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!