- A Friday 13th Ghost Story
- Urban Legends: Friday the 13th (TGIF13)
- Pirate cake
- Know your fallacies
- From Cakespy, where they seem to be having a thing about unicorns just now (as well as cake)
- The floods of Edinburgh last weekend (and the Royal Botanical Society’s weather station):
- 10 reasons for vampires to attend high school
- If we are not allowed to call the Olympics anything, how shall we refer to them? Waterstones of Oxford Street held a Twitter contest:
- Snopes describes how down the centuries the combined superstitions against Friday and the number 13 seem to have combined against Friday the 13th:
It’s not widely discussed. Those who have witnessed it firsthand are, for obvious reasons, reluctant to talk about it. You’ll never see them publicly recounting their tales in front of the cameras and the microphones. These aren’t stories they are eager to tell.
But one hears whispers, rumors, stories told by the friends of friends. And those whispers, rumors and stories are too numerous and too eerily similar to be dismissed.
Something is happening. Something, it seems, happens every Friday the 13th, just before midnight.
Still other sources speculate that the number 13 may have been purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity. Thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, we are told, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The “Earth Mother of Laussel,” for example — a 27,000-year-old carving found near the Lascaux caves in France often cited as an icon of matriarchal spirituality — depicts a female figure holding a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches. As the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization, it is surmised, so did the “perfect” number 12 over the “imperfect” number 13, thereafter considered anathema.
And there lies the beauty of this whole baking project… it doesn’t need to be a surprise. In fact, it’s far better for it NOT to be a surprise, as then your little boy can thoroughly enjoy seeing it made and spend time gazing at it, rather than glimpsing it for 20 seconds while everyone yells Happy Birthday TO YOU, blowing out the candles and watching it being hacked into pieces and eaten before having really taken it in. Another advantage of getting your little boy roped into the creation of the cake is that little boys are top whizz experts in pirate boats and therefore can advise you regarding essential features, where they should be, what colour and how many. Tommy directed me with great authority on the number of masts, sails, oars and cannons, and patiently explained that there needed to be a treasure chest overflowing with gold and jewels, at least 3 pirates, one of whom whould be climbing into the boat having just fought off a shark, plus a shark in the sea by the boat, a desert island nearby, some rope and various cutlasses and knives.
It’s a judgement on us, of course. Nothing to do with global warming. We’ve been bad.
Option 4: People expect teenagers to act freakishly strange. I haven’t had to brush up on the modern world in half a century and nobody’s noticed anything odd.
In other words, the estimable businessmen and women at realinsurance.com.au have been paying SEO companies to spam the comment sections of sites around the globe. But now Google’s new search algorithms are making that legacy spam really damaging. So now they’re sending out cease and desist notices to the victims of their earlier spamming demanding that they search their archives and remove their spam.
But we need a to call it something. Our current favourite is ‘Seb Coe’s Big Sports Day’ but we were wondering whether you could do better.
— Waterstones (@WstonesOxfordSt) July 12, 2012
Here’s a graph of the results, if you like that sort of thing:instagr.am/p/NBbrcDqzgT/
— Waterstones (@WstonesOxfordSt) July 13, 2012
So, as we can’t say the name of the big sporting event because we’re not a sponsor, we shall call it Voldesport. It which cannot be named!
— Waterstones (@WstonesOxfordSt) July 13, 2012
- “Now Friday came, you old wives say, Of all the week’s the unluckiest day.” (1656)
- “On a sudden an old woman unluckily observed there were thirteen of us in company. This remark struck a panic terror into several who were present . . . but a friend of mine, taking notice that one of our female companions was big with child, affirmed there were fourteen in the room . . .” (1711)
- ” . . . Miss Mellon always gave the last comer an equal chance with the rest for life . . . she used to rise and say, ‘I will not have any friend of mine sit down as the thirteenth; you must all rise, and we will then sit down again together.'” (1839)
- “Notwithstanding . . . opinions in favour of odd numbers, the number thirteen is considered as extremely ominous; it being held that, when thirteen persons meet in a room, one of them will die within the year.” (1787)
- “There are still a few respectable tradesmen and merchants who will not transact business, or be bled, or take physic, on a Friday, because it is an unlucky day.” (1831)
- “For some time before the late War I went almost daily to the British Museum reading room . . . I gave some attention to the desks left to the last comers . . . there was a very marked preference of any other desk to that numbered ’13’.” (1927)