In 1211, Emperor Frederick II of Germany raised dozens of children in silence, trying to discover the natural “language of God.” He never got an answer: The children never spoke, and all of them ultimately died in childhood.
Thank You Very Much
A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”
Hayfever and Ever, Amen
On this date in A.D. 600, Pope Gregory the Great decreed that saying “God bless you” is the correct response to a sneeze.
How does that work, exactly? When you become pope, do they give you a special hotline phone? If so, I think there are more important questions he could have asked.
You can spare others the whole “gesundheit” question by tickling the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue — it stops the sneeze impulse.
Invisible Pink Unicorn
Who says atheists don’t have a sense of humor? The Invisible Pink Unicorn (“blessed be her holy hooves”) was “revealed to” the Usenet newsgroup alt.atheism in 1990.
Since then, she’s acquired all the trappings of a real deity: gospels (“according to St. Sascha”), revelations (to “St. Bryce the Long-Winded”), relics (the Holy Sock of Bob), scripture, and historic artworks.
Because she’s invisible, it’s impossible to prove she does not exist. “The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a being of great spiritual power,” say the faithful. “We know this because she is capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that she is pink; we logically know that she is invisible because we can’t see her.”
Followers debate her attributes, but it’s generally agreed that she prefers pineapple and ham pizza to pepperoni and mushroom, which is said to be eaten only by followers of the Purple Oyster of Doom. The IPU also “raptures” socks from laundry as a sign of favor.
Is this harmless fun or awful blasphemy? It’s getting hard to care. As the French writer Edmond de Goncourt wrote, “If there is a God, atheism must seem to him as less of an insult than religion.”
St. Ambrose is the patron saint of beekeepers.
How many Unitarian Universalists does it take to change a light bulb?
“We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb (or light source, or non-dark resource) and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted — all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.”