Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Your Questions Answered?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Your Questions Answered?

Article excerpt

Last week we asked why the number 13 was thought to be unlucky.

Studies show about 10 per cent of people have triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number 13.

According to one of the world's leading authorities on the subject, American Dr Thomas Fernsler, famous triskaidekaphobes include Napoleon Bonaparte, Herbert Hoover, Mark Twain and Richard Wagner.

US President Franklin D Roosevelt was a particularly severe example. He used to invite his secretary to lunch or dinner to boost numbers if there threatened to be 13 around the table. He also avoided any visits arranged for the thirteenth of the month.

The prejudice against the number 13 is usually blamed on the Last Supper where the 13th diner was traitor Judas Iscariot. Even today the Savoy Hotel seats a large black wooden cat at any table of 13 diners to make the numbers up to 14.

And the world famous London building Canary Wharf does not have a thirteenth floor. Anyone using the lifts there will notice that the buttons jump from 12 to 14.

Some people point to Apollo 13 as proof that the number is the bearer of bad fortune.

The ill fated spaceship was launched on 11 April 1970 (1+1+4+7+0=13) from pad 39 (three times 13) at 13:13 local time, and was hit by an explosion on April 13.

Another possibility is that the supersition orginates from the ancient Egyptians. They thought the 13th step was the last of the ladder by which the soul reached eternity.

NWe also asked what causes deja vu?

Some religions believe that before we were born we enjoyed a pre-mortal experience where we saw snippets of out future life.

All that is happening when deja vu occurs is remembering what we viewed all those years before.

It is also suggested that the person experiencing deja vu has in fact been there before, long ago, and has blocked out the memory for some reason. …

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