12 Dec

Today has an interesting date.  I wouldn’t mention it, however, except that there won’t be another like it for many years.

Having mentioned it, I can’t think of anything interesting to say about it.

Having nothing interesting to say about it, I did some Google research.  I came across this little exchange on Yahoo! Answers:

Question: What word do you use when all numbers in the date are the same?  For example, tomorrow is the 8/8/2008. is there a word for this numerical phenomenon?  I’m in Australia. Its the 7th now.

Answer: 666 called the devil’s number…………….

Answer: August.

Answer: Umm… isnt the day after tomorrow the eighth?

There’s a surprising amount of stupidity on the internet.


I assumed there are only twelve occasions in a century when the numbers in a date are the same e.g.  1/1/1, 2/2/2 etc., but I read elsewhere – on the internet, of course – that there are 14.  The writer cited 1/11/11 and 11/11/1 but what about 11/1/11 and 1/11/1?  And isn’t it cheating because 1. There should be a zero in front of the ones and 1.1. One is not the same number as eleven?

If I use those arguments, I have a little problem myself: I lose nine dates i.e. 01/01/01. 02/02/02, etc.


The best source of information for today’s date was Wikipedia.  I can’t guarantee its accuracy, but I can repeat it:


Twelve! (Photo credit: Mrs Logic)

  • 12 is the natural number following 11 and preceding 13.  (I’m pretty sure that’s right.)
  • The word twelve is the largest number with a single-morpheme name in English.  (You get no argument from me.)
  • Twelve is a composite number, the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12. Twelve is also a highly composite number, the next one being 24. It is the first composite number of the form p2q; a square-prime, and also the first member of the (p2) family in this form. 12 has an aliquot sum of 16 (133% in abundance). Accordingly, 12 is the first abundant number (in fact a superabundant number) and demonstrates an 8 member aliquot sequence; {12,16,15,9,4,3,1,0} 12 is the 3rd composite number in the 3-aliquot tree. The only number which has 12 as its aliquot sum is the square 121. Only 2 other square primes are abundant (18 and 20). (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…)
  • The duodenum (from Latin duodecim, “twelve”) is the first part of the small intestine, that is about twelve inches (30 cm) long. More precisely, this section of the intestine was measured not in inches but in fingerwidths. In fact, in German the name of the duodenum is Zwölffingerdarm and in Dutch the name is twaalfvingerige darm, both meaning “twelve-finger bowel”.  (Gross but fascinating.)  (See what I did there?  Made a little number 12 joke.)
  • 12 appears a lot in religion and mythology.  (That last bit was paraphrased because there’s a massive chunk that I’m not going to c+p.  I want you to still like me after this post.)  (There’s an even bigger chunk about twelve in sports but, yawn…)
  • Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.  The Chinese go one better and use a 12 year cycle for time-reckoning called Earthly Branches.  (I have to take Wikipedia’s word for that; I’ve never seen one on the high street.)
  • Twelfth Night is a play by William Shakespeare.  (Speaking of which, can’t forget ye olde Twelve Days of Christmas.  But the less said about that, the better.)  (Twelfth Night in 1996 starred Helena Bonham Carter; HBC was in Novocaine with Kevin Bacon, giving her a Bacon Number of 1.  Kevin Bacon is the key component in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  From AR15OK, this is a trivia game that takes its name from the Movie “Six Degrees of Separation”, which refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.  There you have it: today’s date belongs to Kevin Bacon.)
  • Films:
    • 12
    • 12 Angry Men (1957 and 1997)
    • Cheaper by the Dozen (Oddly, no mention here of a re-make…)
    • Ocean’s Twelve (Baffling sequel, redeemed only by Brad Pitt.  He didn’t have to do anything, just look gorgeous)
    • 12 Monkeys (Brad Pitt again, proving he can act as well as look gorgeous)
    • The Dirty Dozen
    • 12 Rounds
    • Twelve
    • (No Twelfth Night.  Wikipedia’s obviously not a Shakespeare buff.)

Today’s post has been brought to you by the Number Twelve, and by a whiff of desperation.

40 Responses to “12.12.12”

  1. vivinfrance December 12, 2012 at 09:33 #

    I like your interjections better than all the Wiki stuff (specially the zeds)


  2. misswhiplash December 12, 2012 at 09:34 #

    I don’t think it can ever happen again …ever….. as there are only 12 months in a year so the farthest it could go is 12/12/12 or am I wrong?


  3. bevchen December 12, 2012 at 09:37 #

    12 Monkeys is a good film 😀


  4. Janet Williams December 12, 2012 at 10:06 #

    I’m lucky to have my nth birthday on 12.12.12!


  5. LoveHoundUK December 12, 2012 at 12:53 #

    what about numbers like 20.12.2012 ? That wont be happening again soon neither 😉


  6. mairedubhtx December 12, 2012 at 13:55 #

    12.12.12 is an important date today in the States as we are having a giant concert for the victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York City complete with Sir Paul McCartney, and New Jersey notables such as Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. New York artists such as Mary J. Blige will also appear. It will be a coming together of New York’s and New Jersey’s finest to raise money in a Robin Hood concert for their home states.


  7. laurieanichols December 12, 2012 at 14:41 #

    I feel smarter now, thanks Tilly:).


  8. sharechair December 12, 2012 at 14:57 #

    Thanks for teaching me all this stuff I didn’t know. I didn’t even notice the date. Whew!


  9. vastlycurious.com December 12, 2012 at 16:04 #

    Wonderful interpretation! My mind is racing.


  10. Katharine Trauger December 12, 2012 at 16:09 #

    Love it. I think I’ll post it on my wall, as in printing it and getting out the tape. Too cute. Thanks! 😉


  11. gigihawaii December 12, 2012 at 16:16 #

    Probably more info than we needed to know. I am not into numerology, nor into the end of the world that some people are predicting.


  12. robincoyle December 12, 2012 at 16:44 #

    Look at you getting all scientific on us.


  13. Al December 12, 2012 at 17:29 #

    Now Tilly Bud and her little elves
    Have written a blog about all the twelves
    As with everything in which she delves
    She’s pulled some facts from off the shelves.


  14. viveka December 12, 2012 at 19:19 #

    Brilliant job you have put down here … all the information.
    Still the world is around – and there will be more awkward dates to come … I’m sure
    And feel a lot more stupid after melt all this 12 information and I will never remember it neither.


  15. judithatwood December 12, 2012 at 20:41 #

    I enjoyed learning new stuff about 12. But isn’t the square root of 121, 11? Or am I reading it wrong? Anyway, thanks. I never tried this kind of post, but I do know that the greek word tristadekaphobia means fear of 13th.


  16. Pseu December 12, 2012 at 20:57 #

    A dodecahedron is a loverly word, and it is any polyhedron with twelve flat faces. I particularly like the great stellated dodecahedron, being as it is a star and very topical this time of year. It is composed of 12 intersecting pentagrammic faces, with three pentagrams meeting at each vertex. See here



  17. Tom (Aquatom1968) December 12, 2012 at 21:07 #

    You can never go wrong when a number contains an aliquot, Tilly.


  18. kateshrewsday December 12, 2012 at 23:02 #

    Well, how about that duodenum, Tilly.


  19. terry1954 December 12, 2012 at 23:43 #

    I noticed that today also, and wondered if that would ever happen again


  20. sarsm December 13, 2012 at 07:06 #

    Yesterday Aden told me it was, “The best day ever!” I thought at first he’d had a great day at school, but no, it was just because it was 12.12.12 #numbersboy 😉


  21. Gobetween December 13, 2012 at 17:56 #

    the internet is a strange place 😀


  22. eof737 December 16, 2012 at 21:09 #

    I like the order of the numbers and it means something completely different in numerology…


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