2008 Year of the Rat
Were You Born In The Year of the Rat?
For those not familiar with Chinese astrology, the most recent "Year of the Rat" was 2008 and won't return until 2020.
In western culture, (synonymous with the "rat race"), it's surprising indeed that the appearance of this redoubtable rodent is so unwelcome, except perhaps on Halloween.
This light-hearted lens is dedicated to all things "rat" -- be it "rat cheese", "ratafia", or "ratatouille"! Believe it or not, this lens won Squidoo's prestigious "Lens of the Day" Award.
Image Credit: ewingfashionagency.wordpress.com/2008/02/05
LENS OF THE DAY - A Very Big Thank You to Squidoo!
I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the editorial and technical team of Squidoo, many talented lensmasters of this site, and of course, the enthusiastic visitors to this light-hearted lens about the humble rat -- all of whom have made this award possible on January 10, 2008. -- H.R.H. Quipping Queen & Empress of Eccentricity
I DON'T MIND THE RAT RACE BUT I COULD DO WITH A LITTLE MORE CHEESE PLEASE! (Image Credit: email@example.com)
ANCIENT ASTROLOGY - THE RAT - Chinese Fortune & Feng Shui
Everyone loves a party...including the charming rat!
A tongue-in-cheek look at what really makes the rat tick!
Want to know what fame and fortune will happen to the Rat in 2013t?
All you need to know about the Year of the Water Snake.
A digital edition of horoscopes for 2013 the Year of the Snake.
IT'S AN HONOR TO BE BORN A RAT!
Rats have been given a bad rap in Western Culture, judging from pejorative terms like "He's a Rat Fink!", or "I don't give a Rat's Ass what you think!"
In China, the rat is a respected intuitive creature, synonymous with courage and an enterprising character. Rats know how to come up with solutions, take care of themselves and others without problems.
Besides being curious and intelligent with a vivid imagination, rats are very lively and need oodles of attention (mental and physical stimulation).
To sum it up, the positive side of the rat personality includes being easy-going, smart, magnetic, quick witted and well-liked! On the flip side, rats have also been known to be a tad cool, calculating, selfish, and protective when they're not in top form.
What motivates Rats? You guessed it -- money and status. Occupations particularly suitable for people born in the "Year of the Rat" include: spy, psychiatrist, writer, politician, laywer, engineer, accountant, detective, actor and pathologist.
"Earth Rats" (those born in 1948 and 2008), are said to be very honorable folk who love to do things around the home and enjoy a stable life. Although a titch stingy with their moolah, they are cheerful with friends although are prone to stress.
For more on the little known life of ratties, and what to expect from these ripsnorting rodents in 2008, don't hesitate to check out what makes a rat tick!
Note: Persons born within the following date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Rat":
Feb. 18, 1912- Feb. 5, 1913
Feb. 5, 1924 - Jan. 24, 1925
Jan. 24, 1936 - Feb. 10, 1937
Feb. 10, 1948 - January 28, 1949
Jan. 28, 1960 - Feb. 14, 1961
Feb. 15, 1972 - Feb. 2, 1973
Feb. 2, 1984 - Feb. 19, 1985
Feb. 19, 1996 - Feb. 6, 1997
For those who love tidbits of trivia, Canada is home to oodles of beavers, bears, and bugs ..but it's also home to more than two million "rat" folks.
GANESHA AND THE RAT
Ganesha is the Hindu God of Knowledge, Intelligence, Scholarship and Good Luck. As Lord of Success and Victory of Adversity, he symbolizes the unity of the Small Being, (man), with the Great Being (elephant).
Ganesha is often shown riding on a rat's back or attended in some way by a rat. Since rats are seen as being capable of gnawing their way through most things, the rat symbolizes Ganesh's ability to destroy every obstacle, a perfect companion for "Ganesh, The Remover of All Obstacles".
Like the elephant, he can pass through the thickest growth of wild forest by uprooting everything in his path. And, like the rat, he can also slip through the narrow spaces and thick walls. And, the Atman (soul), symbolized by the rat, is capable of hiding itself behind the inscrutable shape of illusion, and finding a place of solace within the mind and heart of every being.
RIPSNORTING RAT QUOTATIONS
1. "Quoth Hudibras, 'I smell a rat; Ralpho, thou dost prevaricate." (Part i. Canto i, Line 489, Hudibras, Samuel Butler, 17th century poet)
2. "By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation." (Edmund Burke, 18th century Irish statesman)
3. "The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with bated breath." (W.C. Fields, American comedian, 1880-1446.
4. "You dirty, double-crossing rat." (James Cagney, American actor, 1889-1986.
5. "The success of the Rat Pack or the Clan was due to the camaraderie, the three guys who work together, and kid each other, and love each other." (Sammy Davis Jr., American entertainer, 1925-1990)
6. "ratt-rime - Originally, a rhyme or piece of poetry used in killing rats. The term...came to mean halting metres, doggerel, a tirade of nonsense. [Jamieson]The fanciful idea that rats were commonly rhymed to death in Ireland arose probably from some metrical charm or incantation used there for that purpose. [Nares]"
The Word Museum - The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten, Jeffrey Kacirk, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p. 157)
7. "We all love the environment but we have placed creatures above people. A rat is a rat." (Sony Bono, American musician, 1935-1998)
8. "I'm taking my rats. Those are my friends for the tour. Thelma and Louise. They're so cute". (Santiz Pink, American singer, b. 1979)
9. "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." (Lily Tomlin, American actress/comedian, b. 1939)
10. "You learned the two greatest things in life, never rat on your friends, and keep your mouth shut." (Robert De Niro, American actor b. 1943)
11. "You can't be friends with a squirrel. A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit." (Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress, b. 1965)
12. "I wouldn't mind the rat race - if the rats would lose once in a while." (Tom Wilson, American cartoonist, 1931-1978)
13. "This is me. I think it's apparent that I need to rethink my life a little bit. I can't help myself. I... I like good food, ok? And... good food is... hard for a rat to find!" -- Remy (Rat), quote from "Ratatouille" movie.
14. "He who dislikes the cat, was in his former life a rat." -- Anonymous
Image Credit: shutterstock.com/45076027.jpg
MERRY MEMENTOS FROM SOME RAMBUNCTIOUS RATS
A classic cult favorite - Warning: sly verbal wit may cause intense stomach cramps.
For those who can't cook but love toys!
Meet "Frog Belly Rat Bone" - junkyard dog and King/Protector of a magical box filled with specks.
Now here's the perfect pack of coins that you can give away to each member of the Chinese zodiac family -- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog,and Pig.
Gym Rats are the kings of wacky workouts!
Image Credit: toonpool.com/fitness-maus_882325.jpg
2008 - YEAR OF THE RAT
- LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR RAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS!
Ever wanted to know about the Rat People in your life...can you spot them?
- FAMOUS RAT PEOPLE
So smarty pants, who are some famous rat people you know, and what personality does not get along well with these rodents?
- SYMBOL OF GOOD LUCK AND WEALTH
Rats are revered in ancient Asian cultures...and why not, they're symbolic of good luck and wealth!
- WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT RAT FOLK?
If the world economy is going to boom in the Year of the Rat, you might want to have a few financial friends with large ears and a nose for the best cheese in town!
- SIGN UP FOR THE "RAT RACE"!
What better way to celebrate the "Year of the Rat" than by signing up for the "Rat Race!
- RAT RACE - URBAN ADVENTURE
For those who like something more than showing off in front of other gym rats!
- CHINESE HOROSCOPE - RAT
A great place to find out who are all those ripsnorting "Rat" folks and what makes them tick.
- A RAT'S VIEW OF VALENTINE'S DAY
Love is in the air...and so is the fertile rat's nose for a good thing!
- RAT DAILY FORECAST
Terrific way to find out what all those "rats" have in store for them today; and if you're another member of the zodiac, don't fret...check out your horoscope as well!
- GUNG HAGGIS FAT CHOY!
Gung Haggis Fat Choy - The annual Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner celebration held in Vancouver, British Columbia of course.
For rats who've visited Paris, love wine, or just adore French cuisine.
ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT RATS AND NEVER DARED TO ASK!
According to the Google search engine there are no less than 123 million web pages devoted to one of the most reviled members of the animal kingdom (according to Western philosophers, scientists and theologians), the "rat".
Did you know that rats have oodles of stamina and strength? Why they can swim three days without taking a break, mate and produce a litter of 60 or 70 offspring in one year not to mention survive nuclear radiation!
Believe it or not, Amazon.com has 200,137 book references to rats.
Of course the humble name "RAT" can refer to many things:
- Rope Access Technology which is great if you want to avoid getting your knickers in a knot, or a Robust Audio Tool if you're into multicasting mirth and mayhem all over the place!
On the other hand, maybe if you want to run around in circles you can sign up for The Rat Race held every year in the Land of Beavers, Bugs and Blue Rodeo.
Of course, if one is of the babyboomer vintage, one might even recall the mellow music of "The Rat Pack" - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Joey Davis. Today's hip generation are more likely to trip the light fantastic with the "The Lava Rats" (a trio of hard-rocking surf musicians from California), Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets, tunes from the RAT (Reject All Tobacco) Pack, hot dance numbers from the Jamaican reggae artist, Red Rat or The Sound of Rat - A Hip Hop Musical Spoof performed by Theatre Inconnu.
So you're not a bookworm, you've got two left feet and can't hold a tune, and to top it off, you're a dweeb when it comes to new technology. Well perhaps you'd care to befriend the Black Rat Snake. It's Canada's largest (tree-dwelling) snake (2.5 m. in length), found only in Ontario (also known as God's country), all the way down to the Eastern U.S. as far as Texas (where they use them for target practice).
If that doesn't grab your fancy, why not visit Rat's Nest Cave a carboniferous underground limestone cavern beneath Grotto Mountain just outside of Canmore, Alberta.
Silver screen buffs might watch "Rat" (a family comedy, with the unforgettable tagline, "He might eat maggots and live in a cage but he's still our Dad", or "One Rat Short", (the 2006 Cannes short film winner), or Disney's animated cartoon, Ratatouille (Rat-a-too-ee).
(Cartoon by Ian Marsden)
2008 - THE YEAR OF THE RAT
The "Rat" is the first sign of the Chinese zodiac.
Legend has it that the Jade Emperor invited the animals for a party. The first of 12 to arrive was the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and lastly, the Pig. All the animals were named after the 12-year cycle that governs Chinese life thereafter.
Various versions of the Rat's story are particularly revealing about his character.
One version has it that, towards the end of the journey, the animals had to cross a celestial river, and the Rat asked the Ox to ferry him across. When they arrived on the other side, the Rat jumped down off the Ox's head and that's how gained first spot in the order of the Chinese zodiac.
Those born in the "Year of the Rat" are clever, ambitious, creative, hard-working, fastidious, charming and sociable, but can be a bit stingy when it comes to sharing their wealth or possessions.
Rats are compatible with Dragons, Monkeys and Oxen, but should avoid Horses at all costs.
In the "Year of the Rat", we can expect 12 months of plentiful opportunities and prospects not to mention being relatively free of turbulence, (which is great to know especially if you're planning on making some long-term investments, starting new projects, or keeping the home fires burning brightly).
It's also a rather fine time to socialise and grab a sumptuous meal or two with friends and family!
A vintage varmint on the loose? (Image Courtesy of Julie Wilson@flickr.com)
RAT INVESTMENT PROSPECTS
If you need a financial forecast, ask a Feng Shui master!
Feng Shui is popular across East Asia; it relies on movements of the cosmos as well as placement of physical objects (be it doors, windows, and furniture) and arrangement of space for facilitate a "flow of wealth".
Those who believe in this ancient wisdom and practice also use it to improve their wealth, health and personal relationships.
But for those looking for a leg up in the market might want to pay attention to prognostications of the following pundits.
Vincent Koh, a Feng Shui Master in Singapore suggests that "the rat will become aggressive at the tail end of the year and its underlying water element will cool the stock market."
Raymond Lo, a Feng Shui Master in Hong Kong expects that industries linked to earth and metal signs (property, mining and gold) will flourish during the "Year of the Rat". He predicts that stock markets will be soft this year, as a strong water element affects the fire of the markets, which means a lot of correction in 2008.
One regional brokerage house, CLSA, issued a Feng Shui client note which predicted that the stock market would rise from May to August and that the U.S. dollar would remain weak.
On the other hand, those looking for the answer as to who will win "Euro 2012", the "Summer Olympics in London" or the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in 2012...might be well advised to consult the stars in the heavens above before placing their bets!
Image Credit: vectorstock.com/proud-rat-cartoon-vector.jpg
"Ratatouille", is a traditional French stewed vegetable dish (which is considered most unpalatable to the average American tongue and far too difficult to pronounce, especially for those with a southern drawl or a country twang).
All of which suggests why the folks from Disney Pixar films decided to make a funny feature entitled, "Ratatouille - Rat-a-too-ee" about a rat named "Remy" who dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes. Our hero has only a few problems to contend with 1) getting lost in a sewer, 2) finding out his cooking idol has kicked the bucket, 3) befriending an unusual ally, a Parisian restaurant garbage collector, and 4) overcoming the rat-hating world of humans.
RIDICULOUS RATTY STUFF
All manner of things you don't know about "rats"!
- THE RATTY DICTIONARY
Don't know what an "aquafrenzy" is...well then, it's time to consult "The Ratty Dictionary"!
- ROTUND RAT COSTUME
Crazy critter costumes for any birthday party, networking event, or retirement roast.
- KING RAT (SONG)
For those who appreciate the best of an indie rock band named "Modest Mouse".
RATS TO RATATOUILLE!
"Remy" the haute-cuisine-loving rat, and hero of Disney's animated feature film, "Ratatouille - Rat-a-too-ee" might have made it onto the label of Ratatouille Chardonnay wine to have been released jointly by Disney, Pixar, and American consumer retail giant, Costco. But, as fate would have it, the product had to be pulled from the production line in the face of stiff criticism from California winemakers and opponents of under-age drinking.
Perhaps this leaves the door open for these funny folks to get in touch with another group of American grape gurus, Cellar Rat Wine Merchants, or perhaps the Red Rat Craft Brewery in the United Kingdom, to provide a whole whack of free movie passes to all their patrons!
And if all this doesn't knock your socks off, maybe you'll be impressed by the fact that the Annals of Improbable Research, (who award the "Ig Noble Prize" honoring some of the strangest scientific research of the year), gave the prize for linguistics to a group of scientists who found that rats are unable to tell the diffrence between a person speaking Japanese backwards and someone speaking Dutch backwards. Moral to this sad scientific story: Make sure the rat you buy can speak English!
DAZZLING DESTINATIONS FOR RAT-LOVERS
Those born in the "Year of the Rat" will be pleased to know they have plenty of rat-friendly landmarks to visit this year.
Judging from the plethora of rat-inspired placenames and geographic features in the USA, Americans share a deep affinity with these rambunctious rodents.
So without further ado, here are some rather fine places to plop down:
-- Rat, Ohio
-- Ratamosa, Texas
-- Rat Farm, California
-- Ratliff, Kentucky
-- Rat Row, Ohio
-- Ratscat, New Mexico
-- Ratsville, Ohio
-- Rats Windmill, New Mexico
-- Ratto Winery, California
-- Ratto Landing, California
-- Rat Trap Gap Trailhead, California
Landmarks That Pay Tribute to the Humble Rat
-- Big Rat Lake, Alaska
-- Cactus Rat Mine, Utah
-- Lake Rat Bois, Louisianna
-- Little Rat Creek, Wyoming
-- Mt. Rat, Connecticut
-- Pack Rat Canyon, Nevada
-- Pack Rat Mine (found in Colorado and New Mexico)
-- Pack Rat Spring (found in Arizona and Oregon)
-- Pack Rat Well, Arizona
-- Pack Rat Hill, Arizona
-- Rat Butte (summit), Oregon
-- Rat Bayou, Louisianna
-- Rat Branch (stream), Tennessee
-- Rat Creek (found in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
-- Rat Farm Pond (lake), Idaho
-- Rat Farm Lake, Minnesota
-- Rat Hill, (summit), California
-- Rat House Lake, Minnesota
-- Rat Island (found in the following states: Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington)
-- Rat Key (island), Florida
-- Rat Lake (found in the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
-- Rat Mountain, Colorado
-- Rat No. 1 Dam, Wyoming
-- Rat Pond (swamp), Florida
-- Rat River, Wisconsin
-- Rat Rock Cove, California
-- Rat Root Lake, Minnesota
-- Rat Root River, Minnesota
-- Rat Run (stream found in the following states: Indiana and Illinois)
-- Rat Spring, (found in Idaho and Utah)
-- Rat Spring Branch (stream), North Carolina
-- Rats Branch (stream), Texas
-- Rats Nest Gulch, Idaho
-- Rats Valley Creek, Wyoming
-- Rattrap Creek, Virginia
-- Rat Trap Spring, Nevada
-- Tarred Rat Creek, Virginia
THERE'S A RAT IN THE KITCHEN...
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING OF???
A young traveller recently returned from a Rumania, (and incidentally home to that venal vampire, Vlad the Impaler).
And, believe it or not, apparently people in this country love to brush their bicuspids with Rodent Toothpaste (fortified with fluoride of course!)
Possible tagline..."Recommended by Big Cheeses!
THE ONLY GIFT THAT A RAT WILL APPRECIATE
Hickory Dickory Dock -- It's Time To Watch My Clock!