11.9.2023 | Thursday

thursday 13: things about the number 13

category: Memetastic
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reading time: 2 minutes

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A little on the nose, but that’s okay.

  1. Mathematically, 13 is a happy number, a number that eventually reaches 1 when it is replaced by the sum of the square of each digit. In math terms… 12 + 32 = 10 and 12 + 02 = 1. (citation)
  2. In 1917, apparitions of the Virgin of Fátima are claimed to have appeared on the 13th of six consecutive months. (citation)
  3. For Colgate University, the number 13 is highly significant, a good omen. The university was founded by 13 men who gathered in 1817 and offered 13 prayers and $13. And during that gathering,they created 13 articles for a constitution that led to the establishment of the univeristy in 1819. (citation)
  4. Continuing with Colgate University, their address is 13 Oak Drive East, and their zip code is 13346. It’s also the number of letters in their motto, Deo ac Veritati. The university celebrates Colgate Day on every Friday the 13th. (citation
  5. More Colgate 13 knowledge… The Colgate Thirteen is the university’s award-winning a capella group. And yes, there are 13 members. (citation)
  6. A baker’s dozen is 13 baked goods. The prevailing theory as to the practice is that it originated in medieval England. At the time, there were laws connecting the price of wheat to the price of bread. Any bakers found to be cheating customers by giving undersized loaves, thusly overcharging, were in danger of heavy punishment, to include high fines or even flogging. So they began to throw in a little extra to avoid that. (citation)
  7. Baker’s Dozen is also my favorite bakery in Sierra Vista, AZ. And yes, every dozen is a baker’s dozen.
  8. Aluminum has the atomic number of 13. (citation)
  9. A surprising number of serial killers have13 letters in their names…
    • Charles Manson
    • Theodore Bundy
    • Jeffrey Dahmer
    • Albert DeSalvo
    • Aileen Wuornos
    • Lavinia Fisher
    • Harold Shipman
    • John Wayne Gacy
    • Mikhail Popkov
  10. For many, Friday the 13th is a spooky day. For others, it’s a birthday. (citation, citation)
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 13 January 1961
    • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson: 13 June 1986
    • Kat Dennings: 13 June 1986
    • Didi Conn: 13 July 1951
  11. Apparently, Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered from triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. Purportedly mild, it was enough that he detested Friday the 13th and he avoided eating dinner with 13 people. (citation)
  12. There is a Guinness World Record for the highest combined age of 13 living siblings. As of 21 March 2017, the Donnelly siblings of Ireland had a combined age of 1,075 years and 68 days. They originally were going for the same but with 14 siblings, but one of the brothers passed away. (citation)
  13. Hockey, like many pro sports, is notoriously superstitious. However, 133 NHL players have worn the number 13, at least since jersey records began during the 1950-1951 season. Before that, there were some players in the 20s and 30s who wore it, but no records means no numbers. Most avoided the number until it began to be more accepted in the mid-1970s. Jack Stoddard, a New York Rangers (my team!) forward from 1951 to 1953, was one of the few players to wear it until Robins Burns in the 1974-1975 season with the former Kansas City Scouts, later the Colorado Rockies. But his game suffered, and the number fell out of fashion again until Ken Linseman wore it with the Edmonton Oilers and won the 1984 Stanley Cup, thus damaging the stigma. (citation)

Honorable Hockey Mention: There are currently 15 players wearing the number 13 in the NHL, one of which is Alexis Lafrenière of my beloved New York Rangers. (citation)

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2 responses to “thursday 13: things about the number 13

  1. There are 12 signs of the Zodiac and 12 months a year but would be 13 if a lunar calendar was used rather than a solar one. There were 12 apostles and 12 knights of the round table with Jesus and King Arthur making 13. Love the number.


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