11/11/11: A Rare And Unusual Day

11/11/11 is a much-anticipated day. Obviously, it contains all of the same digits (like 1/1/1, 2/2/2 and so on…), and it is a palindromic date. (That means the numbers are the same backwards and forwards). 11 is a very odd number and has been subject to much interpretation over the ages. According to Yahoo! News, medieval scholars believed that while most numbers had positive and negative qualities, the number 11 represented pure evil. Find out what “eleven” literally means here.

Numerologists also think there is something special about the number 11. In numerology, 11 is a master number. Most numbers reduce; for example, 11 would reduce to two by adding the digits, but 11 is considered to be “higher” version of two. 11 is “highly charged” and “difficult to handle” according to numerologists who believe integrating your internal number is important to self-revelation. To them, 11 represents illumination and sensitivity.

Eleven is a unique number in other ways, too. Many people profess to see the time 11:11 on clocks more than other specific minutes, and certain outlying groups have suggested that this represents the 1,111 spirits that are protecting us. Prominent psychic Uri Geller has connected the number 11 to tragic world events, including when JFK’s assassination, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and many others. Other people have asked whether it is just a coincidence that bankruptcy is called “Chapter 11.” Psychologists call this a post-hoc analysis, which is when people assign significance to something that is just a random occurrence after the fact. Read about other odd 11/11 coincidences here.

Last year an uncanny number of birds seemed to be falling out of the sky simultaneously. This confluence of events sparked the public imagination and prompted us to introduce a wonderfully useful word for trying to grapple with coincidences: “pareidolia.” Find out what it means exactly and what it says about the anxiety that seemingly synchronistic experiences can create here.

On this century’s 11/11/11, the public is responding in all sorts of contradictory ways. Many betrothed couples are picking 11/11/11 as their wedding day, swamping churches and wedding venues with festivities. A director of the horror film series Saw is producing a film aptly titled 11/11/11. And in a more amusing direction, the Corduroy Appreciation Club has dubbed 11/11/11 the “day that most resembles corduroy.”

Computer programmers would also like to remind you that today is the last binary day of the century. What does that mean? It is the last day that can be expressed in the binary code of zeros and ones. The next binary day will be January 1, 2100.

Are you doing anything special for 11/11/11? What do you think of these theories?

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