Triskaidekaphobia Trivia

A little bit of trivia for gadling readers today. Everyone knows that the number 13 is supposed to be bad luck.
There are many buildings in major cities and elsewhere where the
13th floor has actually been
“left out”, that is, while there is technically a thirteenth floor, the elevator buttons go from 12 to 14. Some say the
problems with the Apollo 13 space flight was
due to its association with this unlucky number. John Mayer’s album Room for Squares has a 13th track, but it is
basically blank. And who can forget

Jason the lake-based serial killer
who sliced up so many folks in all those awful movies?

What a superstitious species we are!

Well, how many people actually know the origin of
Triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number 13? Some say
that the superstition has to do with there being 13 apostles at the last supper, but the superstition probably goes
back a lot further than that. For example, the Mesopotamian
Code of Hammurabi,
one of the earliest sets of written laws, omits 13 in its numbered list. The fact is, no one really knows where this
fear came from. Perhaps from aliens?

But it the number really bad? Our
, which has been suffering late late, come to think of it, is riddled with 13s. For example, there

    * 13 levels of the truncated pyramid,

    * 13 stripes on the flag,

    * 13 letters in “E Pluribus Unum”,

    * 13 stars above the Eagle,

    * 13 leaves on the olive branch,

    * 13 arrows held by the Eagle, and

    * 13 bars on the shield.

Very strange.

By the way, fear of the double-whammy of Friday the 13th is known as