it. I studied it for years and … eventually, after studying chart after chart after chart and seeing the correlations come and be so accurate, I had to either accept it or stop doing it.

What’s your sign?

I never tell. It’s not good for my practice. I try to be neutral in my practice, and people have prejudices against certain signs, so that’s why. People have all kinds of crazy notions, based upon their childhood, mostly. They’ll say, “Oh, I hate Geminis,” and I’ll say, “Is your mother a Gemini?” “Yeah, how’d you know?”

(ed: very badly kept secret at that. Hint, hint – famous for being cheap, nit picking, and according to Forbes Magazine attributed to the highest number of billionaires.)

Political Astrology Tuesday, Jun 27 2006 

“The report that important decisions in the White House were based on astrological advice is most disturbing. The results could undermine faith in astrology.”

Letter to the Editor
New York Times
May 15, 1988

Sharks Bank Left at the Kuiper Belt Saturday, Jun 24 2006 

kuiper_belt.jpg

Update: Jerome Armstrong quotes J.P. Morgan (millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do), confesses his faith in our primate ancestors and invites the wingnuts out for a little vipassana meditation! (though Redstate.com is having way too much fun with this to let it go . . . )

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In his biography of the astrologer and mathematician Girolamo Cardano, historian Anthony Grafton likens the role of a modern economist to that of a Rennaissance astrologer.

How about the modern economist as astrologer aka political pundit?

I don’t even know how I stumbled over this — but a pack of rightwingnut bloggers have launched a witch hunt — and are celebrating the the revelation that blogger and author Jerome Armstrong (how many people do you know who have even heard of Jerome Armstrong?) was/is an astrologer as well as a day trader — hmmm, did he study with Ray? — before he became a political consultant.

I am not going to try to recount the particulars as how this came to light, as I am not sure I understand it myself, but one thing is clear — there are no secrets in the lands of the internets. None.

The gist is that apparently an email (alluding to some legal difficulties with the SEC a few years ago in connection to the daytrading dimension of life) circulating on a private list of lefty bloggers fell into the paws of a bigshot wingnut blogger (love to know how much he paid for it!). And somehow, that leaked email inspired/enabled computer wizards on the right to start combing the internet looking for more dirt, and well, to make a long story short, it turns out that Jerome Armstrong of mydd.com is none other than the completely unknown astrologer, Jerome Armstrong (I am serious, who ever heard of an astrologer named Jerome Armstrong?)

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Shallow Humor Thursday, Jun 15 2006 

ARIES You have a wild imagination and often think you are being followed by the FBI or CIA. You have minor influence on your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are a general dipshit.

TAURUS You are practical and persistent. You have a dogged determination and work like hell. Most people think you are stubborn and bullheaded. You’re nothing but a damned communist.

GEMINI You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. This means you are a cheap bastard. Geminis are notorious for thriving on incest.

CANCER You are sympathetic and understanding to other people’s problems, which makes you a sucker. You are always putting things off. That is why you will always be on welfare and won’t be worth a shit. Everyone in prison is a Cancer.

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The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Wanna-be (maybe) Astrologer Monday, Jun 12 2006 

Astrology Class – Term 1

Week 1: Started Astrology classes. Most concerned to discover our Illustrious Tutor despises Taureans, as they are greedy, fond of excesses of the VERY WORST KIND, and insufferably slow and boring. Shows how much he knows. I am a model of sensitivity and propriety (apart from that incident with the psychologist and the strawberry ice cream in 1982 — and that was only in the interests of dispelling our baser instincts to achieve spiritual unity — so it quite clearly doesn’t count).

Week 2: Things have picked up slightly. The mysteries of astrology have deepened, but the woman sitting next to me is very interesting, and A MAN has joined. Wonder if he’s interested in Taurean excesses? N.B. Remember geometry set for next week.

Week 3: Start to draw our charts. This is very difficult

a) because I bought a cheap geometry set and the compass slips all over the place, and

b) because it is very difficult.

The interesting woman next to me says she is thinking of doing yoga instead — either that or committing suicide — she hasn’t quite decided.

THE MAN is interested in Taurean excesses. Also, he is not interested in astrology. Dismiss him totally. You can’t win ‘em all!

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Meet Jack the Cat Monday, Jun 12 2006 

Jack_the_cat.jpg

This is what Jack did. Twice.
Jack_and_the_bear-up-a-tree.jpg

WEST MILFORD, N.J. – A black bear picked the wrong New Jersey yard for a jaunt earlier this week, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, chasing small animals when he can, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

“We used to joke, ‘Jack’s on duty,’ never knowing he’d go after a bear,” cat owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday’s newspapers.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack’s accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey home’s back yard on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes peering down at the cat from the tree, the bear descended and tried to run away, only to have Jack chase it up another tree.

At this point Dickey, who feared for her cat, called Jack back home and the bear scurried back to the woods. “He doesn’t want anybody in his yard,” Dickey said.

Some Cat.

A Knave and a Fool Monday, Jun 12 2006 

There and knaves . . . and then there are knaves.

In Aspen Colorado, “former astrologer” Thomas Gregory Brown was sentenced to 18 months probation for “for harassing two girls, concluding a case that referenced everything from a movie cannibal to lie detectors . . . Brown, who was originally charged with two felony counts of sexual assault on a child, pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanor harassment charges as part of a plea agreement.

According to the British-born Brown’s defense attorney, the resemblance between the astrologer and the star Anthony Hopkins, the star of Silence of the Lambs, is “uncanny.” Would love to know Brown’s birth data. Hopkin’s is December 31, 1937, time unknown. Read More here.

Speaking of things British, here is a 2004 astrological analysis of the UK’s National Health Service.

The chart is criss-crossed by opposition aspects, and each end of these oppositions is at right-angles to other oppositions. There is a predominance of tense aspects, showing on one level that this organisation is biased towards action and doing, but on another level that there is a great deal of conflict within it.

There is much to commend in this chart, and it’s a very complex chart overall; it’s important to keep in mind though that it needs to be such, because it represents a service that caters to more than 60 million residents plus visitors to the UK – an amazingly complex operation.

In a later post, the author rails against politicians for “the sinister, treacherous, and brutal Pluto side into the equation. It is playing the Plutonic role of the murderous villain, not the life-bringer.”

Pluto the life-bringer?!?!