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    Back on the OP, I don't know how cricket batters do what they do in the time they have to do it. They have to make a judgement about where the ball will pitch and its direction, and decide and execute an appropriate shot, all in, what, half a second. I have no idea how they do that, what decisions could reasonably be made in that short space of time. Most sports I can see myself giving it a bash, but cricket at the top level just looks completely impossible.

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      Originally posted by diggedy derek View Post
      Back on the OP, I don't know how cricket batters do what they do in the time they have to do it. They have to make a judgement about where the ball will pitch and its direction, and decide and execute an appropriate shot, all in, what, half a second. I have no idea how they do that, what decisions could reasonably be made in that short space of time. Most sports I can see myself giving it a bash, but cricket at the top level just looks completely impossible.
      Agreed. I suppose a lot of the secrets here lie in learned responses developed over a number of years,

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        the christians have a big festival four days after the shortest day of the year Two days after the longest day of the year, the good christians of Rural Ireland, parts of England and france, people go out and celebrate St John, by, er, lighting big fucking bonfires, and when the bonfires die down, driving animals over the ashes for fertility, and young women who wanted to find a husband have a kid would jump over the fire. This actually still happens, I've seen it in Ireland, and I've seen it in France. Christians celebrate All souls right on the first day of the celtic month of the dead, the annual pilgrimage up Croke Patrick in mayo in July is literally still called Black Chrom's sunday *Domhnach Chrom Dubh" just in case anyone ever forgets that this was a pagan festival. Virtually every holy site in Ireland and every holy well has a pre-christian heritage.

        Pagans wouldn't have seen this as appropriation of their festivals, They had a transactional relationship with the gods, tthey would have seen it as a seemingly seamless blending of the two. We were still doing all sorts of mad obviously pagan stuff here, right up to the middle of the nineteenth century. we were super big on what mohammed would have called Shirk.

        I forgot how Imbolg became st Brigid's day, the first of may is still a big thing, with the month being given over to the virgin mary in catholicism.
        Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 11-02-2020, 16:11.

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          Originally posted by diggedy derek View Post
          Back on the OP, I don't know how cricket batters do what they do in the time they have to do it. They have to make a judgement about where the ball will pitch and its direction, and decide and execute an appropriate shot, all in, what, half a second. I have no idea how they do that, what decisions could reasonably be made in that short space of time. Most sports I can see myself giving it a bash, but cricket at the top level just looks completely impossible.
          You should see batters in baseball hit pitches. They don't even get the benefit of the ground slowing the ball down.

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            In both cases, the key is pattern recognition honed over years and made possible by acute eyesight

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              Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
              We were still doing all sorts of mad obviously pagan stuff here, right up to the middle of the nineteenth century. we were super big on what mohammed would have called Shirk.
              Come again?

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                Shirk is the word used in islam for idolatory or polytheism. Islam was founded in a completely pagan world, with gods of localities and bigger more important gods, and this leads to ingrained thinking. fighting it is a big part of the early theological struggles of islam. It's the excuse that the Saudis use to bulldoze all the historical sites of mecca so they can build huge hotels.

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                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                  In both cases, the key is pattern recognition honed over years and made possible by acute eyesight
                  frequently you've made your decision/move before the ball has left the hand. but forget that nonsense for the slow-witted and dull brained. Cutting a bb pellet with a katana is where it's at nowadays

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                    Perhaps. G-Man knows a lot more about this topic, as I recall.

                    It's not that important, really, but that's a long discussion I don't have time for.


                    Like I said, I don't think Christmas would be a big deal if it were in, for example, August. Those of us in the northern hemisphere really need a holiday with lots of lights and booze in late December. Actually, we'd probably do better if it were in late January, because that's when the darkness really starts to get depressing.*

                    So I'm a bit interested in how Christmas is celebrated in the southern hemisphere and around the equator, where the weather and daylight situations are completely different. Apparently, Christians - and others - there have mostly adopted the European version of the holiday. But if I were in New Zealand, for example, I'd want to have Christmas in June, when it's darkest and coldest. Going to the beach on Christmas would feel a bit like a "hat on a hat" so to speak.

                    I suppose there are winter holidays in those places that help get them through winter. I just don't know what they are. Maybe Easter is a bigger deal? Is there some kind of June solstice thing?


                    Speaking of summer holidays, I was surprised to learn a while ago that the Fourth of July/Independence Day in the US has been celebrated pretty much from the beginning. I had assumed it was one of those things that was invented in the early 19th century when romantic writers, etc, started to think the US needed some more unifying nationalist symbols. That's how, for example, we got stuck with the idea that Christopher Columbus was a great hero who proved the earth was round. But apparently, lots of people pegged July 4 as the day to celebrate very soon after the Declaration of Independence was finished and, as I recall, John Adams recommended that it be celebrated with "illuminations." However, he thought we'd celebrate it on July 2. And then, of course, he and Jefferson both died on July 4 50 years later. You can't make this shit up.
                    The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

                    *Indeed, Christmas really wasn't that big of a deal in Anglo-American culture - certainly compared to how we think of it now - until the 19th century. There was that film about how Dickens invented Christmas and, apparently, there is maybe a bit of truth to that. And then, of course, consumerism kicked in and invested a lot in promoting it as a time to buy presents, eat too much, drink too much and buy very expensive cars for your spouse without consulting them first. Indeed, the Puritans in America tried to get rid of Christmas altogether as too Papist and fun. That's why Thanksgiving took off as a thing. It really wasn't about Plymouth Rock or any of that. That was all retconned in. It was because the harvest feast was the closest thing to a celebration they'd allow.

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                      Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                      Islam was founded in a completely pagan world, with gods of localities and bigger more important gods,
                      Um. Christian and Jewish influence too. And Islam also incorporated stuff. The kaabah was an important religious site before Mohammed.

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                        Christmas was a working day in Scotland until the 1950s.

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                          I think polytheistic might have been more appropriate there.

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                            Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                            Christmas was a working day in Scotland until the 1950s.
                            With footie, too! You've gone soft!

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                              Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                              Christmas was a working day in Scotland until the 1950s.
                              Fucking non conformists man. My dad was always grateful that when his mam died, his dad shipped him off to her mam in mayo, rather than giving him to his brother (who was still a methodist) and lived in warrington. It seems as though he hadn't so much left methodism, as ran screaming from it, and didn't stop until he found a nice warm pub with a few tunes.

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                                Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post

                                If you'd read that Wikipedia article, one person disputes that 25 December being Mithras's birthday. Mithras was identified with Sol Invictus so the 25 December was regarded as Mithras's birthday as it was also the sun's birthday. The WaPo article cites an early Christian writer claiming exactly that.

                                Mithraism is really interesting - I just finished reading Manfred Clauss's* book about it (which is the university textbook on it).

                                The 6 January was another god's birthday and may be why Jesus's birthday was situated there originally (and still is in the Orthodox world)


                                * no relation to Santa
                                The source that disputes it is much more recent and therefore probably more reliable than Justin Martyr who, after all, was trying to say the Mithraists had stolen the idea. He had an axe to grind.

                                The wikipedia article also points out that Zoroastrians now celebrate his birth on the 21st, not the 25th, because that is closer to the actual solstice and that Mithraist's birthday didn't get shifted to the 25th until the fourth century.

                                Given all the light-into-darkness imagery around Jesus, it's curious why Christmas isn't on the 21st. We should have moved it.

                                Besides, whenever Christians decided to celebrate anything, it would be near a pagan holiday or some God's birthday and there'd be disputes about whose day it should be. (There were a lot of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_festivals) That happens in a multicultural empire. And no doubt the local imagery for that festival would start to cross over. That doesn't mean that's why that day was picked, but it may have contributed to the widespiread acceptance of it.

                                It also makes sense to put the celebration of the birth of Jesus near the start of the liturgical year. We don't do much with the liturgical year any more. I suppose the Orthodox and Catholics might. But for us, Christmas and Easter are the only ones that have really stuck and even with Easter, nobody seems too bent out of shape that we don't get extra days off for it. Pentecost, Epiphany, Maundy Thursday, etc. are not big deals. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday have some fans. But only the real church nerds could tell you what, for example, "Ordinary Time" means or which colors we're supposed to have in the banners at which time of year.





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                                  Still very much a thing amongst Catholics

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                                    We do get extra days off for Easter, though.

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                                      San Clemente in Rome is a good place to visit for this.
                                      Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 11-02-2020, 17:24.

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                                        Are you going as far to say there was never a historical Jesus?

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                                          San Clemente is indeed fascinating and profoundly worth a visit, but all it lays out in this regard is that a Christian Church was built on top of a Mithraeum (only to have another Christian Church built on top of that).

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                                            Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                                            Are you going as far to say there was never a historical Jesus?
                                            Clearly I'm not doing that. But there are obviously centuries between his life and when "Christianity" finally became a religion as we would know it today. I've been to some of the places where the apostles were meant to have travelled - Kiev, Malta, Ephesus (his mum was meant to have ended up there) and I trust those local traditions more than anything Christians today read in their King James bibles. Up to and including the black madonna iconography of southern France that is meant to depict the Magdalene.
                                            Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 11-02-2020, 18:03.

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                                              Theres not that long between the death of Jesus and the compilation of the Gospel of Mark (probably put together by AD 70. It's also the least full of supernatural bollocks or dodgy genealogy of the Gospels). People who had met Jesus and his brother would still have been alive at that time.

                                              Josephus also mentions Jesus, and he very much wasn't a Christian.

                                              This is more information than we have than almost any other contemporary non Imperial figure from that time. It's not comparable at all to Arthur or Robin.
                                              Last edited by Lang Spoon; 11-02-2020, 18:10.

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                                                Yeah, also there was no shortage of apocalyptic jewish prophets round that time. There was no need to make one up. also a lot of people in the first century AD were convinced he was real.

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                                                  The "supernatural" stuff is not merely bollocks. It probably didn't happen like that, but that's not really the point of the story. Like any story - including Robin and Arthur - it tells us far more about the writer and the people who preserved the story than it does about the subject of the story. But that's fine, in my experience. In fact, that's more interesting and useful than "what really happened."

                                                  I accept the consensus that Jesus was a real guy. I think he was part of a Jewish counterculture movement, which also included John the Baptist, who was seen as a threat to the established order in that time and place. The Romans murdered him for it, because that's how imperialism works. But beyond that, the historical specifics are really besides the point. As Nadia Bolz-Webber said (paraphrase) "It's the most true thing I've ever read, but I don't know if it's factually accurate."

                                                  I can see that it's hard to get anyone who was not raised with that "symbol system" to see the point of it. It's like trying to get somebody who doesn't like sports to really care about football. It's probably harder than that, I suppose. I don't know how to tell somebody who wasn't raised with religion to give it a try, because I can't honestly tell them that it's going to save them from eternal damnation or anything like that. I can't even promise that it's going to fix any particular problems. All I can say is that most of the time - but not all of the time - it works for me and a few other people. It's the only way I've found be in the world that makes life bearable, really. But I only came to that relationship with it after a very long journey in and out and that back into it.
                                                  Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 11-02-2020, 19:56.

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                                                    Yeh HP, all I meant was the genealogy back to David and the resurrection (in the original
                                                    Mark verses it finishes with the tomb empty, no Jeebus comeback) aren't present in that Gospel. He's still v much a miracle worker in them but, which folk wouldn't have found so outlandish.

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