It’s Friday 13th!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


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.




Every month has a 13th but no single year

has more than three Friday the 13th’s

and on average there are two.



Months with a Friday the 13th

always begin on a Sunday.



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.



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



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.



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.



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



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.



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’



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.



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



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.



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.



Women drivers have a 64% increased chance

of death when driving on Friday the 13th.

Woman driver



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.



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



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.



On Friday the 13th, 2012,

the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank

killing more than 30 people.



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



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.



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.



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



According to at least one interpretation

of the Mayan calendar the world will end


or in the Gregorian calendar,

Friday, October 13, 4772.



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.






Absolute Power Does Corrupt – Always!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


You know, sometimes you just have to laugh at the stupidity and short-sightedness of politicians.

The latest idiot to hit the headlines is US House Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. You might remember him, he was the one who wrote the supposed anti-terror law now known as the Patriot Act.

Jim Sensenbrenner

Now he has asked the European Parliament for help in controlling the obviously completely out of control NSA who have decided this piece of ill thought out legislation gives them carte blanch permission to snoop into everybody’s business, friend and foe.

Apparently Congressman Sensenbrenner has belatedly seen the error of his ways and wants Europe to put pressure on the US to change its legislation to stop the spy agency’s mass communications data collecting activities.

Today Sensenbrenner says that the NSA has abused the trust placed in it by the American people. Powers that were designed to protect them, but powers that have been used to spy on them instead. And the Brits are at it too!


Big surprise Jim?

I think not!

Then there is the damage they have done to America’s standing throughout the world. The Merklegate scandal, where the German Chancellor’s cell phone was found to be bugged, is just one of many instances where America has treated its allies like enemies, creating suspicion and distrust where there used to be friendship and cooperation.

cartoon merkel

And the poor judgment continues, because Sensenbrenner’s solution to the problem he helped to create is not to get rid of this bad legislation, but instead to create even more bad legislation that purports to curtail the excesses of the former.

Won’t work Jimmy.

No point fitting a new lock on the stable door after the horse is already out and galloping roughshod over the privacy of the American people and their friends.

closing the stable door after the horse has bolted

All very well for Jim Sensenbrenner to say sorry now, but wasn’t it inevitable that the massive ill thought out powers handed to the spooks after 9-11 would be abused?

Absolute power does corrupt – always! That is why checks and balances are necessary, only they need to be put in place in time.




The Stupider People Are, The More They Complicate Things!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Time for a mid-week rant I think.

danger bureaucrats at work


You may have noticed from the tag line of this blog that its major theme is to expose stupidity and bureaucracy and hopefully to encourage people to fight against it, rather than meekly fall in line with every idiotic rule and regulation that the bureaucratic morons introduce to make our lives a misery.

It is one of those curious contradictions in life that the stupider people are, the more they complicate things and the more they try to regulate things that require no regulation.

They just don’t understand that simplicity can sometimes be the most effective solution to problems – if indeed the problems they perceive even exist in the first place.

On the other hand, things that do need regulating, like the banksters for example, are left largely without interference.

how many bureaucrats does it take to screw in light bulb


The big question is, why do these idiot bureaucrats needlessly complicate our lives? 

Many years ago I figured it out.

They do it to try to enhance their own importance. It’s as easy as that.

Let’s face it, most bureaucratic jobs don’t take a rocket scientist’s brain to cope with them. They are easy and repetitive but if done correctly can be completed quickly and without upsetting anyone.

But the bureaucrats won’t have it that way. Complicate the task is their solution. If they do that they need more staff to help them. If they have more staff they get to be in charge of more people, which makes them more important. If they complicate it even more they might need a whole department. And on and on it goes.

In the business world there are empire builders in all large companies. People of mediocre ability, but with enough survival instinct to create a belief that what they do is useful to the company. 

As time goes on they are able to hide within their little empires inside a company and no one questions if what they are doing is really needed and certainly few realize how dumb they are. It is only once they leave this safe environment that the truth becomes clearer.

I have encountered several of these beasts out in the open and it is not a pretty sight. They are so dumb that they have forgotten how dumb they really are. Inflated with their artificially induced and undeserved stature within their former companies they imagine that out in the real world they are, not just ‘as good’ as everyone else, but ‘better’ than everyone else! Invariably they make a mess of things, but unfortunately they cause a lot of damage, sometimes irreparable, before they are caught on and fired. 

Obviously the same type of people are in public life too. In fact this is where they excel, because here it is much harder to pin down their accountability and fire them. In many cases the people who have the power to fire them are exactly the same types and the last thing they want to do is diminish the size of their own empires.

baseball cap bureaucrats suck

Have you ever noticed that an average town or city can function quite well and efficiently with a mayor and a handful of administrators.

Yet if you take the same town or city ten years later, while it probably hasn’t changed much as regards size, (only in exceptional circumstances would it have doubled or trebled its population or area), it’s local bureaucracy has more than doubled and trebled in size, probably a lot more. It probably also has an increasing number of by-laws and regulations and to pay for it all more and more property and other taxes are being demanded from the community. Clearly all this additional bureaucracy is not needed. But it is there and will continue to grow.

Why do we allow this? Why do we keep electing people whose only idea seems to be the provision of the same basic services at an ever increasing cost?

Big government, federal government, is even worse.

The European Parliament, for example, churns out regulation after regulation after regulation, about ridiculous things like how straight a cucumber should be or how bent a banana can be and still be called a banana! 

Washington has adopted the same strategy, sticking its nose in things that are none of its business and that only serve to hinder rather than help the people who elected them.

banana wars


It’s about time we tried to stop this spiral into disaster.

It’s time big brother and all his little administrators had their noses put out of joint. 

Remember, “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”,  wherever and whenever you can!




Did You Know? More From The Strange Fact File

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Here is another very random selection of strange facts from fasab’s files.

As with other in this series, by the time you have read these you will know more than you did and possible more than you want to.

But have a look anyway.




The adult electric eel can produce a five hundred volt shock,

which is enough to stun a horse

– and I don’t mean a seahorse!

electric eel


As an iceberg melts, it makes a fizzing sound
because of the compressed air bubbles popping in the ice


Kermit the frog delivered the commencement address

at Southampton College located in the state of New York in 1996


The mythical Scottish town of Brigadoon

appears for one day every one hundred years


A rainbow can occur only when the sun

is 40 degrees or less above the horizon


The most common injury caused by cosmetics

is to the eye by a mascara wand



The sound made by the toadfish when mating underwater

is so loud that it can be heard by humans on the shore


In America, approximately 20% of children between

the ages of 2 – 7 have televisions in their rooms


Families who do turn off the television during meals tend to eat healthier.

This was regardless of family income, or education


Two out of five people end up marrying their first love

first love

Forty-one percent of women apply body and

hand moisturizer at least three times a day


Scientists have determined that having guilty feelings

may actually damage your immune system

Feeling Guilty after Eating pactket in my Papperoni__

The first box of Crayola that was ever sold

had the same eight colours that are sold in the box today

consisting of red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.

The box was sold for a nickel in 1903


The best time for a person to buy shoes is in the afternoon.

This is because the foot tends to swell a bit around this time


According to psychologists, the shoe and the foot

are the most common sources of sexual fetishism in Western society

foot fetish


Bank robber John Dillinger played professional baseball

dillinger baseball
John Dillinger top left

The first company to mass produce teddy bears was the Ideal Toy Company


Flight pioneer and pilot, Orville Wright,

was involved in the first aircraft accident.

His passenger was killed.

Orville Wright crash

The mother of famous astronomer Johannes Kepler

was accused of being a witch

Johannes Kepler 1610

In the past 60 years, the groundhog has only predicted

the weather correctly 28% of the time.

The rushing back and forth from burrows

is believed to indicate sexual activity, not shadow seeking