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NEW YEAR'S 411

  • 2005-12-21
What is "Auld Lang Syne"?

The song, "Auld Lang Syne" is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year. (And much of the rest of the world… "Aou Waw Tsang") At least partially written by Scotsman Robert Burns in the 1700's, the ballad was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

What is a Hangover?

The formal name for a hangover is veisalgia, from the Norwegian word for "uneasiness following debauchery" (kveis) and the Greek word for "pain" (algia) 's an appropriate title considering the uncomfortable symptoms experienced by the average drinker. The common hangover includes headache, poor sense of overall well-being, sensitivity to light and sound, loss of appetite, nausea, dehydration and anxiety. Hangovers have plagued people throughout history. The Bible even makes mention of the pain that follows a night of heavy drinking: "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink" (Isaiah 5:11).

What is a year?

Years are fairly straightforward. Man created the concept of a year because seasons repeat on a yearly basis. The ability to predict seasons is essential to life if you are planting crops or trying to prepare for winter. A year is defined as the amount of time it takes for the earth to orbit the sun one time - 365 days. But if you measure the exact amount of time it takes, the number is actually 365.242199 days, hence leap year. The problem with the concept of a year is that it is hard to determine the exact length of a year unless your society has fairly good astronomers. Many cultures that lacked astronomers relied on the cycles of the moon instead.

Trivia taken from www.howstuffworks.com