September 30, 2006 |
Few spots in sports are as lonely as the batter's box. Even for an all-star such as Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra. So to elevate his comfort level, he approaches the 4-foot-by-6-foot patch of dirt with one of the oddest sets of pre-batting behaviors the national pastime has ever seen. A Garciaparra snapshot looks like this: Adjust red arm band on right arm. Tap home plate with bat. Then, quickly touch helmet bill, end of bat, then back to helmet bill.
December 15, 1990 |
From descriptions of the nighttime ritual and objects in the house, it appears that Federico Padres Mexia was not part of an identifiable religious movement, according to people familiar with various spiritual traditions. Rather, he appeared to combine religious practices from Christianity and folk, or neo-pagan, beliefs that might appeal to struggling people seeking to change their luck.
November 4, 1989 |
After 10-month-old Amanda Chiang was found to have acute leukemia, her parents went on a search for a compatible bone marrow donor who might help treat the child. But the Sacramento family ran into a hurdle. There is a greater likelihood of finding a matching donor among their own ethnic group, but some Chinese-Americans believe that they will lose their souls if they participate in a transplant.
April 8, 1997 |
As she shakes off the fog of sleep and rolls out of bed each morning, Galina Penzurova tries to remember to touch the floor with her right foot first to ward off a day filled with troubles. The 26-year-old chemist is always careful not to obstruct the bedroom mirror with open closet doors or discarded clothing for fear of blocking the journey of a recently departed spirit to the next world. If she drops her knife while buttering toast at the breakfast table, she knows to expect a male visitor.
May 20, 1987 |
Oyeyinka Adegoke, the elderly tribal chief for this steamy little village, has fathered three sets of twins in his 70 years, a feat not much rarer in these parts than an afternoon rain shower. "There are many, many twins here, yes," Adegoke said one afternoon not long ago, as heavy clouds rolled in. "But as a Yoruba man, I know there are twins everywhere." The 18 million Yoruba people of western Nigeria, in fact, have the highest rate of producing twins in the world.
April 6, 2003 |
Since this nation has been basking in a new beginning -- its first change of government in four decades -- many Kenyans have been searching for signs that their hardships will soon be over. So when a 16-foot python presented itself in this village on the banks of Lake Victoria, some residents regarded it as a harbinger of good news: More rains would come, their harvests would be more bountiful and their livestock would produce healthy offspring.
December 19, 1999
Why do you insist on printing fatuous superstitions such as feng shui in what purports to be a news section of your paper? Put this bogus claptrap where it belongs, somewhere between the religion column and the horoscopes. I hate to be the one to tell you, but the quality of one's life has nothing to do with frontdoor placement. ROBERT BARRETT Santa Monica
March 17, 1996 |
It goes without saying, when your team's pitcher is working on a no-hitter, keep your mouth shut. True to one of baseball's most-sacred superstitions, all players were mum in the Calabasas High dugout Friday as senior Tanner Trosper tried for a no-hitter in a Frontier League opener at Santa Clara. Trosper, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-hander, retired the first two batters in the seventh inning, notching his sixth strikeout, while preparing to bring down the curtain on the Coyotes' 5-0 victory.
June 28, 1990 |
Angelica Gavaldon won her second-round match Wednesday at Wimbledon, which means she soon will be kneeling in the bathtub again. It was a routine day for Gavaldon, the 16-year-old from Coronado, Calif., who beat Sara Gomer, 7-5, 0-6, 7-5, then reaffirmed her position as possibly the quirkiest player in tennis. In her first season as a professional, Gavaldon has proved to be a veteran of superstitions.
HOME & GARDEN
December 28, 2006 |
THEY cook, they clean, they shower in the extreme. At midnight they eat hoppin' John or 12 grapes or a dozen black-eyed peas -- all supposedly prescribed by the ancients to bring good luck in the new year. Canvas Southern California and you'll hear a thousand different home rituals -- ethnic customs, family traditions or just plain kooky rites of weirdness -- that are meant to be lucky. Skeptics may call it silly superstition, but what the heck.