AP National Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – So what are you doing on Thursday?
Not you, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan _ we already know you’re a little busy with that debate thing. But others may be marking, in some way, the fact that Thursday is a special day, numerically speaking: It’s 10-11-12.
Nice, but how significant? Those who study numbers say, well, not too much. Or perhaps it’s better to say that it’s as significant as you want it to be.
Significant enough to influence your wedding date? At one wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Forever Grand at the MGM Resorts, there’s a special numerology package, including a chapel, a pianist, a minister, and a limo to the courthouse, among other things. (And if you’re just finding out about this, it isn’t too late: There’s another special at Forever Grand for 12-12-12.)
The date 10-11-12 has proven not nearly as popular as last year’s 11-11-11, when there were 22 weddings at the chapel, says manager Glynnis Sherwood. Nine weddings are booked for Thursday, almost certainly because of the date, she says, adding: “Of course, the biggest was 07-07-07, when we had 62.”
Perhaps the day isn’t significant enough for your wedding, but enough to go buy a lottery ticket?
“People like a fluency in numbers,” says Rajesh Bagchi, an associate professor of marketing at Virginia Tech who also studies numbers psychology. “The sequence of 10-11-12 is fluent, and it goes up, so it can have a pleasing effect. It can feel right. So someone might decide, for example, to buy a lottery ticket.”
Bagchi himself, however, didn’t even realize the day was coming, until we called. So he wasn’t planning anything special _ he did actually get married in Vegas, but not on a numerically significant day, though surely it was significant in other ways.
Certainly, there are special things happening on Thursday, and not just the U.S. vice-presidential debate. At the United Nations, the day has been declared the International Day Of The Girl Child, recognizing girls’ rights and the challenges they face around the world. But there’s no evidence the actual numbers of the date were taken into account. Also, the Jonas Brothers are returning to the stage after three years with a one-night show at Radio City Music Hall.
How rare is the day? After all, there will be a neat moment right around the time many alarm clocks ring at 07:08:09, on 10-11-12. But won’t it be better later this year, on Dec. 12, when we will have 12:12:12 on 12-12-12?
In fact, the kind of sequence happening Thursday is one that’s been occurring every year since 2003, when we had 01-02-03. It will end for a while in 2014, with 12-13-14. Then we’ll need to wait until 2103. “It basically happens in the early years of a new century,” says Geoff Chester, public affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, which, if you didn’t know, is the official timekeeper for the Department of Defense.
“Really, this is just a numerological curiosity,” says Chester. “People find it amusing. But there is no cosmic significance. It’s an artifact of the calendar and time system that we use.”
Eric Carlson, a physics professor at Wake Forest University, agrees. “No great significance,” he says. “Just a curiosity. I like number patterns, like many of us. Our lives are dominated by numbers.”
Carlson himself plans nothing special on Thursday, though he does allow that on the day several years ago that corresponded precisely to the seven digits of his phone number, he held a party.
“Tomorrow is too busy,” he says. “But I will really celebrate next week, when my daughter turns in her college applications.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains