It's been an interesting calendar year. Some call itweird.
• Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday were the same day.
• April Fools' Day and Easter fell on the same day.
• The dates and days of the week for February and March matched exactly.
So why not add today's Friday the 13th to the list?
There are many people who will be extra cautious, fearful the reputation of bad luck on the day will find them this time around.
There are lots of reasons Friday the 13th is considered unlucky. Consider that the number 13 is linked with the history of Friday being the day Jesus was crucified and Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. No wonder the day has gotten a bad rep.
David Emery writes about urban legends and such. He cites a British Medical Journal study in 1993 titled “Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?” The study involved comparing the ratio of traffic volume to accidents on two Fridays, the 6th and the 13th, over a period of years. The findings give hope to people believing there is something to bad luck on the 13th: Traffic volume was down on that day (some people won’t drive their cars) while accident victim numbers were up.
The study’s conclusion: Friday the 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.
Will Barrett, a research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, has warned luck cannot be predicted and is largely beyond human capacity to influence or control.
“Just because you fell down the stairs, lost your job and broke your leg on the last three consecutive Friday the 13ths does not mean you will be plagued by bad luck again this year,” he has said.
“Because of the nature of luck you cannot predict future luck on the basis of past luck.”
But don’t tell that to some people. Lottery ticket sales, for example, have historically been high on Friday the 13th. Some people believe they can get lucky while misfortune befalls others.
One website, BetUS.com, previously has taken stab at odds regarding Friday the 13th, with these results:
* The World to End: 1,000,000/1
* You lose your job: 100/1
* Your spouse leaves you: 500/1
* You throw out your back: 250/1
* You go bankrupt: 500/1
* You get a flat tire: 50/1
* You break your leg: 100/1
* A bird will poop on you: 100/1
* You will get sick: 50/1
* You will get locked out of your house/apt: 50/1
* Your car will get towed: 100/1
* You will get a ticket (speeding, parking, etc.): 50/1
* You will lose all your hair: 250/1
* Your car will get stolen: 100/1
* You will find money: 50/1
* You will slip on a banana peel: 100/1
* You will win the lottery: 500/1
Read into the betting what you will. Read into fear of the day what you will. But realistically, much of the mania surrounding the day has become more fun than fear. And as for bad things happening on Friday the 13th, heightened anxiety levels among the public may well produce behavior that leads to accidents and other misfortune.
For the record, there's another Friday the 13th this year -- in July.