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Friday the 13th

September 01, 2016

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Did you know that 2016 is the rare year that has only ONE Friday the 13th and it fell in May (so now we’re safe).

Before we talk about Friday the 13th, let’s take a look at the number “13” itself. Fear of the number “13” is of Greek origin and is called:

TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA

The phonetic pronunciation is:

TRIS-KUH-DEK-UH-FOH-BEE-UH

 

Thirteen were at The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

In the United States 80% of high-rise buildings do not have a 13th floor. And, the vast majority of hospitals and hotels avoid using this number as well. Of course, there’s always an exception: the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan has a 13th floor. And, just in case you’re interested, airports do not have gates marked “13”.

Are black cats unlucky? Not when they’re this cute!

I recently discovered a list of 13 Odd Things That Happened on Friday the 13th in the May 2016 issue of Readers Digest that was compiled by Andy Simmons. I’ve decided to cherry-pick this list by changing the order and listing the ones I feel are the most interesting.

1 On every Friday the 13th, the world’s economy apparently loses about $900 million because people are scared to work and travel on this date, says Donald Dassey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.

2 On Friday, January 13, 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank off the Italian coast after running aground, killing 32.

The Costa Concordia

3 That very same day, 174 were killed when a Russian airliner crashed on landing near Moscow.

4 On Friday, October 13, 1989, the stock market fell a whopping 6.1% (190 points). At the time, it was the second worst day in market history.

5 On Friday, August 13, 2010, a 13-year-old boy in Suffolk, England, was struck by lightning and reportedly hit at 1:13. The boy survived unharmed.

LOOKING BACK

“YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOUR WANT” according to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the 1969 hit song from their album. Wow, this is certainly true. For example, take a look at our blog Diamonds Are Forever about the magnificent Lesedi la Rona, which means “Our Light” in the Tswana language. It was found in Botswana by the Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corporation and is the largest diamond discovery in more than a century.

After viewing this marvel at Sotheby’s, New York I was really up for the auction that took place on June 29, 2016 in London. At promptly 1:30 pm EST, (6:30 pm BST) I watched it live on my 21-inch computer screen. All the Sotheby staffers were excited about this auction that had a $70 million reserve and brought brisk bidding – that stopped cold at $62 million. 

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. After all the publicity, multiple showings in different locations and entertaining the night before in London – IT DIDN’T SELL!  The reason? Disastrous timing: just days after the Brexit vote and dropping of the British pound. No one was to blame. The auction could not be rescheduled. What happened was something that came completely from left field. Or, you can’t always get what you want.

Shaun Nelson-HenrickSaveSave


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