Monday, August 31, 2015

Superstitions of Luck

Feeling Lucky?

Superstitions are culturally held beliefs (truisms) about how and why something could or could not happen. They are not necessarily proven fact but they do take hold and become words of wisdom or caution that many believe could shape the circumstances in their lives.

Here are some examples: 

Superstitions to keep you Lucky

  • To see the thin crescent over ones left shoulder is lucky
  • Charms and amulets shaped like a crescent moon can help protect you from witchcraft.
  • Planting, courtship and new business ventures are best started when under a new moon.
  • A horseshoe hung above the door will bring good luck.
  • If you blow out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first breath you will get whatever you wish for.

Superstitions to warn you of Bad Luck

  • It is bad luck to step on a grave.
  • It is bad luck for a different person to close a knife than the person who opened it.
  • It’s bad luck to completely finish a new house.
  • Wearing an opal when it is not your birthstone is bad luck.
  • If when giving a toast your glass breaks you will have bad luck.
  • It’s bad luck to wash on New Year’s Day.
  • Don’t open an umbrella in the house.
 Consider yourself warned!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cosmonaut Folk Heroine

Soviet Space Folk Heroine 

Cosmonaut folk heroine Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. She flew the spacecraft Soviet Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. During her 3 days stay in the space she orbited the earth 48 times. Following that she spent a great deal of time and effort on promoting Soviet science and eventually earned her place as one of the Soviet's folk heroines.

 Born in 1937 in Maslennikova village, north east of Moscow she left school at 16 and worked in a mill where her mother worked. She soon joined the Communist Party and the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club. Her interest in parachuting helped to get selected for the program. She was among five women who underwent training for 18 months and was one of two selected to go into space.

Two days after cosmonaut Valeriy Bykovsky flew Vostok 5 Tereshkova launched Soviet Vostok 6. The spacecrafts moved in different orbits and kept in constant communication with one another.

Technical errors almost led to Tereshkova’s flight being a tragedy. The space ship was taken away from the earth as a result of a technical error in its navigation software. She noticed the error and worked with Soviet scientists to develop a new landing algorithm for the ship that resulted in a safe landing near Kazakhstan.

She was considered to be a Hero of the Soviet Union and was also awarded the Order of Lenin as well as the Gold Star Medal. Later she served as the spokesperson of Soviet Union. She also served as a test pilot and instructor. 

In the early 1980’s she was made a deputy to Supreme Soviet and then became People’s Deputy. She also served as member of Supreme Soviet Presidium and as head of Soviet Women’s Committee.  Her credits also included being head of the International Cultural and Friendship Union and later chairperson of Russian of International Cooperation. Further civic duties included serving as a member of the Russian Parliament and chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on International Affairs.

Monday, August 17, 2015

World Folk Music

World Music

 World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the world, including traditional music, neotraditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition intermingle.

The term was coined in the early 1960’s and finally took hold in the music industry in the 1980s. Versions of it include worldbeat and ethnic fusion. What’s most interesting is that the styles come together through their commonality, their roots, so to speak.

It’s always fun and interesting to hear the results.

Locally, here in Sonoma County we’ve got an opportunity to check out to world music concerts through the Sonoma County Public Library. The concerts, performed by Ancient-Future are designed to introduce the audience to musical concepts from world music such as Indian raga and tala.
These hour long performances feature world class musicians Matthew Montfort and Vishal Nagar.

Saturday, August 22, 11:30 AM
Central Santa Rosa Library
211 E Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Free. Info. Facebook Event
Saturday, August 22, 2:30 PM
Petaluma Regional Library
100 Fairgrounds Dr.
Petaluma, CA 94952
Free. Info.  Facebook Event 


Photo of Matthew Montfort and Vishal Nagar by Michael Braden