13 reasons why we should hail the number 13
NO TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA HERE
This will be hub number 13 for me and let me confess, I have no triskaidekaphobia . You know-that fear of the number ‘13’. Nor am I plagued with friggatriskaidekaphobia . As you have probably already guessed, that is a fear of Friday the 13th. Not that I watch Friday the 13th movies, mind you. But, that isn’t because I’m afraid of the number. It’s my general fear of horror movies. I’m a bit of a wimp that way, even when those horror movies are filled with a ridiculous plot and script.
This hub is a celebration of sorts-reaching that lucky number 13. Therefore, I decided to honor the occasion by listing 13 wonderful things that surround the number 13. These are not listed in any particular order, unlike David Letterman’s ‘list of 10’, and one does not carry any more weight than another. So, here we go:
1. 2010 Calendar- Mark your calendars because in this very month of August we will experience our only Friday the 13th for 2010. Beware all who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia. Oh, and just in case you’re experiencing brain freeze from this news, it falls on the thirteenth.
YOU'RE A WINNER!
2. A deck of cards-I grew up in a family of card players and we learned to count by playing cards. If you are curious, as I was, about who invented cards, you will find that it is a mixed review. One source states it was the Chinese, in the 9th century. Another source states it was the Egyptians. A third source states it was invented by the Persians who brought it to the Chinese, who then sent it over to the Egyptians. From there it landed in Europe for some tweaking by the French, and today we have a standard deck of 52, black and red, 13 of four suits including royalty and numbered cards.
Now, if you ‘Google’ card games you will find, as I did, oodles of versions of card games. So, rather than name all of them, (trust me, I had no real intention to do that), I will share with you thirteen of the games I played as I was growing up. They are: Go Fish, Crazy 8’s, War, Spoons, Euchre, Canasta, Rummy, Gin Rummy, Solitaire, Hearts, Slapjack, Blackjack, and Poker.
BIRTHDAY BOYS AND GIRLS
3. Famous Birthdays-These lucky people were born on the thirteenth of the month. That means that throughout their lifetime they will have a Friday the 13th birthday. Let’s hope they are not superstitious.
January: My granddaughter, Grace. At three she is not famous yet, but one proud grandmother can only hope.
February: Chuck Yeager, (1923), broke the sound barrier in flight.
March: Neil Sedaka, (1939), singer, songwriter, record producer.
April: Thomas Jefferson, (1743), one of the founding fathers and our third President.
May: Stevie Wonder, (1950), singer-songwriter.
June: Tim Allen, (1953), comedian and actor.
July: Harrison Ford, (1942), actor.
August: Alfred Hitchcock, (1899), English filmmaker/producer: psychological thrillers.
September: Milton Hershey, (1857), founder of the Hershey Chocolate company.
October: Paul Simon, (1941), singer-songwriter.
November: Whoopie Goldberg, (1949), comedian and actress.
December: Taylor Swift, (1989), singer-songwriter.
4. Taylor Swift and her Lucky 13- Since we ended with this young singer’s birthday, we will start with her next. She uses the number 13 as a lucky omen. Whenever she gets an award she claims she is sitting in either the 13th seat, the 13th row or in the row ‘M’, which, as she states, “…is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet”. Yee gads, one can just feel the sweetness oozing through her words. All joking aside, I like her music and my nephew was kind enough to drop her CD: Fearless , my way this Christmas. Oh, and less I forget to mention, she also made gold on her first album in, (you guessed it), thirteen weeks. Will the coincidences never end?
5. Movies-I could have easily filled the list of thirteen with at least twelve from the Friday the 13th series. Number ‘13’ is reputed to be coming out on Friday, August 13th. For variety I give you the following list, my preference being comedy:
Friday the 13th
Assault on Precinct 13 13
13 Going on 30
13th Child: Legend of the Jersey Devil
Friday the 13th…the Orphan
The 13th Day
BACK TO SCHOOL
6. Math-the number 13 is a Prime number. It’s a match: my age is a ‘prime’ # also, just not in the mathematical sense of the word.
7. Science-Aluminum, (AL), is the lucky element that sits in the 13th seat of the periodic table holding 13 electrons and 13 protons. The discovery in 1808 is attributed to Sir Humphry Davy, an English chemist. It has properties of being light, soft, malleable, and corrosion resistant. At my age anything ‘corrosion resistant’ is appealing. What do we use it for? Almost everything we have in the house, from wiring to cookware, appliances, microwaves and computers; cans of food; aircraft and autos.
8. History I-Thirteen is the number of the original colonies formed way back when. It is also the number of the original flag: 13 stars and 13 stripes.
9. History II-The 13th Amendment-This is a ‘13th’ listing that is very fortunate indeed. The 13th Amendment placed into law the abolishment of slavery. Accepting this amendment to the original Bill of Rights changed the course of history.
10. Philosophy-Ben Franklin was a man of many talents. Writing a list of thirteen virtues he hoped it would serve as a guideline for him and others. Number 13 states: humility. A wonderful virtue to aspire to. Beside the word he added, ‘imitate Jesus and Socrates’. Jesus, I can assume, for his loving kindness, mercy and compassion. Socrates, for his wisdom, logic and reason. A beautiful combination of head and heart.
11. Religion-As we segue from Jesus to religious coming of age, I am aware that many cultures and religions hold rites of passage at the age of thirteen. In the Jewish community young men become a Bar Mitzvah at age 13, reading from the Torah, while in the Catholic community, candidates become a ‘soldier of Christ’ through the sacrament of confirmation.
12. Food-I always enjoy the subject of food. So, if I can fit it anywhere into my hub, I will. How does ‘13’ fit into food? It’s the baker’s dozen of course. A baker’s dozen is that ‘extra’ product thrown in for good measure.
COMING OF AGE
13. Turning 13-What does turning 13 mean? When I was growing up, long ago…it meant something special. Our elementary school housed K-6 grades, so it meant a transition to junior high school. At age thirteen you were no longer in ‘childhood’-you had moved onto that next level of ‘teen-hood’.
It was a time of realization for me about life and what awaited me in the future. Not the ‘far future’ of college and career. More the immediate future, like who were my friends, what did I value, and what beliefs did I stand up for.
At thirteen, I had a core group of friends, I taught myself to play the guitar, and I took ballet lessons at the local studio. At thirteen, I was shy and insecure about myself. At thirteen I rode horses, climbed trees and gazed into the dark, star filled sky wondering about God. At thirteen I had a deep, meaningful connection with that God that has not wavered.
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