When the Numbers Don’t Add Up: Numbers, Dates, Palindromes & Facebook Status Hoaxes

by on October 4th, 2015
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October of 2011 brings an unusual triplicate of 5s: this year October has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays. According to a message making the “lose talk and falsehoods” rounds on Facebook, this only happens once every 823 years.

“823 Years” More Like Every Few Years

Of course, one has only to pull out a recent calendar to see THAT’s not true. August 2010 included 5 Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. October 2010 had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. July 2011 had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturday and 5 Sundays. Every month with 31 days has 3 days with 5 occurrences, and like all the other calendar patterns, this one repeats periodically, every several years (usually every 5, 6 or 11 years depending on factors like Leap Year).

“Money Bags” More Like, well, Some Other Kind of Bags

The Facebook message called the three days of 5 “money bags” and was one of those annoying “copy and paste to your status” updates that I avoid like the plague, especially when they end with something like this: “Copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese Feng Shui. The one who does not copy, will be without money. Copy within 11 mins. of reading.” I wasn’t remotely tempted to copy it, and I quickly verified with Snopes.com that the Chinese Feng Shui “Money Bags” thing was sheer nonsense, but I am a sucker for odd date occurrences.

10-10-10

Take last year’s 10-10-10. I got all excited about 3 10s in a row and wrote this article: Top Ten Ways to Celebrate October 10 – 10/10/10 Celebrations & Special Events

0102-2010

In January of 2010, I discovered a palindrome on 0102-2010 and just had to write that one up. What is Significant About January 2, 2010? History, Birthdays & Palindromes!

1-1-11, 1-11-11, 11-1-11, 11-11-11

Or this year’s quatraine of 1s in a row: 1-1-11, 1-11-11, 11-1-11, and 11-11-11. I have already written one article about the January 1-11s and feel another welling up for November even as I type. January 1, 2011 — Interesting Facts and Observations About 1-1-11

6-6-6

I even felt compelled to tackle June 6, 2006, otherwise known as 666.

5 Long Weekends

So, you won’t make a dime posting the fake status updates about “Money Bags” and will only prove you follow the misinformation highway and often lead the caravan with false status claims, but you might as well enjoy the minor novelty of 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays, and 5 Mondays, or 5 long weekends in a row. I certainly will!

Sgt. Friday: Just the Facts

Speaking of Fridays: PLEASE CHECK YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU POST FALSEHOODS ON FACEBOOK. You are either part of the misinformation solution, or part of the problem. Don’t whine about some politician’s double-talk says when you can’t keep your own facts straight on Facebook!


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