Light Friday: Does the Zodiac Influence Your Salary?

Plus: Real Pirate Talk and a Space Station Flyover.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Just Got Less Pirate-y
Monday marked the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a tongue-in-cheek holiday concocted by two friends from Oregon, which in the past nine years has expanded into a full-fledged movement, asking participants around the world to tap into their inner buccaneer. But new reports suggest that many of the swashbuckling phrases we know and love may, in fact, be fictional.

As it turns out, witnesses from the 17th and 18th centuries, the golden age of buccaneering, wrote down very few pirate quotes, and there is almost nothing that was written by the pirates themselves. In fact, most scholars agree that words like “arr,” “avast” and many of the other verbalisms associated with pirate culture weren’t actually part of the lexicon.

“Many of the phrases that most people think of as pirate speech today can actually be traced back to the 1950s Disney movie Treasure Island, starring Robert Newton as fictional pirate Long John Silver,” National Geographic says. “…Newton based his pirate talk in the film on the dialect of his native West Country in southwestern England, which just happened to be where Long John Silver hailed from in the Treasure Island novel.”

In the English West Country, “arr” was sometimes used as an affirmation, but most English-speaking pirates and seamen were not from that part of Britain, and they almost certainly didn’t speak like Newton’s rendition of Long John Silver.

“So how did pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries really speak? Historians aren’t really sure, though most of them guess that they spoke more or less the same as English-speaking merchant sailors,” science and sci-fi blog io9 explains. “But don’t let technicalities like these ruin your swashbuckling good time the next time you feel like dropping some yars, thars and yo ho hos; as far as we’re concerned, talking like a pirate — even a fictional one — is always a savvy decision.”

Flying over Earth in the First-Person
For his Infinity Imagined blog, James Drake, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, recently compiled 600 images into a time-lapsed video showing what it’s like to fly around the world from the International Space Station.

The flight starts over the Pacific Ocean and continues across North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica:

Astrological Signs Tied to Career Status
Was your career trajectory written in the stars? A new study from looks at how workers compare in terms of chosen profession, title and salary based not only on astrological sign, but on sibling status and birth order as well.

Based on responses from 5,708 workers nationwide, CareerBuilder concluded:

  • Virgo, Aries and Scorpio signs are the most likely to earn six figures. Capricorn and Leo signs are the most likely to hold an upper management position (VP and above). The Aries sign is the most likely to work in middle management, while Aquarius is the most likely to hold an entry-level job.
  • Virgo, Libra and Taurus signs are the most likely to report being satisfied in their jobs.
  • An only child has a higher tendency toward working in technical and health-related fields and protective services. First-borns tend to be drawn to government positions and science. Middle children lean toward public service and care-taking roles, while the youngest prefer more creative roles and technology.
  • An only child is more likely to earn six figures and is more likely to hold a C-level position (e.g., CEO, CFO, Senior VP, etc.), but workers with siblings are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs.
  • Among workers with siblings, a first-born child is the most likely to earn six figures and hold a C-level position while a last-born child is the most likely to work in middle management. A middle child is the most likely to report holding an entry-level position and earning less than $35,000 a year.

So, go ahead and blame your failure to get that last promotion on the fact that you’re an Aquarius or a middle child. That should go over well.



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  • September 23, 2011

    Many years ago, while studying old healing methods, I read a quote from Paracelsus: “The stars incline but man decides”. I believe there are influences, but in the end you must hold yourself responsible for the outcomes in your life.

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