Episode 154: Adding It Up



Chances are good that you have one in your pocket it might be small and it might be made of common elements but there's something ubiquitous about the good old penny. The very first large one cent coin produced by the American government was struck in seventeen, ninety three, and because only about one thousand of them were ever made anyone who finds one should feel incredibly fortunate. But luck has followed these little coins for a lot longer and the folklore we have today is absolutely rich. Some people believe the carrying a penny in their pockets will attract new wealth others believe it needs to be three pennies. Some old wives tale suggest keeping that penny in your shoe instead and recommend placing one in the crib of newborn to help them grow up to be wealthy and wise. And then of course, there are wishing wells were pennies, become avatars of our deepest desires. Some people just toss him in as if they're dropping a pebble while others believe you need to do it with your back to the well and tossed the coin over your shoulder, and honestly the list could go on and on. We humans have collected a lot of fears over the many thousands of years we've been around fear of death or hunger, or loneliness or illness fear of poverty and pain and not fitting. So it's no wonder that along the way we've settled on some very unique ways of managing those fears. But while the folklore surrounding lucky coins is all about attracting good things. The vast majority of superstitions out there are different. They are beliefs designed to tell danger and suffering either by watching for ominous signs or by actively tripping up the evil forces that might deliver the worst that life has to offer. Many of these. have been with us for a very long time, and while they can be a divisive splitting communities into those who believe and those who don't it's undeniable that they hold a certain kind of power over us a power that has

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