Russian Superstitions

Russians are very superstitious people. They will deny this, but it is true. These superstitions affect my life on a daily basis. Most of the time they are harmless and I go along with them to humor my wife. Sometimes I tease her about them.

New superstitions pop up all the time, as new situations arise in our life. I keep telling her that I need a rulebook for them. Perhaps someday I will codify them in a book.

Russians are raised with these superstitions so they have no need to consult a manual.

Here are some of them. It is by no means an exhaustive list:

1) You can’t whistle in the house or car, as they believe that you are whistling away your money.

At a dinner party at our house, a friend of mine started whistling. My wife silenced him immediately. She explained to him, “You can whistle in your own house, but you can’t whistle in mine. In my house, it’s my money you are whistling away.”

When she first came to America, she would see people standing at intersections holding signs. She asked me what they were doing. I told her they were asking for money. She asked me why. I told her that they had done entirely too much whistling in their house for their own good.

2) If you step on your spouse’s shoe by accident, you have to let the other person step on your shoe, or you will have an argument.

I never tested this superstition. It seemed easier to go along with the remedy than pay the price for violating it.

3) If you leave your house, you cannot go back inside for something you have forgotten, or your trip will result in ‘nothing good,’ as my wife says.

4) If you must go back in to get the forgotten item, you can try to mitigate the bad effects of returning by looking into the mirror at your own reflection for a moment before you leave again.

5) Never demonstrate another’s surgery or wound on your own body with your hand or other means as you are likely to visit that upon yourself.

In the few times I have done this, my wife has tried to remedy this by wiping away the spot where I made the imaginary incision with her hand, blowing on her hand to blow it away to the wind, and covering it with the sign of the cross.

6) Never give a Russian woman an even number of flowers. Even numbers are for the dead. Always give odd numbers. When you order a dozen, or two dozen roses, for her, ask them to throw in an extra one for good luck.

7) Never give yellow flowers to a Russian woman. It signifies infidelity and may mean that your relationship will not last.

8) Never give a watch as a gift to a Russian woman. Time is running out on your relationship.

9) Never give knives or handkerchiefs as gifts. I don’t know the reason for this one.

10) Never celebrate a birthday early. You are pushing your luck.

11) Don’t show your newborn baby to strangers until after forty days. They are waiting for their soul to arrive and they may take on another’s soul or energy during that time.

12) It’s best to cut your hair or nails during a full moon.

13) It’s considered bad luck to shave or cut your hair when a family member is in danger or bad health.

14) Whenever someone praises you or offers a positive comment, you knock on wood or imaginarily spit three times over your left shoulder so that you are not jinxed by the comment.

15) Do not shake hands or kiss over the threshold of a door. It forms a bridge that allows the devil or evil spirits from the outside to enter the house this way. When I have done this by mistake, my wife usually pushes me back outside or pulls me inside before greeting me with a kiss at the front door.

16) Before anyone takes a long trip, the whole family sits together silently for a few minutes before the traveler leaves.

17) The truly superstitious have been known to eat ‘lucky’ bus tickets, when the sum of the left three numbers equals the sum of the three numbers on the right.

18) Recently, while preparing to give my infant daughter a bath, the little tyke peed on me while I was taking her clothes off. My wife laughed and said that it was good news. It meant that I would live to dance at my daughter’s wedding!

This list is not exhaustive by any means. Superstitions vary by country and locale. There is a popular Russian television show that travels around the country exploring the unique superstitions of each particular town or village.

Many of the superstitions came from folk tales or fairy stories, Russian Orthodox tradition, or had peasant or agricultural roots. Most Russians are only one or two generations from the farm or village.

At any rate, be aware of the superstitions and try to show some respect for them whether or not you believe in them. Your Russian friends will appreciate it.



Moloscom Contagiosum

Moloscum is a common misspelling of Molluscum Contagiosum, a highly infectious virus that affects human skin.

Moloscom is actually relatively harmless in the sense that it does not cause any complications or concomitant illnesses or conditions. However, moloscom is a very obnoxious condition to have and can stifle the self-confidence of the infected party.

How to people wind up getting Molluscum Contagiosum? Moloscom is easily transmitted through skin to skin contact or by sharing clothing, towels, bedding, etc.

The virus is particularly contagious on wet media such as wet skin or wet towels. It’s extremely infectious character is what gives it the appendage “contagiosum”, meaning contagious.

It is most common to see Molluscum Contagiosum in children but adults get it as well. Immunocompromised persons (i.e. people with lowered immune systems) are more likely to become infected with moloscom and tend to carry it around longer.

That is one major disadvantage of mollescum: it tends to stick around for up to a year in its host.

So what does Moloscom look like?

Generally, an infected individual will develop small, pimple-like lesions on their skin and may exhibit a small patch of them in a given area. The pimples look white and are both painless and do not itch.

Molluscum warts, as they are called, can also spread themselves to other parts of the body with healthy skin even with no help from you. This process is termed autoinnoculation and is a survival mechanism of the virus.

The virus is actually contained in a small, white, waxy ball inside the pimple, and removal of the pimples generally abates the moloscum virus. In fact, this is the most common and also most highly recommended treatment for molluscum contagiosum.

It’s technically called surgery but it is a very non-invasive procedure that involves using a very sharp tool called a currette to scoop out the pimple while preserving as much healthy skin as possible.

It is slightly painful but beats the alternative of carrying around moloscum for up to a year and potentially infecting others, all the while self-conscious about this skin condition.

There are several other treatments such as cryotherapy, which involves using liquid nitrogen or nitrogen oxide to freeze off the molluscum warts.

There are also a number of topical creams available which are more or less ineffective in the short term.

Since it takes the body considerable time to recognize the virus as a threat and mount a proper immune response, the best option is to have the virus removed mechanically.

Whether with a currette, laser (this is expensive), or cryotherapy, the mechanical removal of moloscom is very safe and rarely leaves scars.

There is no reason to carry around molluscum contagiosum when getting rid of moloscum is a doctor’s visit away!



Benefits of Installing Wrought Iron Fences!

Wrought iron fencing adds elegance and value to any property. Moreover, it is described as one of the most versatile methods as it offers a number of advantages to the individuals.

No matter, whether you own a home, office or any other commercial property, fence installation can prove beneficial for it in a number of ways. Having a properly built and installed fence serves a number of purposes. Out of a wide assortment of fencing options available these days, the best one is that of wrought iron. It is considered as one of the most versatile forms of fencing a property because of innumerable advantages associated with. Some of the major benefits offered by it have been listed below:

Offers security for your property

Security of the property and family members is one of the key concerns for every single individual. Wrought iron fences provide security to any of the property. Enclosing your property with it prevents trespassers and strangers from getting inside the property illegally. Moreover, it also offers security for your children playing in the backyard and at the same time gives you a peace of mind for your children.

Adds elegance and value

Apart from offering full security and peace of mind, the wrought iron fence also adds elegance and value to your property. No other type of fence can give your property the same level of exquisiteness as is offered by it.

Durability

Iron is long-lasting and durable than any other kind of fencing like wood or vinyl. A fence made up of iron is not only durable against day-to-day wear but also unexpected events such as a vehicle hitting it badly. The durability and elegance that they can add to any property makes them one of the most popular choices for homes.

Privacy

All of us wish to enjoy full privacy at our homes. Wrought iron fences prove extremely beneficial in this regard as these offer complete privacy from neighbors and other unwanted guests.

Easy-to-maintain

Easy maintenance is another major benefit which can be enjoyed with this kind of fencing. It demands considerably less maintenance than any other fencing options and has a much longer life span. In case a minor damage at any part occurs, it can easily be fixed and that too without replacing the entire fence.

Innumerable design options

With a wide assortment of design options available in wrought iron fences, individuals have freedom to choose the one which suits their home style and theme best.

With all these benefits available, it can be concluded that this type of fencing serves a number of purposes. Thus, for individuals who are looking for something that can give their property a high level of security, privacy and elegance, wrought iron fences are definitely a good choice.



Pallbearers – A Funeral Tradition

I was asked to serve as a pallbearer at my aunt’s funeral. I was honored to carry the casket of my generous and gentle aunt to her final resting place. Serving as a pallbearer was a new experience for me.

I thought the job was mostly an honorary one. I assumed you walked beside the casket but it was rolled on wheels or the funeral home staff did the actual heavy carrying of the coffin. Not so. At my aunt’s funeral the casket was wheeled to the doors of the church but then we lifted it and carried it manually to the hearse for the drive to the cemetery. Once we reached the graveyard we once again bore the full burden of the casket’s weight as we made our way across the uneven ground to the burial site. My aunt was a tiny person, but her coffin was heavy and I needed to grip the handles with both hands to manage its weight.

I was curious where the tradition of pallbearers originated. Some say the Romans invented the custom of having a person’s body born to the grave by those of the same station in life or the same profession. Julius Cesar for example had judges as pallbearers and Cesar Augustus fellow senators.

Others claim having pallbearers began as a Scottish custom. Apparently in Scotland coffins were born from the deceased’s home to the graveyard by eight men. They stopped along the way to rest, placing the coffin on rock cairns especially constructed at given points on the route for this purpose. At each rest stop the pallbearers changed and eight new men would take up the task.

The word pallbearer is an Old English term. A ‘pall’ was a rich cloth, often purple in color, which was used to cover the altar or communion cup in churches. In the 15th century the term ‘pall’ was also used to describe a cloth that covered a coffin, hearse or tomb. During the 18th century it became customary for four people to be assigned to hold the corners of the pall cloth at a funeral. Later those who were chosen to carry someone’s coffin received the name pallbearers.

Another interesting custom surrounding pallbearers developed in New England in the 1700s. It concerned special gloves for pallbearers. Handsomely engraved invitations to funerals were sent out along with pairs of gloves mourners could wear to the church. Pallbearers received expensive gloves of a much higher quality.

In the past pallbearers were often distinguished from casket bearers. The former were merely honorary and walked beside the coffin. They were people who had been important to the deceased in some way. The casket bearers were hired workers who actually bore the coffin’s weight and carried it.

It used to be only men could be pallbearers. Emily Post in her etiquette book stated this was exclusively a task for males. Now many women serve as pallbearers too. Abigal Van Buren, the columnist of Dear Abby fame, ran a series of letters from female readers who had served as pallbearers. They all found the experience to be significant and meaningful.

I would agree with them. Being a pallbearer is a way to perform a final service for someone who has made a positive difference in your life. My aunt’s laughter, kindness and care enriched my life. I was honored to serve her by being a pallbearer at her funeral.



Diaper Rash

A common, yet frustrating baby skin problem is diaper rash. Diaper rash is a skin irritation typically caused by irritants or excessive moisture in the diaper area. Diaper rash is especially common when baby starts eating solid foods, is teething, or is taking antibiotics.

A mild case of diaper rash involves a simple, red rash, while more serious cases can actually include blistering, bleeding and open sores. There are several steps you can take to avoid diaper rash or to treat a mild case:

~ Change baby frequently — it is important to keep baby dry and clean.   Cloth  diapers need to be changed more frequently than disposables. Remove soiled diapers immediately.

~ Avoid using diaper wipes, especially those with heavy perfumes and alcohol. Instead, use lukewarm water and a washcloth to cleanse the diaper area. Pat dry or allow to air dry completely before putting another diaper on.

~ If using  cloth  diapers, wash in a mild detergent – again, without perfume or bleach. If using disposables, try changing brands for persistent rashes.

~ Apply a thin layer of diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly on baby’s dry bottom during diaper changes and after bath. If baby is particularly sensitive and prone to diaper rash, you may want to get into the habit of doing this at all diaper changes to prevent further outbreaks.

~ Allow baby to go diaperless whenever possible. The fresh air will keep baby’s bottom dry and if he’s recovering from a case of diaper rash, it will feel wonderful to his tender skin. Just a few minutes of fresh air can make a difference.

~ If the rash does not clear up within a few days, if there is bleeding, blisters or open sores, or the rash is primarily in the folds of baby’s skin, contact your pediatrician. The rash may actually be a yeast infection, or may be serious enough to require preion medication to aid the healing process.

Few babies are fortunate enough to avoid this pesky condition altogether during their diaper days. However, by keeping baby’s bottom clean, dry, and away from known irritants, you can lessen the chances and severity of an outbreak.



Professionally Nice Looking Website Design – Your Key to Online Success

Increasing numbers of people are beginning to market their business on the internet. It has been a competitive market for any product you can imagine. Different kinds of businesses offering various items and services are now available online. The internet has been the most powerful channel to market a business including its products and services. Building a website is the starting point of any business who wants to market products and services online. A website is the most powerful tool to sell over the internet.

For a neophyte, the worst mistake that can ever be committed is to invest too much just to create a website without realizing that there are a number of website design companies who are offering website design service at reasonable rate. A perfect example is a website template which can be acquired for free. It will help someone creating a website put each website component together. Nevertheless, the quality of website and its components are all that matters in creating a website. Websites vary in size and lay outs. Size pertains to the capacity of the website to take volume of traffic. Depending on the bandwidth, especially for websites who leased from a big server, the capacity may limit the number of website visitors.

A good description of a professionally nice looking website involves two things. The primary thing is the design and layout. Most internet users use search engines to look for something or to find a website. Using a search engine makes it easy for a user to simply type in keywords. For instance, if you want to buy organic foods, all you need to do is to type “find organic foods” and the search engine will list several websites that is relevant to your search. With this process, having a nice looking website design is crucial. Your goal is to attract visitors. Your landing page or the first page that comes up when your site is searched should be the most beautiful page of your site. The lay out should be in style and relevant to your business. Thus, the contents or the teasers should be compelling enough to tell the visitor to read more. Invest enough effort and time to create a nice yet compelling landing page. This is your doorway to your business.

The secondary component a good website should have it cutting edge technology tools. If for instance, you are selling a service or a product; your visitor will appreciate if you have a shopping cart that will itemize their selected products. This will make it easy for your visitor to place an order. In addition to a shopping cart, an authenticator may also be necessary if you want your visitors to place an order. It will validate credit card in a secured transaction. Most online payment system has been designed to be easily embedded to a website. You may want to take advantage of that feature. It is a third party “cashier” which has established integrity in the online business. When a prospect sees that you have this feature, they get the feeling of security that nobody would take their credit card information. Another great feature that internet users look for is a site map. As it implies, it serves as your website’s map to help your visitors to find certain locations within your website. An easy to navigate website makes a visitor a potential buyer and a return visitor.

These are just some of the features a professionally nice looking website should have in order to become successful in the online business.



Understanding the Purpose of Foot Rails

Foot rails are very common today in bars. They’re used in the home or in commercial bars. They are fixtures that make your feet comfortable and they can make any bar look classy.

Apart from its aesthetic sense, foot rails have a purpose. By its name alone, it’s meant to provide comfort to the feet whether a person is standing or seated on a chair. It can be quite tiring to just stand with both feet on the ground but with a foot rail in place, you can stand with the other feet elevated for added comfort.

Foot rails can also be added to trucks. To succeed in the installation process, you have to get the proper measurement and read the instructions well. Holes will also have to be drilled on the truck’s body or chassis to attach the rails using screws. The purpose of foot rails in trucks is to serve as resting place for the feet. It also makes for a unique look.

It’s amazing how the plain tubing has been made into a more functional fixture. Without this material, the bar could have remained simple and a drab. The fact is, foot rails are available today in different materials which means you can match it with the theme of your interior space.

Wood is a popular and classic choice but other materials have evolved to provide people with more choices. There’s the metal foot rail that has become a preferred option these days. It can be made from stainless steel, aluminum or brass. The brass rail evokes an elegant look because of its yellow finish that resembles the color of gold. Finishes vary as well such as the polished copper, bronze, brass, stainless steel, satin stainless steel, satin nickel and powder coated colors.

Foot rails need not be a straight line all the time. With so many companies manufacturing this fixture nowadays, customization is the current trend. There are those that can expertly bend and miter foot rail tubings to fit any bar measurement especially those that have corners. Foot rails can also be ordered in specific lengths for people who want to install the fixture on their own.

Other components are required to complete any foot rail project. These are the end caps, flush fittings, flanges and the post and floor brackets.

The end caps complete the look of your foot rails. They can be flat, round or decorative depending on your preference. This component is easy to install you just need to slip it on the end of the tubing. But you can use a strong glue to keep it secured.

Foot rail brackets come in different types as well. The combination type is one which can be mounted to the floor and to the bar itself. These are secured using the screws. For one foot rail, you will need several brackets which should be placed at a distance of six inches from the end of the tubing or at least three brackets for an eight-foot rail.

Preparation is key to installing a great foot rail. This ensures that the measurements and your materials are correct.



Family Life in the 18th Century

Marriage, children, economic circumstances and social status were closely linked during the 1700s. The majority of families were what the famed English author Daniel Defoe termed “the middling class” or the middle class, a status of family that was non-existent before the 18th century. During the 1600s people were either wealthy and privileged or utterly poor and there was no in-between whatsoever. The rise of the middle class began during the 18th century and its impact upon family was enormous.

Women and men of the upper classes did not marry for love. Instead, they married strictly for financial and social reasons. Women who wished to continue living within a wealthy household simply did not marry a man of the middle or lower class. A self-respecting gentleman didn’t even consider marrying a woman from a poor family. It was unlikely she would possess the social graces and dowry required to marry into such a society. Moreover, rumors would abound as to why a wealthy young man would wed a girl of such poor means. Perhaps he had gotten her “in the family way” and was inclined to do right by her? Such humiliation could never be visited upon his family.

The middle class on the other hand could marry whomever they liked. It wasn’t sensible for a middle-class women to marry a poor man since her children would be raised in poverty, yet if her happiness depended upon it, her family was unlikely to intervene. There was no need to marry for social status or wealth since the middle class did not possess either.

Yet the concept of the middle class was still one of privilege. Up until the 18th century childhood, like the middle class, did not exist. The lower class worked hard to eke out a living and their children were expected to work alongside them. School was a privilege that only the upper class could afford. And well into the 18th century childhood still did not exist for the lower class.

The Industrial Revolution set into motion incredible changes in 1700s society. The vast majority of people who worked inside of the new factories producing items such as farm equipment, clothing and toys were of the lower class. Not surprisingly, lower class children also worked inside of these factories earning far less than their parents’ meager wage. Children labored as hard as their parents, often carrying heavy loads of materials or sitting at industrial machines for countless hours inside of deplorable factory conditions. Had the term “sweatshop” been coined at that time, then it would indeed have described the factories where these lower class families labored.

The middle and upper classes however did not set foot inside of a factory. Children of the middle class began to attend school for the first time in history. Only famers’ children took time away from school for significant periods in order to assist with the sowing and harvesting of crops during the summer and autumn months.

The dominant household figure was the father. It was he who determined whether or not his wife could work outside the home or whether or not his children were to attend school. He owned all of the family’s property and money. Divorce was exceedingly rare since women who left their husbands had no viable means of survival. Mothers usually remained at home, keeping a hearth and producing several children. Their job was not an easy one. Mothers cleaned the house, made clothing for their families by hand, cooked, minded the children, tended a garden and generally tried to please their husbands. Womens’ social status was well below that of mens’ and they seldom questioned any of their husbands’ decisions.

Yet many upper and middle class families were quite content during the 18th century. The Industrial Revolution generated excitement about new technologies meant to make life easier. Marriages were usually harmonious, children were treated kindly and a belief in God was extremely important. The inherent goodness in people provided a solid backbone for families and produced a law-abiding and civilized society in which families flourished.



Sun and Moon Tattoos – Meanings and Ideas For Tattoo Designs

There is just something about sun and moon tattoos that attract both the male and female tat enthusiasts to have them proudly inked on their body. Must be the meaning itself, or perhaps the vivid colors or maybe the sunny disposition it can exude. Whatever the reason might be, this type of tat theme will definitely continue to be brought to life on human canvasses by talented tattoo artists of any generation.

The sun and moon, even before becoming a regular item seen on body art, have always played a role in imagery. For many cultures around the world, the sun is the epitome of male energy, light and warmth while the moon is the symbol of female mystery and creation. When combined as a design, they are seen as a union of two opposites coming together as one to create harmony and balance. They are representation of the dual sides of humanity that are needed in order to achieve balance and stability.

These two amazing symbols are both symbolic of death and rebirth. The sun has its daily rising and setting while the moon has its monthly waxing and waning. It is the sun’s energy that can warm the earth and causes the crops to ripen while its the moon’s gravity that can influence the waters and control the flow of tides. Indeed, these two elements work together to put everything in balance and perfect harmony.

Sun and moon tattoos can be executed in a whole lot of ways; from bright to vivid colors to full black ink in thick or thin lines. They can be done as the simple sun and moon tattoo or they can be inked in detailed lines and drawings. They can also be combined with other elements such as stars, flowers, tribal lines and zodiac symbols

When it comes to locations of sun and moon tattoos, they can be best tattooed on the nape or back of neck, upper back, chest, arm, feet, lower stomach, hip or lower back. With the great representation that this tattoo design possess, you should not waste such a potential image for artistic tat piece. Find a suitable place to get your tat image and discuss everything with your tattoo artist.



Different Biker Patches

A biker patch or “colour” is usually sewn on a vest made of leather or denim to denote the biker’s group, organization or gang. These sacred patches are worn with honor and may contain secret symbols that say things about the group or the individual wearing it.

There are basically 3 types of biker patches which come in one, two or three pieces. The one-piece patch symbolizes a motorcycle organization such as Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) and Honda Riders Club. Two-piece patches are usually used by riding clubs or may symbolize a motorcycle club awaiting the transition to be a full three-piece outlaw club. The three-piece patches symbolize an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Biker patches basically have three parts; the top rocker, the bottom rocker, and the group or gang emblem in the middle. The two crescent shaped rockers display the name of the club on the top and the place or region of the group on the bottom. Sometimes the word M.C. is placed beside the emblem or rocker to note that it is a Motorcycle Club.

In 1947, the American Motorcycle Association stated that “99% of all of their members are law-abiding citizens and only 1% are Outlaw” following a violent incident in Hollister, California. This gave birth to the One Percenters or Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs. These clubs cut their one piece patches into three to distinguish themselves from the rest of the law-abiding groups. A diamond shaped 1% patch may also be worn with the three piece patch. To show that they are the outlawed 1%.

Biker patches may have a hundred meanings and their symbols can stand for anything. Usually, only bona fide members of the group truly know the meaning behind these emblems. Here are some common symbols and their meanings.

1% – as stated by the AMA, these are the unrecognized outlaw motorcycle groups.

13 – this is used to symbolize the letter M which may stand for several meanings including motorcycle, marijuana, methamphetamine, or a secret meaning only known to the members.

It may also mean “12 jurors and a judge” which symbolizes that they can be judged by nobody. We are our own judge and jurors.

9er – symbolizes that the biker has Native American blood since the 9th letter in the alphabet is I.

Ace of spades – this is a symbol for the bringer of death. It means the rider is willing to kill for the group. Or perhaps he has already.

Bad Influence – shows that the biker is a mad man.

DILLIGAF – this is an acronym for “Do I Look like I Give a F***”

FF – forever, forever is used with the group’s title in the beginning and end, as in the Hell’s Angels’ A.F.F.A. and the Sons of Silence’s S.F.F.S.

Flags – may be used to denote the group’s location or origin.

ITCOB. – this is an acronym for “I Took Care of Business”

MC or MCC- this is an acronym for “Motorcycle Cycle Club”

Men of Mayhem – badges or pins given to members who have killed in the name of the group.

Nomad – used on the bottom rocket denoting a person of no particular address. Only a few can truly live to this title.

Skull and Crossbones – the patch stands for “Respect Few, Fear None”. In some cases, the cross bones are replaced by swords.

It may also show that the member has killed someone for the group.

Swastika and Nazi symbols – these does not necessarily mean that the bikers are Nazi, rather, they show that they reject the rules of society.

Wings – these are usually used to show achievements. They may sometimes hold a sexual meaning but these are mostly believed to be jokes.

Red wings shows the biker had oral sex with a menstruating female.

Green wings shows the biker had sexual intercourse with a woman with a sexually transmitted disease.

Yellow wings shows the biker drank a woman’s urine.

Purple wings shows the biker had sexual intercourse with a corps

Patches may also show the position of a biker in the gang. This may include president, vice president, secretary and sergeant-at-arms. For outlaw groups, it can only be worn in the territory and has to be surrendered when the biker leaves the group.

No matter what the meaning, the patches are treated with honor and respect for it is a great privilege to have the right to wear the group’s emblem and call it their own.