Today’s Dec. 12, 2012 (12-12-12) numerical anomaly has mathematicians and numerologist buzzing.
Though there is no official name for such a date, the quirky dateline event that occurs twelve times each century is know commonly as “date day” or “digit day.”
The significance of the number twelve in modern society is widespread.
A composite number, the smallest with six divisors, the number twelve is everywhere, if you know where to look.
There are twelve months of the year in the modern calendar and each 24 hours in a day is divided into two 12-hour halves.
In astronomy there are twelve signs of the zodiac and 12 stations of the moon and sun.
The number twelve also appears in the bible. There are twelve tribes of Israel and twelve Disciples of Christ.
In Greek mythology the twelve Olympians were the principal gods on the pantheon.
The Norse God Odin had twelve sons.
In Judaism a bat mitzvah, the passage into womanhood, is celebrated on the girl’s twelfth birthday.
In the classic song, there are twelve days of celebration during the Christmas season.
There are typically twelve standard keys on any telephone, which includes the numbers one though nine, plus the zero, star and pound buttons.
There are twelve books in author John Milton’s classic poem Paradise Lost.
There are also twelve basic hues in a traditional color wheel. Three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), three secondary colors (orange, green and purple) and six tertiary color hues between the primary colors and secondary colors.
Before England adopted the Euro, in the old British monetary system there were twelve pence in a shilling.
And in the U.S. federal reserve system there are twelve districts (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco)
Other interesting facts about the number twelve:
The atomic number of Magnesium on the periodic table
Former Jersey Number of Wade Boggs (retired by the Tampa Bay Rays)
Common diameter for an LP vinyl record
Total ounces in a troy pound (used to weight precious metals)
The number of pairs of ribs in the human body
Number of persons on the typical jury
Number of inches in a foot
Total number of humans who have walked on the moon
Total number of studio albums released by The Beatles
The number of knights that sat at King Arthur’s roundtable
Page 2 of 2 - Number of face cards in a deck of cards
Number of items in a dozen
Number of steps, traditions and concepts in Alcoholics Anonymous