Today is Tau Day for one of the newer mathematical movements as proposed in The Tau Manifesto by Michael Hartl, stemming from a 2001 paper pointing out that pi is wrong. The proposal is that pi (π) is wrong in the sense that it is better to use the radius rather than the diameter to define the circle constant. They propose that this new constant, which of course is equal to double pi, should be symbolized by the Greek letter tau (τ). Tau can be used anywhere pi is used and makes working with radians neater as there is one tau in a full circle. The movement is similar to a religious movement in many ways. Once people have been converted, they become zealots and are almost violently angry at pi. They have a sense of being lied to all their lives and wish to enlighten others. They call tau the true circle constant and encourage you to embrace the tau. Followers of tauism seek the way of the tau. They assert that using pi is like having the yang without the yin. Today followers of tau celebrate all things mathematical and true. They hold parties and eat twice as much pie. You can join their mailing list on the Tau Manifesto website.
Today, the shortest day of the year, is Yule, celebrated by pagans since long before the Christian Christmas. This year it coincided with a full moon, which looked particularly spectacular in my part of the world as it shone on a snow covered Europe. There was also a lunar eclipse last night, but it was not visible in all parts of the world. The last total eclipse during the winter solstice was in 1638, so it was truly a once in a lifetime event.
This morning the dawn at Newgrange, was broadcast live on Irish Television. Newgrange, claimed by some to be the oldest building in the world, was built over 5,000 years ago, just north of Dublin. It was constructed so that shortly after dawn on the Solstice, the sun shines directly into the inner chamber. This evening it will be the turn of Stonehenge. The main focus of Stonehenge, built about 1,000 years after Newgrange, seems to be the solstice sunset, as viewed through the arches of the Great Trilithon.
This year is especially a happy Yule for pagan prisoners in the UK, as their religion has now been recognised and prison governors have been issued with a list of the 8 main pagan holidays, including Yule. The prisoners may choose to celebrate 4 of these and may also keep tarot cards, a hoodless robe and a wand in their cell.
Happy Yuletide to all. Look forward to longer days.
Feb 14th is St. Valentine’s Day. Patron of affianced couples, beekeepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers and young people.
Jan 20th is St. Fechin’s Day. Wish everyone a Happy Fechin Day.
One of Ireland’s lesser-known saints celebrates his feast day on January 20th. Born in the townland of Bella in Collooney, Sligo, he was probably one of the most influential of the seventh century Irish saints.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Father Jack, the name is almost extinct now. To promote the revival of the name, we at the Church of Apathy, encourage everyone to wish everyone a Happy Fechin Day, on January 20th each year. Put it on your Facebook status, your screen saver and twitter it. If you know of any young Catholics coming up to their confirmation, let them know of Saint Fechin and encourage them to take it as their confirmation name. Joe Blogs is much more interesting as Joe Fechin Blogs. Similarly, if you know anyone about to give birth, enlighten them. Let’s make the name Fechin great again.
Have a Great Fechin Day.