‘The man who shot me saved my life’: Making this unusual day our best day


Image: Wesley Hamilton at iamwesleyhamilton.com

We are in the midst of Palindrome Week. A palindrome is “a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward.” Examples include “Mom,” “Dad,” and “Tell a ballet.”

Today is 9/13/19. Read backward, it’s still 9/13/19. The same was true Tuesday (9/10/19), Wednesday (9/11/19), and Thursday (9/12/19). The trend will continue until next Thursday (9/19/19). 

Another ten-day palindrome week begins on 1/20/21. We’ll have more ten-day series in 2023, 2024, 2025, and so on through 2029. Not to mention thirty-eight “full palindrome days” scattered throughout the twenty-first century (9/10/2019 and 1/20/2021, for example). 

Why is today so spooky? 

Today is unusual for another reason as well: we will see a “harvest micromoon” tonight. It is a “harvest moon” because, as the Farmer’s Almanac explains, such a full moon allows farmers to “work late into the night by this Moon’s light.” 

It is also a “micromoon” because the moon is at its furthest distance from Earth. It will appear 14 percent smaller to us than when it’s at its closest (a “supermoon” such as we had last year). 

And, of course, it’s a full moon on Friday the 13th. This last happened nationwide in 2000 and won’t happen again for the entire country until 2049. 

Superstition regarding the number thirteen may have arisen in the Middle Ages, based on the fact that there were thirteen people present at Jesus’ Last Supper, which was held on the thirteenth day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar. Friday is associated with Jesus’ death, of course, but early tradition also identified it as the day Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit and the day Cain killed his brother, Abel. 

And so, a full moon (even if it’s a bit smaller than usual) on Friday the 13th is drawing considerable attention today. 

Why do we name planets? 

Why do we assign numbers to days (and…

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