We’ve heard it all of our lives, and tomorrow night we’ll sing it again. But what is that ‘auld lang syne?’ anyway? Does the phrase chosen by Robert Burns for his great poem, derived from an ancient song of Scotland, have any deeper meaning? One translation is ‘the old long time.’ According to author Maurice Nicoll, this refers to a fundamental memory that is part of all of us, that goes all the way back to the beginning of time. Reference is made to the place of this memory in the cryptic phrase ‘long home’ in Ecclesiastes 12:5:

Just in time for New Year?s Eve, the London Science Museum has a new exhibit on hangover cures. It turns out that the headache and flu-like feelings are caused by dehydration, despite the fact that you?ve been drinking all night, because alcohol removes precious water from the body?s cells. First: Eat a big meal before the party and eat while you drink. This slows down the rate of alcohol absorption by the body. This works best if the foods you eat contain plenty of fat, so wait until after New Year?s Eve to begin your annual diet. Fat is digested slowly, so it will stay in the stomach and protect it from the irritating effects of alcohol. If you don?t have time to eat a meal, drink a glass of milk before you go.

Last year at this time, we were all waiting nervously to see if Y2K computer problems were going to cause our bank balances to disappear, our computers to self-destruct, and air planes to fall from the sky. We were afraid we might be without electricity and telephones for an extended period of time. When 2000 arrived with no disasters, we began to think all our fears were for nothing.