Official colour of 2014

Monday 14 April 2014, 8.56pm HKT

10.03am local time, 26°C (79°F), sunny and warm

IF you didn’t know years had official colours, then this news is old hat.

Pantone colours of past years

Last year we had a green hue that (for those old enough to know) was the colour of jealousy, but the world authority on colours decided to use the diplomatic name of Emerald instead. I know the colour of real emeralds and it’s not the same, but I’m happy with it still.

Last year had been a bad year and I couldn’t wait to move on to another colour.

Read the rest of this entry »

A fish out of water

Wednesday 12 June 2013, 8.42pm HKT

6.12pm local time, 25°C (77°F), mostly rainy

FOR some unexplainable reason, I felt like posting an important picture today — a public holiday called Tuen Ng Festival (端午節), a.k.a. Dragonboat Festival.


mama date unknown

Mum in her late teens or early twenties, date unknown
Very much loved and missed


A normal, well-adjusted, law-abiding Pisces — in short, totally insane internally.

Like all Pisceans, she was that bunch of unhinged individuals who can really eff the waters up for everybody else because of their insane antics.

(Dad was pretty ‘far-out’ too, by the way.)

Pisces and Aquarius are probably the only two signs that the astrologers got right — read my post The Naked Listener’s Vademecum to Blogger Zodiac Traits (Part 3) from a couple of weeks back.

With Mum’s type of people as a parent, ‘Life’ boils down to just six words—


Nothing works with them other than by intuition. If logic, then it’s their brand of logic. Spend anything more than 15 minutes with a Pisces and you’ve not learnt change in perspective, then your whole set of lifeskills mean just about squat anyway.

True fact, that.

Half the time trying to figure out Mum had been exactly like—

“All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I called ‘guessing what was at the other side of the hill.’ ”— Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington

What more could any mother give to her child for life?



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. Image from author’s collection. (B13193)


IN THIS FINAL PART of the series, we’ll have a look at the mind-boggling personality traits of bloggers born under the signs of Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.


zodiac signs


SAGITTARIUS the Centaur Archer

sagittarius the centaur shot thenakedlistener

Nickname: Hippie Republican/Tory With Tourette’s Syndrome

Period is November 22 to December 21.
Greek name Toxotes.
Sanskrit name Dhanusa.
Sumerian-Babylonian name Pa-Bil-Sag (a.k.a. Nedu, ‘soldier’), a tutelary god of the ancient city-state of Isin in Lower Mesopotamia (about 20 kilometres or 13 miles from present-day Ishan al-Bahriyat in Iraq).
Element is Fire.
Ruling planet is Jupiter.
Stone is turquoise.
Zodiac colour is rich purple.
Vibration is over-expressiveness.
Life pursuit is to live the good life.
Secret desire is to make a difference to the world.

Astrologers say:

Natural exuberance, sense of adventure, love of life, free spirited. The most optimistic of zodiac signs. Aims once set, they go for it. They believe anything is possible; impossible is nothing. Happiest on the move, exploring new cultures and ideas. Frustrating for those who have to tie down these free-spirited individuals. Overly expressiveness means frequent burnouts for Sagittarians. Their catchphrase in love is Don’t Fence Me In, but at least they are generous and the most fun-loving in love.

The Naked Listener says:

Yes, these folks are truly freedom-loving and optimistic, but no hippies. These are conservative folks who want fun, freedom and order at the same time. They are good at melding different disparate ideas into a unified whole. Notorious for the sudden lack of tact (or infamous for the chronic lack of same).

As bloggers:

Wild and uninhibited, loudmouthed, controversial — in that sense, the astrologers are right about Sagittarius being lacking in tact.

Famous Sagittarius bloggers:

“The Misanthropic Bitch (TMB) was a personal blog maintained by a person by the name of Carla who referred to herself by the same title. Although originally referred to as a zine, TMB represented one of the earliest online personal ‘blogs,’ having originally appeared in 1997 [the blogger reputedly aged 19]. One of her most widely known quotes is ‘Nothing can make one a misogynist faster than being born a woman’.” (Wikipedia)

See what I mean?


No. 10 sign (7.3%) of the U.S. population in 2012. The FBI puts Sagittarius the No. 3 sign for serial killers and criminals — con artists, robbers and thieves, more difficult to capture, but most don’t hurt their victims.


CAPRICORN the Mountain/Sea-Goat

capricorn the goat thenakedlistener

Nickname: The Needle With Steel Thread

Period is December 22 to January 19.
Greek name Aigokeros.
Sanskrit Makara.
Sumerian-Babylonian name Suhur-Mas (‘The Goat-Fish’ of the deity Enki, patron of the city of Eridu, now Tell Abu Shahrain in Iraq and probably the oldest city in the world).
Element is Earth.
Ruling planet is Saturn.
Stone is garnet.
Zodiac colours are brown (all shades) and orange.
Vibration is powerful resilient energy.
Life pursuit is to be proud of own achievements.
Secret desire is to be admired by family and friends and the world at large.

Astrologers say:

“The Highroller” — top life and business achievers (but quiet about it). Extremely competitive, assertive and aggressive but with the good sense to keep those qualities under wraps (“you just can’t give the game away by being pushy”). Type 1 is the mountain goat — always climbing higher and higher. Type 2 is the garden goat — happy enough to remain within a small domain (but dominating it). Patient, persevering, and refuses to budge. Their whole idea about Life is that the longest journey starts with a single small step — and that step is (or has to be) the hardest step. To work for a Capricorn, you should use your initiative but must not diverge from the training manual. Good at balancing work with play. Rises to the occasion in difficult times or facing a new task or deadline. Responsible, structured, and the most hardworking of all signs. Superb organisers. Borderline workaholics.

The Naked Listener says:

I have to say the astrologers are pretty spot-on with Capricorns. With so few of them around (some say less than 5% of the global population), there’s practically nil interfering variables to tease out Capricorn traits. In my experience, Capricorn and Aquarius are probably the only two signs in the whole zodiac that have high statistical correlation (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, ρ or rho, of 0.65 to 0.7) between astrological traits and experimental data in personality surveys — a correlation coefficient higher than most psychological surveys. Just remember the conventional dictum in statistics too: “correlation does not imply causation.”

Like the ancient god Enki, Capricorns are deities (in their own way) of crafts, mischief, intelligence and creation. Even if their external appearance is flashy or even ‘far out,’ Capricorns prefer the traditional over the exotic — although they are very comfortable with the exotic and the weird.

Practically every Capricorn I’ve ever met mix work with pleasure, but have an ability to keep the two from interfering with each other. Conservative and cautious inside. Money-wise, no great ability to hit the jackpot, but an uncanny ability to avoid the lemons. Frankly, that’s ALL you ever needed to do in investing.

Work-wise, they’ll put the pedal to the metal and push at it far, but won’t flog a dead horse. Honest by nature, but will always bring a secret agenda to work. They simply cannot work in conventional careers like accountants, secretaries, teachers and the like. Don’t try to outwork a Capricorn — no one works harder than these guys because they need no sleep. Don’t try to outsell one either — even brain-dead Capricorns have learnt the “10-Second Elevator Pitch” at a young age and even shortened it to 3 seconds, no kidding. Borderline workaholics, but no drones.

Great intellect — but take care intellectualising with them: they also have a very practical bent to their thinking. Likes to keep things light when socialising so they can spring from one thing to another. Most Capricorns I know have an offbeat humour (sometimes oddball) that comes out rather unexpectedly (and it shows in their speech and writing).

Rely on a Capricorn friend to give you the most practical, most sympathetic advice, couched in the most hurtful of words. Yet they are by no means blunt individuals.

As bloggers:

Capricorn bloggers are down-to-earth and value-minded in their output — useful but must also be usable. Most astrologists have it that Capricorns in general are highly creative in the way they carry on — and I for one find there’s a lot of truth in that.

Famous Capricorn bloggers:


No. 8 sign (8.2%) of the U.S. population in 2012. A Harvard University study suggests 25 December is the least common birthday (365th-ranked) in the USA.

The FBI puts Capricorn the No. 5 sign for serial killers and criminals — usually all-round criminals mostly into organised crime (which requires good business acumen, long hours, and value-mindedness). Like Taurus and Virgo, Capricorn criminals usually get caught.


AQUARIUS the Waterbearer

aquarius the waterbearer chick thenakedlistener

Nickname: The Shapeless Simpatico

Period is January 20 to February 18.
Greek name Hudrokhoos.
Sanskrit name Kumbha.
Sumerian-Babylonian name Gu-La (‘The Great One,’ later ‘pitcher’).
Element is Air.
Ruling planet is Uranus (yew-rin-nes, not ‘Your Anus’!).
Stone is amethyst.
Zodiac colours are blue-greenturquoise, electric blue, silver-grey and fluorescent colours.
Vibration is high frequency.
Life pursuit is to understand Life’s mysteries.
Secret desire is to be unique and original.

Astrologers say:

The zodiac’s leading sign heralding the Dawn of the Age of Aquarius. Trendsetter for the future. High responsibility. Philanthropist. Humanitarian. Humanist. Outgoing, amiable, intuitive yet also objective in judgment. Marches to a different drumbeat. Chameleonic characters. Mind always ticktocking with activity. Intellectual exploration, eccentricity and highly original trailblazing ideas. Ability to think on several mental levels (a blessing as much as a curse for them). Extreme abilities can take them to both heaven and hell. Aloof, megalomaniacal, vindictive, vicious tantrums, barbed remarks that sting deeply.

The Naked Listener says:

Astrologers are on the money with Aquarius. Like Capricorns, there are so few Aquarians that it makes for easier identification of Aquarian traits. Innovative maybe, non-conformist certainly. They have no time for conventional symbols or thinking — to them, life is too short for that. Mind’s like mercury — very quick, very fluid, very bright, and very poisonous to those of a weaker disposition. Like the Capricorn, these folks don’t need sleep. Sharp sense of politics and politicking. Sharp interpretation of what’s right, no matter how acute the situation.

As bloggers:

Aquarius bloggers are least likely to give you run-of-the-mill writing — and it’s usually and consistently supremely good, but then all of a sudden unfathomably bad. Some views are so non-conformist that it takes an effort of will just to continue reading.

Famous Aquarius bloggers:


February has the lowest birthrate worldwide, mainly because it has the fewest number of days (28) — that’s a given. The American Hall of Fame of Inventors has more Aquarians than any other sign.

The No. 12 sign (6.3%) of the U.S. population in 2012. The FBI puts Aquarius the No. 11 sign for serial killers and criminals — usually commit revenge crimes (see what I mean by ‘vindictive’?), but mostly hackers, hustlers and con artists in manipulation. FBI rates Aquarians more sadistic than Scorpios (higher vindictiveness?).


PISCES the Fish

pisces the fish thenakedlistener

Nickname: The Land-Locked Upstream Swimmer

Period is February 19 to March 20.
Greek name Ikhthues.
Sanskrit name Mina.
Sumerian-Babylonian name Sim-Mah (‘The Tail of the Swallow’), later Du-Nu-Nu (‘fishcord’).
Element is Water.
Ruling planet is Neptune.
Stone is bloodstone.
Zodiac colours are lilac, mauve, purpleaquamarine and light blues.
Vibration is erratic energy.
Life pursuit is to avoid feeling lonely and instead feel connected to others and the world at large.
Secret desire is to live their dreams and turn fantasies into realities.

Astrologers say:

Saint and sinner rolled into one. Mysterious and alluring individuals. Extremely talented and gifted in many way, Pisceans still spend their waking hours in confused lives (like the one fish going up and the other down). They’re either torn between two lifepaths or live out two radically different existences. The visionary, the psychotic. Trendsetters in fashion or art. Leaders in their own fields for good or bad — millionaires and overnight successes, or prisoners and reform-school inmates. Adaptable and resilient. Number 2 is a powerful number for Pisces.

The Naked Listener says:

Astrologers have levelled with us — Pisceans really are saints and sinners joined at the hips. Prisons and borstals worldwide are filled with Pisceans. They also figure prominently among millionaires and overnight successes.

“Fish f@ck in it.” ~ W.C. Fields, on why avoid drinking water

I know so much about Pisceans that I could write a Ph.D. thesis on them. For one thing, Mum was a Pisces. For another, I know so many Pisceans that I sometimes feel I’m swimming in them. Pisces can really eff up the waters for everybody else because of their insane antics.

Leaders in their own fields? For sure. Take Mum for instance: in her own field (fashion design) she was making a cool US$45,000 a year in 1952 — more than Yves St. Laurent then, more than Robert McNamara at Ford Motors before he became U.S. Defense Secretary.

The Pisces’ inner ‘ivory tower’ syndrome can lead them into some extraordinary, highly unlikely living conditions. The Piscean life is one long muddle — a fish out of water, as it were. They have these highly detailed fantasies about people and situations that, frankly, borders on psychosis or paranoia. Because of their inner fantasyland, Pisceans hardly ever perceive whatever around them in true light — they see life as they want to see it. On the plus side, that helps them to produce some truly great work. On the minus side, they can’t figure out who’s friend or foe. Emotions are a weak spot with this lot — simultaneously sensitive and insensitive to surroundings. Forget logic with these people — nothing works for them other than by intuition.

lamborghini countach 5000-05

She ain’t Mum

The same ivory tower syndrome also causes them to have some mindblowing appearances.

Again, take Mum as example. She owned a Mercedes-Benz 250S (the “W108”) in the 1960s, then suddenly switched to a fuddy-duddy Humber Sceptre Mark II. And then as if on amphetamines suddenly upgraded to a pearl-white Lamborghini Countach (priced US$65,000 in 1976). That drove Dad to cough blood with jealousy against his own Jaguar XJ6.

All of a sudden, Mum then decided to go all environmental, sold the Lambo, and travelled on nothing but public transport. Pisceans are totally insane internally.

Pisceans need to take loads of time off. This can be good or bad, depending on how you look at things. Good, because you end up like me, the son of a Pisces — lots of travel, wonderful holidays, living in different countries, great food, smashing company. Bad, because the work doesn’t get done — or the kids never stay put long enough to get an education or make friends (“Is that homework? Yeah, do it in your own time”). Kinda explains my illiteracy, no?

Pisceans are also unremitting gluttons — “Eat first, homework later!”

As bloggers:

Intuitive and sensitive. Great on writing about social and socialising stuff. If they’re trying to be logical, it’s their brand of logic, not the logic most of us are usually used to. Piscean bloggers (and therefore Piscean journalists) cannot do straight daily news stories — they just get too extreme covering some bus accident that killed a stray dog and demand instant executions of the bus driver, the bus company’s chairman, the traffic cop and the transport minister. And afterwards wallow in sorrow and regret that the executions were misguided because the whole thing had been — yeah — an ACCIDENT.

Famous Pisces bloggers:


No. 4 sign (9%) of the U.S. population in 2012. The FBI ranks Pisces the No. 8 sign for serial killers and criminals — hot tempers and mostly into drug-related crimes. Worldwide, there are more Piscean prison inmates than any other sign.



For readers with the staying power to have reached this point


Mnemonics for the order of the zodiac signs

The shortest, sweetest mnemonic is this:—

All The Great Constellations Live Very Long
Since Stars Can’t Alter Physics

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,
Sagittarius, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces

(via Mnemonic: Zodiac Signs at


“The Stars” by H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1952) gives this:—

The Ramble Twins Crab Liverish;
Scaly Scorpions Are Good Water Fish

Ramble (‘Ram-bull’) = Ram (Aries), Bull (Taurus)
Twins = Gemini
Crab = Cancer
Liverish = Lion (Leo), Virgin (Virgo)
Scaly = Scales (Libra)
Scorpions = Scorpio
Are = Archer (Sagittarius)
Good = Goat (Capricorn)
Water = Waterbearer (Aquarius)
Fish = Pisces


For those who like something a little more risqué, here is The Naked Listener’s version:—

All Those Girls Can Lose Virginity
Like Some Stupid Car Accident, Pal


I hope you won’t lose yours or get into a stupid car accident, or both at the same time.


What is your blogging personality?

Find out here with this online quiz:

What’s Your Blogging Personality |


Here’s what it says about The Naked Listener:—

Your blogging type is Unique and Avant-Garde.
You’re a bit … unusual. And so is your blog.
You’re impulsive, and you’ll often post the first thing that pops in your head.
Completely uncensored, you blog tends to shock … even though that’s not your intent.
You tend to change your blog often, experimenting with new designs and content.

[You’re fired for not experimenting enough.—Editor]


Final Words

“If I had I more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
— Mark Twain


You are more important
than a description


Hat tip to:—

This overlong article had been shamelessly inspired by “Star Blogger Personality and Popularity” at Funders and Founders (“We connect Startups with Capital”).

Selected sources:— Public Records Birthday Database, front page, undated.

Amitabh Chandra, Harvard University, cited in “How common is your birthday?” The New York Times, 19 Dec 2006.

Stacy Dickert-Conlin and Ambitabh Chandra, “Taxes and the Timing of Births,” Journal of Political Economy, Feb 1999, volume 107, number 1, pages 161–177 (The University of Chicago Press).

P.C. Giannelli, A.J. Weatherhead and R.W. Weatherhead, “Post-Daubert Considerations in Document Examinations” [presentations at the 2nd International Symposium on the Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents, Albany, New York, 14–18 June 1999], Forensic Science Communications, Oct 1999, volume 1, number 3, accessed via the [U.S.] Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Steven D. Levitt, “What can astrology tell us about American politics?” Freakonomics, 14 July 2006.

Robert Melkonyan, “Zodiac Signs of Serial Killers,”, undated.

Sylvia Sky, “The Most Common and Least Common Birthdays and Zodiac Signs,” HubPages, undated (copyright stated as of 2011).

Statistic Brain, “Zodiac Sign Statistics” 2012, Statistic Brain Research Institute, 26 July 2012.

Matt Stiles, “How Common Is Your Birthday?” The Daily Viz, 12 May 2012.

The Toronto Star, “September most popular month for birthdays, January least popular,” by Tony Wong, 15 May 2012.

Tony Vallencourt, “How Much Does Your Birthday Matter?” Econball, 14 July 2006.

The Washington Post, “New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet,” by Melissa Bell, BlogPost, 13 Jan 2011.

Wikipedia contributors, “Birthday,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Jan 2013, 08.49 UTC, accessed 17 Jan 2013.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13017)

Images: All images by the author, except:—
Zodiac Signs screenshot via Universal Psychic Guild |
Lamborghini Countach via Motorstown.

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