I enjoy superstitions. I find little rituals like knocking on wood or avoiding opening umbrellas indoors to be charming bits of folklore, inconsequential and amusing. I'm not usually a fearful person, but I'll cross the street to avoid walking under a ladder -- I tell myself I don't really believe inanimate objects have the power to shape my future, but why not observe the funny old rules, just to be on the safe side?
Double Dare You: Ill-founded beliefs get the
The Superstition Obstacle Course is set up especially for those who, like me, have turned someone else's long-ago hoodoo into absent-minded habits. In a bid to champion critical thinking, science, and rationality, the course invites participants to step on cracks, spill salt, break mirrors, and do lots more, on the already auspicious Friday the 13th. As part of the Exploratorium's "Mind Project," the event is one of many to look at and question attention, judgment, and emotion. As for the obstacle course, I don't know if I can do it, honestly, but my hesitation embarrasses me, which may be part of the point. I should know better.