The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

December 12, 2012

Does 12/12/12 mean anything?

OTTUMWA — Today marks the last time most people will see the date, month and year all use the same number.

Shorthand for today's date is 12/12/12 and, while something similar has happened every year since 2001, this will mark the last time this century. There is no 13th month in the calendar.

The number 12 has long had implications for religious numerology. There were 12 Olympians in the ancient Greek pantheon. The Bible records Jacob as having 12 sons, founders of the 12 tribes of Israel. The New Testament lists 12 apostles of Jesus.

The 12 nights between Christmas and Epiphany are called the 12 days of Christmas.

Shi'a Islam includes groups dubbed "twelvers," who believe there were 12 imams who were legitimate successors to Muhammed.

Need something newer? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, has a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Of course, not all uses are religious. Both the western and Chinese zodiacs have 12 signs. Fans both in American football and soccer are sometimes called the "12th Man." You need 12 strikes if you ever hope to bowl a perfect game.

King Arthur had 12 knights at the round table. Most people have 12 pairs of ribs. Juries commonly have 12 members, thus Henry Fonda's eponymous "12 Angry Men."

Reading this on a computer? Look down at your keyboard. There's a good chance it has 12 function keys: F1 through F12.

What comes to mind for you? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

AP National