The kind of sequence happening Thursday is one that's been occurring every year since 2003, when we had 01/02/03. It will end for a while in 2014, with 12/13/14. Then we'll need to wait until 2103.
NEW YORK — So what are you doing on Thursday to mark this special day, numerically speaking? That’s right, it’s 10-11-12.
At one wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Forever Grand at the MGM Resorts, there’s a special numerology package, including a chapel, a pianist, a minister and a limo to the courthouse, among other things. (And if you’re just finding out about this, it isn’t too late: There’s another special at Forever Grand for 12/12/12.)
Or maybe the day is merely significant enough to go buy a lottery ticket.
“People like a fluency in numbers,” says associate professor Rajesh Bagchi at Virginia Tech who also studies numbers psychology. “The sequence of 10-11-12 is fluent, and it goes up, so it can have a pleasing effect. It can feel right. So someone might decide, for example, to buy a lottery ticket.”
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How rare is the day? After all, there will be a neat moment right around the time many alarm clocks ring at 07:08:09, on 10-11-12. But won’t it be better later this year, on Dec. 12, when we will have 12:12:12 on 12/12/12?
In fact, the kind of sequence happening Thursday is one that’s been occurring every year since 2003, when we had 01/02/03. It will end for a while in 2014, with 12/13/14. Then we’ll need to wait until 2103. “It basically happens in the early years of a new century,” says Geoff Chester, public-affairs officer at the U.S. Naval Observatory, which, if you didn’t know, is the official timekeeper for the Department of Defense.
“Really, this is just a numerological curiosity,” says Chester. “People find it amusing. But there is no cosmic significance. It’s an artifact of the calendar and time system that we use.”