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12/12/12: Triplet Twelves or the End of the World?

Is this the last repetitive number date you and I will see? Does it matter?

It was one of those random Facebook memes that came out of nowhere and caught my attention. One of my Facebook “friends” — or friend of a friend (of a friend?) had shared a photo post by the Facebook page BuzzFeed. The photo showed a rat ostensibly saying, “12.12.12 is the last repetitive date we’ll ever see.”

BuzzFeed, coincidentally, was founded in 2006, and no doubt a similar post appeared that year in which the numbers 06.06.06 featured prominently.

Regardless, the photo caught my attention briefly enough to ask, “It is true?”

Then of course another popped up — George Takei shared a similarly themed photo, this one showing two microphones over the words, “National sound check day tomorrow 1 2 1 2 1 2.”

So, like any other journalist intent on shedding light in dark places and uncovering the truth, I had to check it out. Determined, I googled the phrase, “Is 12/12/12 the last repetitive date?” My query netted 8,610,000 results (in an impressive 0.26 seconds).

But where to start?

The Facebook page 12/12/12 is the last repetitive date we will ever see seemed like a logical place to start. One would think a page by that name would have the answer I was seeking. Alas, however, the content on that page was as shallow as my query.

I kicked myself for not thinking to try the first news link. That narrowed down the results to 859 results (in .12 seconds — funny, with 1,000 times fewer results, I’d have thought the search would have been about 1,000 times faster than my earlier query). My mind was racing — perhaps this was tied to all the hype about the Mayan calendar.

The first pick, a Mihaela Lica Butler post on the Search Engine Journal, showed promise: 12/12/12 Asteroids and Doomsday: What Are You Searching For? Hmm, I note as I start reading, seems too whimsical. It appears more focused on 12/12/12 trending on Twitter and Facebook already. Butler posted her piece Tuesday.

Ahh, Examiner.com has a post: Toutatis asteroid threatens early doomsday on 12/12/12. Drat, that’s linking back to Butler’s Search Engine Journal post.

Finally! Some journalism with meat: A Los Vegas Review-Journal article, also posted Tuesday. Caitlyn Belcher writes all about the number 12 in her piece, This list dozen stop at 12. She writes about all the important things related to 12 — ounces in a soda, a dozen, inches in a foot.

But wait! In the sixth paragraph of her story, Belcher writes, “Wednesday is the last repetitive date for the next 88 years. It marks a finality. The end.”

So perhaps, if one of us can hold on for 88 more years … But wait, that can’t be right — that would be the year 2100 unless … yep, roll it over 20 and you’re into the new year on 01/01/01.

Maybe one of my kids will be able to hold on that long and see one more repetitive date in a lifetime. Lord knows I've had my share — 01/01/01, 02/02/02, 03/03/03 ... but then again, most of my kids saw those dates go by, too. Perhaps we've already had our share.

So I guess here's looking to the next big date on the calendar — Dec. 21, 2012, the date on the Mayan calendar which some believe (not Mayan scholars, mind you!) that the world will end. But I think we had a couple of other predictions like that not too long ago.

So if 12/12/12 is trending on Facebook and Twitter, why? Do you care to speculate about which celebrities might be concerned about repetitive dates like this? Share them in the comments section below.

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