January 13 | Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th – a day feared by 8% of the US population according to fearof.net.

Paraskevidekatriaphobes is the fear of Friday the 13th. Why are so many people afraid of this date? Fearof.net suggests it could be due to the date being associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, or the day the Knights Templars were tortured by King Philip IV. Or perhaps it’s due to pop culture and the Friday the 13th movies with Jason Voorhees in his hockey mask.

This just so happens to also be the day that the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for the Spalding Adding Machine in 1874, a precursor of calculators and computers of today. Today also marks the 17th anniversary of Microsoft without Bill Gates at the helm as CEO (he stepped down today in 2000 paving the way for Steve Ballmer to take over).

Today is also the day that the Friday the 13th virus (aka the Jerusalem virus) hit IBM computers in the UK in 1989.

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