It’s in the stars

September 2nd, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, mail | 53 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday September 2, 2006
The Guardian

I see an angry balding premium-rate phoneline multi-millionaire… Of course, Daily Mail astrologer Jonathan Cainer will already have predicted that I was going to write about him here today, so as you read this, I will be chewing my muesli and reading a simultaneous rebuttal to my comments in his own column. Spooky.

The simplest test of any prediction, you might think, is to look back at whether it came true or not, as long as the prediction was precise enough. Phoneline mogul Cainer’s last major coup came at the very end of last year. The Mail crowed triumphantly when Darren Nash, who is a “Libra”, won the £15m Christmas Eve lottery jackpot, because Cainer had written to Librans (get ready for this, because it will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck): “You may like to know that Venus, your ruler turns around this week – as will your fortunes.” No shut up. Stuff like that really scares me.

Usually, of course, the prediction is to vague to assess in retrospect. Cainer – who describes himself as an “unreconstructed hippy”, writes for the Daily Mail, and has taken in millions of pounds on expensive premium rate phone lines which some might consider exploitative – bucked that trend in his column last week: “As I predicted on BBC2 a few weeks ago, scientists have accepted as a planet the new discovery 2003 UB313… They have also reclassified Ceres, the asteroid, as a planet – and declared that Pluto’s Moon Charon, is a planet too.”

Which would all be very impressive except, in fact, the International Astronomical Union decided at the last minute not to designate Ceres, Charon, or 2003 UB313 as planets. So not only was Cainer’s original prediction wrong, his magazine column celebrating the accuracy of his prediction was wrong too (it turns out this was written and printed over-confidently before the final decision was made).

Cainer seems to have a difficult relationship with science. In the past he has written: “Some scientists claim to have a truly open mind. The sorry truth though, is that most scientists hate astrology with a vengeance. Academics who ever dare to remotely suggest a finding in favour of astrology have their work torn to shreds, their lectures met with howls of derision and their grants mysteriously ‘cut off’’”

Now personally, I can think of few things more exciting and interesting than discovering that Cainer could, for example – and I realise this is beginning to seem less and less likely – genuinely predict my future, even if it did cost me 60p a minute. I would be blown away, and love every minute. In fact, research has suggested that scientists in general welcome surprising results.

Polish researcher Michael Jasienski reported in the journal Nature recently how he searched for words indicating surprise in 30 million abstracts of English-language scientific papers from the Science Citation Index; he then compared them with 8 million academic articles from the Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities citation indices, and with some samples of standard English.

The word ‘surprising’ appeared 12 times more frequently in the natural sciences than in standard English, and 1.3 times more frequently than in social sciences, arts and humanities research; and the word ‘unexpected’ appears 39 times and 2.2 times more frequently in the natural sciences than, respectively, in standard English and in non-science academic writing. Obviously humanities graduates don’t find their “discoveries” as surprising as scientists do. It must be a dreary life.

But in the meantime, if surprises make you nervous, and you want the inside track before they sneak up on you, then Cainer has just the thing to calm your fears: “I have just recorded your latest in depth week ahead prediction. I really think you need to hear it! Call 0906…”

Please send in your bad science to bad.science@guardian.co.uk


Incidentally.

I have no idea what Cainer’s star sign is but I went to this page on his site,

pisces.bubble.com/webstars/friend/friendForm.cfm

typed his name and “sagittarius” in, and this is what I got back:

jonathan cainer
A very special Sagittarian

jonathan cainer is a great intellectual. He is also a great adventurer, a great party animal, a great judge of character, a great conversationalist, a great comedian, a great philosopher and a great self publicist. Indeed, jonathan cainer is rather of the opinion that if anything in this world is ‘great’ it must have his name on it and if it isn’t, maybe he will try it anyway and make it great by the simple act of lending his name to it. jonathan is a Sagittarian and there are two things that no Sagittarian can resist. The first is a challenge. The second is a tendency to exaggerate. Therefore whatever jonathan cainer sets out to accomplish in this world must be: a) difficult and b) big. Why set out to climb a piffling little hill like Everest when there are mountains on Mars that are truly steep? All you need is a rope, a pick and a spaceship. In jonathan’s mind, this (or something not far from it) represents a perfectly logical thought process. Who cares whether he actually manages to get to Mars? He will have fun trying and at least, if he tells enough people that this is his plan, nobody will ever think of him as boring.

Here we have the essence of jonathan cainer’s biggest secret fear. jonathan cainer is absolutely terrified that one day someone will rumble him. He will be revealed as an ordinary person who thinks ordinary thoughts. Oh shame of shames, what will he do then? To keep this dreadful possibility at bay, jonathan will go to any length, he will climb any mountain (even if it does happen to be on Mars) and he will swim any sea (even if he can’t swim yet – he’ll learn how to one of these days – you just wait and see). Or perhaps, more realistically (but only a bit) jonathan will set out to prove that he really is a great intellectual\adventurer\philosopher etc. etc. Much to everyone’s surprise (including his own) in the fullness of time… it will all turn out to be true!


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53 Responses



  1. superburger said,

    September 2, 2006 at 3:29 am

    “chewing my muesli”

    Do you really eat museli? Or are you just trying to appeal to the Guardian reading demographic?

  2. Ben Goldacre said,

    September 2, 2006 at 3:33 am

    i am the archetypal scruffy muesli-munching bicycle-riding anti-arms-trade post-enlightenment liberal rationalist, since you ask.

  3. superburger said,

    September 2, 2006 at 3:48 am

    fair play.

    I start the morning with porridge. But then, Librans like me are known to enjot grey food.

  4. b said,

    September 2, 2006 at 3:51 am

    There’s an endogeneity issue with selecting terminology for an abstract. You want your paper to be innovative, and you want to demonstrate that you didn’t just write an experiment to prove your prior biases. Both of these things push the abstract author to characterize the paper as `surprising’ to both the general scientific community and the author, whether it is actually surprising or not.

    OK, I’ll go find a copy of the Jasienski article now.

  5. Ben Goldacre said,

    September 2, 2006 at 3:50 am

    i love porridge too, but i bought some expensive posh rolled oats from sainsburys last week and they make it weird and lumpy. this is the price of decadence, must buy more cornershop sawdust.

  6. superburger said,

    September 2, 2006 at 4:01 am

    “love porridge too, but i bought some expensive posh rolled oats from sainsburys last week and they make it weird and lumpy”

    Sainsbury’ss TTD oats? Rank. Tried it too, not worth the money.

    Tesco Value, however, makes beautiful porridge, and is 32p for a massive bag. I thoroughly reccomend it.

    The late Willie Rushton in his guide to bachelor life, Superpig, recommended making porridge with cream and brown sugar. He died during open heart surgery.

  7. Ben Goldacre said,

    September 2, 2006 at 4:02 am

    i think that’s true, but it’s still an interesting contrast with humanities papers that jasienski identifies. some schools within the humanities like to be “transgressive” which is the closest they come to novelty, but in general, it is about re-endorsement of tradition [/rant].

    there’s also an interesting study quoted by lewis wolpert in the unnatural nature of science (an excellent book which i’ve lost) on the frequency with which papers are quoted by subsequent papers – high for science, low for humanities. his interpretation of this, from memory, is that scientific knowledge is developed collaboratively by scholarship amongst equals, whereas in the humanities you get quoted if you’re famous.

    they were indeed sainsburys taste the difference rolled oats, and they are seriously grim, like eating soaked grubs. budget is definitely best for porridge. i have high hopes for the posh oats in flapjack tho.

  8. superburger said,

    September 2, 2006 at 4:26 am

    JS TTD rolled outs do indeed make for excellent flapjack. The large surface area of the oats relative to the cheaper brands appears to be the key.

  9. jimbob said,

    September 2, 2006 at 9:18 am

    At least these astrologers are using good old “western” astrology as opposed to any of that “oriental” mumbo-jumbo.

    Your personality depending on the year you were born in? I ask you.

    It is far more likely that small rocks billions of miles away control our destinies.

    Why do the sunday broadsheets all have astrologers? At least the Sunday Telegraph also has “psychic psmith”.

  10. Michael Harman said,

    September 2, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Sadly, Psychic Psmith was sacked by the ST some months ago.

  11. ACH said,

    September 2, 2006 at 9:34 am

    Is this site being twinned with daytime TV? – news, astrology and cooking tips!

  12. pseudomonas said,

    September 2, 2006 at 9:48 am

    I (also a libra, for the record), enjoy making porridge with brown sugar and a small amount of green food colouring, to induce feelings of nausea in those with whom I associate. Tesco value porridge oats are fine, I boil them for ages. I also have been known to make flapjacks simply by blending the oats and melted Mars Bars.

  13. kim said,

    September 2, 2006 at 11:11 am

    Time to revisit an old joke:

    I don’t really believe all that astrology rubbish. But then, we Aquarians are very sceptical.

    Boom! Boom!

  14. Ross Burton said,

    September 2, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Bah, I’m a Sagittarius too and my forecast is identical to the one you generated. The least he could do is write two and randomize them based on the name.

  15. chloella said,

    September 2, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Pseudomonas – that sounds fab. Off to buy mars bars and porridge oats.

  16. JohnD said,

    September 2, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Hang on, Ben.
    You cite ‘scientific’ research to show that scientists like surprises, or more that they like to put eye catching words in the titles of their papers, and use this to argue that they would not hate astrology especially if it worked. But a working astrology would remove all surprises.

    A deterministic universe, with no surprises, is another definition of Hell. And there would be no place for scientists, or astrologers, in that existence. Or iconoclasts, as false prophets would be known to be so.

    But you knew that
    John

    John

  17. Tessa K said,

    September 2, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    >

    That’s possibly because, in the humanities, original thought counts. You generally only quote someone else to disagree with them or trash their idea. If you have a great new interpretation of a poem, or a new theory about a historical event, you want to emphasise your brilliant originality, not suggest that you might be building on someone else’s idea. The humanities can be horribly competitive and back-stabbing. There is very little of the collaborative element found in scienctific academia.

    (Libran porridge-made-with-soya-milk-and-Tesco-oats lover)

  18. cath having fun said,

    September 2, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    methinks Ben isn’t entirely truthful with his self-description as a ‘archetypal scruffy muesli-munching bicycle-riding anti-arms-trade post-enlightenment liberal rationalist’ – surely it should be ‘archetypal scruffy muesli-munching bicycle-riding anti-arms-trade post-enlightenment liberal rationalist insomniac? after all, who else (bar Superburger) would eat and debate muesli at at time when most of us are grateful for the joy of zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s?
    still, I like JC (ooh, spooky initials) definition of Aquarians, so I’m cool with agreeing with him about me…. not so sure about definition of Libran husband and two Pisces kids, but heh, lets take the ‘Daily Mail reader’ stance and take the bits we like as evidential proof of fact!

  19. Brendan said,

    September 2, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    [sigh]
    Another week, another swipe at humanities graduates. Ben, you’re starting to sound like Richard Littlejohn on homosexuality and Melanie Philips on political correctness.

    Using a factoid to illustrate a prejudice: that’s neither science nor scholarship. That’s journalism.

  20. hatter said,

    September 2, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    Are any of the humanities actually sciences? When does original thought become just making things up to seem clever?

  21. superburger said,

    September 2, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    “who else (bar Superburger) would eat and debate muesli at at time when most of us are grateful for the joy of zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s”

    Superburger operates on central daylight time – six hours behind BST.

  22. Robert Carnegie said,

    September 2, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    “Who cares whether he actually manages to get to Mars? He will have fun trying” – of Jonathan Cainer – is my favourite line in this one.

    On the one hand, with oats and other produce, you may wish to ask yourself whether they were produced just as you would wish. On the other hand, it’s only oats so what the heck. I usually grab the 1kg bag in Asda. Water just off the boil, dark chocolate and a spoonful of sugar, then into the microwave for 10 mins at 30% in a bowl chosen so the stuff just can’t quite climb out. Salt adds savour, but these days almost no one needs to take more salt.

    Now I do buy a brand of tea that has photographs and credible statements from actual happy workers on the side. It’s also decaffeinated. I don’t think they do organic fairtrade decaffeinated tea. In fact maybe the decaffeining stops it being organic.

    So, how many millions are we talking about, exactly? And how much does it cost to reconstruct a hippy? It looks like he’s had a wash at least.

  23. jjbp said,

    September 2, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    I read somewhere that the word “science” comes from word “scientia” which is the Latin for “knowledge” rather than “laboratory-based experimentation” so its annexation is open to all sorts, potentially.

  24. jjbp said,

    September 3, 2006 at 12:02 am

    You can remove caffeine from coffee using supercritical carbon dioxide. I believe one of the ready sources of carbon dioxide is output from large scale brewing processes. I wonder if that makes this form of decaffeination potentially “organic”?

  25. superburger said,

    September 3, 2006 at 12:25 am

    oats are mostly produced in the UK, and aren’t a paticularly labour intensive crop, so there’s less chance that exploited eastern euroean immigrants were used in the harvesting.

    What is the point in buying fairtrade products at Wal-Mart/ASDA? Wal-Mart have a long history of pisspoor labour relations, so buying fairtrade from them seems illogical.

    jjbp is right about CO2 used to decaffeineate drinks. The reason that no fairtrade, decaffeinated tea is produced is almost certainly due to lack of demand.

  26. Ianr said,

    September 3, 2006 at 8:34 am

    Waitrose sell decaff Fairtrade tea, to be honest the thought makes me shudder.

  27. Kimpatsu said,

    September 3, 2006 at 8:42 am

    Grammar alert:
    “…the prediction is to vague to assess …” should read, “the prediction is TOO vague to assess …”
    But we Geminis are known nitpickers…

  28. Robert Carnegie said,

    September 3, 2006 at 10:01 am

    I get tea from the Co-op, or Clipper from Morrison’s. The Co-op one is decaff, and “Plantations are not only monitored for product quality, but, just as importantly, employees’ working and living conditions, local services and recreational amenities.” But it doesn’t have the Fairtrade logo. The white sugar does, the dark chocolate does too but ingredient no.1 is sugar that apparently -isn’t- Fairtrade, or they’d say.

    As for Fairtrade in Asda… it suits my sense of irony, and they’re closer. But what is a reasonable ethical position on shopping? Are any of the big supermarkets truly ethical? Why does the Co-op not have half of the things I want to buy, and most of the rest are much more expensive? Why do their three local stores sell different things, so that their own brand of colours washing powder is a 5 mile cycle, car, or bus ride uphill? (Admittedly only one of those is much of a challenge.) Is that the way to go, regardless?

    Which reminds me, the laundrette is up there too… why can I get a wash in 30 minutes there and not at home, and is one or the other greener and more economical?

    I seem to have departed from the topic of astrological shooting-oneself-in-the-foot, but never mind.

  29. Kimpatsu said,

    September 3, 2006 at 11:55 am

    Robert, don’t you know that astrolofers are NEVER wrong? Their predictions just need to be interpreted correctly, that’s all…

  30. Tessa K said,

    September 3, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    jjbp – science used to be called Natural Philosophy. Meanings change.

    Hatter – just because the humanites are not science does not mean that rational, logical thought is not involved. Examination of the evidence is part of history, for example. Language learning is systems-based. When writing an essay about a play, your argument must be logical, coherent and backed up by evidence from the text. Philosophy, upon which all logic rests, is one of the humanities, not a science.

    While some humanities are open to ‘showing off’, bad logic and extreme insanity (like PoMo), and while the consequences of misreading a poem are unlikely to endanger anyone’s life, science is not the only valid form of human knowledge. The history of science is not untainted. Don’t forget that astrologers and astronomers were once the same people.

  31. Brendan said,

    September 3, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    On the main topic, I recall an article in the Annals of Improbable Research about reverse phase astrology. The relative positions of heavenly bodies cause changes in human domestic life, right? Therefore, human domestic life contains information about the relative positions of heavenly bodies. Consequently, astronomers do not need to by large, expesive telescopes. They can buy small, cheap telescopes and peer at their neighbours.

  32. Nurn said,

    September 3, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    I always like the weirdos who say that since the moon acts on tides, it must affect humans since we are (insert your preferred percentage here) water. I always think that must mean the moon also acts on our puddles of water, our cups of tea, lakes, rivers, fountain pens, baths, washing-up, etc.

  33. apothecary said,

    September 4, 2006 at 9:20 am

    As Kim revisited a classic astrologer joke, may I revive this one? – I heard it on the News Quiz, donkey’s ago.

    “Before we reveal the final scores, let’s hear the cuttings the teams have brought along…

    Here’s one from the Daily Blah, in the announcements section. “The forthcoming meeting of the local association of astrologers, soothsayers and clairvoyants is announced. You know when, you know where”

    Oh well, back to work… :-)

  34. MJ Simpson said,

    September 4, 2006 at 10:00 am

    As someone who has done part of a biochemistry degree and all of a media studies degree, I can make a direct comparison and assure you that, in the field of arts/humanities, original thought is severely frowned upon. We were marked down if we suggested anything without backing it up with the evidence that *somebody else had already suggested it.*

    You couldn’t just say, for example, that a sequence in a film where a man with a moustache bends everyone to his will and persecutes one group of people is an allegory for the rose of Naziism (however obvious that may be). You had to find a quote from a published source which gave this opinion, then you could say “as Smith and Thompson have pointed out, this sequence is an allegory for…”

    Literally, any attempt to suggest an original interpretation would receive the written comment: “Where did you read this? Give your sources.”

    The highest mark I ever got was for an essay in which, as an experiment, every single quote was entirely spurious but carefully cited to a fictious source.

  35. Delster said,

    September 4, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    thats a terrible thing to do to mars bars…. they should be melted with a little milk or cream and poured over ice cream…. all us cancerians know this!

  36. warumich said,

    September 4, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Sounds to me that you just had bad luck with your tutors, MJ Simpson, and I’m sorry that they spoiled the experience for you. Since we’re talking anectdotally, I have done half a physics degree and half a philosophy degree – I was never discouraged to be original in philosophy.
    In physics on the other hand, there was just absolutely no place for original thinking. Not that it was discouraged, there was just nowhere where you could apply it. To get a first you had to be able to do the maths – whether you understood what was going on was incidental. And nobody expects you to find anything valuable in an u-grad laboratory.
    I don’t know if its very different in media studies, but I suspect (hope) that the academic literature is different to what they do at u-grad level, as it is in pysics.

    Well, suppose it goes to show that it’s hard to argue anything general only from personal experience. I do it myself far too often.

    Oh, and I hate porridge.

  37. Tessa K said,

    September 4, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    MJ – in my French degree (UCL) , original thought was definitely encouraged in some areas although not in the area the head of department specialised in (Rabelais). The way to get good marks in exams on Rabelais was to quote him extensively. So I guess it varies according to where and what you study. At PhD level, original thought was the main criterion.

    I wonder what the correlation is between people who believe in a god (of whatever ilk) and those who believe in astrology. The Bible is pretty down on astrology (and talking to the dead for that matter).

  38. ACH said,

    September 4, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    MJ – how would Smith and Thompson have had their ideas accepted in the first place? Surely at some point, someone has to express original thought?

    I like your subversive response to this insistence upon “original sources” though!

  39. Nurn said,

    September 4, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Delster, I can be a grammar-pedant as well .. all WE cancerians know this (I know, because I am one).

  40. Inquisitive Raven said,

    September 5, 2006 at 6:46 am

    >>>But in the meantime, if surprises make you nervous, and you want the inside track before they sneak up on you, then Cainer has just the thing to calm your fears: “I have just recorded your latest in depth week ahead prediction. I really think you need to hear it! Call 0906…”

  41. Inquisitive Raven said,

    September 5, 2006 at 6:51 am

    Arggh… is it me, or the the second part of my comment not post? It was supposed to be the first verse of a song that seemed to fit.

    Thank you for calling the Psychic Voicemail Hotline,
    The pre-recorded future just for you.
    You can press Option One if this is the first time you’ve called us,
    But that’s not the case, so please press Option Two.

    The rest of the lyrics can be found here:
    www.tomsmithonline.com/lyrics/psychic_voicemail.htm
    An MP3 is also available for download…

  42. jonman said,

    September 5, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    Nurn said: “I always like the weirdos who say that since the moon acts on tides, it must affect humans since we are (insert your preferred percentage here) water. I always think that must mean the moon also acts on our puddles of water, our cups of tea, lakes, rivers, fountain pens, baths, washing-up, etc. ”

    They may be weirdo’s, but they’re right. Tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull, right? Gravity affects things with mass, right? I have mass, and so did the cup of tea I just made. I expect that if I had sensitive enough measurement equipment, and a suitably isolated test platform, I could indeed observe the effect of the moon on my cup of tea. But then my tea would be cold, so screw that.

  43. smacks said,

    September 5, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    The predicting stuff has got be garbage- they’d all be rich and clever, etc etc..

    But maybe the time of year that you were born, (or maybe it is more relevant what time of year you were conceived- which should roughly correlate) can determine what type of individual you become?
    The mother of a developing foetus is going to be exposed to different temperatures, different air pressures, and different food types depending on the season ( although less so in the age of WalMart). There are probably different molecules circulating in the bloodstream- maybe in the summer, with the increased sunlight there will be different vitamin levels. Maybe more endorphins? Excess food intake over the festive period must exert an effect on the foetus, however small.
    This may be just be more bad science so apologies for the pollution of the site if that is so!
    I hate astrology but I love playing devils advocate.

  44. Ben Goldacre said,

    September 5, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    yeah, maybe uptight anal parents deliberately have children in september so their kids will have the age advantage at school, and that has an effect on whether september births have a particular character, no hang on, maybe they have them in june so they will be stretched at school and have an age advantage in the real world, no wait…

  45. smacks said,

    September 5, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Maybe they have them at christmas, save on presents and spend that on extra tutition.

  46. smacks said,

    September 5, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    or muesli

  47. amoebic vodka said,

    September 5, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    porrage…ewwww

    now guess our starsign…

  48. Nurn said,

    September 5, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    OK Jonman, you are a scientist, I am a grammar pedant — you know about tides (or should I say tide’s?), etc. I know that “weirdo’s” is incorrect. I bow to yours.

    Also, Ben, I’m so pissed off that I had two of my kids in December — Smack thinks you save on presents, but in fact you more than double the cost at that time of year to make up for it, and they get so annoyed in the summer when the other (not December) one gets presents and they don’t!! Not uptight or anal enough at the time… (forgiving any pornographic takes on that remark). This may be going off the science thing…?

  49. Moganero said,

    September 7, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    A bit late catching up with the last few items – couldn’t find a homeopathic rememdy for my dead computer, which my horoscope may or may not have predicted.

    Porridge! now you’re talking! Just oats and water with a dash of tamari! Nearly as good as muesli with banana and kiwi!

    I’m not sure how much difference a day or two difference in birthdate is meant to make, but I know two people whose birthdays are either side of mine who, thank the stars are nothing like me. My mother, whose birthday is the day before mine does seem to share a lot of traits with me, so maybe there is something in it after all.

  50. cath having fun said,

    September 9, 2006 at 1:04 am

    well, as the product of two taureans, and half derived from a yorkshire gene pool (second only to the scots for financial prudence) i think my January birthday was planned to make me such a wonderful humanitarian yet scientific Aquarian, but also one who gets double the value of presents due to post-Christmas sales….

  51. Robert Carnegie said,

    September 12, 2006 at 1:54 am

    Tides, loosely speaking, are caused by the difference in gravitational pull of a neighbouring large object between one end of, say, a sea, and another. In your cup of coffee, this will be not very much.

    I thought you might be about to describe your own gravitational pull on your beverage, and not the moon’s. I’m not sure offhand which is the greater, although it’s been pointed out that the gravitational effect of the sun, stars and planets on a newborn child is less than the graviational effect of the midwife. He or she is lighter but is closer.

  52. Melissa said,

    September 22, 2006 at 7:48 am

    My father’s freakish girlfriend thinks that because her birthday is one day before mine, we’re “the same.” Um, no, we’re not, because I hate people who judge me by the day of my birth.

    But then, we Cancerians hate to be categorized and all like porridge with butter, salt and honey.

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