X Y Z
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See Abominable Snowman.
Yin and Yang
In Chinese philosophy, these are two kinds of qi, which see. Yin is the Earth/negative/passive/wet/dark/feminine form, yang is the Sun/positive/active/dry/light/male form. Yin and yang are philosophical concepts, rather in line with outdated, chauvinist notions, with no objective existence. A circle with a bisecting pair of half circles, each half of the circle colored respectively black and white, is a symbol representing the concept.
The yin and yang symbols surrounded by trigrams, components of hexagrams.
Yoga / Yogi
Yoga is an ancient Hindu teaching that is very much concerned with meditation, body postures, and proper breathing as methods to achieve “liberation” and “union with the universal soul.” A yogi (also, yogin) is a practitioner of these exercises.
A great number of incredible contortions of the human body and spirit go along with the process of enlightenment, and yoga is (often falsely) identified with street fakirs who mutilate themselves and perform various conjuring tricks.
There are a great variety of quite different yogic schools.
Zancig, Julius & Agnes
(J. Jörgensen & A. Claussen, 1857-1929 & ?-1916; also, Ada) The Zancigs were a married Danish couple who performed a two-person act which was basically an advanced development of the “second sight” act. Agnes was a hunchback with black, piercing eyes and Julius was tall and darkly handsome. They billed the act as “Two Minds with but One Single Thought,” which was a clever dodge that did not, strictly speaking, claim telepathy.
In their time, the Zancigs caused as much excitement and controversy with the press, scientists, and the public as any claimed psychic matter has ever enjoyed. A major British newspaper publisher, Lord Northcliffe, used the power of the Daily Mail to influence opinion in favor of telepathy that he believed took place between Julius and Agnes. He was totally convinced that they possessed mysterious psychic powers.
As with most such two-person acts, the “receiver” (Agnes) would sit on the stage blindfolded, while the “sender” (Julius) wandered about the audience accepting objects, written words, and small documents from members of the audience. Agnes would describe, apparently by telepathy, the appearance of the objects and details from the written material handled by Julius. A great deal of training, study, and practice was necessary in order to do this act, which had nothing to do with ESP of any sort.
Sir Oliver Lodge, the very prominent British scientist, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the equally famous creator of the fictional Sherlock Holmes, witnessed the Zancig team in operation and declared them genuine because they had no idea of how the trick might have been worked. These two gentlemen also believed in the popular spirit mediums of their day, for essentially the same reason.
Just as the Zancigs were at the top of their form, Agnes died. Julius was genuinely attached to her, and his grief at losing the mate who had spent so many long years developing the very difficult and sophisticated methods by which they communicated was profound. He eventually remarried, this time to a Brooklyn schoolteacher named Ada. She was a confirmed spiritualist, and though she managed to learn the rudiments of the act, she was extremely shy and ashamed to face the audience with a blatantly fake act. For that reason, she performed with her head down and in a barely audible voice.
Seeing that Ada was unsuitable as a partner, Julius sought for another, and found Paul Vucci, a young man who was to eventually become an outstanding sleight-of-hand nightclub performer under the name Paul Rosini. Though Paul (who was called Henry in the act) was very proficient as a partner, the problem was that he was just draft age in 1917 and was about to become Uncle Sam's involuntary partner. Julius was fortunate enough to happen upon a thirteen-year-old youth named David Bamberg, who dropped into the position neatly for a while. (Bamberg went on to become a famous conjuror, touring with an oriental act in South America as Fu Manchu.)
Eventually Ada went back into service with Julius, but in his later years he, too, apparently began to accept spiritualism and spent much time at séances. The public enthusiasm for the Zancigs faded, and the act was soon working at carnivals and in cheap tent shows. To the dismay of his colleagues, Julius dedicated more and more of his time to belief in “real” psychic claims, and finally died in very impoverished circumstances in 1929.
Zener, Dr. Karl
(1903-1963) In the early 1930s, a Swiss psychologist named Zener, a partner of Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine, designed a set of cards bearing five symbols which he felt were sufficiently different from one another that they would be ideal for conducting certain tests, among them extrasensory perception (ESP) tests. These symbols are: circle, plus sign, wavy lines, square, and star.
The five symbols developed by Dr. Karl Zener for use in tests of extrasensory perception.
These are normally used in a deck of twenty-five cards, five of each symbol. For decades, Zener cards have been employed in parapsychological laboratories in the search for the ever-elusive powers called telepathy and clairvoyance. So far, in spite of millions of bits of data gathered through that extensive exploration, experiments with Zener cards have failed to yield convincing, replicable results.
After a few years of association with Dr. Rhine, Zener began efforts to have him removed from the campus of Duke University, fearing the burden that the university would have to bear for being connected with parapsychology.
The part of the sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets move relative to the starry background. The zodiac consists of the twelve astrological signs as well as several other constellations that are ignored by the astrologers. Each sign is itself divided into twelve “houses,” which are said to determine a human characteristic or prospect such as love, home, travel, death, health, and employment.
The idea of the zodiac appears to date from the fifth century B.C. There is a tablet in the Louvre Museum, Paris, dated at about 300 B.C., which is the earliest known listing of the signs.
Parts of the human body were assigned to be governed by each of the twelve signs, and the signs were used as a method of diagnosis by early physicians. An analysis of the positions of the planets against the zodiac, along with their attributes, was believed to indicate the appropriate treatment.
In Haitian voodoo, a deceased human who is resurrected minus soul and can be made to perform simple tasks as a laborer. Some anthropologists have attempted to explain the legend by invoking the possible use of special drugs that they believe might simulate death and enslave the victim.
The fact that the idea of real zombies has been taken seriously in Haiti can be seen in their old penal code, where it is stated that “the use of substances whereby a person is not killed but reduced to a state of lethargy, more or less prolonged,” falls under the category of “intention to kill by poisoning.”