Geeky Ways to Celebrate Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th comes three times in 2015 – make the most of it.

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You're in luck

We've cobbled together a slew of things for the geeky among you to do on Friday the 13th. And if you don't get around to all of them this time around, there's always Friday, March 13 and Friday, Nov. 13 this year.

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Don’t miss the day!

Mobile apps exist solely for the purpose of reminding you when Friday the 13th is coming up. Pocketkai’s free iOS app will remind you of the one to three Friday the 13ths coming up each year for the next 50 years. The Bogeyman’s Android app will do likewise, for the next 10 Friday the 13ths.

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White House faces down online scariness

It’s probably no coincidence that the White House choose Friday, Feb. 13 to convene its Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection considering how unlucky so many have been online. You can watch it live here (or perhaps attend if you are in the Stanford University area).

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Friday the 13th movies

Have yourself a little film festival, going back to the original 1980 Friday the 13th slasher flick based on the tragic death of young Jason Vorhees and all the way up to 2009's movie of the same name. A new edition had been slated for Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, but has been bumped to Friday, May 13, 2016.

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Beware the Friday the 13th Virus (if you still use DOS)

The Jerusalem virus, first detected in Jerusalem in 1987, was a DOS virus that infected executable files like crazy and included a destructive payload set to go off on Friday the 13th in every year except for 1987 and destroy all program files executed. The virus did in fact do damage.

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Listen Up

Everlast, Deer Tick and Tory Lanez are among the musical performers who have songs called “Friday the 13th,” in case you want to work up a quick mix. And if you’re feeling really unlucky, toss in Rebecca Black’s infamous “Friday.”

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Do the math

How often does Friday the 13th come around? Here’s an explanation courtesy of Wikipedia:

Each Gregorian 400-year cycle contains 146,097 days (365 × 400 = 146,000 normal days, plus 97 leap days). 146,097 ÷ 7 = 20,871 weeks. Thus, each cycle contains the same pattern of days of the week (and thus the same pattern of Fridays that are on the 13th). The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week.[20] On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days (compared to Thursday the 13th, which occurs only once every 213.59 days).

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Seek out $13 deals

For example, those of you in Las Vegas can attend Evil Dead: The Musical, for just $13! The deal is good for Friday the 13th and 14th.

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Play the XIII video game

This first-person, multiplatform shooter game from Ubisoft was released in late 2003 (Feral Interactive released a Mac OS X version). The game is loosely based on a Belgian comic book of the same name and follows the story of an amnesic man who tries to figure out who he is. You can still find older versions of the game on Amazon, etc., or opt for a re-imagining released in 2011 called XIII: Lost Identity, for the PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad.

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Coming in October?

Word is that a new Friday the 13th video game is in the works, so you might want to read up on it. Gamers are still trying to erase memories of the Nintendo Entertainment System Friday the 13th game from 1989, which critics have called one of the worst NES games ever.

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Shop online

This one’s for genuine sufferers of Triskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th. An anxiety disorders researcher at Rutgers University notes that “one study estimates that $800 to $900 million is lost in business on Friday the 13th because people stay home from work, refuse to fly or engage in routine business.”

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Upgrade to Version 13

Some longtime tech products have made it all the way to up to Version 13. Among them, Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Kurzweil 3000 for Windows education software.

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Party Time

Clever party planners, borrowing heavily from Halloween festivities no doubt, have posted all sorts of ideas online to help you enjoy the 13th. Pinterest users, for instance, offer up suggestions like this frozen hand ice cube and bone-shaped pretzels covered in marshmallow.

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Get lucky

Call them daft, but some people figure Friday the 13th is so unlucky that they think it might be lucky for them. One Network World reader posted on our Facebook page that he always gets a lottery ticket on Friday the 13th: Hasn’t won yet, but keeps trying.