A Day of Twelves, But What Does It All Mean?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

(Brendan Murphy/flickr)

An essay from our host, John Hockenberry, in celebration of December 12, 2012. 

I was awake — or this morning — to see the 12s line up on my clock. Twice today it will be 12 minutes and 12 seconds after 12 on 12/12. Fascinating bit of numerological silliness. The universe of course has no idea about the 12s, and truth be told on the 24-hour calendar which is the only real one the harmonic convergence of the 12s will only happen once today. It's already for some of you, and for others, not yet.

There's something about twelve. It has a strange spelling and strange sound. Of course this is only in English. In Spanish it's doce. They have it right. In English the shift from the cardinal twelve to the ordinal twelfth. An 'f' sound and a 'th' sound. Who can even say that without a windshield wiper the 12th second of the 12th minute of the 12th hour of the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the 21st century. Twelve, twenty-one. That's pretty cool too.

Of course 12 has a lot of factors, a 2 and 3 and a 4 and a 6. It's a very cooperative number.

Twelve months for the approximate 12 revolutions of the moon around the earth each year. The universe may actually be aware of this bit of twelve-ness. So 12 is good luck?

I guess it was for the North Koreans who successfully launched a intercontinental missile today with the help of Iran. They needed all the luck they could get after a lot of screw ups, and think of the bad Karma. A room full of Iranian and North Korean missile launchers — that's got to be the equivalent of a dumpster full of smashed mirrors, a parade of black cats, step on the crack break your mother's back mother load of bad Karma. North Koreans, the Mayans of our time. They needed the 12s big time.

Hosted by:

John Hockenberry

Produced by:

Jay Cowit

Comments [2]

Ed from Larchmont

12 is a very Biblical number. 12 stands for the Jewish people in some places: the 12 tribes of Israel, and the Israelites entered the promised land about 1200 BC, they had 12 centuries of preparation for Christ.

In Revelation the new city is built on twelve courses of stone, has 12 gates of pearl, and in one of her apparitions Mary has 12 stars in a crown.

I wouldn't be surprised if physical reality in string theory is found to have not 11 but 12 dimensions.

Dec. 13 2012 05:50 AM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Throughout history numbers have had a mystical quality to them, but 12-12-12 just looks funny

Dec. 12 2012 01:18 PM

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