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Don't be scared, there’s plenty to do on Friday, Sept. 13
You're in luck: We’ve cobbled together a slew of things for the geeky among you to do on Friday the 13th. And if you don’t get around to all of them this time around, there’s always Friday, Dec. 13 to look forward to.
Get the apps
App developers have come to the rescue of those of you who can’t figure out when the next Friday the 13th will be. Among the apps is Fifty Eggs’ Friday 13th, which provides a countdown until the next big unlucky day for just 99 cents. A free app, from Pocketkai, calculates all Friday the 13ths for the next 50 years and can popular your calendar with them.
Friday the 13th movies
Have yourself a little film festival, going back to the original 1980 Friday the 13th slasher flick based on the tragic death of young Jason Vorhees and all the way up to 2009’s movie of the same name. Warner Bros. is releasing a 10-disc Blu-ray set on Sept. 13, 2013.
Beware the Friday the 13th Virus (if you still use DOS)
The Jerusalem virus, first detected in Jerusalem in 1987, was a DOS virus that infected executable files like crazy and included a destructive payload set to go off on Friday the 13th in every year except for 1987 and destroy all program files executed. The virus did in fact do damage.
This one’s for genuine suffers of Triskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th. An anxiety disorders researcher at Rutgers University notes that “one study estimates that $800 to $900 million is lost in business on Friday the 13th because people stay home from work, refuse to fly or engage in routine business.”
Clever party planners, borrowing heavily from Halloween festivities no doubt, have posted all sorts of ideas online to help you enjoy the 13th. Pinterest users, for instance, offer up suggestions like this frozen hand ice cube and bone-shaped pretzels covered in marshmallow.
Play the XIII video game
This first-person, multiplatform shooter game from Ubisoft was released in late 2003 (Feral Interactive released a Mac OS X version). The game is loosely based on a Belgian comic book of the same name and follows the story of an amnesic man who tries to figure out who he is. You can still find older versions of the game on Amazon, etc., or opt for a re-imagining released in 2011 called XIII: Lost Identity, for the PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Thirteen years ago the world went into panic mode over an expected widespread computer meltdown due to the notorious Y2K bug, resulting in computers not properly recognizing the new year after dealing with only 1900s in previous years. Who wasn’t panicking? The tech consultants who made a bundle helping companies fix their computer systems in advance.
Update to Version 13
Lots of tech products have moved onto Version 13 this year. Among them: Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) and 13.10 (Saucy Salamander); CA Clarity PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) 13.1; Avantstar’s Quick View Plus file-viewing software; Intel’s C++ Compiler for Android App developers; and Forte Research Systems’s OnCore Enteprise Research system. Any in your shop?
Nothing says Friday the 13th like flying sharks
Australian moviegoers can take in that country’s Friday the 13th premiere of Sharknado.
Do the Math
How often does Friday the 13th come around? Here’s an explanation courtesy of Wikipedia:
Each Gregorian 400-year cycle contains 146,097 days (365 × 400 = 146,000 normal days, plus 97 leap days). 146,097 ÷ 7 = 20,871 weeks. Thus, each cycle contains the same pattern of days of the week (and thus the same pattern of Fridays that are on the 13th). The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week. 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).
Everlast, Deer Tick and Tory Lanez are among the musical performers who have songs called “Friday the 13th,” in case you want to work up a quick mix. And if you’re feeling really unlucky, toss in Rebecca Black’s infamous “Friday.”
Call them daft, but some people figure Friday the 13th is so unlucky that they think it might be lucky for them. One Network World reader posted on our Facebook page that he always gets a lottery ticket on Friday the 13th: Hasn’t won yet, but keeps trying.