Nostradamus

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Nostradamus, about to take a sick rip from his famous fortune-telling bong.
Putting the psycho in

Parapsychology

Icon psychic.svg
Men who stare at goats
By the powers of tinfoil
A stupid, French fuck; Nostradamus
Who liked saying; "Doom is upon us!"
Wrote an "end of the world" bit
In rhyming, French bullshit.
Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller: Bullshit![1]

Nostradamus (known to skeptics as Nostradumbass) was a sixteenth-century French astrologer and scholar who is best remembered for making predictions about world events.

As with all visionaries, his success rate has been perfect in hindsight. This is mostly due to the fact that he wrote his predictions in a mixture of his native French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Provençal and kept them so vague that they can be shoehorned to fit nearly any set of events.

Contents

[edit] The end of the world

Some predictions by Nostradamus suggested that the world would end in 1999.[2] Obviously, that didn't happen. Then, some Nostradamus supporters suggested it would be in 2012, which obviously didn't happen either. And they wanted you to pay for the news.

Available as a Book Download ($14.95) or Softcover ($19.95)!

Perhaps they hoped people wouldn't remember 1999.[3] Nostradamus's believers will probably revise the date yet again—you don't need precognition to predict that.

Up until 1991 (when the USSR broke up) Nostradamus's books supposedly "predicted" a war between the United States and Soviet Union. None of them predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union. Cecil Adams, himself no slouch as a seer, put it best: "Nostradamus did for bullshit what Stonehenge did for rocks."

Modern websites such as Nostradamus Predictions[4] actively discuss current world events, predictions, the end of the world, war and antichrist predictions.

To be fair — he did, however, predict document a very good recipe for jam.[5][6]

[edit] Forging bull

See the main article on this topic: Historical forgery

Much of Nostradamus fame is based on predictions which he never really made. At least four forgeries bearing his name are known, with various publishers claiming to have found "new" material.

The original printer was unwilling to start in the middle of a "Century" (i.e., a book of 100 verses) because the work was published in three installments, the last fifty-eight quatrains of which — the seventh "Century" — do not exist in any extant edition, making it even easier to claim that "new" material has been found.

In some cases, parts from different actual quatrains were mixed together, forming brand new bullshit predictions.

[edit] Nostradamus Says So!

A combination of both the above methods were used in World War II, where forged Nostradamus prediction leaflets were dropped on France by the Nazis.

The Allies responded with their own forged Nostradamus predictions, some of which later made their way into the 1953 film, Nostradamus Says So!.[7]

Clocking in at just below 11 minutes, see it in its entirety below:


[edit] Try this at home

See the main article on this topic: Barnum effect

For example, see if you can make this Nostradamus quatrain correspond to something (anything, really):

The river that tries the new Celtic heir
Will be in great discord with the Empire:
The young Prince through the ecclesiastical people
Will remove the sceptre of the crown of concord.

No? How about this one?

In the sacred temples scandals will be perpetrated,
They will be reckoned as honors and commendations:
Of one of whom they engrave medals of silver and of gold,
The end will be in very strange torments.

Still nothing? Well, don't worry — we thankfully have experts on hand to decode the meaning of Nostradamus' writings for you. Turns out, Saddam is in Canada! Or something.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, episode S01E04, End of the World
  2. "King of Terror: 1999". Morgana's Observatory. 2006. http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/1999.htm
  3. "The Nostradamus Code: World War III, 2009-2012." NostradamusOnline.com. 2009. http://www.nostradamusonline.com/?a=383
  4. "Nostradamus Predictions" NostradamusPredictions.org. 2014. http://nostradamuspredictions.org/
  5. Nostradamus' Recipe For Cherry Jelly
  6. QI — What Did Nostradamus Get Right?
  7. Nostradamus Says So! (Prophecies of Nostradamus)
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