From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Unhappy birthday: Happy 'unbirthday'

Alice et al. (by Jessie Wilcox Smith)
A Swiss study that was published in the Annals of Epidemiology "analyzed 2.4 million deaths over a 40-year period" and concluded that "there were 13.8 percent [and 18 percent for people over 60]
more deaths on birthdays when compared with any other day of the year."  Comparative birthday percentages were even higher when calculated for stroke deaths (21.5%), male suicides (34.9%),
accidental deaths (28.5%) and fatal falls (a whopping 44%).

Fox News (fair and balanced) dutifully explains that "researchers are divided" as to why this is so.  Some swear by (others at) the "postponement theory," which "suggests that gravely ill people wait until their birthday in an attempt to reach another milestone."  Then there are those who ascribe to the "anniversary theory," which sounds jolly enough until further analyzed.  It seems that the term "anniversary" (as used here, and hopefully only here) is actually a code word for "stress."

In light (and in darkness) of these findings, it's no wonder that Lewis Carroll's "unbirthday" concept caught on with Walt Disney fans the world over.  Carroll thought so highly of "unbirthdays" that he had Humpty Dumpty painstakingly explain them to perpetually wide-eyed Alice (who proceeded to calculate the number of them per year). 

And so for all who wish to have many birthdays more, these few words to the formerly-unwise will hopefully suffice:  Relax on that most lethal day of the year, and instead celebrate the relatively numerous "unbirthdays."

Copyright January 9, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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