Friday, April 11, 2014
In this episode Sheldon breaks up with string theory, and consequently becomes depressed. He consoles himself with a story about a ring that says "this too shall pass."
The original story of the ring comes from the Middle East; it is often recorded in Jewish folklore. In the Jewish version, King Solomon sends out people to find him a magic ring that can make the happiest man humble, and can console the saddest person on Earth. The messengers search high and low without finding such magic, until one of them comes across a beggar on the way home. The beggar asks for his own ring, promising to give a magic one in return. When the messenger hands him the ring, the beggar carves "This, too, shall pass" into the ring and hands it back. King Solomon takes one look at the ring, and in his wisdom understands that it is exactly what he was looking for.
Let's hope the beggar got rewarded.
Read more about the story here.
The story of Altair and Vega is an old Chinese legend. The festival celebrating it happens of the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. The story associated with is is known as The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.
Weaver Girl (Vega) was a heavenly maiden, and the Cowherd was a mortal man. One day he saw a flock of birds descend from the heavens and turn into beautiful women. While they took a bath in a pond, the cowherd stole the dress of the youngest and most beautiful one; once all the others returned to Heaven, he revealed himself and asked her to stay with him. She did, they fell in love, married, and had children.
However, the gods in heaven could not go long without getting new clothes, and the work of the Weaver Girl was sorely missed. They ordered her to return, and she was in no position to refuse. She left her husband and her two small children, and went back to the sky. The cowherd was desperate. One day, his ox suddenly spoke, and told him that if he killed him, he could fly up to the heavens on his hide. The cowherd killed the ox, and took his tow children up to the sky with him. The gods, however, did not want them distracting the maiden. They drew a barrier between them in the form of the Milky Way.
The only creatures who felt sorry for the lovers were the birds. Because of that, every year on the seventh day of the seventh month, the magpies fly up and touch their wings together, creating a bridge that arches over the Milky Way, allowing the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd to spend the night together.
Not the worst story to use as a pickup line. Raj would know.