Searching for the Pot of Gold

“My two favorite colors of the rainbow are gold and leprechaun.”
Jarod Kintz

Got a handful of hurried shots of a double rainbow early last Friday. Charlotte and I were on our way to the 8th-Grade Awards Ceremony. Yikes! Our last two daughters are out of 8th grade this year. We have finished with grade school! How did that happen?


Summaries of how some ancient people attempted to ‘explain’ rainbows came from the Wikipedia article: Rainbows in Culture

In Greco-Roman mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger (Iris) between Earth and Heaven.

In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by goddess Nüwa using stones of five different colours.

In Hindu religion, the rainbow is called Indradhanush, meaning “the bow (Sanskrit and Hindi: dhanush is bow) of Indra, the god of lightning, thunder and rain”.

Another Indian mythology says the rainbow is the bow of Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu.

It is called Rangdhonu in Bengali, dhonu (dhanush) meaning bow.

Likewise, in mythology of Arabian Peninsula, the rainbow, called Qaus Quzaħ in Arabic, is the war bow of the god Quzaħ.

In Armenian mythology the rainbow is a belt of Tir, a Sun god.

In Norse Mythology, a rainbow called the Bifröst Bridge connects the realms of Ásgard and Midgard, homes of the gods and humans, respectively.

The Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer. When walking towards the end of a rainbow, it will seem to “move” further away (two people who simultaneously observe a rainbow at different locations will disagree about where a rainbow is). Also, a rainbow is in fact a full circle, we usually only see the half arc of it due to our positioning in respect to it; if you were to be positioned higher up (such as on a tall building or an airplane) then you could view it’s actual full circle. So in reality there is no end to a rainbow, just as there is no end to a circle. Therefore, that ‘end of the rainbow’ is in other words an impossible/non-existent place.


Obvious Conclusion: If you seek your pot of gold, forget wasting money on lottery entries. Search for the rainbow’s end. You will enjoy the effort more. And your odds of succeeding in these two endeavors are about equal!


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