Common Misconceptions

The red line represents the path of the Sun, through the year. The red/green is the Earth’s path. The place where these two cross, is the spring equinox.

I’m using this blog post to talk about three common misconceptions/misunderstandings. These are very prevalent and I come across them what feels like every other week. If I don’t address this, for once, I’ll go crazy.

What’s Your Sign? No It’s Not

Whenever a girl begins with, “Do you know what my horoscope said?” you can answer confidently, “That you’re crazy.”

I guess that my love for astronomy and the skeptic in me combine for a really frustrated guy when it comes to astrology. I can’t even begin to count the ways how dumb it is. But the best part is, all these folks that think they know their signs, don’t.

There are many different branches of astrology and many that are much older, but the one that we use here in the States is what’s called “Western astrology”. This system of the twelve constellations came around the 2nd century AD. And in Western astrology, sometime ago, someone got lazy and stopped looking at the sky because the position of the stars had changed! It takes the earth 27,000 years to go through all 12 different zodiac signs. It’s substantial enough that no one really noticed that the position of the constellations changed, yet it’s small enough that the small change is noticeable after only a few hundred years.

There are a few people that use the correct form of Western astrology, called Sidereal astrology. However, most Americans use the out of date version, Tropical astrology.

So what is your real sign? The table below should clear that up.

Constellation Tropical date Sidereal Date Sun is in constellation
Aries.svg Aries March 21 – April 19 April 15 – May 15 April 17 – May 13
Taurus.svg Taurus April 20 – May 21 May 16 – June 15 May 14 – June 19
Gemini.svg Gemini May 22 – June 22 June 16 – July 15 June 20 – July 20
Cancer.svg Cancer June 23 – July 22 July 16 – August 15 July 21 – August 9
Leo.svg Leo July 23 – August 22 August 16 – September 15 August 10 – September 15
Virgo.svg Virgo August 23 – September 23 September 16 – October 15 September 16 – October 30
Libra.svg Libra September 24 – October 23 October 16 – November 15 October 31 – November 22
Scorpio.svg Scorpius October 24 – November 22 November 16 – December 15 November 23 – November 29
Asclepius staff.svg Ophiuchus N/A N/A November 30 – December 17
Sagittarius.svg Sagittarius November 23 – December 21 December 16 – January 14 December 18 – January 17
Capricorn.svg Capricorn December 22 – January 20 January 15 – February 14 January 18 – February 15
Aquarius.svg Aquarius January 21 – February 19 February 15 – March 14 February 16 – March 11
Pisces.svg Pisces February 20 – March 20 March 15 – April 14 March 12 – April 16

As you can see, I was born on January 13th, making me a Capricorn in the Western, incorrect version. But my actual, real, sign is Sagittarius.

So the next time someone starts talking to you about how they’re a Libra, or a Virgo, or whatever, smile and rest assured that they were born under the sign of gullible.

 

There Is No Such Thing As a Year Zero

So my buddy Corey Sanchez was giving me grief that I was born in the 70’s because I was born in 1979. However, since I’m one year older, he was born in 1980, also making him a child of the 70’s.

Let me explain.

Let’s count the X’s shall we:

X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X
1    2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10

You wouldn’t count them 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 would you? Yet that’s what many people do incorrectly with the decades, they start at zero and end at nine, i.e., 1980 through 1989. Since we can all agree that there are ten X’s and not nine, lets count the X’s again, this time, assuming we already counted 2000 of them.

X          X      X       X        X        X       X       X       X       X
2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010

I think this helps people understand how the decades work better. We did not start a new decade (dekas meaning ten), like many believe, we are in the last year of our current one.

So yes, Corey was born in the 70’s, you can’t count zero, one is first – not second, and the tenth year of anything ends in ten, not nine.

Who knew?

December is the Tenth Month, Not the Twelfth

Ok, this one is not a misconception, but it is kind’ve interesting how wrong we all have it, even though it’s correct. Now, anyways.

Back in the day, the Roman calendar only had 10 months. As soon as winter came, those two months, folks just stayed inside, and didn’t count them. Many of the months are simply Latinised names of numbers. If you remember any of your high school Spanish, the numbers of the months may sound familiar.

September – From the Latin septum, meaning seven, now our ninth month

October – From the Latin octo, meaning eight, now our tenth month

November – From the Latin novem, meaning nine, now our eleventh month, and

December – From the Latin decem, meaning ten, now our twelth month

In fact, the two previous months were Quintilis (meaning five) and Sextilis (meaning six), until Julius Caesar’s and Augustus’ big fat egos got involved. However, the calendar was already wrong in their time since the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, added the two extra months of January and February, nearly 700 years before a single Caesar was born.

I think the real reason aliens haven’t landed is because they look at us, see we can’t understand simple math and peace out.

–Tony Hernandez

Post Script
This was written on the 10th month, of the first year of this new decade, by a Capricorn. Or was it?

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6 thoughts on “Common Misconceptions

  1. Also, I wrote this post to get my mind off the loss of my friend. Creating something and using your energy in a creative way is a great escape from the sadness I feel. She will be dearly missed.

  2. Oh, trust you me Dave, I gave my buddy Juan all types of shit when he bought water and cans of food by the palette. I still remember America’s Most Wanted’s John Walsh in a “command center” waiting for city grids to fail and planes to fall out of the sky.

    All this because some fear of binary code for a year that wasn’t even the new century.

    We iz dum.

  3. Remember how I was in Israel for Y2K1? That’s when the real crazies came to Jerusalem, to be close to Gd when the world ended. It was like reliving the millenium all over again, but with people dressed as King David.

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