It’s Friday 13th!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There is a lot of nonsense surrounding Friday 13th.

Many superstitious people consider it to be unlucky. So much so in fact that they spend most, if not all, of that day in their homes, afraid to venture out into the great world beyond in case something bad happens to them.

In fact it has been estimated that around a billion dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because people are scared to work and travel on this date.

The really unfortunate thing is that sometimes circumstances play right into their hands, which only serves to reinforce their superstitions.

You can find some of them below along with other facts about Friday 13th that I hope you enjoy reading.

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Friday-13th

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Every month has a 13th but no single year

has more than three Friday the 13th’s

and on average there are two.

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Months with a Friday the 13th

always begin on a Sunday.

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Folklore remedies for triskaidekaphobia

include climbing to the top of a mountain

or skyscraper and burning all the socks you own

that have holes in them.

Another is to stand on your head

and eat a piece of gristle.

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It is from the Norse goddess Frigg, or Freyja,

that we get Frigg’s Day, or Freyja’s Day

which became the English Friday.

Norse goddess Frigg

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On Friday 13 2006,

36 inches of snow fell on upstate New York.

The ensuing chaos claimed three lives

and caused $130 million worth of damage.

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On a Friday 13th in 1307.

thousands of soldier monks of the powerful

Knights Templar were massacred

by French king Louis IV.

Many people believe this is where

our fear of the date springs from.

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Friday 13 January, 1939

in Australia is known as Black Friday

because on that date bushfires

decimated 20,000 km² of land,

killing 71 people and

destroying several towns entirely.

Victoria Australia Black Friday fires 1939

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Retired bus conductor Bob Renphrey of North Wales

decided to spend every Friday 13 in bed

after a run of bad luck on the

fateful day during the early 1990s.

Among other misfortunes

he wrote off four cars,

got made redundant,

fell into a river,

crashed a motorcycle

and walked through a plate glass door.

When Bob died of cancer in 1998,

his widow Betty, who on previous Friday 13ths

had fallen downstairs,

been hit by falling guttering

and been hospitalized

after Bob hit her in the face

with a stick he was throwing to a dog,

decided to book his funeral for

Friday 13 March as a final tribute.

Alas, all Rhyl’s undertakers were too busy.

“Bob would have seen the funny side,”

said Mrs Renphrey.

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On Friday 13 July, 1951

in Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

left 2 million acres of land underwater,

causing $760 million and killing 24 people.

Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

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Friday 13 August, 1976

was particularly unlucky

for New York man Daz Baxter.

Having elected to stay in bed

to ward off bad luck,

the floor of his apartment block collapsed

and he fell six storeys to his death.

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Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

was released in the UK on

Friday, February 13, 1970.

It wasn’t unlucky for them.

Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

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Michelle and Gary Docherty had a

memorable wedding on Friday 13 August 2004.

First, a swarm of wasps attacked guests

at East Kilbride Registry Office, Lanarkshire,

as they waited for Michelle’s arrival.

Her aunt Mary Strachan

smashed an expensive digital camera

trying to swat one of the pests,

and when Michelle finally did turn up,

an insect flew up her dress,

triggering a panic attack.

After the ceremony,

two minibuses booked to transport guests

to the reception failed to turn up

and the couple lost their wedding video.

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On Friday November 13, 1970

a monster South Asian storm hit Bangladesh

killing 300,000 people in Chittagong

and creating floods that killed one million people

living on the Ganges Delta.

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Women drivers have a 64% increased chance

of death when driving on Friday the 13th.

Woman driver

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Friday 13 February, 1998

was simply business as usual for Manchester man,

John Sheridan, dubbed Britain’s unluckiest man

after once having his car stolen five times in one day,

making 16 trips to casualty in two years,

seeing eight TVs explode in six months

and losing out on a £4000 lottery win when he

put the ticket in the washing machine with his jeans.

John’s big day began when his Saab ran out of petrol.

He hitched a lift with a sympathetic policeman,

whose car broke down at the garage.

John returned to his car with a can of petrol,

got it started but lost a wheel as he turned a corner.

He returned home on a bus, which broke down.

Completing his journey on foot,

he realized he’d left his keys inside the car

and had to return in case in was stolen.

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Friday, October 13th, 1989,

the stock exchange suffered a serious crash,

the second most damaging in market history at the time

(this was in the pre-recession era). 

Brokers were in a state of shock,

as the Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 190.58 points.

In Britain a deadly virus crashed IBM computers,

terrifying people and deleting lots of data

that could not be recovered.

This was before backup systems were used.

stock exchange crash

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A full moon on Friday February 13 1987

drove troubled Robert Bullard, 21,

to attempt suicide by putting his head in a gas oven.

Not only was his methodology flawed,

suicide by natural gassing is virtually impossible

since Britain moved from lethal coke gas

to less dangerous natural gas,

but a flicked light switch caused an explosion

which injured his mother and a policeman

and caused £35,000 of damage.

Robert was unharmed.

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On Friday the 13th, 2012,

the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank

killing more than 30 people.

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Friday 13 October 1972 was the date

a plane carrying Uruguayan rugby team

Montevideo Old Christians crashed

on its way from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile.

When rescuers finally found the fourteen 

survivors two months later,

it emerged that they had survived

by eating human flesh from some of the

thirty-one crew and passengers

who had perished in the crash.

In 1992, the story was filmed as

Alive, starring Ethan Hawke.

movie Alive

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On the same day, Friday October 13, 1972,

an Aeroflot Il-62 airplane carrying 176 people

took off from Paris on a commuter flight

bound for Leningrad and Moscow.

The plane landed at Leningrad

and then took off for Sheremetyevo airport,

located just outside Moscow.

The weather was bad with rain and poor visibility.

The pilots were told to descend on approach to

the airport, but for unknown reasons,

they attempted and failed to land twice.

On the third attempt to land,

the plane crashed into a large pond

about 4 miles short of the airport.

There were no survivors.

No cause of the accident was ever established.

At the time, the crash resulted in one of the worst

loss of life incidents for a single plane crash, in history.

It remains the 44th worse loss of life in

an airplane crash in aviation history.

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On Friday the 13th August, 2010

at 13 minutes after the 13th hour (1 PM),

a 13 year old boy was struck by lightning

as he was watching an air show

at Lowestoft, England.

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The Hollywood sign above Los Angeles, California,

was first unveiled by the owner

of the Los Angeles Times newspaper,

Harry Chandler,

on Friday the 13th of July, 1923.

Hollywoodland sign

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According to at least one interpretation

of the Mayan calendar the world will end

on 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0

or in the Gregorian calendar,

Friday, October 13, 4772.

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But before then,

on Friday the 13th in 2029,

Asteroid 99942 Apophis

is forecast to pass earth at a

closer distance than any of our satellites.

Crikey!

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