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Heavy Event! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Our friend Scot Morris refers to numerology as “the one true pseudoscience,” and alerts us that Mr. Jerry Slocum – prefacing it with “I had a deep feeling that you just needed to know this” – has discovered that at 5 minutes and 6 seconds after 4 a.m., on the 8th of July, this year, the time and date will be:  04:05:06 07-08-09! This will not happen again until the year 3009!

What fun the numerologists will have with this! How rich can your life get…?

 

UPDATED: Reader Greg Baylor points out:

One of your messages says that at 04 05 06 am on June 7, 2009 the sequence will be 04 05 06 07 08 09.  Next year at 05 06 07 on Aug. 08, 2010 it will be 05 06 07 08 09 10...this can go on and on...

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written by pokerchick, May 12, 2009
Except that it will happen next year at 05:06:07 08-09-10...

And it's happened for the last 3 years this decade...
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written by joeybernard, May 12, 2009
How very American. What about everyone who uses ISO date formats? Then it will happen on the 7th of August.
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written by Elexina, May 12, 2009
My husband will be going to see Judas Priest on that day. That's an appropriate way to celebrate the convergence of the numerological universe, right?
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Let's celebrate
written by Round Square, May 12, 2009
As long as people don't attach any mystical significance to it, I really don't see the problem. It's a bit of harmless fun, like celebrating pi day each year.
In fact, I'd say celebrating such days is a pure exercise in recognizing our innate tendency to find patterns, an awareness of which should help people to be more open to a skeptical view of the world, because it may make them think twice about what other nonsensical patterns they might have found.
Celebrate nonsense! It's the only way to hold up a mirror to the world.
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The Last One Until 3009?
written by Realitysage, May 12, 2009
I can hardly wait!
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written by Tim Harrod, May 12, 2009
Seems to me it will happen again 12 hours later.
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written by dasmiller, May 12, 2009
Back in my younger days, I remember back in May of '78 when I was eating lunch with some friends and the time was 12:34:56 05-06-78. We drank a toast to it, I think.
And we won't see anything as compelling as that until . . . umm . . the morning of September 9th, when it will be 9:09:09 09-09-09
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written by dasmiller, May 12, 2009
oops - didn't need the ":56" in the previous post
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written by mazyloron, May 12, 2009
Given the standard US 12-hour time-date format, this will happen twice within the same day, on one day out of every year, for years 06-14 of a given century. 01:02:03 04-05-06 - 09:10:11 12-13-14
In a US 24-hour time format, this happens once per day, one day per year, for years 05-14 of any given century. 00:01:02 03-04-05 - 09:10:11 12-13-14

When you start using non-US time-date formats (why anyone would do this is beyond me, but I hear there are people who do, for whatever reason smilies/wink.gif ), then of course it can happen multiple times throughout the year, based on various formats.

Also, for the first eight (00-0smilies/cool.gif years of a given century, you could have descending dates. 05:04:03 02-01-00 - 12:11:10 09-08-07
With 24-hour time, this can go on for years 00-10 of each century. 05:04:03 02-01-00 - 15:14:13 12-11-10
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written by mazyloron, May 12, 2009
first eight (00-0smilies/cool.gif years


Oops!

first eight ( 00 - 08 ) years
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written by mazyloron, May 12, 2009
Proofread!

00 - 07, is what I meant to say.
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written by janey31224, May 12, 2009
Actually, If one is outside the US, the date will be the 7th of August - Europeans the day first, then the month, then the year - just so you know!
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written by mazyloron, May 12, 2009
Actually, If one is outside the US, the date will be the 7th of August - Europeans the day first, then the month, then the year - just so you know!

Yeah, that whole metric time thing is too crazy to keep track of. smilies/wink.gif
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written by Mike Xeno, May 12, 2009
I'm surprised no one's pointed out that we don't have to wait a thousand years. 04:05:06 07-08-09 will happen again in 2109, and again in 2209, and again in 2309, and six more times after that before 3009.

Not that it matters...
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I know when I'm gonna die!
written by charlieocean, May 12, 2009
I went to a numerologist in Butte, Montana in 1977 and after gathering information, she informed me that I was going to die on July 7th, 2015.

Therefore I have made the appropriate arrangements ahead of time and will be spending that day in bed (just in case she was wrong).

Wasn't there a scene in M*A*SH similar to this scenario?

CO
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Fun with Numbers
written by StarTrekLivz, May 12, 2009
The town of Hell, Michigan (there really is such a place, Zip Code 48169; and they have a National Weather Service station so they can report annually when Hell freezes over) held a Major Festival on 06-06-06 - June 6, 2006, or 666. It was fun!
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Death Forecast
written by StarTrekLivz, May 12, 2009
Dear charlieocean, you state that the day you are predicted to die, you plan on spending the whole day in bed.

Inquiring minds want to know: with whom?
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Hell On Earth
written by StarTrekLivz, May 12, 2009
O Ye of Little Faith
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Death Forecast 2
written by charlieocean, May 12, 2009
I think I'll be alone with the doors locked. I don't want one of my kids rolling over on me and making this a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don't want the dog biting me and giving me rabies and I certainly can't eat, as I might choke on something.

I'm just gonna be real still and hope the house doesn't get hit by a meteorite or catch fire.

CO
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written by JasonPatterson, May 12, 2009
I'm just gonna be real still and hope the house doesn't get hit by a meteorite or catch fire.


I think it'll be a falling sperm whale or perhaps a pot of petunias.
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The Irony
written by Realitysage, May 12, 2009
"The town of Hell, Michigan (there really is such a place)"
And the road leading to it is literally called "Darwin."
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Time system
written by Johan Stuyts, May 12, 2009
If we change our arbitrary time system to another arbitrary time system each year, we can have loads of numerological events each year. The world would be a much better place.
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@ Pokerchick: Nope
written by BillyJoe, May 13, 2009
Jerry Slocum:
at 5 minutes and 6 seconds after 4 a.m., on the 8th of July, this year, the time and date will be: 04:05:06 07-08-09! This will not happen again until the year 3009!

Pokerchick:
Except that it will happen next year at 05:06:07 08-09-10...

I don't think so.

BJ
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Randi still blindly passing on errors. :(
written by BillyJoe, May 13, 2009
I'm surprised no one's pointed out that we don't have to wait a thousand years. 04:05:06 07-08-09 will happen again in 2109, and again in 2209, and again in 2309, and six more times after that before 3009.

I'm glad someone else picked up on this one smilies/smiley.gif

BJ
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written by bosshog, May 13, 2009
What of the many cultures (Chinese, Jewish etc) that use an entirely different calendar?
This reminds me of the Y2K nonsense. Years, months, days, hours - all are just arbitrary tags we use to try and predict how soon we will die.
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written by Karl_Withakay, May 13, 2009
A European might wonder what's so special about 04:05:06 08-07-09.
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written by Kuroyume, May 13, 2009
This reminds me of the Y2K nonsense. Years, months, days, hours - all are just arbitrary tags we use to try and predict how soon we will die.


Now hold on. Facts. Y2K didn't have as much to do with arbitrary temporal tags as it did with a long-used standard in computer technology for storing dates and times which continued to be in use for some time despite the increase in various memory and storage technologies. One reason that the scare didn't pan out is that many hardware, firmware, and software companies had long before started using a more appropriate standard to store dates and times. Another is that many others did the work and testing to update archaic systems. For the most part, though, the Y2K scare was shilling for, well, shillings. "Spared no expense" comes to mind. smilies/smiley.gif

I was there for the event. Primestar actually revamped and tested all of its systems prior to the arrival of 2000. I had to fly back to Philadelphia (Bala Cynwyd, actually) for New Year's Eve after having already been moved to Denver in the DirecTV acquisition of Primestar to participate in the Y2K monitoring. Luckily, nothing of interest happened.

So, I agree that human time marking is arbitrary to a certain extent (though we argue that some of it is based on astronomical events such as Earth rotation, solar orbit, lunar cycles, and so on) but Y2K had to do with numerical size limitations on computers and not time per se.
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written by Caligo, May 13, 2009
I agree with Kuroyume. Y2K was a real problem with computers, not a numerological event. The problem with Y2K was that the media blew the problem way out of proportion.
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@ mazyloren
written by FrankH, May 13, 2009
first eight (00-08 ) years of a given century


It's not like me to be pedantic* but year 00 is the last year of the century, not the first.


*If you believe that you'll believe anything. (And you don't belong here. smilies/wink.gif )
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written by Kuroyume, May 13, 2009
??

All of the year 2000 we were repeatedly told that we were "now in the 21st Century". Did I miss a memo? smilies/wink.gif
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written by photopat, May 13, 2009
Of course there's always 12:34:56 on 7/8/09. That'll happen twice in one day.
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@ Kuroyume
written by FrankH, May 13, 2009
The first century began with year 1 and ended with year 100.
The second century started with year 101 and ended with year 200...

...The 20th century started with year 1901 and ended with year 2000.

Being told something repeatedly is not a good reason to believe it. smilies/wink.gif
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Why?
written by Jefoid, May 14, 2009
Why bother on this particular story? I see no sign that anyone was hurt by this "miracle". No one was denied medical care, nor given special treatment. There is a point to skepticism that should go beyond "we're right and your wrong, nya, nya." This story simply doesn't meet that criteria. When we waste our time on pointless sniping, we loose credibility when we bring up beliefs that do harm people. Save your ammo for when it matters people, this is just being mean with no potential benefit.
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written by Jefoid, May 14, 2009
Darn, posted on wrong story, sorry folks, rookie mistake.
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written by Kuroyume, May 14, 2009
@FrankH: Thanks for the info. I'm not really big on the arbitrary Christian-based calendar for years. We've slightly moved away with B.C.E and C.E. annotations but this whole notion of before and after should be at least pushed back to a more significant event (like the first beer brew - Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia). smilies/grin.gif
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written by Karl_Withakay, May 14, 2009
Kuroyume
I think what bosshog was talking abut in regards to Y2K nonsense wasn't the computer issue, but all the apocalyptic millennium end of the word/ rapture BS that surrounded the approach of the year 2000.

The whole millennium thing was amusing given that Jesus was probably born around 6 BC, and thus our AD/ Common Era calendar system essentially has an arbitrary starting point.

To talk about whether the 21st century started in 2000 or 2001 kind of bypasses the artificial nature of defining eras on nice round numbers of years. Are we really living in a different era than the 20th century? Does it really make a difference whether 2000 was in the 20th or 21st century? Is someone born in 1979 really from a different cultural generation that someone born in 1980?
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written by Caller X, May 14, 2009
written by bosshog, May 13, 2009
What of the many cultures (Chinese, Jewish etc) that use an entirely different calendar?
This reminds me of the Y2K nonsense. Years, months, days, hours - all are just arbitrary tags we use to try and predict how soon we will die.


So typical of too many skeptics, overwhelmed by the need to criticize, but unmindful of the fact that the "Y2K nonsense" was rooted in a realistic concern about predictable and unpredictable problems caused by the large number of legacy computer systems which were built with 2-digit years in the days when memory was something to be conserved. Clearly bosshog is still conserving it.
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written by pxatkins, May 14, 2009
"The whole millennium thing was amusing given that Jesus was probably born around 6 BC, and thus our AD/ Common Era calendar system essentially has an arbitrary starting point."

awwww ... bless. Who's gonna break it to Karl? smilies/wink.gif
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Mischief anyone?
written by pxatkins, May 14, 2009
What's the betting that the rumour soon emerges that all computers will crash because of the binary implications of 11 minutes and one second after midnight Dec 31/Jan 1st 2010?

001101010110

That may be inaccurate, but when has that stopped them before? (p.s. I absolve myself from this rumour Mr Gates, it wasn't me ... ) smilies/shocked.gif
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written by Kuroyume, May 14, 2009
It doesn't matter. Time, in computers, is now retrieved in an appropriate large value (long 32-bit or long long 64-bit) expressed as seconds since some 'arbitrary' 0-value start:

Wikipedia: For example, Unix and POSIX-compliant systems encode system time as the number of seconds elapsed since the start of the epoch at 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Z. Microsoft Windows counts the number of 100-nanosecond ticks since 1601-01-01 00:00:00 Z as reckoned in the proleptic Gregorian calendar.


In a 32-bit system, this means a signed long value (2^31) can handle up to 68 years since the 1970 epoch (203smilies/cool.gif. An unsigned value (2^32), double that. With the advent of 64-bit, the number (2^63) can be sustained for hundreds of billions of years (still, in seconds).

Noone really stores dates as 123199 (Dec 31 1999) anymore to conserve memory or disk storage space. There may be backwater systems still employing it but they would have no effect whatsoever on any critical systems. Embedded systems typically need to employ memory and storage conversation to extremes but compression technologies today can store much more data in compacted formats (jpg, mpg, gzip, et al) and compressors/decompressors are supplied in chip form.
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written by Karl_Withakay, May 14, 2009
Just to clarify what I meant by my "The whole millennium thing was amusing given that Jesus was probably born around 6 BC, and thus our AD/ Common Era calendar system essentially has an arbitrary starting point." comment was that even if you were someone who believed in one or more of the following:

a.) the divinity of Jesus (I don't)
b.) the second coming of Jesus or the rapture (I don't/don't)
c.) some significance in a date 2000 years after the birth of Jesus (I don't)

There would STILL would have been no reason to apply any significance to the years 2000 or 2001 other than that the number 2000 looks good on a calendar and we hadn't yet sent that mission to Jupiter to look for the monolith.
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@ Karl_Withakay re: arbitrariness
written by FrankH, May 14, 2009
Karl_Withakay, May 14, 2009
Kuroyume
The whole millennium thing was amusing given that Jesus was probably born around 6 BC, and thus our AD/ Common Era calendar system essentially has an arbitrary starting point...

But a starting point nonetheless. If you're going to count the years it makes sense to start counting from some point which almost by definition will be arbitrary.

...Does it really make a difference whether 2000 was in the 20th or 21st century? ...

Does it make a difference if you're in Texas or Mexico? If you want to know whether you're in one place or another it helps to know where one stops and the other starts, doesn't it?
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written by Trez, May 15, 2009
I do distinctly remember there being big "wooo's" when it was 12:34 and 56 seconds on the 7th of August 1990

In the UK, that would be 12:34:56 7/8/90

Which is much more fun smilies/smiley.gif
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written by RobNYNY1957, May 15, 2009
In Europe, that won't happen until August.
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written by Karl_Withakay, May 15, 2009
FrankH,
I agree that you do need a starting point to count from, I was just pointing out that there is really nothing significant to the starting point chosen.

"Does it make a difference if you're in Texas or Mexico" It does more so than the decade or century you're in. Texas and Mexico have different governments and different sets of laws, so it's important to know which one you're in, but a century is sort of an arbitrary designation.

There aren't different sets of rules relating to the 21st century than the 20th or any criteria to clearly distinguish one century from the other besides that fact that we designate them as different time periods.

I'm not saying that measuring the years with decades or centuries is useless, just that it is less significant then we tend to think.

Is talking about the 20th century as a distinctive era any more meaningful than talking about the era from 1837-1936? Round numbers are easier to grasp, and it's easier to think of the passage of years as being quantized into discrete divisions, but 1899 is really no more in a different era from 1900 than 1383 is in a different era than 1984. Decades and centuries are convenient divisions of time, but they give a false or exaggerated sense of meaningfulness to those divisions.
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written by bobobob, May 15, 2009
even as a citizen and resident of the USA, I refuse to use the backward date format, and will "celebrate" in August, not July.
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written by BillyJoe, May 15, 2009
The American way of writing dates are like counting numbers 2 1 3
I don't think even an American would do that.
...well, not past primary school anyway.

smilies/cool.gif

BJ
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numerology is a science
written by Herc, May 18, 2009
On 02 02 2002 I proved God! I realised that when people replied to me their name indicates what they write!

http://groups.google.com/group/uk.org.mensa/msg/10e0fe5f633340be?hl=en

"their alias is reflective of their message, part of deity"


Then on 02 02 2003, exactly 1 year later I got several replies that the message matched the alias, this is 1.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.magic/msg/b92519b20de3941e?hl=en

where Rich Shewmaker tells me to apply to James Randi for the prize. Randi is a paranormal show-maker and is rich! It's a million to one.
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