The Watering Hole, Monday, October 31,2016: The Bonfires of Samhein

Two thousand years ago at this time of year, Druids would gather on the Hill of Tlachtga in medieval Ireland to light a bonfire that began a ritual throughout the country. The light would call on other people to light their own bonfires. It was the start of the season of darkness, and people celebrated with dances and feasts around the fires. The fires were to honor Samhein (pronounced sow-in), the god of Darkness and Winter. Many of the rituals associated with the celebration in America of Halloween can be traced back to these Celtic ones. You can learn more about all of these at Smithsonian Magazine.

Personally, I don’t play dress up games. I spend the entire year trying to make people believe I’m somebody I’m not (just like everyone else) that I don’t feel any desire to add a costume to it on one particular day of the year. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not for me. Then again, I’m kind of anti-social in a lot of ways like that. I don’t go along with what everybody else is doing, often because I see it as silly and pointless, or possibly even dangerous. (Pokemon Go has already gotten some people killed.) I realize it’s just a diversion and people can find them fun, but sometimes they can become too pervasive and counterproductive to a functioning society. Is it really a good idea that young people gather together in public to stare at their phones? But I suppose the rituals of American Halloween aren’t too terrible. It’s just a good idea that people understand them, and how they compare to one’s own beliefs, especially where Religion is concerned.

For example, if you acknowledge the observation of Halloween, then you acknowledge the existence of other gods since this was a celebration of one of them. For many Conservative Christians, this is against their belief in God as the only God. I hesitate to point out to them that this is not correct at all, and even the God they worship said so. His First Commandment was to have no other Gods before Him. That doesn’t mean to deny the existence of other gods, but just not to put any of them ahead of this particular god (on account of his constant problem with the deadly sin of Jealousy.) But since they celebrate the holiday anyway and perform the pagan rituals, it’s just another example of their religious hypocrisy. I just hope there aren’t too many kids dressing up as Donald Trump. It would indicate a generation of kids totally lost to the idea of sense, reason, and logical thinking.

Lastly, I wouldn’t be me without a little nerd joke once in a a while, so…

Why do programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas? Because OCT 31 = DEC 25.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss ancient gods you’ve worshiped, or any other topic you wish.

The Watering Hole, Friday October 31, 2014 – Halloween Music Night

In Philadelphia, the Rocky Horror Picture Show (film) became a cult classic among the LGBT community (I know I left out some letters) and played for something like 20 years of consecutive Saturday nights at midnight at the Theater of the Living Arts (1976 to 1995). Audiences were encouraged to dress up as one of the characters.Here’s our Halloween night music starter.

Watering Hole: Monday, October 31, 2011 – Happy Halloween

Two years ago, the most popular Halloween costume for adult women that I witnessed was the Sarah Palin look.  This year, I’m thinking that Guy Fawkes will be popular.  We were going to attend a few parties on Saturday dressed in our Guy Fawkes costumes, but the heavy, wet snowfall kept us home instead.

I don’t have much more to say at this moment so I will leave you with a song and vintage clips from the 1921 film, “Haxan Witchcraft Through the Ages”.


This is our Open Thread for today.  Speak Up on any topic.

Today in History – War of the Worlds

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It’s 71 years ago today that Orson Welles’  “War of the Worlds” was broadcast on the radio. The show was meant to be a Halloween program. It sure panicked some and made history.

Listen to it. At 3:40 into the program the fun really started. How would you have reacted?

Part 1:

Parts 2 – 7 below the fold. Continue reading

It’s Halloween!

Every Halloween, and as our family ritual, we light candles and watch the same movies to celebrate while we pass out candy at the door. “Hocus Pocus” with Bette Midler, Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas“, and now we’ve added “The Corpse Bride“.

I actually posted these songs last Halloween, but beings we watch the same movies EVERY Halloween at our house, here they are again! 

My favorite part of “The Corpse Bride

“This is Halloween” from Nightmare Before Christmas:

And a small tidbit from “Hocus Pocus“:

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Good Morning from Europe – Halloween Edition


(Castelluccio – Cemetary) 

It’s not as if there weren’t any reasons to scream in fear, anger and frustration on any other given day of the year. But today, it’s “trick or treat”.


The latest debate of Democratic Candidates was yesterday and Hillary took fire from all the others, it’s hard to decide whether to label this as “trick” or as “treat” – well she tries to have it both ways – so can we.

Now, the Blackwater immunity scandal is definitely one for the “trick” section. The reactions are ranging from anger to disbelief. A proper and much needed investigation will be hampered badly by this. If you have friends in high places you can get away with murder, q.e.d.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is drawing to a close. No catastrophic hurricanes have made landfall in the US. But, we have seen unprecedented intensification and the landfall of two hurricanes as category 5 storms in the Caribian and the latest and not necessarily last trick of the season was tropical storm Noel, who inundated Hispaniola and Cuba and cost 50 lives so far.

Does Mother Earth want to shake us from her back ? An earthquake of 5,6 magnitude strength hit northern California this morning. 

And this is really scary. If the US Army Corps of Engineers say a dam is failing, you’d better listen closely.


The latest debate of Democratic Candidates was yesterday and Hillary took fire from all the others, it’s hard to decide whether to label this as “trick” or as “treat” – well she tries to have it both ways – so can we.

Back to the democratic debates, this is definitely a treat:

Follow-up: asked if HRC would release her documents as first lady to the national archives? Clinton seems uncomfortable. Russert mentions the Bill Clinton letter banning release of letters between HRC and Bill. Hillary waffles in response. Trouble here.

Obama’s up next to respond: “This is an example of not turning the page … We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history, and not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, as you’re making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem.”

Corruption in France? Mais non. Just treats for some politicians and unionists.

And, finally, something that celebrities treat themselves to. A sober companion.