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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • A Little Salt: Today is a unique day

  • Today is a special day. Courier-Post columnist explains why.
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  • Admittedly, I'm a bit of a numbers geek. I guess that means I should be an accountant when (if) I grow up.
    Part of the allure of sports is that one can easily become awash in numbers. This is especially true with Major League Baseball, where just about any number is archived. Still, I've yet to hear the nighttime batting average of David Freese with runners in scoring position, less than two outs, against left-handed pitchers whose mother's maiden name was Miller. Maybe if the recent World Series had gone seven games it might have come up.
    My fascination with numbers doesn't end with sports trivia. I'm also a sucker for random sequences of numbers, particularly when they pop up on calendars.
    Sometimes my number fascination can actually result in a story. Last December, I was fortunate enough to find three local youth - Payton Welch, Michaela Johnston and Taylor Blackwell - who were turning 12 on 12-12-12.
    While there is no 13-13-13 on which to focus this year, that doesn't mean interesting calendar dates have stopped popping up. In fact, they've been appearing since 2010. In early August 2010 the calendar read 8-9-10. The following year produced a date of 9-10-11. And in mid-October of last year we had 10-11-12.
    The next big sequence day is today. While to the uninformed, or uninterested, it's just another November Tuesday, to number nuts like myself, it's impossible to ignore the fact that it's 11-12-13.
    While for many people this fact may not be worthy of discussion around the dinner table, other souls will mark the day with significant events. A recent story by Sharon Jayson in USA Today reported that many people will be exchanging wedding vows today, even though Tuesdays are not the traditional wedding day of a week. According to one bridal retail company, almost 2,300 weddings are slated to occur today. That total obviously doesn't include couples that may look at today's date and on a whim decide to get married.
    Today's estimated number of weddings pales with the total that is expected next year on 12-13-14. One wedding expert is already predicting 20,000 marriages on that notable date, which will fall on a Saturday.
    Many people are choosing to tie the knot today because their wedding anniversary will be easy to remember. Others believe there is some element of "luck" involved when getting married on a date that involves a sequential numbers, according to California numerologist Glynis McMants, whose 2010 book "Love by the Numbers" features a chapter on selecting wedding dates.
    The fact so many people are choosing today to get married has not been lost on those who cater to newlyweds. A quick Web search turned up multiple travel packages that offered the opportunity to exchange vows today in Las Vegas or on a tropical beach somewhere.
    Page 2 of 2 - Not everyone was thinking of marriage. I turned up a Facebook entry that was encouraging people to share the Word of God today by taking their Bible to school or work.
    Obviously this is not the first 11-12-13. There was one exactly 100 years ago. I invested over an hour of Web research in the hope I'd come up with some major news event from that date. But of course I was unsuccessful. The best I could find was:
    • A story about Pancho Villa capturing a coal train, dumping its contents and then filling it with roughly 2,000 of his men during the Battle of Juarez.
    • In the wake of the Titanic's sinking, the first International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea was convened in London, where the topic of patrolling ice regions was discussed.
    • And Edward C. Moats filed for a patent on this day for his folding stove, featuring two burners and an oven in one unit.
    Not exactly "stop-the-presses" stuff. Will Nov. 12, 2013, be any more memorable? We'll see.

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