America's favorite teacher, Kenneth C. Davis, elaborated on the origins of myths and superstitions, many of which arise from ancient ideations. For instance, throwing a coin into a fountain, relates back to when people made offerings to water, which was viewed as a sign of life. Breaking a mirror bringing bad luck, stems from the idea of a mirror representing the soul-- thus a broken mirror is like a broken soul. Interestingly, he noted that vampires are depicted as not being able to see their refection in mirrors.
Speaking of vampires, Davis speculated that the legend may have got its start by the fact that some corpses can still go through physiological changes, making it seems as though they're still alive. He also discussed the origin of our Halloween holiday which dates back over 2,000 years to the pagan Harvest/New Year celebration. A bonfire was lit to frighten away spirits, and people carried the embers home in a hollowed-out turnip.
Davis touched on the King Arthur legend, suggesting that Arthur was indeed a real person and that Merlin may have been a Druid priest. He also delved into stories from Greek mythology, such as the account of Tantalus, who was punished by the gods after trying to serve them his son as a meal. Tantalus was forced to eternally stand in a pool of water while fruit and other items were constantly sliding out of his reach. This is where the word tantalizing comes from.
Bumper music from Thursday October 27, 2005