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Will October Mean “Money Bags”

If all of the email forwards out there making the rounds from inbox to inbox were printed onto paper and stacked up, I don’t even want to think about how large of a building would need to be built to house them all. It would probably fill an entire country, or maybe even require its own small planet. For all of their pervasiveness, not all email forwards are created equally. Some include harmless jokes or warm sentiments, but an increasing number exist simply to spread misinformation.

I recently received one that falls into the latter category. Here’s what it said:

An interesting fact about October 2011. This October has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. This happens once in every 823 years. These are money bags. Paste it on your status and money will appear in 4 days. Based on Chinese feng shui. Whoever stops this will experience none. Its worth a try!

This bit of “information” has also found its way into numerous Facebook status updates.There are a few things wrong with this email. To begin with, October 2011 doesn’t contain five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. October 2010 did, and, indeed, this forward was going around then, too.

But the problems don’t stop there. Every month that has 31 days will include three days of the week five times. For those three days to to be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all it takes is for the first day of the month to fall on a Friday. This happens far more often than once every 823 years. Since the days of the week cycle forward one day each year, it would theoretically happen once every seven years for a specific month. Leap years throw that model somewhat into disarray, though.

Because there are seven months with 31 days, this arrangement of days actually happens much more frequently, usually once ever year or two. The last time a month had five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays was this past July, and the next time it will happen is in March 2013.

With the state of the economy over the last few years, though, I can’t really blame people for wishing for some “money bags.”

Have you noticed any particularly bad bits of misinformation in your email inbox or Facebook newsfeed? If so, share it below!

6 comments

1 Wonni Peter (Peto) { 07.01.12 at 7:41 am }

Is did month a money bag month?, check the calendar for this July 2012

2 Vetka { 10.22.11 at 10:20 am }

About onion story: cut onion vapors (phytonsides) can actually kill bacteria (proven fact), but onion does not attract germs and will not become posionous of course.
Story came from the Middle Ages when people in England were fighting plague with onion hanging in houses (helped), but then people decided that they should not eat this onion because it might contain plague germs.

3 acabbott { 10.09.11 at 2:14 pm }

I actually received this status forward on Facebook at least 3 times already that I can think of right off hand. The first time I did repost….but when I got the same thing twice more (with the month had been changed, of course), I ignored it after that. I began thinking, How can it happen so many times in a single year, if it’s only supposed to happen once every 823 years?

4 Jaime McLeod { 10.05.11 at 8:24 am }

Hi Brian,
Yes, I know that. That’s why there is a sentence above which says “To begin with, October 2011 doesn’t contain five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. October 2010 did, and, indeed, this forward was going around then, too.”

5 Brian { 10.04.11 at 9:37 pm }

Sorry, but there are 5 saturdays, sundays, and mondays. Not Fridays. Fridays include the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28.

6 velizabethwhite { 10.03.11 at 3:50 pm }

There was the onion story that recently came into my facebook feed. Apparently cut-up onions were supposed to suck in cold/flu germs and even pneumonia germs and make it turn black. Also the fact that onions will become posionous after being cut and left even in a fridge in a ziplock bag. I looked it up on snopes.com and found out to be false.

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