Hakone Ropeway

Altitude about 1,000m

Went on a short trip to the Hakone region, a small mountain range near to Mt Fuji.

A series of ropeways (or cable-cars) straddles the range and gives some spectacular views. You can even see Lake Ashino in the top left of the picture.

Spurs 4-0 Young Boys (6-3)

Club emblem 2006 - Present
Image via Wikipedia

My favourite soccer team Spurs (Tottenham Hotspur) beat Young Boys of Bern, Switzerland 4-0 last night, but the important numbers are 6-3, which is the aggregate score including the first game which Young Boys won 3-2.

The goalscorers were Crouch (England) 3, and Defoe (England).

So Spurs qualify for the European Champions League, which not only is the greatest football competition, it is also the the richest, so Spurs will make a lot of money.

Young Boys 3-2 Spurs

An important goal from Pav

My favourite soccer team Spurs (Tottenham Hotspur) is back in a European competition. This time it is not the UEFA Cup, it is the Champions League, the big one. It is the first time for Spurs to be in this competition since 1961 when it was simply called the European Cup, 50 years ago!

Spurs first match in Champions League qualifying was last week against Young Boys (Switzerland). By the way Young Boys are not young boys, they are an excellent football team and they have a big advantage, their home pitch is not grass, it is an artificial surface.

Spurs have rarely played on such a surface and were 3-0 down after only 30 minutes. It could have been the end of Spurs return to Europe, but Spurs battled back and scored two goals from Bassong (France) and Pavlyuchenko (Russia).

So Spurs lost, but they only lost by one goal. The return game at Spurs home ground will be on Wednesday. Spurs need to win, but they are playing pretty well at the moment so there is some hope.

Friday 13th, part 4

Next week we will have Friday 13th, which is considered to be an unlucky day in some Western cultures.

In one year there can be one, two or three Friday 13ths. In 2009 there were three, there was one in February, and one in March, and one in November.

But in 2010 there is only one. The next Friday 13th won’t be until May 2011.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is fear of Friday 13th. It comes from three old Greek words, ‘paraskevi’ means Friday, ‘dekatria’ means 13, and ‘phobia’ means fear.

Where is Jason?
Why is Friday 13th considered an unlucky day? Nobody really knows, but it seems that it is the combination of the unlucky number 13, with the bad day, Friday, which equals the mega-unlucky day of Friday 13th.

There is no doubt that 13 is considered by many people to be unlucky, for example:

Many buildings have no 13th floor.

Many condominiums have no apartment 13.

Many cities have no 13th Street nor 13th Avenue.

Many airports have no Gate 13.

Many hospitals and hotels have no Room 13.

Many people will leave a party or a meal with 13 guests.

And there are many more examples, plus of course Apollo 13!

So why is 13 so unlucky?

The most popular view is that there were 13 guests at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, before he died, as shown in a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Added to this is the view that 12 is a ‘complete’ or ‘perfect’ number. There are 12 months in the year, 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 tribes of Israel, and many more, which suggests that 13 is an imperfect (and evil?) number.

And what about Friday?

Christian belief is that Jesus Christ died on a Friday, and it is also thought that Eve gave Adam an apple on a Friday.

So, 13 and Friday make a strong combination. On Friday October 13th 1307, about 700 years ago, King Philip of France arrested, tortured and killed thousands of Knights Templar, who were a very powerful group that protected Christians (though there are many stories of their corruption), and who are included in the  book, ‘The da Vinci Code’.

There is also the fact that every month that includes Friday 13th starts with Sunday 1st which, according to Christians, is God’s day of rest, but why this is a sign of bad luck I don’t know.

One other fact: research in the UK shows that on Friday 13th there is less traffic on the streets (lots of people stay indoors), but there are more traffic accidents than normal. Is this because of bad luck, or because people get more nervous and panicky?

To be honest I’m not at all superstitious about Friday 13th, but I’m glad that my children weren’t born on this day.

Maze in Trafalgar Square

Amazing

Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London, is famous for its bronze lions, its fountains, its statue of Horatio Nelson, and many other things, but it has never been famous for its maze …. until now.

Someone had the idea of ‘getting lost in London’ and now there is this maze for just this, quite a piece of marketing.