Why is Friday the Thirteenth thought to be unlucky ?

There are several reasons why Friday has been considered the most unlucky day of the week. Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday. Friday was traditionally the day when criminals were executed. According to one superstition, if you cut your nails on a Friday, witches would pick up the pieces and turn you into a witch yourself.

Friday was also known as ‘Tip Tod’s Day’, meaning the Devil’s Day. In earlier times, sailors didnt like putting to sea on Friday. And it was also said that work started on a Friday was never finished ( which sounds like a good excuse for taking Friday easy 😛 ).

Then there is thirteen. This has been an unlucky number in the Christian world ever since thirteen sat down to eat at the Last Supper on the night before Jesus Christ was crucified.

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How can horses sleep while standing up ?

Most of us need eight hours of sleep a night. Horses can get by with only half the amount & unlike us, they are able to fall asleep standing up, without falling over.

In the wild, horses are prey to wolves and other animals. Lying down, they are much more vulnerable than they are standing up. So over millions of years, their bodies have developed a way of staying upright even when they are asleep. Although most horses no longer live in the wild, they can still fall asleep as their ancestors used to.

The reason they are able to do this is a unique system of ligaments – the chords which bind bones together. A horse’s ligaments act like a sling over its whole body. These can lock its joints into a fixed position, so it can stand upright without any coscious muscular effort while sleeps.

It is a pity that human beings have not developed a way of doing this. It could be very handy for long queues or travelling on crowded trains!

Why is a hat trick a hat trick ?

Almost anything we manage to do three times in a row is called a hat trick today. The one thing you can be fairly sure of is that it seldom, if ever, involves a hat. However, a hundred years ago a hat gave rise to the expression. In those days, hat tricks only occurred in game of cricket.

Back in the 1880s, a bowler who took three wickets with three balls bowled one after the other was given a new hat by his club. The feat became known as a hat trick and, as it caught on, people began applying the term to all sorts of other sports & activities.

Why do clocks run clockwise ?

Mechanical clocks were invented in the northern hemisphere, the half of the world north of the Equator. Before they existed, people used sundials to tell the time. In a sundial, it is the shadow cast by the bit in the centre that actually indicates the time of day. In the northern hemisphere, this moves in what we now call a clockwise direction. So when the first mechanical clocks were invented, their faces and hands were built to follow the same direction.

If clocks had been invented in the southern hemisphere, everything would have been reversed. The shadow on the sundial mover in the opposite direction, and presumably clocks would have been built to run that way too.