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>> News > Science and Technology
Scientists Unable to Determine Whether Friday 13th Is Actually Unlucky - June 13th 2003

Scientists at Cambridge University studying the effects of Friday 13th on peoples’ luck have been forced to postpone their tests until the next Friday 13th comes along.

“People have always claimed that Friday 13th is unlucky but insurance companies claim that Friday 15th is statistically more unlucky. We thought it was time for a reasoned, scientific approach to the problem to see exactly whether people were more unlucky on this day.

Unfortunately for the team, the day didn’t start well.

“My alarm didn’t go off,” The team’s leader told us in a rather embarrassed tone, “I don’t know why, it should have done. Maybe I just forgot to set it last night. As a result I was 2 hours late and being team leader meant I had the key to get in.

“We got in, set up all of our equipment and then went off for a coffee break. Unfortunately our genetically enhanced mice had escape during the night and eaten all the biscuits and urinated in the coffee meaning we were forced to go back to work hungry and with no caffeine fuelled boost.

“We had collected several samples that we were all ready to test on our mass spectrometer, but we were suddenly raided by police who confiscated it claiming that the mass spectrometer was only calibrated to measure imperial units.

“When I explained to them it was used to determine the mass of a particle and not the weight the policeman simply told me they were the same thing! ….and the Government thinks that Maths and Science should no longer be mandatory at GCSE?

“He then noticed that we were still using the colour coded Fire Extinguishers, and confiscated them - telling us that EU directives stated all fire extinguishers could now only be red!! That wouldn’t have been too bad except that just after he’d left our seismometer exploded and we were forced to evacuate the lab.

“Frustrated that our planned day of research would yield no results, I told the other scientists not to worry, and I’d make them up using some data off of the Internet.

“But when I got home, one of the teenage bus drivers that the city seems to be full of, had crashed a double-decker coach straight into my living room. I don’t know how he managed it, I have a 50 foot drive with a gate at each end.

“These unfortunate circumstances forced me to do the unthinkable. I rang up my counterpart at Oxford University to ask if he could text me a copy of his results to use. I expected him to laugh condescendingly at me, except that his lab had been demolished by five simultaneous earthquakes so they too had no results.

The team leader was forced to conclude rather disappointedly:

“I guess we’ll never know if Friday 13th is really unlucky.”

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