3rd Night of Hanukkah / Chanukah... 2009

On the old site, I used to do something to celebrate Hanukkah (Channukah, חנוכה). Last year, I revived the tradition by presenting 8 days of Mathieu gifts for the 8 days of the holiday. This year, I thought I'd pick a key part of the holiday (a tradition, a symbol, something of historical significance) to share... and connect it in some way to Mathieu.

So, with that said... I present to you gift number 3:

Oil is a big deal in Hanukkah. While the holiday is essentially about the survival of the culture and religion, it is represented most prominently by the story of the lamp burning for 8 days when there was really only enough oil for one night. The burning oil is represented by the 8 nights of candles, and even by the frying of the potato latkes.

Oil is kind of a big deal to use today. It runs our cars, boats and planes; it heats our homes; it makes our plastics. There are several "hot spots" of oil production around the world: the Middle East, Venezula, Texas, Alaska, Alberta. Oil is such a big deal in Alberta that they even have a team named, well, the Oilers.

Some Mathieu connections to the Oilers? Well, kind of tenuous. He's never played for the team, but he's played against the team. So far in his NHL career, he has played 25 games in Edmonton, recording 9 points (2 goals and 7 assists) and 18 penalty minutes; he has been a -5.

An aside: For those who are interested, here is a neat "what you need to know about Hanukkah" story from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Spinning Tales: A Hanukkah Primer. And don't laugh at the graphic. That was the first animated gif I ever made, back in 1997 or so (using Claris Works clip art and a semi-legal copy of Photoshop). It was hot stuff at the time. =) And special thanks to Spencer for his advice and Hebrew spellings of things.

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