Friday, February 13, 2009

...Friday the 13th...

Greetings! It is a grey and somewhat cold morning here in Chester County, PA. If anyone out there is suffering from paraskevidekatriaphobia, take two aspirins and call me in the morning. Kidding. 'Paraskevidekatriaphobia' is the word that defines the fear of Friday the 13th. For real. But why do some people regard Friday the 13th as a bad luck day? The earliest known reference to the term is from the biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini: Rossini was surrounded to the end by admiring friends. Like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number. Well, he died on Friday the 13th in the month of November.

Some theories believe it to be connected to certain superstitions that sitting 13 people at a table will result in the death of one member, or that it is in fact a combination of superstitions about the number 13 and Friday. According to another interpretation, the number 13 is unlucky because it is the number of full moons in a contemporary year, but two full moons in a single calendar month only happens about every 5 years.
Early nursery rhymes stated there were thirteen months in a year because of the natural moon cycle that was used to count the lunar year. In England, a calendar of thirteen months of 28 days each, plus one extra day, known as "a year and a day" was still in use up to Tudor times.
In 1925, Charles A. Platt wrote that the reason 13 is considered unlucky is that a person can count from 1-12 with their 8 fingers, two thumbs and 2 feet, but not beyond that, so the number 13 is unknown, hence frightening, hence unlucky. This idea discounts the use of toes or other body parts in counting. I know, you are saying huh also???
In Scotland, there is no gate 13 in any airport, instead there is a gate 12B. Inside of a Lufthansa plane row numbers go straight from 12 to 14. Other airplanes skip row 13, going straight from 12 to 14.

I skipped age 13 because I found it boring. Kidding.
Some tall buildings have resorted to skipping the "thirteenth floor", either by numbering it "14" or as "12a".
Some streets do not contain a house number 13.

The Munsters resided at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
In some forms of motor sport, for example Formula One, there is no number 13 car.
In many cultures, getting married on any day of the week that falls under number 13 is highly discouraged.
The legion with which Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon was the 13th legion.
The Code of Hammerabi, a collection of laws created ca. 1760 BC, does not contain a thirteenth law.
The College of William and Mary claims 13 priorities, or achievements of the academic world, which they accomplished before any other university or college in the United States. For example, William and Mary was the first college in the US to establish an honor code. A marble plaque commemorating these 13 priorities hangs on the exterior wall of the Wren Building, the nation's oldest academic building still in continuous use. Today, the Wren Building houses the college's Religious Studies department.
The Apollo spacecraft malfunctioned after being launched on April 11th at 13:13 CST, forcing it to return to Earth without a landing on the moon and imperiling its crew.
After 13 years of being the richest man in the world, Microsoft Corporation chairman Bill Gates lost this title, according to Forbes magazine's 2008 list of the world's billionaires.
Microsoft plans to skip Office 13 for being "an unlucky number," going directly from Office 12 to Office 14.
The creators of the online game Kingdom of Loathing avoid the number 13 in all of their programming.

But, the Carpenters 13th single release was 'Top Of The World', one of their biggest hits and one of the few of theirs to reach #1 worldwide. As Carpenters can tend to be a barometer of most things for me, I can now officially debunk this day as being bad luck.

Oh, how cute! My black cat just crossed my path. Here kitty kitty! I'll be right back. That darned cat. Come here right now you bad black kitty cat! Now I will have to walk under a few construction ladders to retrieve him. Oh, today's photo is of an antique dressing table available on my website.

Have a great day. And remember, this is only a movie. This is only a movie.

'Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.' Oprah Winfrey