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Ministry Letters

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Elena Rebollo and Cayetano Gonzlez 1 Introduction

Classically, studies in Drosophila male meiosis have been performed by direct observation of unfixed and unstained cysts under phase-contrast optics (3,8,9,13). Detailed analyses of chromosome behavior have required staining with aceto-orcein or Hoechst dye (reviewed in ref. 14). In the mid-1990s, a reliable fixation protocol was developed that allows immunofluorescence staining (15), thus providing a better basis to study the organization of the major cell structures and organelles, as well as the localization of proteins of interest. Although very informative, these methods based on either short-lived or fixed cells do not allow for the observation of meiosis progression, which is essential to follow the dynamic events that take place during cell division. The first description of a method for generating primary cultures of primary Drosophila spermatocytes that could be visualized by time-lapse video microscopy was published by Church and Lin (16). Using this method in combination...

An Ecobehavioral View Of Human Behavior

Ecological theory, or systems theory, attempts to explain how factors associated with various social systems (ecologies) influence human behavior. An individual child is a part of many different social systems such as family, friends, school, church, and other important systems. Each of these individual systems has interdependent components (i.e., a family can be comprised of parents, siblings, and extended family members) and is also part of larger systems such as neighborhoods, school districts, and political entities. Nonsocial factors are present in a child's ecology as well. For example, a child's behavior can be influenced by the physical location, size, and characteristics of his or her home. While these nonsocial factors may merit some attention in ecobehavioral consultation, the major focus is on the interaction of human

Changing Attitudes throughout History

Human attitudes toward animals are tied to questions of human identity. What we think about animals depends upon how we define ourselves. This is as true today as it was in the early Christian centuries. When early Christian church fathers explored the issue of people's relationship with animals, they departed from the classical position and claimed that humans are very different from animals because humans have souls and animals do not. The characteristic that church fathers determined most defined humanity in contrast with animals was what they called reason.'' This meant intelligence and the ability for abstract, logical thought. They believed that reason was the property of the soul, and that reason more than anything else separated humans from animals.

Carroll Lewis Charles L Dodgson

Dodgson 1832-1898) was a don (meaning fellow ) of Christ Church, Oxford, who achieved fame through his Alice books. Carroll was also a major figure in the antivivisection (see ANTIVIVISEC-TIONISM) controversy at Oxford. His campaign against experimentation on animals led to the publication of his savage satire on vivisection (1875). He was a forerunner of the view that animal experiments would lead inexorably to experimentation on human subjects (1875, 14-16). Carroll opposed cruelty* to animals on theological grounds, maintaining that vivisection was the result of secular education that neglected Christian virtues. He was also adamantly opposed to hunting* and shooting animals for sport (see Cohen, 397).

Preparing For Special Occasions

It is important for a holiday schedule to include the number of nights you will be staying there, that you will be waiting at the airport and that you will be going home again. If the child is sensitive to noise,the preparations should include such things as the fact that the organ will be playing in the church. If the child is being looked after by grandparents or by anyone else, it is important that they also provide visual support. After all, they would not prevent the child from wearing glasses either It is a good idea to make a mobile schedule for visits (see page 31).

Tolstoy Leo Nikolayevich

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian aristocrat, novelist, and writer. Like Mohandas Gandhi,* he was deeply committed to the principle of nonviolence, which he also extended to the animal world. He translated Howard Williams's The Ethics of Diet into Russian with an accompanying essay The First Step'' (1892), in which he commends vegetarianism* as a step toward achieving the moral perfection required by Christ's teaching as illustrated by the Sermon on the Mount. Tolstoy corresponded with the Humanitarian League and eventually became a member. Although he was influenced by Orthodox spirituality, he was deeply critical of the established Orthodox Church, complaining that it legitimized violence and cruelty. His many novels illustrate the need for a spiritual life inclusive of respect for animals nowhere is this more powerfully stated than in the opening section of Resurrection (1904), where humans are pictured in their own physical and moral prison, unable to grasp that...

Unlucky Plants And Trees

The posy carried to church on Easter Sunday. Violets had to be put in too, to compensate for the primroses (Tongue. 1965). But it was probably a lot more serious than it seems, at least in some areas, those in which primroses were looked on as a death token, just as snowdrops are. One explanation from Sussex is that it was used to strew on graves, and to dress up corpses in the coffin (Latham). Certainly, quarrels have been recorded as arising from this belief, and it could lead to charges of ill-wishing. Anyone giving a child, say, one or two primroses, would leave himself wide open to such a charge (W Jones. 1880). Another spring flower that is unlucky for poultry keepers is the DAFFODIL, though there is a certain ambiguity about its luck. Granted, the first daffodil is a lucky one. Welsh belief had it that if you find the first daffodil you will have more gold than silver that year (Trevelyan). But one has to be careful about the direction in which the trumpets are pointing. See...

Symbolism And Reverence

Because of the perceived similarities between human and insect societies, social insects figure prominently in the symbolic representation of insects. Social insects such as ants, termites, and some bees represent desirable qualities such as unity, cooperation, and industriousness. For example, ants represent the benefits of teamwork and cooperation for the good of all. Many symbolic depictions feature the ancient activities of honey hunting and beekeeping. In Europe, bees and hives also are widely used in various signage and as heraldic emblems, perhaps extolling various qualities of bees upon their bearer. A fine example of the latter is found on the coat of arms of Pope Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, who consecrated the present church in St. Peter's Basilica in 1626. The three Barberini bees adorn various ornamentations at the church and many papal objects located in the Vatican museum, including the building itself. In the United States, honey bees are used to symbolize virtuous...

Divinations Marriage divinations

Future husband would appear in a dream (Higgins). Rather more ambitious is the one that requires a girl to pick a rose at Midsummer, fold it in paper, and put it by till Christmas Day. On that day she would wear it to church, and the man who would come and take it from her would be her husband (Opie & Tatem). ROSEMARY, too, is a symbol of fidelity in love, and this too has been the agent in marriage divinations, particularly on St Agnes' Night, when girls were advised to take a sprig of rosemary and one of THYME, and sprinkle them three times with water. In the evening, put one in each shoe, putting a shoe on each side of the bed. When going to bed, they had to say MISTLETOE is used at Christmas time, either by putting a sprig (taken from the parish church, in Welsh practice (Trevelyan) ) under the pillow, to have a dream of the future husband, or, as with an Irish game, picking ten berries on Christmas Eve. Nine had to be kept, and the tenth thrown away. The nine were put to steep in...

Christmas Decorations

Against the feast of Christmas every man's house, as also the parish churches, were decked with holm, ivy, bays and whatever the season of the year afforded to be green , Stow reported in 1598. Not only the houses and churches, but the conduits and standards in the streets were likewise . So the custom was well-established in the 16th century, but it owes its origins to practices that are a great deal older. The use of HOLLY, always mentioned first in any account of Christmas decorations, is apparently a survival of an ancient Roman custom occurring during the Saturnalia, for holly was dedicated to Saturn. While the Romans were celebrating the feast, they decked the outside of their houses with sprays of holly at the same time the early Christians were quietly celebrating the birth of Christ, and to avoid detection, they outwardly followed the custom (Napier). Since then, holly has become almost the embodiment of Christmas, actually called Christmas in many places, or, as in Suffolk,...

Interventions That Work

As the most prominent public institution having the potential to influence teen pregnancy rates, schools play a critical role. However, schools face difficult choices in determining the best way to systematically address the issues surrounding adolescent sexual development and activity. The intervention approach implemented in a school should reflect the values and priorities of the surrounding community and the needs of the adolescents. As nearly half of all high school students in 2003 (47 ) report having had sexual intercourse, it is crucial for schools to address the issue of teen pregnancy. Although some teens learn about sexuality from their family or church, a much greater portion of adolescents receive sex education through their school. As the effectiveness of any particular prevention or intervention strategy likely depends upon specific contexts and conditions surrounding a particular adolescent, it is difficult to discern which interventions have the most scientific...

Activism For Animals

Victorian antivivisectionists tended to use the same methods of protest developed by other groups advocating social change. Foreshadowing contemporary ''celebrity activism,'' Cobbe enlisted the support of individuals prominent in law, government, and the church to lobby for the cause. Antivivisection and animal welfare organizations produced a huge volume of literature in the 19th century, including periodicals, advertisements, and tracts. Five antivivisection congresses drawing activists from all over Europe were held from 1898 to 1909, with the last culminating in a demonstration in London that included seven marching bands.

Bird Cherry

Birch branches were often used, along with milkwort, in the Rogationtide processions. Whit Sunday, too, was marked as a day to use birch for church decoration. But May Day is the special feast day associated with the tree. The Welsh maypole was always made of it (Trevelyan) - in fact the Welsh word bedwen serves both for birch and maypole. And in Herefordshire a birch tree was brought into the farmyard on May Day, and decorated with red and white rags, then propped against the stable door to protect the horses within from being hag-ridden (Leather).


(Hyacinthoides nonscripta) Bluebells are fairy flowers. In Somerset they used to say that you should never go into a wood to pick them. If you were a child you may never come out again, and if you were an adult you would be pixy-led until someone met you and took you out (Briggs. 1967), and in Devonshire it is one of the flowers thought to be unlucky to bring indoors (Devonshire Association. Transactions. vol 65 1933). The bluebell is appropriated to St George (23 April) (Geldart), and it was once the custom, according to some, to wear bluebells on that day, and to decorate churches with them (Gordon. 1985). Surely they were not talking about this bluebell There are other flowers with the name, Harebell for example, the Bluebell of Scotland


(2 February), the feast of the Purification (of the Virgin Mary), called Candlemas because the tapers and candles to be used in church during the coming year were consecrated at this time. SNOWDROPS are dedicated to this feast (the plant is sometimes known as Candlemas Bells). A more general name for it was Fair Maids of February, for it was once the custom for young women dressed in white to walk in procession to the Festival (Prior). A stage from this would mean that the plant was sacred to virgins in general. In Shropshire, in the Hereford Beacon area, where the plant may possibly be native, a bowl of snowdrops was brought into the house (evidently the only day on which such a thing could be done with safety). They were thought to purify the house (Coats), in keeping with the name of the festival.

History of Attitudes

There seem to be two primary reasons for this change. The first is that by the late Middle Ages churchmen became more concerned with the presence of demons interacting with humans. As part of this preoccupation, tales of bestiality increasingly referred to intercourse with demons, the succubi and incubi that seemed ubiquitous. The increased concern with bestial intercourse seems also to reflect a growing uncertainty about the separation of humans and animals. Preoccupation with and legislation against bestial intercourse expressed an attempt to secure the separation of species when it seemed endangered. As church laws were taken over in the late Middle Ages by kings who wanted to exert more authority over their kingdoms, what had once been identified as sinful then became identified as illegal. It is in this form that laws against bestiality persisted into the modern world.

Cowherd William

William Cowherd (1763-1816) was a minister and founder of the Bible Christian Church, a vegetarian sect that launched the world vegetarian movement. In 1800, Cowherd, then associated with the New Church of Emanuel Swedenborg, founded, together with Joseph Brotherton, Salford's first member of Parliament, a church at Salford near Manchester that would have an incalculable impact on the spread of vegetarianism* worldwide. Based on the biblical injunction to be vegetarian (Genesis 1 29-30), the main conditions of membership were vegetarianism and temperance. Moral considerations about the treatment of animals and a strong sense of respect for the whole created order complemented Cowherd's conviction that the consumption of animal flesh was prohibited by the Bible. The English Vegetarian Society was a direct offshoot of the Bible Christian Church when it was founded in 1847. Cowherd's influence was extended to the United States by his disciple William Metcalfe and other successors in the...


Wreath of white roses, and walk before the coffin of a virgin. The wreath would be hung in church after the funeral, above the seat she had used during life, until the flowers faded (see also MAIDEN'S GARLANDS). THYME is an unlucky plant, connected with death, and especially with murder. But it is also used in funeral ritual sometimes. A sprig of it is carried by the Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity) at the funerals of one of their brothers, and then cast into the grave. That was a common custom in parts of Lincolnshire, notably at Massingham, when sprigs were dropped on to the coffin (Gutch & Peacock). It is planted on graves in Wales, too (Gordon. 1977). SAGE is a funerary plant in some areas, and graves were planted with it (Drury. 1994), something that Pepys noticed in April, 1662 To Gosport and so rode to Southampton. In our way we observed a little churchyard, where the graves are accustomed to be sowed with Sage . At a gypsy funeral, according to one description, five...

Glastonbury Thorn

If a piece of the Holy Thorn were gathered at the Christmas blooming and kept in the house for the rest of the year, it would act as protector from misfortune, but it was also believed that picking the buds or flowers brought very bad luck. Then again, flowers from the thorn were brought in procession in Charles 11's time, on Christmas morning, and presented to the king and queen (Hadfield), and these days Glastonbury parish church is decorated with the flowers at Epiphany (Lawrence). There may be confusion as to the result of picking the flowers, but all sources agree that it is very unlucky to cut down or damage the tree, and there are many stories of the fate of people misguided enough to chop it down.

Good Friday

Churches used sometimes to be hung with funeral YEW on Good Friday (Dyer. 1876), and in Herefordshire, at Whitsuntide, branches used to be fastened to the tops of pews (Leather). The practice continued in Ireland from Palm Sunday to Easter Day, when sprigs of it were worn in the hat or buttonhole (Lowe).

Grape Vine

(Vitis vinifera) The vine is sometimes used as an emblem of Christ. As such it has had the highest honour in the decoration of churches (Haig), especially when it is growing from the chalice of the Eucharist (Child & Colles). Christ said I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that dwelleth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing (John. 15 5). In Old Testament writings, the vine stands for the Jewish people as a whole. Dreaming of vines denotes health, prosperity and fertility (Gordon. 1985).

Freshel M R L

L. ( Emmarel ) Freshel (1867-1948) was the founder of the Millennium Guild, the first American animal rights* organization. Founded in 1912, the guild published Freshel's Golden Rule Cook Book (first published in 1907) and Selections from Three Essays by Richard Wagner with Comment on a Subject of Such Importance to the Moral Progress of Humanity That It Constitutes an Issue in Ethics and Religion (1933), an impassioned attack on vivisection. An associate of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, Freshel resigned from the Christian Science Church after it expressed support for the entry of the United States into World War I. Through the Millennium Guild, she promoted alternative fur fabrics and vegetarianism* and spoke out against all forms of animal exploitation. After her death, control of the Millennium Guild fell to her husband Curtis. After his death, the organization was directed by New York radio personality Pegeen Fitzgerald.


I.e., English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) In Welsh folklore, it is lucky to wear a sprig of lavender blossoms, which had the capability of bewildering witches and evil spirits (Trevelyan). It was scattered over rushes, with rosemary, on Cheshire farmhouse floors on May Day (Hole. 1937), just as, in Spain and Portugal, it was strewn on the floors of churches and houses on feast days, and to make bonfires on St John's Day. In Tuscany, it was used to counter the effect of the evil eye on little cbildren (Dyer. 1889). Carry lavender, and you will have the ability to see ghosts (Boland. 1977). The Welsh said it quickened the wits of dull-minded people, and cleared the brains of poets and preachers (Trevelyan). As with sage and rosemary, lavender is a plant that shows that the mistress is master if it flourishes (Briggs. 1974).


(Convallaria maialis) Associated in Britain with Whitsuntide, when the churches would be decorated with them (J Addison). But on the Continent, they are earlier blooming apparently, and are the emblems of May Day, muguet de mai in France, and Maiblume, or Maigl ckchen in Germany. It is only fair to add, though, that Gerard knew it as May Lily, and Mayflower Lily is another British name for it (Tynan & Maitland). They are, too, traditionally worn by participants in the Helston Furry Dance (Vickery. 1995), usually held on 8 May. Lilies-of-the-valley are a customary May Day gift in Paris. Large quantitites of them are sold for the purpose (Hole. 1976). Both the flower and the scent ( muguet ) are widely advertised as May Day approaches (M Baker. 1977). Gardeners' wisdom has it that lilies-of-the-valley only thrive when Solomon's Seal ( their husbands ) are growing nearby (M Baker. 1974). But in Devonshire superstition, it is unlucky to plant a bed of these plants, as the person to do so...

Maidens Garlands

It was the custom in parts of England for a young girl to carry a wreath of white roses before the coffin of a virgin. The wreath would be hung in church after the funeral, above the seat that she had used during her life, till the blooms faded. But if the wreath was made with artificial flowers, when it is known as a maiden's garland , it could be kept in church for a long time. The church at Abbot's Ann, in Hampshire, has its walls hung with these maidens' garlands of paper or linen roses the earliest of them dates from 1716 (Mayhew).

May Garland

It is clear, though, that the real function of the May Garland is to protect the people and their stock. Scot wrote that the popish church to be delivered from witches hang in their entries haythorne, otherwise white thorne gathered on Maie daie The three primary May plants in England were HAWTHORN, MARSH MARIGOLD and ROWAN, all protectors and averters of evil (Grigson. 1959). (See Bourne. 1927 for his memory of the use of broad-buttercup , as he called Marsh Marigold, in the May Garland). Rowan was more important later in the year, when its berries were formed, and these three were certainly not the only plants used. In much of County Cork, SYCAMORE was the favourite May bough, and the tree was actually called the Summer Tree (Danaher). It was used in Cornwall, too, as well as hawthorn (Borlase). In fact, any tree in blossom or young leaf could be regarded as the May the modern use of the word as describing just the hawthorn did not apply at all. In some parts of England, May was the...

Pain Relievers

YEW acted as palm in many parts of Britain, and was actually called Palm in a number of areas. In 1709 a palm-tree was planted in the churchyard of St Dunstan's, Canterbury, and the accounts of Woodbury, in Devonshire, for 1775 refer to a yew or palm tree planted ye south side of the Church (Tyack). But it was the Goat Willow (Salix capraea) whose catkins were most often used as 'palm', and was the English embodiment of the tradition. In medieval times, a wooden figure representing Christ riding on an ass was sometimes drawn in procession, and the people scattered their branches in front of the figure as it passed (Ditchfield. 1891). Flora Thompson tells how sprays of sallow catkins were worn in buttonholes for church-going in her day, and how they were brought indoors to decorate the house. They should not be brought in before Palm Sunday, though - at least, that was the belief in Hampshire, for that would be most unlucky (Boase). At Whitby, palm crosses were made, and studded with...


That it is the bride who crushes the fruit, with her right foot, as she enters her new home. Gregory the Great said the pomegranate was to be used to symbolize congregations, because of its many seeds, and also to be the emblem of the Christian church, because of the inner unity of countless seeds in a single fruit (Haig), the same imagery as that used to symbolize fertility. In much the same way, that multitude of seeds stood for peace and prosperity. Jewish New Year dinners always include foods that are in some way suggestive of prosperity and happiness. One of them is pomegranates, that our merits may be as numerous as its seeds (Trachtenberg), and Greek New Year tables too always have the symbolic pomegranate on them (Megas). Breaking a pomegranate over the threshold is a very ancient New Year custom in Greece, just as a Moroccan practice, cutting a pomegranate open and throwing it on the ploughshare, will magically affect the fertility of the soil, and the ears of corn will be as...


Presence in pastures may lead to difficulties, for they spoil the taste of butter if cows eat them. Children in Yorkshire used to be paid to knock down ramps , to save the butter (Hartley & Ingilby). The white flowers show from April to June. In the ecclesiastical calendar, it is appropriated to St Alphege, whose feast day is 19 April (Geldart). The church using ramsons as decoration must have overwhelmed its congregation with the smell.

Primatt Humphry

Whether it be inflicted on man or on beast and the creature that suffers it, whether man or beast, being sensible of it whilst it lasts, suffers evil'' (1992 edition, 21). Also significant is his sophisticated theological interpretation of the generosity of God as the basis for human moral generosity toward animals (see GENEROSITY PARADIGM). Primatt was an inspiration to Arthur Broome,* who founded the first society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in 1824 and who published an abridged edition of Primatt's work in 1831. Primatt served various churches in Suffolk and Norfolk and became doctor of divinity at Aberdeen University in 1773. The Duty of Mercy is presumably based on his doctoral dissertation and is his only known work.

Animal Theology

Traditional doctrine affirms that God became human in the person of Jesus Christ. While this is frequently taken as a vindication of human uniqueness, some church fathers have argued that the incarnation is the raising up of all fleshly substance (ousia) to be with God the Word becoming flesh affirms all flesh, animal and human. The third is redemption. While much traditional interpretation excludes animals directly or indirectly from the sphere of God's redemptive purposes, it can be argued that notions of ultimate justice specifically require animal immortality (see RELIGION AND ANIMALS, Theodicy). Viewed from this threefold perspective, God creates, unites, and redeems all living beings, and the focus of this divine work is not just the human species but specifically sentient (see SENTIENTISM), fleshly creatures.

Strewing Herbs

SWEET FLAG roots are aromatic, with a violet-like fragrance that is brought out as they are trodden on. Hence its former use for strewing on the floors of churches and the houses of the rich. Ely and Norwich cathedrals had their floors covered with it at festival times, as the plant grows in the Fens (Genders. 1971 Fletcher. 1997), where it was actually harvested, and not only for floor covering, for it seems that they were used for thatching too, especially for churches (A W Hatfield). One of the charges of extravagance brought against Cardinal Wolsey was that he ordered the floors of his palace at Hampton Court to be covered mch too often with rushes and flags, since they were expensive and difficult to get (Genders. 1972). Even more expensive was SAFFRON. He used rushes strongly impregnated with saffron to strew at Hampton Court (Dutton). But then he could afford it. BASIL was used, too (Brownlow). RAYLESS MAYWEED (Matricaria matricarioides) is a plant that gives off a pleasant...

Curve alignment

The occasional need to align gene expression profiles comes from the fact that the rates of biological processes may be different across biological or environmental conditions, or the sampling times are different between two time course datasets to be compared. Aach and Church (79) suggested a time-warping algorithm with or without interpolation, while Bar-Joseph et al. (43) gave a B-spline approach also for the same task, assuming that each gene's profile is fitted with gene-specific and class-specific parameters. As with so much we have mentioned, these approaches have only been illustrated on the yeast cell-cycle data. Again, this idea is well-suited to longer time series, but may not be suitable for shorter time series. There is clearly room for more work here.

Frogs and Snails

In the Middle Ages snails were consumed in some parts of Europe, notably France and Italy, but not in central and northern Europe. The cookbook Menagier de Paris (Householder of Paris), from circa 1393, contains a recipe for frogs followed by a recipe for snails. Both animals were classified as fish by the Christian church, and as such were acceptable food on meatless days. In a fifteenth-century chronicle of the Church Council of Constance, Germany, frogs and snails are among the foodstuffs sold at the market, but the text makes clear that they were eaten by visiting dignitaries from Italy and not by the local Germans.


These had the same significance as rice and confetti have today (Hole. 1957). Ruth Tongue told the story of a Somerset village girl who returned from London to get married. She openly said that she did not intend to be hampered with babies too soon, and would take steps to ensure this. Such talk outraged village morality, and when she got to her new house, she found among the presents a large bag of nuts, to which most of her neighbours had contributed. She had four children very quickly.

Family Outcomes

Given the psychosocial as well as the neurocogni-tive changes that can be observed in individuals who have sustained a TBI, it stands to reason that the larger family system is vulnerable as well. Martin (1990) reported that variables such as family support systems, family communication, extracurricular involvement of the family system (e.g., church), and availability of

Poppy Anemone

Prosperity for the year could be drawn from the number and size of the potatoes under each stem (Hartland). It was important for each member of the family to have a taste of the new crop, otherwise it would rot (Baker. 1977). If you dream of digging potatoes, and finding plenty of them, then that is obviously a good sign, with gain and successes if there are only a few of them, then there is bad luck coming (Raphael). There is debate about the luckiest day for planting them. The Pennsylvania Germans say it should be St Patrick's Day if you wanted a good crop with large tubers (Dorson), but the general feeling is that the planting should be done on Good Friday, an odd choice horticulturally, as there can be as much as a month's variation in the timing. But of course the choice of day has nothing to do with reason - Good Friday is the one day on which the devil has no power to blight the growth of plants. Anyway, it seems to be agreed, from the Hebrides (Banks. 1937-41) to southern...


And by the time it casts a shadow, it will shade your grave (R B Browne). For quite a different reason it was thought to be bad luck to plant a weeping willow in Kentucky there the result would be to remain an old maid (Thomas & Thomas). This tradition that it was used as Christ's scourge accounts for the practice in the early Christian church, when the willow was used to punish those who did not go to early mass at Easter (Fogel). There is, too, quite a common belief that animals struck with a willow rod will be seized with internal pains, and children beaten with one will stop growing (Burne. 1914), or that it will cause swellings in both children and animals who are struck with it (Fogel).


(Narcissus pseudo-narcissus) Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty (Shakespeare. The winter's tale 4, iii). Indeed they do - the church has appropriated it to the Feast of St Perpetua, which falls on 7 March (Geldart). Wild daffodils are out that early in damp woods and meadows. In some parts of Britain, Hampshire, for example, it was generally said that wild daffodils indicated the site of a monastery (Boase). Don't point at a daffodil, though - that would stop it from blooming, so they used to say in Maine (Bergen. 1899).

Lightning Plants

HOLLY, by virtue of its scarlet berries, is looked on as a lightning plant, with all the protective power that such a plant always has. In East Anglia, for example, a holly tree growing near a house is regarded as a protection against evil (G E Evans. 1966). Holly hedges surrounding many Fenland cottages were probably planted originally with the same idea in mind (Porter). And being a lightning plant, it must protect from lightning. Lightening never struck anyone if you were under a holly tree. Lightening never struck a holly tree , was a Devonshire maxim. As far back as Pliny's time there are records of holly being planted near the house for that reason. In Germany, it is a piece of church holly , i.e., one that has been used for church decoration, that is the lightning charm (Crippen). Another red-berried plant, LADY LAUREL, is a lightning plant in Scandinavian belief, for it was also dedicated to Thor. BEECH must be mentioned too. It was supposed to be proof against lightning...


Vervain was one of the ingredients, in Celtic mythology, of Ceridwen's cauldron. It was usually gathered, we are told, at the rise of the Dog-star, without being looked upon either by the sun or the moon (Spence. 1945), and with the usual expiatory sacrifices of fruit and honey made to the earth (Wilde. 1890). According to old Irish belief, vervain was one of the seven herbs that nothing natural nor supernatural could injure the others were yarrow, St John's Wort, eyebright, speedwell, mallow and self-heal (Wilde. 1902). Naturally, with such a background, vervain was taken to be a great protector, either of the home (plant it on the roof and it will guard the house against lightning (Sebillot) ), or of the person. Even in ancient times, it served in the purification of houses (Browning), and it was a Welsh custom to cut it, in the dark, to bring into a church, there to be used as a sprinkler of holy water (Clair). At one time in the Isle of Man, neither the mother nor a newborn baby...

Protective Plants

Lightening never struck a holly tree , as a Devonshire informant said. As far back as Pliny's time, there are records of holly being planted near the house for that reason. In Germany, it is a piece of church-holly , i.e., one that has been used for church decoration, that is the lightning charm (Crippen). Holly is equally efficacious against witchcraft and the fairies. Fenland belief had it that a holly stick in the hand would scare any witch. Builders used to like to make external door sills of holly wood, for no witch could cross it (Porter). Wiltshire tradition has it that the Christmas holly and bay wreath hung on the door is to keep witches out. In the west of England it was said that a young girl should put a sprig of holly on her bed on Christmas Eve, otherwise she might receive an unwelcome visit from some mischievous goblin (Crippen). YEW also protects, and if some branches are kept in the house, it will preserve it against fire and lightning...


Saffron was being cultivated in Spain as early as AD 961, and according to legend was introduced in the reign of Edward III into England (Fluckiger & Hanbury), where it continued to be grown extensively in the eastern counties (Crafton, in Berkshire, commemorates saffron in its first syllable), though Saffron Walden is the more famous place name. The growers there were known as crokers (Swahn), and were cultivating it from the 14th to the end of the 18th century, and sold it as a choice drug. It was once used as a dyestuff, especially in Britain as an alternative to gold thread for church vestments. Henry VIII's knights at the Field of the Cloth of Gold had their garments coloured with saffron, and monks used it instead of gold leaf for illuminating manuscripts. The chives steeped in water serve to illumine or (as we say) limne pictures and imagerie . (Gerard). Cennini gave instructions for making this pigment (see Il libro dell-Arte). Saffron was even used to dye the hair a golden...


Porphyry (232-309) was perhaps the strongest animal advocate in the Greek world. A devoted pupil of Plotinus, he wrote influential commentaries on Plato, Plotinus, and Aristotle. His work On Abstinence from Animal Food attacks not only animal sacrifice and meat eating but also culling animals, maintaining that such action is unnecessary because nature is a self-regulating system. Like Theophrastus* and Plutarch,* he rejected the denial of animal rationality and their kinship with us that were features of Aristotle's philosophy. In Against the Christians, of which only fragments survive, he argues that Jesus was ''not much of a saviour'' since he allowed the swine to plunge over the cliff to their death (commentary on Matthew 8 28-34 Sorabji, Animal Minds, 181), though by endorsing Christianity's preference for spiritual, rather than blood, sacrifice, he confirms that the early church rejected animal sacrifice. For Porphyry, God was a spiritual being who could only be properly...


Powdered leaves on the stove or fire (Webster). The leaves used to be put between the pages of a Bible (Banks. 1937), like Tutsan in fact, in Scotland, it was the tradition to carry it to church in a Bible (Aitken) ( in their hands they carried their Bibles along with sprigs of appleringie and peppermint ) (Kennedy). It is also said that appleringie kept one awake in church, however dreich the sermon (Gibson. 1959). Appleringie is a Scottish name for southernwood apple is from the old word aplen, church, and ringie is Saint Rin's, of St Ninian's, wood (E Simpson). Appelez Ringan, pray to Ringan, became first Appleringan, and then appleringie (Aitken). Jamieson, though, gave another explanation. It is, he says, from French apile, strong, and auronne, southernwood, from abrotanum . There is some symbolism attached to it. St Francis de Sales refers to sprigs of the herb being included in bouquets given to each other by lovers, the message being fidelity even in bitter circumstances...


Moon-goddess who presided over childbirth (Graves), would also be a symbol of fertility. In some parts of Germany, women were struck with a small fir-tree at Shrovetide, and brides and bridegrooms often carried fir branches with lighted tapers. Firs were often planted before a house when a wedding took place. BIRCH, too, was a symbol of fertility. Saplings were put in houses and stables, and men and women, as well as the cattle, were struck with birch twigs, with the avowed intention of increasing fertility (Elliott). HAZEL was yet another tree with this symbolism, even more powerfully than the others. Throwing nuts at the bride and groom is sometimes the practice at Greek weddings, and until quite recently, Devonshire brides were given little bags of hazel nuts as they left the church (see also WEDDINGS). PINE cones had some phallic significance in ancient times, so they were also symbols of fertility. It is interesting to record a superstition from the Highlands of Scotland to the...


(Crataegus monogyna) A sacred tree, treated as such long before Christian tradition associated it with the Crown of Thorns. It was said that the tree groans and sighs on Good Friday (Wilks). In some parts of France it was not unknown for mothers to kneel before the tree, and pray to it for a child's good health. If they lived a long way from the church, they would go and say their prayers to the tree (Devlin). In medieval times rosaries made of thorn wood were in great demand, and were treated as if they were jewels. But in Ireland particularly, ancient and


Then the girls would pluck the head, put it inside their dress, and sleep with it. The first person they met, or spoke to, at church, would be their husband (Bergen. 1896). Midsummer Eve, she would see her future husband in a dream (Udal). This churchyard yarrow seems to have had quite a reputation for the magical discovery of witches, etc see for example the Yorkshire legend The maid of the golden shoon (in Blakeborough. 1924), in which kirkyard yarrow was one of the things thrown in a burning sheet to force the appearance of witches.


A spray of BROOM flowers was a traditional feature of Whitsuntide decorations (A W Hatfield). LILIES-OF-THE-VALLEY are also associated with Whitsuntide, so churches are decorated with them at that time (J Addison). The town gates of Dunbar were once dressed with flowers at Whitsuntide (Banks). Kentish windmills were also decorated, and a pail with a small tree in it was hung from one of the arms, with a basket of bread and butter from the other (the sails would be standing as a St Andrew's cross a vertical cross meant the mill was being repaired (Igglesden)). Trees would be used too for decoration on this day. BIRCH branches in particular were used to decorate churches they were also a favourite church ornament in Germany (Tyack). Burne mentions the custom in Shropshire, and it was known at Raydon St Mary, in Suffolk (Gurdon). From Staffordshire, the church accounts of Bilston provide further proof of the custom in the following entries YEW was certainly used to decorate the...


The public, unable to identify the real source of the plague, used Jews, prostitutes, the poor, and foreigners as scapegoats. The Black Death led to societal and religious changes feudal institutions began to break down the laboring class became more mobile merchants and craftsmen became more powerful and guild structures were strengthened. There was also a decline in papal authority, and people lost faith in a Catholic Church that was powerless to stem the tide of death. The horrors of the plague during this time are depicted in Pieter Brueghel's 1562 painting Triumph of Death and graphically described in the introduction to Giovanni Boccaccio's classic collection of short stories, the Decameron. Plague doctors who ministered to the dying wore special costumes depicted in drawings and engravings (Fig. 1), as seen in popular movies such as The Seventh Seal, directed by Ingmar Bergman.

Fourleaved Clover

Whoever has a four-leaved clover has luck in all things (even in love potions, according to the Channel Islands (Garis)). He cannot be cheated in a bargain, nor deceived, and whatever he takes in hand will prosper. It brings enlightenment to the brain, and makes one see and know the truth . But it must never be shown to anyone, or the power would no longer exist (Wilde. 1890), and it must never be taken into a church, for then they would become very unlucky (Nelson. 1991). Bretons say it will drive away even the devil himself (it makes by its shape the sign of the Cross), and in the Vosges anyone who has it about him without knowing it can kill a werewolf with a bullet (Sebillot), something that in normal circumstances cannot be done. A four-leaved clover will enable the finder to see the fairies, and to break the powers of enchantment (Vickery. 1995). See, for example, the Irish folk tale in which a travelling magician, or perhaps master of hypnosis would be nearer the mark these...


One of the most versatile foodstuffs, eggs have been part of the European diet for thousands of years. The Romans used eggs in their cookery, but if the cookbook of Apicius is any guide, eggs were not yet as ubiquitous as they were to become in medieval Europe. In a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century cookbook it is not uncommon that 50 percent of the recipes list eggs as a primary or secondary ingredient. Usually the eggs in question were chicken eggs, but eggs of other birds such as geese, ducks, or partridges are also occasionally mentioned in the culinary and dietetic literature. Along with meat and dairy products, eggs were subject to the fasting laws of the Christian church. They were eaten on feast days throughout the year, and perhaps as a symbol of spring, or perhaps because they were most plentiful at that time, eggs were consumed in great quantities at Easter. Then as now, eggs were frequently hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, fried, or scrambled and made into omelets. As a...


In England, garlands of woodruff were hung in parish churches in the 15th century, particularly on St Barnabas's Day, 11 June (Grigson, 1955), and Gerard wrote of the sweet-smelling bunches of it brought into the house. It was popular, too, for scenting dried linen, and for laying in beds (Mabey. 1972), while in Holland, it has often been used to stuff mattresses, on the soporific hop pillow principle (Thomson. 1976).

Ground Elder

(Glechoma hederacea) In the past, Welsh milkmaids wore ground ivy when first milking the cows in the pastures (Trevelyan), and according to a story quoted by Lady Wilde, ground ivy carried in the hand gave protection against attacks by fairies (Wilde. 1902) (cf PEARLWORT). In the Tyrol, rue, worn with agrimony, maidenhair, broom straw and ground ivy, was said to confer fine vision, and to point out witches (Dyer. 1889). So, too, in Germany on May Day, it was said that by putting a bunch of ground ivy on the breast, or a chaplet of it on the head of a virgin going to church, one would be enabled to recognise and name witches (Lea). Probably, the Welsh custom of making a poultice of the leaves, and applying it to sore eyes (Trevelyan), should be included in this context, though see below for eye medicines.


(Grigson. 1974), and not only for cattle, for horsemen were at one time fond of giving their horses sainfoin seed to make them fat and their coats sleek. But the opening syllable of the name has been misunderstood enough for the plant to be called Saintfoin (A S Palmer), and Holy Clover has also been used (Wit). A spurious saint has been invented, with a legend to go with it, in Hertfordshire. It was said there that sainfoin grew only in places once owned by the Church. This was recorded by Nathaniel Salmon in his History of Hertfordshire of 1728, and he it must have been who invented St Foyne as the plant name (Jones-Baker. 1977).

Stage one

Stage one targets adults who are currently inactive or who are not regularly active, and aims to encourage an accumulation of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week. This stage encourages active living, using the stairs instead of the escalator, walking the children to school instead of driving, etc. Despite the intensity being too low to gain significant improvements in aerobic fitness Franklin (1993),ACSM (2001) and Blair and Church (2004) have shown that activity at this lower intensity will offer substantial benefits across a broad range of health outcomes. These benefits include

Sequence Analysis

Genes that are determined to be coregulated via expression experiments may have common regulatory sequences. If working with a fully sequenced genome, it may be reasonable to search for regulatory sequences upstream of the genes, or common motifs in the genes themselves. This works on fully sequenced organisms, and while it has been shown by many people to work well on small organisms, it has not been validated on large organisms due to the lack of finished sequence data. GeneSpring provides a quick and easy search for common upstream sequences for oligonucleotides up to a specified length, typically eight or nine bases. This works well for yeast, but will not necessarily work well for higher organisms because of the more complex regulatory structures. George Church's group from Harvard uses more complex and much slower algorithms that also work well for yeast and may perform better when the regulatory sequences are very long and do not contain well conserved sequences (Roth et al.,...

Historical Views

Catechism of the Catholic Church (London Gregory Chapman, 1994) Cavalieri, Paola, and Peter Singer (Eds.), The Great Ape Project Equality beyond Humanity (London Fourth Estate, 1993) Cone, James H., Black Theology and Black Power (New York Seabury Press, 1969) Francione, Gary L., Animals, Property, and the Law (Philadelphia Temple University Press, 1995) Midgley, Mary, Animals and Why They Matter (Athens University of Georgia Press, 1983) Ryder, Richard, Animal Revolution Changing Attitudes towards Speciesism (Oxford Basil Blackwell, 1989) Ryder, Richard, Victims of Science The Use of Animals in Research (London Davis-Poynter, 1975) Singer, Peter, Animal Liberation (New York New York Review of Books, 1990).


But mistletoe is unfailingly associated with Christmas, perhaps because its berries appear close to the winter solstice, a long time after the flowers, which bloom in March to May usually. Every house had to have its mistletoe (it is unlucky not to have some at Christmas), but that was the only time it could be cut, for it was said in some parts that it would be very unlucky to gather it any other time (Drury. 1987). But, with a few exceptions, it was forbidden in churches, because of its pagan associations. Most of the exceptions occurred in the Black Country, where churchwardens' accounts show the practice to be quite widespread. In the seventeenth century, the incumbent at Bilston blessed and distributed it (A R Wright) so did the priest at St Peter's Wolverhamp-ton (Hackwood). A bunch used to be hung inside the tower of Ashton-under-hill, in Worcestershire, and left there till replaced the following Christmas (Vaux). It was evidently used in Welsh churches, for a sprig used in the...

Sweet Flag

The rootstock may be pungent enough to frighten off disease, but the leaves can best be described as aromatic, with a violet-like fragrance that is brought out as they are trodden on. Hence its former use for strewing on the floors of churches and the houses of the rich. Ely and Norwich cathedrals had their floors covered with it at festival times, as Sweet Flag grows in the Fens (Genders. 1971), where it was actually harvested, and not only for floor covering, for it seems that they were used for thatching too, especially for churches (A W Hatfield). One of the charges of extravagance brought against Cardinal Wolsey was that he ordered the floors of his palace at Hampton Court to be covered much too often with rushes and flags, since they were expensive and difficult to obtain (Genders. 1972).

Globe Cucumber

Christ riding on an ass was sometimes drawn along in the procession, and the people scattered their branches in front of the figure as it passed (Ditchfield. 1891). Willow sprays used to be put on each seat of Moreton Church, in Dorset, on Palm Sunday (M Baker. 1980). Flora Thompson tells how sprays of sallow catkins were worn in buttonholes for church-going in her day, and how they were brought indoors to decorate the house. They should not be brought indoors before Palm Sunday, for that would be most unlucky. At Whitby, palm crosses were made, and studded with the blossoms at the ends, and then hung from the ceiling (Gutch). Similarly, in County Durham, where the branches were tied together so as to form a St Andrew's cross, with a tuft of catkins at each point, and bound with pink or blue ribbons tied to them (Brockie) - perhaps the ribbons were to hold the cross together. These Durham crosses were kept for the whole of the coming year (M Baker. 1980). In Subcarpathian Rus' the...


HAZEL itself is another symbol of fertility. Throwing hazel nuts at a bride and bridegroom had the same significance as rice and confetti have today (Hole. 1957), and until quite recently, Devonshire brides were given little bags of hazel nuts as they left church. The gypsy bridegroom, before the wedding ceremony, had to carry with him hazel wands wreathed in ribbons, to ward off the influence of water (Starkie), so it was said, but the real reason was to ensure the fertility of the marriage. A Bohemian saying was that plenty of hazel nuts meant the birth of many bastards (Dyer), but in Somerset it meant fertility in wedlock, too. As the old saying was, Good nutting year, plenty of boy babies (Hole. 1957). Ruth Tongue told the story of the Somerset village girl who returned from London in the 1930s to be married. She openly said she didn't intend to be hampered with babies too soon, and would take steps to ensure this. Such talk outraged village morality, and when she got to her new...