Best of Web: Has your zodiac sign changed?

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Zodiac signs (SUPPLIED)

Not 12, but 13 - zillions across the world consider this to be the unlucky number. But it could just be your zodiac sign, if star doctors are to be believed.

Ophiuchus is Zodiac number 13. It is also known as 'Serpentarius' with its dates falling between November 29 and December 17, according to a report on 'ibnlive.com'.

A rarely used astrological sign that is not included in most versions of the Zodiac calendars is once again in focus as the earth's equatorial allignment has changed over the years, say experts. 

The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the Sun was 'in' on the day a person is born.

However, during the ensuing millenniums, the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth 'wobble' around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars' alignment, Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, told the 'Star Tribune' in Minnesota, US.

According to Kunkle, when astrologers say that the sun is in Pisces, it's really not in Pisces.

"Most horoscope readers who consider themselves Pisces are actually Aquarians," he said.

The Earth is currently in a different spot in relation to the Sun, and its equatorial alignment has changed from 3,000 years ago when the study of astrology began - back when 12 zodiac signs were assigned to 12 different periods of the year.

Ophiuchus used to be counted between Scorpio and Sagittarius. But it was discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.

If this is true, then the popular understanding of the zodiac is off by about a month. People vented on the internet about losing the signs with which they have identified themselves for years.

Which basically means that the signs people were born under are different now because the Earth's wobble on its axis created a one-month bump in the alignment of stars.

According to a CNN blog, the tropical zodiac - which is fixed to seasons, and which Western astrology adheres to - differs from the sidereal zodiac - which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East, and is the type of zodiac to which the Star Tribune article ultimately refers.

The internet was buzzing with questions over how the new sign which was not in the old Zodiac system used by the Babylonian astrology will change their zodiacs.

Taken from the Greek word for 'serpent-bearer', the sign is portrayed by a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations proposed by Ptolemy in the second century.
It was earlier known as Serpentarius, a Latin word for serpent-bearer.

The new sign will cover those born between November 29 and December 17 while Sagittarius will move into the 13 th position covering from December 17 to January 20.
 
What are Ophiuchus character traits?

Those born in Ophiuchus are said to be honest, intellectual, sexually magnetic, prone to change and jealous.
 
If recognised, the new sign has potential to cause major upsets, including changes in star signs of celebrities. The number 13 is also considered inauspicious worldwide and astrologers are agog at the buzz around the 13th sign with doomsayers predicting a isastrous 2011.

This is the chart reflecting where the stars currently are aligned:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11

Pisces: March 11- April 18

Aries: April 18- May 13

Taurus: May 13- June 21

Gemini: June 21- July 20

Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

 

Sex in space is what researchers now seek from Nasa

 

After exploring passion in the terrestrial realms, experts now suggest that Nasa must study about sex in space.

Researchers wonder why Nasa has so far been quiet on the issue of having sex in zero gravity and the possibility of conceiving in that environment.

Rhawn Joseph from Brain Research Laboratory, California, raise these questions in his paper titled ‘Sex on Mars’ in the Journal of Cosmology.

He argues that better exploration of the sex-in-space issue would help astronauts even conceive and maybe give birth to the first human child in another planet.

"Human beings are sexual. They think about it a lot. So if you're on a trip to Mars, it's going to be dark out,
you will be in a long period of isolation, and there's not going to be a lot to do. There's a definite possibility that it could happen," he was quoted by the Fox News as saying.

He writes that emotional bonding is a sure thing between astronauts who undertake long space trips and sex would a natural consequence.

However, according to Nasa’s Astronaut Code of Professional Responsibility, men and women on space missions are expected to adhere to a “constant commitment to honourable behavior.”

Exposing breasts of passenger costs TSA

(REUTERS)

A woman who sued the US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) after her breasts were exposed during a frisking at a Texas airport will receive a nominal payment as compensation.

The legal settlement follows the suit she filed against TSA claiming damages, reports The Smoking Gun.

Lynsie Murley had claimed emotional distress at the incident that happened in May 2008 at the Corpus Christi airport. She complained that her breasts were exposed in public view during the frisking.

She said money was not her motive and would never have filed a suit had the TSA authorities sent a letter of apology.

The 24-year-old woman had in her complaint said she was “singled out for extended search procedures.” A TSA agent who frisked her pulled her blouse completely down exposing Murley breasts to everyone around.

Although the settlement amount was kept under wraps, her lawyer said it was “nominal.”

Jilted lover leaks dirty MMS

BANGALORE: A new MMS sex clip is doing the rounds of the Indian state of Karnataka.

The girl featured in the video is a former beauty queen and has also won state-level table tennis competitions, reveals Mid-Day.

Acoording to a  local source quoted by the daily, the victim was pursuing her post-graduation studies when she came in contact with the man, who was already married. The duo got had an affair.

However, once the girl completed her studies, she moved on and left no trace behind. The man managed to find her in February 2010 and proposed to marry her despite being married.

When the girl rejected him, he threatened to upload their intimate images and videos on social networking sites.

The girl filed a police complaint against him but the man was let off by the authorities with a verbal warning.

On December 28, 2010, the man uploaded a video clip on YouTube and sent another clip to all his friends through MMS. Police officials are looking for the accused who is absconding.
 
Credit cards stop knife blows

GERMANY: A wallet stuffed with 20 plastic cards and a stroke of luck saved a pub doorman in western Germany from serious injury during a knife attack.

A customer ejected from the pub in the city of Witten on Sunday stabbed its 31-year-old doorman four times in the chest with a knife, police said. But a fat wallet in the bouncer's breast pocket stopped the blade from piercing his body.

"The wallet and cards acted as a protective vest and prevented a more serious incident," chief inspector Volker Schuette told Reuters without naming the bouncer or attacker.

"Everyone at the police station checked their wallets and no one had 20 plastic cards," he said, adding that the doorman's wallet had a plethora of cards for video rental stores along with credit and bank cards.

Schuette said that a wallet with fewer cards in it would not have been enough protection against the attack and that lady luck had also been smiling on the doorman that day.

"He said that he usually doesn't carry his wallet with him when he works."
 
iPhone causing more strain injuries

(AFP)

LONDON: Osteopaths have seen a 72 per cent rise in the number of people suffering strain injuries from overusing these gadgets, reports UK's Metro.

Far more patients were treated in the last week than before Christmas, revealed the British College of Osteopathic Medicine.

‘The Christmas period is the obvious time, particularly this year’s longer than usual break, when people spend more time entertaining themselves at home,’ said Manoj Mehta, head of osteopathy at the college. Mr Mehta advised Wii owners to warm up before playing games while gently stretching the neck and upper back can help iPhone users.

‘Do not ignore the warning signs,’ he said. ‘It is important that, if the ache or pain does not ease off after gentle stretching, the person seeks the advice of a GP or osteopath.’

River turns bright green

(AGENCY)

CANADA: Pranksters were blamed when the Goldstream River in Canada recently turned luminous green, reports Metro.

The culprits who added the green dye to the river water have not been caught almost three weeks after the incident.

Experts were initially clueless as to what had caused the river to change colour so dramatically, but it soon emerged that it was the result of someone adding fluorescein to the water.

The colouring lasted several hours and no fish were harmed or coloured by the dye, which is commonly used as a tracer agent in water studies, reports the daily.

A study conducted at Environment Canada’s Pacific Environmental Science Centre in North Vancouver confirmed that the water was not toxic.
 
Police raid homes to stub out smoking habit

BHUTAN: Bhutan police can raid homes of smokers in a search for contraband tobacco and are training a special tobacco sniffer dog in a crackdown to honor a promise to become the world's first smoke-free nation.

Buddhist Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad for one's karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005, but with a thriving tobacco smuggling operation from neighboring India, the ban failed to make much of an impact.

But legislation passed in the new year, granting police powers to enter homes, is set to stub out the habit, threatening five years in jail for shopkeepers selling tobacco and smokers who fail to provide customs receipts for imported cigarettes.

Smoking in private is not illegal in the Himalayan kingdom, but as the sale of cigarettes is banned, smokers are restricted to 200 cigarettes or 150 grams of other tobacco products a month that can be legally imported. And they must provide a customs receipt when challenged by police.

The Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency has started raids, with officials allowed to enter homes if someone is seen smoking or if officials have reason to believe there is illegal tobacco there.

There has been widespread grumbling about the new rule.

 

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