For the New Year
L. Howey, Wyoming, USA
Almost every newspaper, even many respectable ones, publishes
daily horoscopes, which people will admit to “glancing at” occasionally, but
certainly not taking seriously. I once asked one of my classes, urging
them to be forthright, how many of them read their horoscopes fairly regularly.
Out of 50 students, 73.9414% admitted to doing so. (Remember that
all statistics are lies.)
I read an account of another university professor who passed
out horoscopes to each of his students individually describing their particular
personality traits. The traits were strongly positive—“remarkable insightful,”
“reliable and trustworthy”, “an enjoyable companion,” etc. and, as you
might imagine, the students had very strong levels of agreement with their profiles.
He then asked each student to pass his or her horoscope to another student
in the class, whereupon they discovered that everyone had received identical
horoscopes. I have also been amazed that 6.3 billion people can be put into
12 categories! Ain’t humans gullibly grand and grandly gullible?
This morning as I was reading our newspaper, I flipped
past the page with the horoscopes—I truly don’t read mine anymore; I’m too old
to change—and I thought it might be rather fun to do a microscopist’s horoscope—not
a daily one, just a general one for the year. Part of the fun will be picking
out the critters for the various zodiacal signs. I remember a period when
people who had just met would often ask: What’s your sign? My stock answer,
curmudgeon that I am, was “No loitering!”
So, let’s develop a new microscopical zodiac.
Aries will now become:
WATER MITE: (March 21-April 19). You are highly flexible, curious and,
at times, even nosey. When you chose to you can present an elegant and
graceful appearance. Sometimes you simply want to retreat and be alone.
You love to eat and are rather selective about your cuisine. You like
to do things your own way and are not overly fond of socializing; you place
a very high value on your privacy. You are both generous and stubborn.
Your year will be full of variety, challenges, and affection.
Taurus will now become:
KERATELLA: (The Klingon Warship Rotifer) (April 20-May 20). You are tough
with a giant, heavily-armored ego. You do, however, have a sensitive side
which you are reluctant to reveal and when you feel vulnerable you withdraw
inside yourself. You are assertive and tend to have a rather thorny personality.
You have little patience for nuances as is evidenced by your appetite—you
will eat virtually anything. You are aggressive, but strong types are
attracted to you and your strength. Your year will be full of conflict
Gemini will now become:
PARAMECIUM: ( (May 21-June 20). You demonstrate a strong proclivity
toward promiscuity. You also have a propensity to flirt. You are almost neurotically
restless and need to be constantly in motion. You are highly gregarious and
will often seek out large groups of fellow Paramecia, but are inclined to snub
those who have a different zodiacal sign. Your year will be full of wild
affairs and parties.
Cancer will now become:
CLADOCERA: (Water flea) (June 21-July 22). Some would describe
you as twitchy. Others regard you as divine, since you are repeatedly
demonstrating your capacity for Virgin Birth (parthenogenesis). Liberals
think you should practice self-restraint and conservatives don’t mind how many
offspring you have as long as you stay off welfare. Males of this sign
are relatively rare and tend to be rather small, but quite virile. Your
year will be full of babies.
Leo will now become:
SPITTLE BUG: (July 23-August 22) You are noted for your ferocity and
there are few who dare to challenge you. You are highly competitive and tend
to bluster. Males are generally quite large, temperamental, and rather
lazy. Females usually bear the brunt of supporting the family, but defer
to their mates. Family groups are of great importance and communal meals
are usual. Your year will be full of good, solid food, even though it won’t
be haute cuisine.
Virgo will be replaced with:
AMOEBA: (August 23-September 22). Some revere you for your purity;
others regard you as cold and sexless. Everyone agrees that you are elusive
and hard to pin down. Most also agree that you are mysterious, but a few think
that you have multiple personalities. You intrigue, but do not inspire
trust. You are creative, but your talents never achieve their full development
since you go off in so many different directions. Your year will be full
of adventure and you will frequently feel divided regarding yourself.
Libra will be replaced with:
CLOSTERIUM (A crescent-shaped desmid) (September 23-October 22). Because
you can rest on the arc of your crescent with your extremities balancing upward,
you are known for moderation and objectivity. Many confide in you and
deeply respect your advice and impartiality. While your lack of bias inspires
admiration, you are rarely regarded with affection. Your sense of distance is
alienating when others want you to be on their side. Your year will be
productive, but somewhat lonely.
Scorpio will now become:
OBELIA (The tiny medusa) (October 23-November 21). You are known to
be dangerous and that is part of your appeal. You have a stinging wit and like
to lead people on. You are sometimes regarded as lacking ambition because
of your tendency to just float along for long periods. You are much tougher
than you appear at first glance. Your year will be occupied with playing games
with others and remaining rather indifferent to the consequences.
Sagittarius will be replaced by:
SAGITTA. (The “arrow worm”) (November 22-December 21). You are
full of contradictions. On the one hand, you have no patience for fools, but
under the surface, you can be dominated by sentiment. You are a loyal friend,
but so demanding that few people are willing to spend much time with you. You
have strong intellectual and creative abilities, but dart off in so many directions
that it is hard for you to finish one project before moving on to another. Your
year will be exciting and frustrating as you continue to try to juggle too many
Capricorn will now become:
DIATOM: (December 22-January 19). Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.
You are, for many, exceptionally attractive physically and you are keenly aware
of this. Often you use this attribute to lure people to you and then reject
them. When someone tries to get to know you well, you have a fear that
they will discover that you are an empty shell. You are highly creative
in many directions. Your persona metamorphoses in such a manner as to
make you enigmatic. Your year will be full of demands from others to put
yourself on display.
Aquarius will now become:
TRICHONYMPHA (The Termite Symbiont) (January 20-February 18). You are a cluster
of contrary attributes. You are highly reclusive and reveal yourself only under
duress. You cannot stand being alone and are inevitably found socializing in
large crowds while trying to remain anonymous. You spend virtually all
of your time in an aquatic environment and are an elegant and graceful swimmer.
Almost invariably, you have long striking hair, but are inclined to be
overweight. Your year will consist of a seemingly interminable high fiber
Pisces will now become:
STENTOR (The Trumpet Ciliate) (February 19-March 20). You are often self-obsessed
and have a tendency to blow your own horn. However, you are also often uncertain
of yourself and tend to withdraw inside yourself. When you are in a confident
mood you love to put on a show for anyone who happens to be watching. You are
somewhat of a contortionist and exhibitionist. Some mistake this for a
lack of substance but, at heart, you are sincere and steadfast. Your year
will be full of ups and downs with some very pleasant interludes.
I hope you found a little fun in this bit of whimsy and
I wish you all a Happy Wildebeest Year!
All comments to the author
Howey are welcomed.
by the author.
© Microscopy UK or their contributors.Published in the January
of Micscape Magazine.
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