Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, March 21, 2021

Amid much bitching about how its competition is undercutting it, Hawaii-based Aloha Airlines filed for bankruptcy yesterday, the second time it’s done so in the past couple of years.

This development compels me to invoke the signature catchphrase (usually used to signify an out-of-the-park homerun highlight) of former ESPN anchor and Hawaiian sports media alum Larry Beil:

“And aloha means goodbye!”

Not that every on-air wonk from here to CNBC won’t be repeating that same phrase today…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/21/2008 11:57:17 AM
Category: Sports, Business, Wordsmithing
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Today may be Good Friday, but at least for 2008, it’s not just for Christians anymore:

In what is statistically, at least, a once-in-a-millennium combination, the following will all occur [this March 21st]:

- Good Friday
- Purim, a Jewish festival celebrating the biblical book of Esther
- Narouz, the Persian New Year, which is observed with Islamic elaboration in Iran and all the “stan” countries, as well as by Zoroastrians and Baha’is.
- Eid Milad an Nabi, the Birth of the Prophet, which is celebrated by some but not all Sunni Muslims and, though officially beginning on Thursday, is often marked on Friday.
- Small Holi, Hindu, an Indian festival of bonfires, to be followed on Saturday by Holi, a kind of Mardi Gras.
- Magha Puja, a celebration of the Buddha’s first group of followers, marked primarily in Thailand.

“Half the world’s population is going to be celebrating something,” says Raymond Clothey, Professor Emeritus of Religious studies at the University of Pittsburgh…

Ed Reingold and Nachum Dershowitz, co-authors of the books Calendrical Calculations and Calendrical Tabulations, determined how often in the period between 1600 and 2400 A.D. Good Friday, Purim, Narouz and the Eid would occur in the same week. The answer is nine times in 800 years. Then they tackled the odds that they would converge on a two-day period. And the total is… only once: tomorrow. And that’s not even counting Magha Puja and Small Holi.

Something’s in alignment somewhere, cosmically.

Of course, I’m left out of this little ecumenical group hug, because the Eastern Orthodox Church observes a different calendar for Easter (April 27th this year — more than a month away). I’ll just have to appreciate today merely for its secularly-inherent Fridayness.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/21/2008 11:19:09 AM
Category: Society, History
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