USA Today, you are also on my list

It bothered me when USA Today, in an article celebrating "math holidays" centered on the numerology of certain dates, linked to a post I had written about how these holidays are stupid, without even mentioning my contrary opinion. However, I was willing to let it slide, since I was able to say that I was linked in an article from USA Today.  Unfortunately, an article posted today is just too much. USA Today, you have officially made it onto my list.

The headline for the article really speaks for itself: "Rare time/date alignment could mean opportunities." This refers to the fact that in the wee hours of the morning today, it was 4:05:06 on the date 07/08/09.

Money quote:

Although the alignment may not mean anything specific, it could be a good day to do something for yourself and others, said Betsy Carlson, a Palm Springs tarot card reader and numerology expert.

"It's a good day to make money and have good health," she said.

When is it not a good day to have good health? Who wakes up, looks out the window, and decides that no, today is really a day for rather poor health? What does this even mean?

And how can someone be a "numerology expert?" Would any self-respecting newspaper publish a story from a phrenology expert? Why does numerology so often seem to get a pass? If you want to know why nobody reads newspapers anymore, this serves as an excellent indication. Is this seriously what passes for journalism in 2009? I guess because it's in the "Offbeat" section, that makes it all ok.

Money-er quote:

Joy Meredith, owner of Crystal Fantasy in Palm Springs, Calif., noticed the alignment, but she's more focused on this morning's lunar eclipse, she said.

Nonetheless, she's a fan of numerology and sometimes tries to determine if numbers have meaning.

"I feel they could be significant, so I'm looking for that," she said. "If they're not, they're not. But I am looking to see if there is any significance."

Dear Joy, I think I can help you out. I have discovered that numbers do indeed have meaning. The meaning of the number 12, for example, is the number of eggs you'll get if you go to the store and buy a dozen eggs. The number 1 represents the number of newspapers that thought such a crackpot story was worth publishing. And so on.

Here's another question: how does one go about "looking" for significance in a given "time/date alignment?" What oracle does one consult in search of insights into the mysterious nature of 4:05:06 07/08/09? God, I hope USA Today follows up on this article, so that all of my burning questions can be answered.

The worst thing about this article is that if you're going to post garbage, at least post the most interesting garbage possible. The fact that 4:05:06 07/08/09 occurs today (or slightly less than a month from today, for those of us outside of the states) is not nearly as interesting as the fact that 12:34:56 07/08/09 occurs (twice!) today. If you're into this sort of thing, I see no reason to find the first time/date alignment more interesting than the second. I must admit, even I cannot resist publishing this post at the appropriate time.

Watch out, USA Today, because I've got you in my sights. My influence is vast, and my resources infinite. Let's dance.

Psst ... did you know I have a brand new website full of interactive stories? You can check it out here!

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