News Column

12-12-12: Big Day for Special Number

Dec. 12, 2012

Riley Manning

Today is a downpour of dozens -- 12/12/12.

A large amount of hype surrounds the year 2012, perhaps most notably the end of the world, according to the calendar of the ancient Mayans.

"There is lots of talk of planets aligning and things like that, but if there are any visual alignments, they won't affect Earth," said Edwin Faughn, managing director of the observatory at French Camp Academy.

"The Mayan calendar simply ends a cycle and starts a new one, just like your desk calendar at work."

If not the apocalypse, what, then, is all the hubbub surrounding the number 12?

Twelve is a special number in numerology, a practice that views life and the universe as an ordered system, with numbers being a reflection of that order.

Because 12 can be divided evenly by six numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12), numerology views it as a number of harmony. It is also lucky, because its digits (1 and 2) add up to be three. Therefore, the date 12/12/2012 (adding the 20 to the year) must be a day of greatness, its digits adding up to 11, another significant number (recall last year's triple date, 11/11/11).

And so on.

Special Birthdays

Tupelo resident Amelia Parkes turns 31 years old on 12/12/12, and is skeptical of these theories.

"When you're setting measurements and standards, it makes sense to use a number that is very divisible and easy to remember," she said.

Hazel Montegue, who turns 97 years old on the date, said the day is a blessing like any other.

"It's a special day because I'll still be living," she said.

Brett Waters, who will turn 26 on triple 12, is less concerned about the aligning of the stars than he is about his birthday celebrations.

"I think I'm going to have a steak dinner with my family, and the next day we're going to wake up and go back to life," he said.

Whether the number 12 is an alignment of stars and spirits or just the number of strikes in a perfect game of bowling is impossible to know.

However, one thing for certain is that it's the last two-digit triple-date for the next 999 years.

Day of Dozens

THERE ARE 12 ...

--in a dozen

--"minor" prophets in the Old Testament

--apostles of Jesus

--commandments (10 from the Old Testament, plus the two that Jesus adds in Mark 29:30)

--days of Christmas

--tribes of Israel

--successors of the prophet Muhammad, in Islam

--books in John Milton's "Paradise Lost," as well as in Virgil's "Aeneid"

--knights of King Arthur's round table

--basic hues in a color wheel

--Nidanas, or causes of suffering, in Buddhism

--tasks complete by Hercules in Greek mythology

--biochemical salts in the body

--face cards in a deck

--inches in a foot

--hours in a half-day

--cranial nerves in the human body

--months in a year

--figures in Greek, Chinese, and Buddhist zodiacs

--Federal banking Reserve districts

--level of force on the Beaufort Wind Scale that corresponds to the maximum wind speed of a hurricane.



Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)


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