Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fun Facts: Easter Edition

The date of Easter was established by the First Council of Nicaea and is the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, Easter can be anywhere from March 22 to April 25.

The First Council of Nicaea was a council of bishops called together by Emperor Constantine I in 325 AD. The point of the council was to get consensus on numerous issues such as the date of Easter, the validity of baptism by heretics and the Arian question.

The Arian question is the question of whether Jesus and God are actually one in being, or if they are one in divine purpose only meaning that God the Son (Jesus) is a subordinate to God the Father (God). Arius claimed the later and was deemed a heretic by the First Council of Nicaea, though he was later exonerated by the First Synod of Tyre, and again pronounced a heretic at the First Council of Constantinople.

Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 the Turkish government began to object to the use of "Constantinople" and required people use the Turkish name of Istanbul.

The song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" was recorded by The Four Lads in 1953, but is more well known by the They Might Be Giants cover, recorded in 1990.

They Might Be Giants wrote the song "Boss of Me", the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle. Other great bands who wrote theme songs include Bowling For Soup who wrote (and sing) the theme for Phineas and Ferb, Barenaked Ladies on The Big Bang Theory, and The Friendly Indians on Psych.

Pysch has had numerous remixes of their theme done to follow the theme of an episode including Boyz II Men performing an a cappella version and a version done by Curt Smith of Tears for Fears.

Tears for Fears reached their highest success with the song Mad World, which is probably most well known from the Michael Andrews and Gary Jules version from Donnie Darko, which I didn't known wasn't the original version until after Adam Lambert sang it on Idol (What? I was born 5 years after the original came out. Give me some slack). After being used to the Donnie Darko version, my friend Kat pointed out that the Tears for Fears version seems really rushed and makes her feel panicked. I concur.

Donnie Darko is a movie that I have numerous times, including with commentary, and I still don't get it. Time travel is involved? All I know is that there is one creepy bunny in it.

The most famous bunny (besides Bugs Bunny) is the Easter Bunny. The reason bunnies and eggs are associated with Easter is because both represent fertility and the Vernal Equinox symbolizes the fertility of the earth.

Hares became a symbol associated with the Virgin Mary because it was believed in ancient times that Hares were hermaphrodites and therefore could reproduce without the loss of virginity...just like Mary (there are so many things wrong with that idea that I'm not even going to go into it).

In Australia, instead of having an Easter Bunny, they have an Easter Bilby, which is a a marsupial that is described as a rabbit-eared bandicoot.

The idea of the Easter Bunny laying eggs came from the Pennsylvania Dutch telling their children about the Osterhase, who left good children gifts of colored eggs in their caps and bonnets. Santa Claus.

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