July 2011 and the 823 years email

We’ve all had it, haven’t we?

Not that. Get your mind out of the gutter.

No. I’m talking about the “There are 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays in [month] – this won’t happen again for 823 years” email.

I got it about October last year and I’ve had another million copies delivered because *shock* it’s happening in July 2011 too. What are the chances of two of the possible seven occurrences of this “once in every 823 years” event happening just a few short months apart?
We live in privileged times indeed.

Except that it’s obviously untrue. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Apart from the people who keep forwarding this nonsense, of course.

In actual fact, every month with 31 days has to have 3 x 5 of something. Otherwise there wouldn’t be enough days to fill it up. And, even allowing for leap years, the maximum time between these months with any 5 x 3 given days is 11 years. In fact, because of leap years, this phenomenon follows a set 6-5-6-11 pattern (as confirmed by Snopes.com).

So, July 2005 had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, July 2011 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays and so will July 2016, July 2022 and July 2033.
I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that rather than having just one more of these “Moneybags” July months in the next 823 years, we’re actually looking good for 29 of them. Bingo.

Obviously, this goes for any combination of 3 x 5 days in any given 31 day month.

Thus, next time you get that email, reply to sender with a link to this page and stop them from spreading the stupidity yet further.

When we were top the league

Yes, Sheffield football is currently suffering, but I was recently reminded by a friend on Facebook that there was a time – however brief – when my beloved Sheffield United were top of the Premier League league – and Man U were bottom:

Fans of the Manchester club may want to look away rather than watch that YouTube clip as Brian Deane and the Blades tear through Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Peter Schmeichel et al (see line ups below) on the way to a memorable 2-1 victory which I still remember.
And while – 19 years on – the Red and White Wizzzzzzaaaaaaards find themselves in unhappier times, it’s somehow reassuring to note that some things never change with a (slightly younger) Alex Ferguson er… blaming the ref for the defeat.

Whodathunkit?

That season we beat (amongst others) Liverpool (1-0), Chelsea (4-2) and Spurs (6-0) at Fortress Bramall Lane, finishing in 14th place overall with 52 points. Brian Deane ended the season alongside Hughes, Cantona and Le Tissier with 15 goals.

Happy days.

Sheffield United 2-1 Manchester United
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
15th August 1992

Goals: Deane (5) 1-0; Deane pen (50) 2-0; Hughes (61) 2-1.

Sheffield United: Tracey; Gage, Barnes, Gannon (Hartfield, 86), Beesley, McLeary, Bradshaw, Lake, Cork, Deane, Hodges (Bryson, 68). Substitute not used: Kelly.
Manchester United: Schmeichel; Irwin, Blackmore, Bruce, Ferguson, Pallister, Kanchelskis (Dublin, 68), Ince (Phelan, 7), McClair, Hughes, Giggs.

Referee: B Hill (Kettering).

Heads up!

No big announcement, as you may have expected from the title of this post, merely this from the very same weekend a year ago.

That’s France’s Jeremy Toulalan and Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira challenging for a ball which I comprehensively failed to get in shot. This was the second game of the tournament after the Bafana Bafana v Mexico game which we watched with a couple of hundred thousand others at the Waterfront. This one ended 0-0, meaning that I had watched a total of 3½ hours of football at the Cape Town Stadium without seeing a goal.

Fortunately, 39 minutes into the next game in Cape Town (a bitterly cold affair between Italy and Paraguay), Antolín Alcaraz scored for the South Americans and the duck was broken, only to return for the utterly dismal England v Algeria game a few days later.

Expect more quota photos loosely tied around a World Cup 2010 theme this month and every other June for ever and ever.

One hundred

Amazing.

Please say hello to my Auntie Hazel, all the way from the Isle of Man.

She’s just got off that trike behind her. And here’s the scoop from local radio station 3FM:

A local woman has been sharing her birthday with the Mountain course.
TT 2011 is the centenary of the Mountain Course. Hazel Dean yesterday reached a milestone of her own celebrating her 100th birthday.
As a special treat for the lifelong TT fan, her family arranged for her to go on a parade lap of the Mountain Course, on a trike.
3FM caught up her after a 37¾ mile trip, she said it was a wonderful birthday surprise.

Which was nice to read. What was even better was when I got to hear how she felt about it as well.

[audio:http://6000.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/381955.mp3|titles=Auntie Hazel]

Sounds good for 100 years old, hey?

Thanks to Ben Sowrey and the guys at 3FM for the permission to use their stuffs.

Was the E.coli outbreak started deliberately?

Was the E.coli outbreak started deliberately? In a word, no.

But that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theorists theorising in a conspiracic manner. In particular, Mike Adams, aka “the Health Ranger” and Editor of NaturalNews.com.

The evidence now points to this deadly strain of e.coli [sic] being engineered and then either being released into the food supply or somehow escaping from a lab and entering the food supply inadvertently. If you disagree with that conclusion — and you’re certainly welcome to — then you are forced to conclude that this octobiotic superbug (immune to eight classes of antibiotics) developed randomly on its own… and that conclusion is far scarier than the “bioengineered” explanation because it means octobiotic superbugs can simply appear anywhere at any time without cause. That would be quite an exotic theory indeed.

My conclusion actually makes more sense: This strain of e.coli [sic] was almost certainly engineered and then released into the food supply for a specific purpose.

He even comes up with a new word “Octobiotic”  that when subjected to some basic etymology (literally “Eight living component of a community”) doesn’t actually mean what he probably wants it to mean. What a tosser.

Adams’ argument is that there is no way that this could have happened accidentally.

There’s really only one way this happens (and only one way) — you have to expose this strain of e.coli [sic] to all eight classes of antibiotics drugs.

So Adams reckons that there must have been some “dark forces” at work to genetically engineer such a resistant bacterial strain. Now I don’t want to get all technical on you here, but theoretically, it could be done by subjecting the bugs in question to an antibiotic (let’s call it antibiotic 1) and by using natural selection to naturally select the resistant bacteria – ie. the one that don’t die – you have bugs that are resistant to antibiotic 1.
Then you expose them to the next antibiotic (2) and take the ones that survive. These bugs are now resistant to antibiotics 1 and 2. Then you to expose to antibiotic 3 and… look you get the idea, I’m sure.

And yes, to the uneducated, (like Adams) perhaps it does sound like this could never have happened accidentally. But (sadly) that’s actually exactly what happens in hospitals every day.
And thus, hospitals are breeding grounds for superbugs. Something Mike Adams might have known if he’d only read this 2009 post entitled Hospitals Are Breeding Grounds for Superbugs by… er… Mike Adams, aka “the Health Ranger”:

On the pharmaceutical side, superbugs are also caused by the rampant abuse of antibiotics by doctors, who seem to prescribe them for everything under the sun –  including those things that are completely unaffected by antibiotics such as viral infections.

Oh dear.

But despite his own damning evidence against his own preposterous claim, Adams brings another gem to the precious stone party:

For example, if this bacteria originated in the food (as we’ve been told), then where did it acquire all this antibiotic resistance given the fact that antibiotics are not used in vegetables?

Well, that’s bullshit, Mike. Not just your idea, but the answer to your question as well. Antibiotics, given to cows, excreted in their faeces, which are then used to fertilise our salad crops.

All of which pours cold water on Adams’ theory that:

Nearly all the deaths now attributable to this e.coli [sic] outbreak are deaths of ignorance. But even more, they may also be deaths from a new era of food-based bioweapons unleashed by either a group of mad scientists or an agenda-driven institution that has declared war on the human population.

Ignorance. It kills. Something Mike Adams might want to consider before ever writing anything ever again.