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.






Time To Put The Fears Behind Us

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Yes, time to put the fears behind us. This is the final selection of curious and sometimes amusing fears and phobias that affect some people. Irrational but very real to them. Irrational and very silly to the rest of us.

So here we go, ‘T’ thru ‘Z’.



scared 4


Tachophobia ……….fear of speed.


Taijin Kyofusho ……….a phobia which occurs most typically in Japan, is the fear of offending others by one’s inappropriate social behavior or appearance


Taeniophobia or Taeniophobia ……….fear of tapeworms.


Taphephobia Taphophobia ……….fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.


Tapinophobia ……….fear of being contagious.


Taurophobia ……….fear of bulls.


Technophobia ……….fear of technology.


Teleophobia ……….fear of 1) definite plans; 2) religious ceremony.


Telephonophobia ……….fear of telephones.


Teratophobia ……….fear of bearing a deformed child or fear of monsters or deformed people.


Testophobia ……….fear of taking tests.


Tetanophobia ……….fear of lockjaw, tetanus.


Teutophobia ……….fear of German or German things.


Textophobia ……….fear of certain fabrics.


Thaasophobia ……….fear of sitting.


Thalassophobia ……….fear of the sea.


Thanatophobia or Thantophobia ……….fear of death or dying.


Theatrophobia ……….fear of theatres.


Theologicophobia ……….fear of theology.


Theophobia ……….fear of gods or religion.


Thermophobia ……….fear of heat.


Tocophobia ……….fear of pregnancy or childbirth.


Tomophobia ……….fear of surgical operations.


Tonitrophobia ……….fear of thunder.


Topophobia ……….fear of certain places or situations, such as stage fright.


Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia ……….fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned.


Traumatophobia ……….fear of injury.


Tremophobia ……….fear of trembling.


Trichinophobia ……….fear of trichinosis.


Trichopathophobia or Trichophobia ……….fear of hair. (Chaetophobia, Hypertrichophobia)


Triskaidekaphobia ……….fear of the number 13.


Tropophobia ……….fear of moving or making changes.


Trypanophobia ……….fear of injections.


Tuberculophobia ……….fear of tuberculosis.


Turophobia ……….fear of cheese


Tyrannophobia ……….fear of tyrants.


Uranophobia or Ouranophobia ……….fear of heaven.


Urophobia ……….fear of urine or urinating.


Vaccinophobia ……….fear of vaccination.


Venereophobia ……….fear of catching a venereal disease.


Venustraphobia ……….fear of beautiful women.


Verbophobia ……….fear of words.


Verminophobia ……….fear of germs.


Vespertiliophobia ……….fear of bats.


Vestiphobia ……….fear of clothing.


Virginitiphobia ……….fear of virgins.


Virginitiphobia ……….fear of rape.


Vitricophobia ……….fear of step-father.


Vokephobia ……….fear of returning home.


Walloonphobia ……….fear of the Walloons.


Wiccaphobia ……….fear of witches and witchcraft.


Xanthophobia ……….fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.


Xeniaphobia ……….fear of foreign doctors, usually having to do with strong foreign accents making it difficult to understand their English. Also, if travelling in a foreign country, the fear that doctors may have inadequate medical skills.


Xenodochiophobia ……….fear of foreign hotels that could include the fear that there won’t be soap, the kind of toilet paper that you like, clean towels, or good maid service.


Xenoglossophobia ……….fear of foreign languages.


Xenonosocomiophobia ……….fear of foreigners who are pick-pockets.


Xenophobia ……….fear of strangers or foreigners.


Xerophobia ……….fear of dryness.


Xeroxophobia ……….fear of using anything made by Xerox, or fear of office equipment in general.


Xylophobia ……….fear of 1) wooden objects; 2) Forests.


Xyrophobia ……….fear of razors.


Zelophobia ……….fear of jealousy.


Zemmiphobia ……….fear of the great mole rat.


Zeusophobia ……….fear of God or gods.


Zoophobia ……….fear of animals.





Significant Number Factoid Friday – Thirteen, Unlucky For Some

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’

Today we have ‘significant’ number thirteen, unlucky for some.



13 Thirteen

The number 13 seems to give a lot of people trouble. Indeed the fear of the number 13 is so pervasive that it even has a phobia named after it  –  triskaidekaphobia. 


In the Bible.

  • At the Last Supper in Christian theology, there were 13 dinner guests, so that number is unlucky because Christ was betrayed.
  • Thirteen famines are recorded in the Scriptures.
  • The destruction of Jericho is stamped with the number thirteen, because the city was compassed once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, making 13 times in all (6+7).
  • All the names of Satan are divisible by thirteen.
  • In Mark 7 Jesus mentions thirteen things that defile a person (evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness).



  • The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word “mavet,” meaning death.
  • In Norse mythology, 12 benevolent gods were gathering in a hall and the evil god Loki attacked the group. Loki was the 13th guest, and the god Balder was killed in the melee.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quite fearful of the number 13, and he took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size. It is said that if he had a cancellation and it looked as if there might be 13 people to lunch, he would invite his secretary to join them so there wouldn’t be 13.
  • Industrialist Henry Ford wouldn’t do business on Friday, the 13th.
  • Multimillionaire Paul Getty once stated “I wouldn’t care to be one of thirteen at a table.”
  • Some speculate that a fear of the number 13 is the reason we recognize only 12 constellations in the Zodiac, omitting a thirteenth… Ophiuchus ( the Serpent Holder) that, by its location, could be included.
  • Years ago, London bakers were subject to harsh penalties if they were caught selling bread in what was called short weight. The bakers would add an extra loaf to each dozen to be sure the sale met the minimum weight requirement. They avoided the word thirteen and the process of adding an extra loaf became known as the “baker’s dozen.”
  • Some airlines do not have a 13th row.
  • Most tall buildings do not have a 13th floor.
  • Many hotel guests refuse to stay in Room 13, so rooms are frequently numbered 12, 12A, and 14.
  • The 13th card of the Tarot is the card of Death.
  • The composer, Arnold Schoenberg, was a noted triskaidekaphobe. He died as he had predicted at the age of 76 (7+6=13), on a Friday 13th at 13 minutes to midnight.
  • In April 1970, NASA launched Apollo 13 at 1313 hours Central Time from pad 39. The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. “Jack” Swigert as Command Module pilot and Fred W. Haise as Lunar Module pilot. (Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly, who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles.) They were scheduled for rest periods beginning 13 minutes past the hour and on April 13 at 21:07:53 CST (55:54:53 Ground Elapsed Time) an oxygen tank exploded and the mission had to be aborted. The rest is history – and a movie, Apollo 13, based on ‘Lost Moon’, Jim Lovell’s and Jeffrey Kluger’s book about the event.
Apollo 13 insignia
Insignia of the ill-fated Apollo XIII Mission


Friday the 13th Myths:

  • If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
  • A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
  • If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.


In the United States

  • the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
  • thirteen colonies rebelled against British Rule and King George III in what led to the American Revolutionary War and the eventual birth of the United States of America. The colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • there are thirteen stripes on the USA flag to commemorate these original colonies.
USA flag - Stars and Stripes
USA flag – Stars and Stripes