Monday, August 1, 2011

5 x 5

The other day at work, we had what we call "Fifth Friday."  There are four per year, four times when there are five fridays in a month, and one of the best ideas anyone ever had is this: when those Fifth Fridays roll around, we wear jeans and tees (unless your jobs requires direct contact with the public that day) and clean up and clean out.  Out go old reference books that we were sure we would need when we shelved them three years ago!  Into the shredder, all those old documents from seven years ago!  A little spray cleaner, a duster here and there, run the vacuum over everything and you're rolling!

It's a great idea, and it's not copyrighted or anything, so feel free to use it where you work!

And speaking of Fifth Fridays, I guess I was not the only one fooled by the recent email that went around:

Subject: July 2011: INTERESTING!

This year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So, forward this to your friends and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese Feng Shui the one who does not forward ..... will be without money. I'm not taking any chances!

   Well, here's the real story, according to

It is perfectly true that July 2011 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. However, such a combination occurs far more often than every 823 years. The last occurrence was in July 2005 while the next occurrence will take place in July 2016. The message is just a revamped version of very similar- and equally erroneous - messages about August and October 2010.

July 2011

Detailed Analysis
This silly piece of nonsense circulates via email and social networking websites and is now in its third incarnation. The message imparts the "interesting" fact that July 2011 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. It claims that such a combination of days only occurs once every 823 years. It also claims that those who forward the message to their friends will receive money within four days.

It is perfectly true that July 2011 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. However, the claim that such an occurrence for July only happens once every 823 years is nonsense. In fact such combinations occur in the month of July every few years. As the following calendar shows, the next time a July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays will be in the year 2016:

July 2016

And the same combination of days occurred in July 2005:

July 2005

So, we won't have to wait 823 years.  Which is good, because by then, none of us except Joan Rivers will be here to say "I remember this same thing happened, back in 2011!"

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