Thousands of people woke up to the realization last week that they aren’t who they thought they were.
Worse still, neither was that partner they always thought they were so compatible with based on their astrological signs, because this week it was announced that many of us were reading the wrong horoscope.
“Over the 2,500 years or so since the zodiac was established, your sign has moved about a month relative to the sun and stars,” Robert Roy Britt wrote in a posting on LiveScience that was republished by a newspaper in Minnesota, triggering the zodiac panic.
“You’re no longer what you think you are, and so if you’re an astrology buff, perhaps poised to make a New Year’s resolution based on the stars and a reading of your supposed personality, know that you’re actually following observations, predictions and advice aimed at another person entirely,” Britt wrote.
The shift in the alignment of the stars, which has come about because the Earth has been wobbling on its axis for millennia, means most people go back a sign.
Warm-hearted, patient Taurus becomes selfish, quick-tempered Aries.
Eminently practical and prudent Capricorns are now blindly optimistic and careless Sagittarians.
And many Sagittarians are now Ophiucus. Oh what? Ophiucus. It’s the hitherto little-heard-of 13th astrological sign. Apparently the Babylonians had an Ophiucus column in their daily horoscopes, but it got dropped somewhere between their civilization and ours. In any case, news of the celestial shift and of Ophiucus’s resurrection sent astrology buffs reeling.
If they weren’t wondering how to get rid of the Scorpio tattoo that they just had done when it turns out they’re really Libra, as Michele Zipp did in a blog posting on The Stir, they were pondering some of the other existential questions raised by the change.
What, for instance, are Ophiucus’s personality traits? What signs are compatible with Ophiucans? And do the lyrics to the song from Hair that go, “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius” have to be rewritten?
It would become “the dawning of the age of Capricorn,” which doesn’t really work with the meter of the song.
Knowing that famous Ophiucans include the former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, rocker and reality show star Ozzy Osbourne, the late US comedian Richard Pryor and pop star Britney Spears, all of whom were born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17, sheds little light on what the sign’s personality traits are.
In fact, wrote John Abbott in Kernel Press about Ophiucus, “To claim that people as disparate as Ozzy Osbourne, Winston Churchill and Richard Pryor have a similar set of characteristics is nonsense.”
The news of the heavenly shift is in fact old — Britt’s story links to another published on Live-Science in 2007, in which the shift in the heavens and Ophiucus were announced, and Abbott wrote his piece in 1996, which is why he didn’t mention Britney Spears — she released her debut album in 1999.
Britts and Abbott both point out that astrology is not a science, a hint that no one was supposed to take the redrawing of the zodiac map too seriously.
But for some reason, the whole thing went viral after the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota, picked up the story and got an astronomer — a real scientist — to comment on it.
The astronomer was swamped with phone calls, and the Star Tribune’s Web site got more than 183,000 hits on Thursday.
“If we had checked our horoscope, maybe we would have seen this coming,” chuckled the Star Tribune’s Bill Ward in his column on Friday.
According to a survey conducted in 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of people in the US believe in astrology.
That’s 75 million people who could now be worried that someone is trying to Ophiucus.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered