Friday, January 13, 2006

Paraskevidekatriaphobia and other news from the Western front

Well, we’ve had 30 straight days of rain here in Vancouver and a grand total of 8 hours of sunshine since December 19th. The only good news is it looks as though we will be breaking some records. Go Away!

One thing this rain is terrible for is depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I am so glad that I am going to be off to Vegas next weekend to play Hold ‘Em in the sun.

Also, as if that wasn’t enough to cause massive depression, my 30th birthday is coming up on January 23rd – the most depressing day of the year.

To top things off today is Friday the 13th. So here are a few Friday the 13th facts to cheer up gloomy spirits.

- there are 52% more traffic accidents on Friday the 13th compared to any other Friday
- Up to 21 million Americans claim to suffer from some form of "paraskevidekatriaphobia" – fear of Friday the 13tt
- Friday the 13th is based on two fears combined – a fear of the number 13 and a fear of Friday
- Think you are immune? Would you get married, start a job, close a house or fly on Friday the 13th?

Superstitions around the number 13

- 13 witches in a coven
- 13 steps to the gallows
- 13 loops in a hangman’s knot
- If 13 people dine together all will die within a year
- There is no 13th floor on most buildings
- There are 13 lunar (menstrual) cycles a year, making many patriarchal religions associate 13 with femininity
- There were 13 seated at the Last Supper, with the 13th being Judas
- In Norse mythology, the gods had a feast of 12 but neglected to invite Loki, the god of mischief, who later crashed the party to wreak havoc.
- If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names).
- This I find worrisome – as Mike Catherall (yours truly) also has 13 letters, now that I think about it, so does my girlfriend!

Superstitions around Friday

- The Romans crucified on Fridays
- Britain adopted Hanging day on Fridays
- Almost everything bad that ever happened in the bible happened on a Friday
- Never name a ship Friday or set off on a Friday
- Friday was the holy day for the heathens

My lucky number happens to be 13, and my favourite day is Friday. So I’m not too worried about all the superstition, but if the blog mysteriously ceases come Monday – well….


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