“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”
Wise words, I guess. The above quote is often attributed to Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln, but the truth is that no one really knows. Such “wise” statements are often attributed to a many different people including they are just cliches that get constantly repeated Perhaps instead of invoking the words of people long gone (not discounting their achievements and importance in history of course) we should make our own quotes and define our own wisdom!
No need to quote past historic figures, don’t be afraid to share your own truth!
Happy Easter to all who celebrate. If that is not you, that is ok, I hope that you were able to capitalize on the commercialization of the holiday and enjoy some chocolate. If that is you, I hope you had a lovely day as well.
Did y’all know it was Easter? Good news, summer is just around the corner!
Make sure you get a chance to look outside this evening because there is a fantastic full moon known as the Pink Moon. The Pink Moon will not actually appear pink, but was rather named for wild ground phlox which typically sprouts during this time of year. Often, you might hear different full moons called different things, such as a Wolf Moon or a Harvest Moon, and many of these names can be attributed to Algonquin people who inhabited eastern North America before the European invasion. Pink or not, it is a beautiful sight to see!
The pink moon is said to be a sign of spring.
Feminism is the belief in the social, economic and political advocacy of women in terms of the equal treatment of all people along the basis of sex and gender. A lot of places on the internet might tell you that feminists are all terrible man-haters hell bent on destroying society, but that simply isn’t the case. Feminism seeks to create a world that is more fair, where people are not constrained to certain activities or roles on the basis of their sex and gender identity. If you are reading this, you have probably in some way benefited from the ideals of feminism – even if you are male! Today is International Women’s Day, which aims to celebrate the accomplishments of women while creating a more equal world for women, but really, I think we could all use some feminism in our lives everyday.
Celebrate women, celebrate everyone
Desire paths are those trodden, foot created trails you sometimes see across open spaces representing places that lack a proper paved sidewalk or footpath that people (and or goats) use to make their journeys more efficient. Perhaps they signal a certain yearning to rebel against the modern world, forge your own path and thumb your nose at the algorithms of urban planning. On one hand, they are a form of active resistance, dividing planted grassy knolls and designated open spaces, but on the other, they are literally perhaps the “path of least resistance” making traveling across these spaces perhaps easier and less time consuming. Desire paths are the physical manifestation of one of the paradoxes of being human – a longing to be your own, individual person, guided by your own desires, intuition and knowledge that is better than anyone else’s for your experience; however, longing to belong and fit in with others, to experience the stages of life in their proper order and to share your life’s path with others. Perhaps there is no real solution other than finding balance between our yearning for individuality and belonging, and maybe updated urban planning algorithms.
What is your desire path?
By the time February rolls around, the sparkle of the festive season is long gone, and the hopes of the new year start to feel a bit stale. Also, in many places, February has the worst weather out of the year (climate change related spring fake-outs notwithstanding). So, maybe whoever set up the way we keep track of time way back when felt the same way? Perhaps!
Throughout human history, people in different cultures and places had different conceptions of how to track the passage of time. The calendar most of us are familiar with is the Gregorian calendar, created in 1582 under the direction of Pope Gregory XIII, who was trying to solve the problem that seasons do not always change in formulaic ways and that it takes Earth 365.24219 days to revolve around the sun – making the possibility for calendrical wonkiness quite high.
So then, why is February so short? Actually, this time you can’t really blame a pope. The origins of the calendar take us to the eighth century BC, when the smaller Roman world was organized on the calendar of Romulus – ten months of the year beginning with March on the vernal equinox. Winter was mostly unaccounted for, so you had about two months of calendrical void. To solve the issue, King Numa Pompilius added two months – January and February, and roughly organized the calendar to lunar cycles. This made more sense and you could finally schedule winter time appointments! Pompilius and other people at the time apparently thought that even numbers were unlucky and when they hashed everything out decided that if there had to be an unlucky month in order to have 355 days in a year, it should be the shortest. By the time Julius Caesar reorganized the calendar to come to 365 days on a solar-based model, the twenty-eight day short month of February was here to stay. I suppose that over a millennia everyone from the pre-Roman Republic kings to Renaissance Popes basically agreed that this time of year is a bit of a bummer, keeping the month to 28 (sometimes 29) days a year.
Perhaps take solace in the fact that historically, February has always kind of sucked?
Make your own path in life. There are pressures sometimes to have certain parts of your life sorted at certain times, but these are really arbitrary. I say, forge your own path, do what is right for you and keep exploring. Avocados and adventures are much more fulfilling than property anyway.
Don’t worry about the rest, find your best life and live it!
Today’s goat was photographed at an amazing place called Rakhigarhi by my partner who is currently working in Haryana, a state in northwest India. Rakhigarhi is home to two villages, Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shapur which are situated on top of an ancient city, 4,500 years old, part of a constellation of ancient cities belonging to what archaeologists call the Indus Valley Civilization. Unlike other ancient civilizations with clear evidence of social hierarchy such as pyramids, elaborate burials or elite palaces, the Indus left behind few traces of these markers. Needless to say, the people who lived in Indus Valley cities and settlements had standardised units of measurement, a system of writing, and networks of homes and workshops within centres that appeared to be in contact with one another and as far away as Mesopotamia. Archaeological investigations in 2018 revealed a cemetery that has been the subject of much debate. However, the villages carry on farming, herding buffalo and sometimes goats, and are quite welcoming to researchers and foreigners. I had the privilege of living in Rakhigarhi for a few months in 2012, and it was one of the most transformative and wonderful experiences of my life. I am happy to share this goat with you and to reflect on my time at such a special place.
Rakhigarhi – a 4,500 year old city and a modern village in the heart of northwest India.
Today is a very important day, because it is the Chinese Lunar New Year. Twenty percent of the world celebrates today as the beginning of the new year and the end of the coldest days! The day does not fall on the same date every year, but always occurs between January 21 and February 20. Generally, it is a day for prayers, fighting monsters, and lighting fireworks. Also, importantly, you should eat dumplings! Every year corresponds to a different animal, and this marks the year of the pig. The next time a year of the goat rolls around won’t be until 2027, but until then we can all enjoy some lovely photos of goats.
People born under the year of the pig are said to be considerate, responsible, independent and optimistic, but are also prone to laziness.
A few years ago while surfing the web, I came across the most amazing thing: The Oxford Cambridge Goat Race. This event takes place yearly at Spitalfields City Farm in London, UK. I have been an avid follower of the race ever since. Infact, if it weren’t for the Oxford Cambridge Goat Race, you would not be reading and (hopefully) enjoying Goat of the Day, as the inspiration for this blog came from the race’s Facebook page that often posts a daily goat in the weeks leading up to the big event. This year, the race is set to take place on Sunday, April 7th. In addition to the goats, there are lots of fun activities at the farm, food, and a lovely mariachi band. I highly recommend it.
An action shot from the 2018 Goat race. The 2019 race promises to be the event of the season!