April Fools’ Day Central

If you come across any amusing April Fool’s Day pranks–on the internet, in the media, in actual life–please tell about them here.  Read this for the origins, though it sounds like no one really knows for sure, with the explanations themselves sounding like hoaxes.

Shooting down the claims that Easter has pagan origins

Rev. Joseph Abrahamson has thoroughly refuted these claims about Easter, and yet we still keep hearing them:

There are three main things people attack about this Holy Day:

They claim that it is pagan because the name Easter is from a pagan goddess.

They claim that Easter eggs are a symbol of pagan worship, particularly of that false goddess in number 1.

They claim that the Easter bunny is a pagan symbol, the consort of the pagan goddess in number 1.

All of these claims are false.

Easter eggs, for example, come from the use of eggs in the Passover celebration and in the practice of breaking the Lenten fast against eating animal products with eggs on Easter morning.  Go here for the details about why all of these claims of Easter’s pagan origins are just demonstrably wrong.

In the meantime, ANOTHER claim has emerged–that Easter and Easter eggs come from a Persian Zoroastrian holiday named Nowruz.  Rev. Abrahamson shoots that one down too, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day, which is today, is not to honor Ireland but to honor missionaries.  But we can honor Ireland too, which–thanks to St. Patrick and the church he brought to that island–saved civilization.  To celebrate the day, don’t just wear green.  Read this meditation by St. Patrick, which has been turned into a hymn and one of this blog’s most popular posts:  Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me.

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Happy Super Pi Day: 3.14.15

Today is “Pi Day,” the 14th day of the 3rd month (3.14).  Not only that, it is “Super Pi Day,” with the rest of the date giving the next two numbers: 3.14.15.  Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  Though circles are everywhere, their numeric ratios can never be exact.  The mysterious number represented by the Greek letter π has been proven to be an “irrational number,” one which has an infinite number of non-repeating decimals.  And, yet, the ratio has to be used in all kinds of common calculations, from figuring the area of a circle to analyzing subatomic and astronomical phenomena.

After the jump, an excerpt and a link to an essay on π and pi day by Cornell mathematicisn Tara S. Holm.  Do go to the link for an account of the history of our knowledge of the concept, including a government attempt to regularize it at 3.2 by passing a law.  My favorite part is how Prof. Holm is celebrating the day:  Getting her family together at 9:26 and 53 seconds (the next five numbers) and eating a piece of pie. [Read more...]

Thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return

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A video for Lent

Concordia Publishing House has put together an excellent video explaining what Lent is all about.   See it after the jump. [Read more...]