Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eleven eleven eleven

Friday! Here it comes - 11-11-11. It's a date some people are slightly nervous about, and even ecstatic about if they're seeing it as a pivotal moment in the evolution of mankind, as is the case for lots of Mayan Calendar watchers.
Numerologists are excited about it too - check out this article by Christine deLorey for instance. She says, "we are at an important moment in time and there is more to it than meets the eye."
11:11 of course famously marked a huge moment in 1918. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month was when the Armistice was signed, thus ending the terrible Great War.
Why does a gaggle of elevens have the power to grab us? Maybe it's a hangover from the past. The number eleven was apparently regarded with some dread in medieval times, when numbers were often held to have mystical significance. There's even a new horror movie called 11-11-11, based on a widely reported 11:11 phenomenon, which is all about people constantly noticing that time on digital clocks.
Behavioural scientists say that rather than feeling something special is going on we should put our 11:11 alertness down to something called apophenia, which is the brain’s tendency to look for meaningful patterns in the world around us. Example: When women are dying to get pregnant they notice other women pushing baby buggies in the street and think they're everywhere, when in fact there are no more than there ever were. Or, anyone thinking about buying a red Honda will be noticing them all over the place too.
There are positive aspects for the date. Because some people really like the idea of 11-11-11 there are lots of weddings planned for the big day (almost 4000 scheduled in Las Vegas). And in New York they've poured extra effort into organizing Friday's Corduroy Appreciation Day, that being of course the date that most resembles the parallel lines in corduroy fabric. At one big party the required dress code is anything in corduroy... and course there's an 11-piece band.
Once Friday's over we can, hopefully, relax for another hundred years until 11-11-11 comes round again. That’s assuming of course we get through 2012.

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