After learning of “Squidmas trees” from Scienceblogs, I’ve been on the lookout for unusual ornaments. I found some at the Gardiner Ceramic Museum in Toronto, across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum.
This tree has some seasonal ornaments, such as the ice skates up near the top, snowball, etc. Then there are the surreal or merely hospitable, such as the floating pink teacup and teapot. There are some animals: the golden columns are a totem pole of proverbial monkeys (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil); and there’s a silver elephant and a dog. (An elephant in a tree? Sounds like a joke!)
My favourite is probably the old-fashioned red telephone booths, which remind me of Dr. Who’s Tardis. But the weirdest are the dill pickles.
PZ Myers suggests the best models and minimum price for a good microscope for the kids.
Wicca as reconstructed by its modern practitioners is a nice, agricultural, emotionally satisfying religion. The earth has its cycles of bloom and harvest, the year has its cycle of waxing and waning darkness, a life has its stages. “God” is male and female–the God and Goddess with their aspects in various roles, the God as hunter, father (or lover?), and patriarch(?), the Goddess as maiden, mother, and crone. Everything that you do, good or bad, comes back to you thrice over. You can tell that I have only a passing acqaintance with the concepts. But if you need a place to go, mingle, chant, celebrate, and feel the mystery and unity of the universe, it seems like a good choice.
There are eight major Wiccan holidays in a year: