Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Thirteen #560

Tomorrow is July 13, 2018.

It's also a Friday.

Now this is a Thursday 13, not a Friday 13. I'm not afraid of 13 things on Thursdays.

Friday? That's a different story.

I've had two car wrecks - both on Fridays with the date of the 13th. So I stay home on Friday the 13th.

I have no idea why Friday the 13th is a big deal. I suspect it is a religious thing, probably going back to Judas being the 13th guest at the Last Supper and the crucifixion of Christ on a Friday.

Fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Here are some things that supposedly have happened on Friday the 13th.

1. On Friday, Aug. 13, 2010, a 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning at 13:13 (1:13 p.m.) in Suffolk, England. The boy’s name was not released, according to British publications the Daily Mail and the Mirror. Rex Clarke, a St. John Ambulance team leader, told the Mirror: “Suddenly there was this huge crack of lightening really close to the seafront and really loud thunder. Seconds later we got a call someone had been hit. The boy was breathing and was conscious.” The boy had only a minor burn. Clarke said, “It’s all a bit strange that he was 13, and it happened at 13:13 on Friday 13.”

2. On Jan. 13, 1989 the “Friday the 13th virus” infected hundreds of IBM computers across the UK. It was programmed to delete files on Friday the 13th.

3. On November 13, 1970, the Bhola cyclone killed an estimated 500,000 people in Chittagong and the surrounding area. The 1970 Friday the 13th cyclone is described by the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium as “the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times.”

4. On Friday, Oct. 13, 1972, a Fairchild airplane carrying a rugby team from Montevideo to Chile disappeared over the Andes. It was later immortalized in the film Alive. Sixteen of the 45 passengers by eating the passengers who had died—a gruesome tale that captured the attention of the world. On that same day, another plane crash killed 160 people. An Aeroflot Il62 airliner flying to Paris via Leningrad crashed near the Sheremetyevo airport, killing all aboard, UPI reported at that time.

5. On December 13, 1995, Joshua Dudley was touring an exhibition of Faberge eggs at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art when he received a phone call telling him he had inherited a $3m estate from a deceased uncle. He began a major celebration that resulted in $4m in damages to the museum.

6. On Friday, October 13, 1972, Dana Hamilton of Rye, New York sold her luxurious hair to a local wigmaker so she could buy her husband a gold chain for his beloved pocket watch. That same evening, she returned home to discover that her husband had sold his watch to buy a pearl necklace for his secretary, with whom he was having an affair. (Sounds like a bad version of an O'Henry story, doesn't it?)

7.  Tawny Wetzel, a researcher investigating the correlation between Friday the 13th and emergency room visits, was attacked and killed by hornets on Friday, January 13, 1977.

8. While preparing a lecture on fatalism and external locus of control for his students on Friday, February 13, 1993, psychology professor Claiborn Phillips was struck by lightning a record 13 times in row. (Oh, the irony.)

9. On Friday, July 13, 1951, the state of Kansas had over 25 inches of rain. The cities of Manhattan, Lawrence, and Topeka were most affected, and over two million acres of land were damaged by the flood. At its highest, the flooding exceeded previous records by four to nine feet.

10. On Friday, October 13, 1989, the stock market fell 7 percent. Known as Black Friday, the market dropped after the buyout of United Airlines fell through. A lot of people lost a lot of money.

11. According to National Geographic, a  Swedish flight disappeared while flying over the Baltic Sea on June 13, 1952. For 40 years, the Swedish government stuck by the story that the plane was merely performing training exercises. However, National Geographic reported that in the '90s someone leaked that the crewmembers were actually spying on the Soviet Union for NATO — even though Sweden was officially neutral during the Cold War. Russia responded with its own confession. A Russian pilot told a Swedish diplomat that he had shot the plane down.

12. From October 12 to October 13, 2006, western New York was hit with two feet of snow. Over 300,000 people were left without power, thousands of trees were damaged, and the Governor of New York declared a State of Emergency for the Buffalo region.
13. Here's a future prediction: according to, an asteroid will come within 22,000 miles of the Earth on April 13, 2029. The closeness of the asteroid could cause damage to the Earth's surface, and there's a one-in-100,000 chance it could collide with us.


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 560th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.


  1. If I wasn't superstitious before, I am now.

  2. #13...something to look forward to?


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