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Last updated: Sat. Dec. 15, 2012 - 05:12 am EDT

THE LAST WORD

Lucky day? At least 12-12-12 wasn't the end of the world

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I suppose it's interesting that Wednesday was 12-12-12 on our calendars. It was the century's last major numerical date using the Gregorian or Christian calendar.

There was an 11-11-11 last year and a 10-10-10 the year before and so on. But you can't have a 13-13-13 this coming year, obviously, because there is no 13th month. So that leaves the next such sequence of numbers to the 22nd century and the date Jan. 1, 2101: 1-1-1.

Whether seen as a sign of luck or just an anniversary date that would be easier to remember, there was a significant increase in the number of weddings around the world Wednesday. The same thing happened on 11-11-11 and 10-10-10.

Allen Circuit Court had 12 couples signed up to be married Wednesday — what a court official said was an “extremely high” number for that day of the week.

Some people took the numbers hype to extremes by celebrating the exact moment when the clock showed 12 minutes and 12 seconds past 12 o'clock on Wednesday, thus recognizing what is called a “sixer”: 12-12-12 12:12:12.

So why is 12-12-12 significant? Because of its rare occurrence? Or is it because of some spiritual meaning of numerology?

“According to Chinese numerology, the number one is a yang number which is ruled by the sun and represents independence and individualism,” says a story on The Borneo Post Online. “Two is a yin number which is ruled by the moon and represents symmetry and balance. When placed together, the number 12 brings harmony to the yin and yang, balancing the feminine energy of the moon with the masculine energy of the sun. So, what we can gather is that 12-12-12 equals lots of harmony.”

Really? Did anyone (other than the newlyweds) feel that particular harmony Wednesday? I'm not sure I did.

And what about the significance of some children turning 12 years of age at 12:12 p.m. on 12-12-12. Approximately 267 babies are born every minute, which means many other people no doubt shared the same moment — but in their respective time zones, of course — thus no exact moments, not even days, are the same around the world.

INC News reported an area woman, Lilly Nutter, who lives at Heritage Pointe in Warren, turned 100 on Wednesday. Thus, she was born on 12-12 of 1912. So that date worked for her.

Some people believed Wednesday would be the end of the world, however, thanks to an interpretation of the Mayan calendar. But, most of the Mayan-inspired end-of-the-world believers are convinced the actual doomsday is on 12-21-12, when the Mayan calendar ends.

“It's just a cute day,” said Underwood Dudley, a retired professor of mathematics at DePauw University in Greencastle and author of “Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought.”

“Maybe we ought to look out for the end of the world,” he told ABC News. “Other than that, it's just a number. The delusion of numerologists is that numbers have a power over events, but they don't. Just because it's 12-12-12 doesn't mean anything will happen. It would happen anyway.”


Kerry Hubartt is editor of The News-Sentinel.


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