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13

An Unlucky Number

13

An Unlucky Number

Triskaidekaphobia

is an abnormal fear of the number 13.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia

is fear of Friday the 13th.

3

Primitive man had only his 10 fingers and two feet to represent units, so he could not count higher than 1. What lay beyond that ­ 13 ­ was an impenetrable mystery, hence an object of superstition.

Did primitive man not have toes?

At the time of Alexander the Great, 1 gods were known, one for each month. Alexander wanted to be a god and, accordingly, had a 13th statue erected on the place of his capital. He died shortly thereafter. People considered that his will to be a 13th god was the reason of his death.

No one has been able to document the existence of a

Friday the 13th superstition

prior to the 19th century. If people who lived before the late 100s perceived Friday the 13th as a day of special misfortune, no evidence has been found to prove it.

Friday the 13th doesn't even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer's voluminous 19 edition of the "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable," though one does find entries for "Friday, an Unlucky Day" and "Thirteen Unlucky."

9

Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many elevators don't list a 13th floor. Many hotels don't have a room number 13. (It is sometimes called 1-A.)

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On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 1 and 1 is addressed as 1 1/2.

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13th Amendment

to the U.S. Constitution "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

The

1

13

The moon moves approximately 13 degrees each day.

1

There are 13 lunar months in a year.

1

There is always at least one Friday the 13th in each year. In some years, there are two. Rarely are there three. Most recently, in 199 there were three Fridays the 13th. The next such year will be 009.

1

In the Gregorian calendar, Friday is the most common weekday on which the 13th of a month can occur.

1

1

There were 13 present at the Last Supper. One of the dinner guests betrayed Jesus Christ, setting the stage for the Crucifixion.

19

Jack the Ripper Charles Manson Jeffrey Dahmer Ted Bundy Albert De Salvo

If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck.

0

Saddam Hussein, whose name contains 13 letters, was captured on the 13th of December.

1

A study published in the British Medical Journal in 1993 entitled "Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?" found that, in the region sampled, while consistently fewer people chose to drive on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to accidents was significantly higher than on "normal" Fridays.

While there does not appear to be hard evidence to support the claim, it has been suggested that $00 to $900 million are lost each Friday the 13th as a result of people avoiding travel, wedding plans, moving, and so on.

$

3

The Unlucky 13 Grassland Birds

The Nature Conservancy's Prairie Wings Project has mapped the places that need to be preserved to save 13 unlucky birds. Together with government agencies such as the US Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy is protecting those large landscapes that are most critical to our declining grassland birds. Grassland birds were historically found in vast numbers across the prairies of the western Great Plains. Today, the birds of these and other grasslands have shown steeper, more consistent, and more geographically widespread declines than any other group of North American species.

UK's Top Superstitions

From a sample of 000 people surveyed by Dr Richard Wiseman during UK National Science Week, 003.

1. Touching wood (%) . Crossing fingers (%) 3. Avoiding walking under a ladder (9%) . Unhappy about breaking mirrors (3%) . Worried about number 13 (%)

"When I am reading, I will not stop on page 94, page 193, page 382, et al. The digits of these numbers add up to 13." --Stephen King

Friday, October 13, 1307

King Philip IV of France orders the arrests of Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templars and sixty of his senior knights in Paris. Thousands of others are arrested elsewhere in the country. After employing torture techniques to compel the Templars to "confess" to wrongdoing, most were eventually executed. Sympathizers of the Templars condemned Friday the 13th as an evil day.

In the Greek culture, it's Tuesday the 13th that's unlucky.

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The original title for the film Friday the 13th was Long Night at Camp Blood. It was renamed to imitate the successful formula of the calendar-driven film Halloween.

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13 Films with 13 in the Title

Friday the 13th Assault on Precinct 13 Apollo 13 The 13th Warrior 13 Going On 30 Thir13en Ghosts The Thirteenth Floor Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Ward 13 13 West Street 13 Seconds 13 Ghosts Operator 13

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In ancient Egypt, the number 13 represented immortality.

3

In ancient China, it represented completion and perfection.

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Laos' Unlucky 13

Monday, Feb. 10, 2003

Heavily armed gunmen staged a roadside ambush in northern Laos last week, killing at least 1 people, including two European tourists and a Chinese national. This was the most deadly assault in Laos involving foreign victims since 199, when five people, including a French tour operator, were gunned down on the same road: Route 13, a welltraveled thoroughfare that connects Vientiane, the capital in the south, to Luang Prabang, the former capital in the north.

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Route 13: An idyllic setting for a deadly ambush

3

There was an explosion of an oxygen tank on Apollo 13, which was on its way to moon. The explosion occurred on April 13, 190.

3

The Columbia Space Shuttle was sent into space on 1-1-003. (1) + (1 + )+ ( + 0 + 0 + 3) = 13 The shuttle exploded during re-entry and all its crew members died.

3

Many airports skip the 13th gate.

3

Some airplanes skip the 13th aisle.

39

0

There are 13 witches in a coven.

1

The "Earth Mother of Laussel," a ,000-year-old carving found near the Lascaux caves in France, often cited as an icon of matriarchal spirituality, depicts a female figure holding a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches.

Thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddessworshiping cultures, allegedly, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x = 3 days).

Some sources suggest the number 13 was purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity.

According to this theory, as the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization, so did the number 1 over the number 13, thereafter considered anathema.

3

A study suggests those who consider themselves unlucky are more likely to believe in superstitions associated with bad luck, such as the number 13.

Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.

One of the earliest concrete taboos associated with the number 13 -- a taboo still observed by some superstitious folks today -- is said to have originated in the East with the Hindus, who believed that it is always unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place -- say, at dinner.

Interestingly enough, exactly the same superstition has been attributed to the ancient Vikings, though I have also been told that this and the accompanying mythological explanation are apocryphal. In any case, the story has been handed down as follows:

Loki, the Evil One

Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been excluded from the guest list but crashed the party anyway, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be "Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe," the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.

In France, socialites known as the Quatorziens (Fourteeners) once made themselves available as 1th guests to keep dinner parties from an unlucky fate.

9

The Rail Gazette International carried the following report in its April 199 issue:

"As reported in last month, the opening of Indian Railway's Hassan-Mangalore line marks the completion of a construction task every bit as difficult as the Waltair-Kirandul mineral line that so severely taxed I.R.Engineers a decade ago. In the highly unstable terrain of this part of Karnataka, new solutions had to be found to a number of complex engineering problems.

0

"Not the least of the difficulties was tunnel No. 13, where five rock falls impeded progress for months. Even Alpine-trained Engineers were perplexed until someone came up with the simplest of solutions. The tunnel was renamed as No. 1-A and suddenly all was well."

1

According to the 19 book Popular Superstitions, fear of the number 13 is so widespread around the world, "it seems clear that, to the primitive mind of early Man, 13 had no real meaning--he stopped at 1. So persistent are these old instincts that, even today, we stop at `1 Times 1' in our school multiplication tables, though there is absolutely no reason whatever why we should do so."

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In tarot, the number 13 is the card of death, meaning change.

T

een-hood starts at Thirteen.

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Unlucky Number 13

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