Life Day 24169: Friggatriskaidekaphobia and Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

September 13, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Friday September 13,
Good morning friggatriskaidekaphobes. Before I get into today’s holidays, I would like to point out the ‘elephant in the room’. Today is Friday the 13th (insert Twilight Zone theme music here). Let me begin with a few facts and statistics about Friday the 13th.
1)  Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th.
2)  There is at least one Friday the 13th each year.
3)   There can be as many as three in a calendar year; either in February, March and November in a common year starting on Thursday (such as 2009), or January, April and July in a leap year starting on Sunday (such as 2012).
4)  The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.
5)  In the Gregorian calendar, The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week, but only slightly. On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days (compared to Thursday the 13th, which occurs only once every 213.59 days).
6)  According to the Dutch Center for Insurance Statistics (CVS) a study released in 2008 stated that “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are more careful, or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.
The superstition surrounding Friday the 13th being regarded as an unlucky day is a relative newcomer in the annals of history, and seems to be a combination of two much older superstitions. The first written record referencing Friday the 13th as an unlucky day occurs in  Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th.
“He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.”
As referenced above, many cultures believed that the number “13” was an unlucky number, and that “Friday” was an unlucky day. The number “13” is considered unlucky for a number of reasons: In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table results in the death of one of the diners. Likewise, “Friday” has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s “The Canterbury Tales”,  and many professions regard Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Friday is also the day when Jesus Christ was crucified, adding to its unpopularity.
This brings us to Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Friggatriskaidekaphobia (frigga-tris-kai-deka-pho-bia) is a fear of Friday the 13th: (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English, and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen). Please do not confuse this with Friggintrickydickaphobia* (friggin-tricky-dicka-pho-bia); an affliction suffered by a large segment of American society during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Another word used to describe the fear of Friday the 13th, Paraskevidekatriaphobia (para-skevi-deka-tria-phobia), came into the lexicon in 1953. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a combination of the Greek words Paraskeví, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís, meaning “thirteen”) attached to phobia, from Phobos, meaning “fear”). defines phobia as: A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.
If you are having difficulty following all of the big words I’m using, you might be suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (hip-po-pot-o-mon-stro-ses-qui-ped-ali-o-pho-bia), which means a fear of long words, (Did you see that one coming?Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a contrived word and is a truncated and extended version of the word sesquipedaliophobia (ses-qui-ped-ali-o-pho-bia); which is the word used in formal writing to describe the fear of long words. The “hippopotomonstro” part of the word is a combination of the words hippopotamus and monster, and is used to exaggerate the length of the word, adding credence to the word’s meaning: a fear of long words. Or, you might just be suffering from rupophobia (ru-po-pho-bia): a fear of rubbish.
* Please note that, despite how many might think otherwise, friggintrickydickaphobia is not an actual word. As far as I know, I coined the word while writing this post strictly for the purpose of levity. A Google search for friggintrickydickaphobia yielded no search results.

Now, at long last, we can begin with today’s holidays. And the first holiday today is National Defy Superstition Day. It is no coincidence that National Defy Superstition Day falls on Friday the 13th. This holiday encourages you to break those superstitious beliefs you’ve had since childhood. Stepping on a crack will not break your Mother’s back. “Three on a match” (lighting 3 cigarettes from one match) does not bring bad luck. The list of childish superstitions is endless. Hotels don’t have a 13th floor, nor a room # 13, nor any room that ends with the #13; all because of superstition. Use this holiday to rid yourself of those unfounded superstitions.
With that said, I would not recommend that you run around willy-nilly shattering mirrors, indiscriminately tipping over salt shakers, or walking under ladders; and above all else, I would recommend that you avoid any encounters with a black cat. Better to be safe than sorry.

The next holiday today is Blame Someone Else Day. Blame Someone Else Day is always celebrated on the first Friday the 13th of the year. Today is the day to channel your ‘inner’ Bart Simpson and not take responsibility for anything that goes wrong. You don’t have to accept the blame for any faux pas on your part. Every negative thing that happens today is someone else’s fault, not yours.
My research did not find any information on the origin, history or reason for this holiday. But heck, in the spirit of the holiday, it’s not my fault. Someone else was supposed to do that.

The third holiday is Uncle Sam Day. Uncle Sam Day celebrates a symbol of America. Uncle Sam appears on everything from military posters to cartoon images to advertising media. He is perhaps, the most recognizable symbol in the world.
The officially recognized theory regarding the origin of Uncle Sam dates back to soldiers stationed near Troy, New York during the war of 1812. Barrels of meat they received were stamped “U.S.” The supplier was Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York. Solders jokingly referred to him as “Uncle Sam”. In 1813, the first image of “Uncle Sam” appeared. In 1961, the U.S. Congress issued a resolution recognizing “Uncle Sam” Wilson, and authorizing a monument in his hometown in Troy, NY.
Uncle Sam Day became official in 1989, when a joint resolution of Congress designated September 13 “Uncle Sam Day”.  This date was selected, as “Uncle Sam” Wilson was born on this date in 1776.

Another holiday today is Positive Thinking Day. Positive Thinking Day is all about attitude. The power of positive thinking is absolutely astounding. Medical research confirms that a positive attitude works wonders at fighting disease and ailments, from the common cold to cancer. People with an “I think I can” attitude, are far more likely to succeed at work, and in accomplishing every goal they set in life. The best way to develop/maintain a positive attitude is to surround yourself with positive people. They will help you stay focused.
Like the lowly ant in the song “High Hopes”, with a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything.
To celebrate this holiday, be as positive as you can.

The last two holidays today are disease-specific. Therefore, I will just provide a link to each in case you are interested in one of them.
National Celiac Awareness Day.
Stand Up To Cancer Day.

The first food-related holiday today is International Chocolate Day. International Chocolate Day celebrates the birth of Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey’s chocolate, on this date in 1857.
I can think of no food item that deserves a holiday more than chocolate. Sure, chocolate can be high in calories; and apparently it’s very bad for dogs, but there are still plenty of good reasons to eat chocolate. WebMD reports that dark chocolate  (not milk chocolate) is a potent antioxidant.  Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments. They also report that dark chocolate (again, not milk chocolate) lowers high blood pressure. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure. You just have to insure that you balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.
There’s only one way to celebrate this holiday, eat chocolate! You’re welcome.

The next food-related holiday is National Peanut Day. Peanuts are native South America, and are not really nuts at all. They are legumes, like peas, beans, and lentils.
Peanuts are one of America’s favorite snack foods. They are also a key ingredient in many dishes, and are a topping for a wide variety of desserts. Many Oriental recipes use peanuts in main menu items.
Peanuts were not always considered healthy, but more recent research suggests that peanuts can reduce cardiovascular disease and lowers triglycerides in the body. Peanuts are high in protein and fiber, and are now believed to help curb hunger, and therefore help in diet control.
To celebrate this holiday, eat some peanuts. PBJ lovers, peanut butter counts. Yippee!

The third food-related holiday today is Fortune Cookie Day. Fortune Cookie Day celebrates the creation of the Fortune Cookie. Duh! Its pretty clear that the Fortune Cookie did not originate in China. Rather, it was invented in California. There appears to be some uncertainty over who invented it. Some historical references suggest it was Makoto Hagiwara who invented the fortune cookie at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco in 1914. Others believe that David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company, was the first to make fortune cookies in Los Angeles in the 1920’s.
Documentation for the date of this holiday is uncertain.  A large majority of my sources declare Fortune Cookie Day as today,  September 13th, but I did find another reference to another Fortune Cookie Day in July.

Another food-related holiday today is Snack a Pickle Time. When most people think of pickles, they think of tasty cucumbers cured in a brine. And, in fact, what most people think of as pickles are low in calories, have no fat, and have probiotic benefits.
However, the term ‘pickle’ actually refers to any food that has been preserved in a seasoned brine or vinegar mixture. The most commonly pickled item is, as you might expect, cucumbers. But the variety of food items that can be pickled is limited only by ones imagination. Everyone has heard of pickled peppers (Peter Piper picked a peck of them), but chilies, cauliflower, pearl onions, and baby corn, are also popular. Some people even like even pickled herring and pickled pig’s feet! (YUK)
There are a plethora of pickling spices used too. Common combinations include, but are certainly not limited to, dill, allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon, clovers, cardamon, mustard seeds, ginger and peppercorns. Once again, your imagination is the only limiting factor.
To celebrate this holiday, enjoy some pickles. Be adventurous and start a batch at home. There are about a gajillion recipes available online.

The last food-related holiday today is Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day. The objective behind   Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day is to empower kids and teens to become more actively involved in the planning, preparation, and cooking of meals. At the same time, this holiday fosters a closer relationship between children and their parents, and helps raise awareness of the many serious health and social issues related to our youth’s eating habits today.
To celebrate this holiday, encourage your kids to participate in the preparation of tonight’s dinner, and encourage them to learn more about health and nutrition.

On this date in 2001 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell named Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Also, limited commercial flights resumed in the U.S. for the first time in two days.
Also on this date in history:
1789 – The United States Government took out its first loan. [And so deficit spending began].
1898 – Hannibal Williston Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film, which is used to make movies.
1922 – The highest shade temperature ever recorded (136.4° Fahrenheit) was recorded in El Azizia, Libya.
1943 – Chiang Kai-shek became the president of China.
1948 – The School of Performing Arts opened in New York City. It was the first public school to specialize in performing arts.
1948 – Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the U.S. Senate and became the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
1949 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America (LPGA)  was formed.
1959 – The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 became the first space probe to reach the moon.
1960 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned payola.
1970 – The first New York City Marathon took place. Fireman Gary Muhrucke won the race.
1971 – In New York, National Guardsmen stormed the Attica Correctional Facility and put an end to the four-day revolt. A total of 43 people were killed in the final assault.
1977 – The first diesel automobiles manufactured by General Motors were introduced.
1981 – Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig said the U.S. had physical evidence that Russia and its allies used poisonous biological weapons in Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan.
1988 – Forecasters reported that Hurricane Gilbert’s barometric pressure measured 26.13. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
1993 – “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” premiered on NBC.
1993 – Israel and Palestine signed their first major agreement. Palestine was granted limited self-government in the Gaza Strip and in Jericho.
1994 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a $30 billion anti-crime bill into law.
And, in 1998 – The New York Times closed its Web site after hackers added offensive material.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals.
Walter Reed 1851 – Physician.
Milton S. Hershey 1857 – Entrepreneur.
John Pershing 1860 – Army General.
Sherwood Anderson 1876 – Author.
Claudette Colbert 1905 – Actress.
Bill Monroe 1911 – Bluegrass musician.
Roald Dahl 1916 – Author.
Dick Haymes 1916 – Singer.
Scott Brady 1924 – Actor.
Mel Torme 1925 – Singer.
Eileen Fulton 1933 – Actress.
Barbara Bain 1934 – Actress.
Fred Silverman 1937 – TV executive.
Judith Martin 1938 – Journalist.
Richard Kiel 1939 – Actor.
David Clayton-Thomas 1941 – Singer.
Bela Karolyi 1942 – Gymnastics coach.
Jacqueline Bisset 1944 – Actress.
Peter Cetera 1944 – Singer.
Nell Carter 1948 – Singer, actress.
Jean Smart 1959 – Actress.
Joni Sledge 1956 – Singer.
Zak Starkey 1965 – Musician.
Louis Mandylor 1966 – Actor.
Fiona Apple 1977 – Singer,songwriter.
Ben Savage 1980 – Actor.
And finally, Mitch Holleman 1995 – Child actor.




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