Astrology Romps into the Bedroom
It had to happen, I guess. A new book, Sextrology: The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes, written by New York astrologers Stella Starsky and (wince) Quinn Cox gets a fair amount of column inches in the Dominion Post (July 8.)
Seems that the creative couple, Starksky and Cox, have been churning out this stuff for at least 20 years. Their theory, briefly, is that women and men in the same sign can be totally opposite. It means there are 24 signs of the zodiac, not 12. Two for the price of one, as it were.
The book, by all accounts, is a bit racey and fairly explicit in its use of language. Male Capricorns may have a predilection for schoolgirls and spanking; Cancerian females are fans of sex clubs and sado-masochism. Makes the mind boggle but what a good marketing idea. It’s kinky, it’s naughty, it will sell well, especially when reported on by writers who conclude there’s something to it all. “… there are pages of analysis of … personality and attitudes to relationships that I found at times to be spookily accurate.” Except for the bits that say she’s supposed to be into sex clubs, S&M, swinging and sub-mission fantasies.
Hm. I wonder what Starsky and Cox have to say about female Capricorns…
Walk on the Wild Side
Such pondering aside, it was with a pang of sadness that we learned that some people had to be treated for burns after a fire walking in Dunedin (Dominion Post, July 12.)
The event was run by the New Zealand International Science Festival as a fund raiser for St John and was a bid to create a world record. About 450 people walked through a 3.5m hot charcoal pit, and of those, 28 were treated for burns, 11 of them in hospital. The fire walking raised about $1000 for St John but the organisation spent more than that treating patients.
The festival director said they certainly didn’t want to cause any pain for people and they probably wouldn’t knowingly get into it again. Which is a shame, because as we skeptics know, such events are a good way to highlight some basic science. Maybe it was just a case of too many feet — 28 out of 450 is, after all, only a little more than 6% requiring treatment.
As for whether or not a record was set, it’s too early to tell. Let’s cross our fingers…
Bacteria Beware — Science to the Rescue!
Christmas is coming up and this writer is holding out for a Twinbird Ion desk lamp. It emits ionised air towards one’s brain, which makes one brainier. Bring it on, I say.
The ion desk lamp is just one item on sale in Japan, where a health neurosis is reportedly sweeping the country (Dominion Post, June 15.) It appears negatively-charged air particles can produce an endless range of potential health benefits, from cleaning the air to stimulating the brain. Devious devices include Bio Shoes which pump ionised air into shoes over-night to sanitise them, and the Plasmacluster Ion Fridge, which smothers viruses and bacteria with both negative and positive ions. The Photo Ion Blaster will not only render your face clean and bacteria-free, it will also eliminate wrinkles. Everything from pens to doorknobs are marketed with anti-bacterial films and one firm stocks more than 20 different models of washing machine that destroy bacteria by negatively charging a load of washing. A lovely quote: “I’m not even sure what exactly this minus ion technology does, but I feel that I have a duty to buy it.”
Restaurant Didn’t Have a Ghost of a Chance
The collapse of Suzanne Paul’s Maori village venture is no surprise to one Auckland woman, who says the Northcote site is haunted and cursed (Herald, July 17).
Strange things have happened at Fisherman’s Wharf, says former owner, Barbara Doyle. Mrs Doyle, who used to run murder mystery weekends at the Brian Boru in Thames, says she had tried to run a restaurant on the site in 2000, but went bankrupt.
She says while she found it hard to believe in ghosts, she felt she should have called in a ghostbuster. On one occasion she saw a man throw himself to his death off a nearby cliff: the venue was cursed, she believed.
Her daughter says she felt spirits inside the building when she lived there for six months, and later heard about a young man who’d hanged himself there.
Ngati Whatua kaumatua Grant Hawke said its original inhabitants, Ngati Tai, endured severe casualties through raids by Ngati Poa and Ngati Whatua.
One of the liquidators said ghost stories were new to him, and that while he’d heard a few creaks, they were possibly the air-conditioning.
And Neville Waldren, of the Restaurant Assocation, said it was a magic spot, but a bit off the beaten track, which contributed to its failure.
Time Running Out for Psychic Forecasters
The Ashburton Guardian’s Matt Smith had a mid-year look at some psychic predictions recently (July 22).
Ashburton psychic Barry Newman predicted Don Brash would be ousted from the National Party leadership by Gerry Brownlee, which is looking unlikely. He also said a world leader would be toppled or slain and armies would march — such as happened to Saddam Hussein.
In cricket, Newman predicted that Jeff Wilson would appear for the Black Caps this year, which he hasn’t yet. Someone in a glass cage would die, with many to cry was another claim, but nothing seems to have come of this one yet, either.
Patricia McLaine claimed Howard Dean would be the Democratic candidate for the US presidency. John Kerry is now confirmed in that role. She also predicted surprise weddings among celebrities — and Britney Spears did marry a childhood friend in early January, so she got one right, Smith says. He adds that McLaine also said space debris would become a major nightmare. “And although it wasn’t quite to that level, a meteorite blasted through an Auckland home last month, generating major interest from astronomy fans world-wide.” Stretching it a bit, I think.