12.0329 season's greetings (belated by WM)

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 10 Jan 1999 14:36:11 +0000 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 329.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: David Zeitlyn <D.Zeitlyn@ukc.ac.uk> (21)
Subject: Season greetings

[2] From: Carlos Alberto Teixeira <CAT@Royal.Net> (21)
Subject: << My Heart >> (use 'Courier New' font)

[3] From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu> (20)
Subject: RE: Season greetings

[4] From: Francois Crompton-Roberts <F.Crompton- (13)
Subject: For all who surf the Web at night

[5] From: Thierry van Steenberghe (87)
Subject: 12.0327 greetings for the solstitial holidays!

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 12:28:08 +0000
From: David Zeitlyn <D.Zeitlyn@ukc.ac.uk>
Subject: Season greetings

As is appropriate for the season, the CSAC elf has reappeared on our web si=
If you just want to view the image it is

I take the occasion to point out that the CSAC web server has now had our 5
millionth access (and that the Anthropological Index Online was accessed
40 thousand times in November alone)

seasonal greetings

dz for the CSAC team

Dr David Zeitlyn,
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology,
Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing,
Department of Anthropology,
Eliot College, The University of Kent,
CT2 7NS, UK.
Tel. (44) 1227 764000 -Extn 3360 (or 823360 direct)
Fax (44) 1227 827289

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:33:22 -0200
From: Carlos Alberto Teixeira <CAT@Royal.Net>
Subject: << My Heart >> (use 'Courier New' font)

'Hello !!!
Let's hope this Inter=20
net can be used more and more
to spread Love around the planet,
because that's only what *really*
counts. I wish You and your Family
a wonderful Christmas and a healthy
and successful 1999. Plenty of new
projects, huge motivation to impl
ement them and,above all, a lot
of inspiration. Best wishes
and energy from <CAT@ROY=20
AL.NET> Carlos Alb
erto Teixeir
a - Rio,

|\ _,,,---,,_ =20
Carlos Alberto Teixeira /,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ <cat@royal.ne=
Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro |,4- ) )-,_. ,\ ( `'-' http://stop.at/c=
BRASIL '---''(_/--' `-'\_) +(55-21) 556-66=

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 16:39:34 -0500 (EST)
From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu>
Subject: RE: Season greetings

>> From: R.Thomas@open.ac.uk

>As is appropriate for the season, the CSAC elf has reappeared on our
web site
>If you just want to view the image it is

Not a very interesting image. Any recommendations for something to
send electronically for greetings which might make more of an
impression????? =20

Like flashing lights on Xmas trees. A seasonal but *humanist* message.
A poem expressing the joys and reservations that liberal capitalism
seems to have taken over the world. An image which captures today -
50th anniversary of the Day of human rights, the day Jack Straw decided
to allow the extradition of Pinochet - and my birthday. =20

Congratulations to CSAC, BTW, on 5 million accesses.

Ray Thomas, Social Sciences, Open University
Email: r.thomas@open.ac.uk
Tel: 44-1908-679081 Fax: 44-1908-880292
Post: 35 Passmore, Tinkers Bridge,=20
Milton Keynes MK6 3DY, England

Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 13:52:49 +0000
From: Francois Crompton-Roberts <F.Crompton-Roberts@qmw.ac.uk>
Subject: For all who surf the Web at night

In the festive season, I thought it would be appropriate to forward,=20
with his permission, this pearl posted a few weeks ago on the=20
medievalists' list MEDTEXTL by Siegfried Wentzel.

Evidently Thomas Brinton, OSB, bishop of Rochester, anticipated
our delight when, in 1382, he said in a sermon: "Nocturnum
tempus ad tria principaliter adaptatur: primo spiritualiter ad
computandum." Sermon 101; ed. Devlin 2:462.

The other two things night-time is ideal for are: "Secundum adaptatur=20
tempus nocturnum temptacionibus ad resistendum... Tercio adaptatur=20
tempus nocturnum ad orandum vel cum Deo secrecius ad loquendum."=20

_Tout un programme!_ All the best to Humanists for the last year of=20
the Millenium and beyond.
Francois C-R

Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 10:43:48 -0500
From: Thierry van Steenberghe <100342.254@compuserve.com>
Subject: 12.0327 greetings for the solstitial holidays!

Willard, thank you for your wishes, greetings, and exhortations!

You wrote, among other nice thoughts:

>So, your exhortation for the day: write to Humanist, and fall in love. The
latter is, of course, your concern entirely, but as it (or some
approximation) is far commoner than writing to Humanist, I make the
parallel for the benefit of our seminar. I think also, however, of a
Hebrew proverb:
"Do what you do only out of love."

I have to acknowledge that since I left my university, and even more since
I started up a new project in electronic publishing, I hardly find the time
to even read all my mail... ;-) which makes me a Humanist lurker!=20
(Those who can't believe it could compare the date of this post-solstitial
messsage with that of Willard's pre-solsticial greetings...)

A Spanish saying I remember is: "A=F1o nuevo, vida nueva" (New year, new
life). So, as a good (you'll appreciate?) new year's resolution, I'll
comment on another part of Willard's message:

>Allow me, then, from my position of honour and privilege :-) to offer you
my very best wishes for the holidays -- Chanukah in 5 days, the solstice 7
days later, Christmas 4 days after that and several other celebrations I
simply don't know about but am unwittingly enriched by.=20

It is a well known fact, I think, that the solstices are seeing important
clusters of celebrations in many cultures. Would'nt it be interesting and
fun to collaborate within this savvy group in trying to establish some kind
of a calendar of this sort, provided it was not already built a hundred
times since the birth of Humanist? (I'm only with you since 91, if memory
I'm certainly no specialist of the subject, and all I can do is get into my
memory and try to list, in addition to Hanukkah (is this form acceptable?),
the (northern) winter solstice, and Christmas, the following:

- pretty early in hte season, there is Halloween, a celebration which seems
to be of celtic (Irish?) origin, but is now coming back to Europe as a
re-exportation from the USA...
- Saint Nicolas (in Belgium) or Santer Klaus (in Germany), is in charge of
bringing gifts to good children on 6 dec. (In Belgium at least, there is
some specialization, as P=E8re Fouettard will take care of the bad ones...)=
Does this date hold elsewhere too?
- Saint Sylvestre, who has a priviledge too, that of closing the year, 31
- the first of January, of course, as someone made it the first day of the
- the Epiphany, much awaited in Spain, as the Kings (los Magos) bring gifts
to children on that day (6 jan). By the way, is'nt it intresting to note
that there are different special days for children in different places? As
far as I know, in France P=E8re No=EBl makes no distinction between childre=
and grown-up and only comes on Christmas eve; the same holds true for UK, I
believe? What about other countries or regions?
- the orthodox Christmas is celebrated some time early january, I think; is
it on the same Epiphany day, or is it moving, and how?

Speaking of moving dates, we can't forget cultures using the moon as a
calendar pointer, rather or in addition to the sun:
- the Chinese, Vietnamese and probably other asian calendars begin with a
new moon, usually in february I think (but why?); this year it is the 16th
feb. if I'm well informed: it will be the year of the cat (or the rabbit,
a quasi-synonym!), coming after the tiger last year.=20
- the muslim 'ramadan' begins with a much discussed fist crescent of the
moon (but what are the other specifiers?) as seen from a specific place
(the Mecca?); what is the relation to the arabic calendar, known to be
lunar so that the current year is numbered with some hundreds of difference
with ours? (This year the ramadan begun on the 18th of december, again if I
got it right.)

Now, a more general remark about the nature of the celebrations: is it not
that many celebrations have indeed a ever growing comercial / consumerist
smell, which can tend to shadow the genuine / traditional nature of the
celebration? I noted again this year that many people around here launch
chinese fires and rockets during the Christmas eve (not commenting on
Clinton's deeds), as if it was the same as New Year's eve... ("Stille
nacht...", where are you?).
And another one about their diversity: should one not worry about the
"globalization" which does'nt really just improve the mutual knowledge of
people's cultures, but tends to mix things up with the risk of completely
loosing their meanings, as the example of Halloween show?

I've been long: now you know why I'd better shut up and keep lurking...;-)
Shall we let the (northern) summer solstice for immediately after the
Humanist birthday?

I for one would be most happy to get comments and additions.
In the mean time, best wishes to all and in particular to Willard,
irrespective of whenever you decide to begin *your* year!



Thierry van Steenberghe


Bruxelles - Belgium

Humanist Discussion Group=20
Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>