The Meta Letter (Archive)

A now defunct newsletter from Kev Quirk

Meta Letter 13 - Unlucky For Some

📅 11 Jun 2021

Hey there! 👋 Welcome back to another issue of The Meta Letter. If you’re a first time subscriber, first of all, welcome. But if you’ve been around these parts for a while, you might be thinking I’ve gone mad by sending out this issue 2 weeks early.

Well, I haven’t gone mad (I think) and I’m not sending this out early. If you cast your mind back to issue #12, I talked about moving to a bi-weekly cadence and here we are. The Meta Letter is now bi-weekly!

Hooray! You now get to double the amount of silly waffle from me. Isn’t that fantastic!

Anyway, on with the issue…


📝 From my blog

I haven’t written anything of note on my blog since the last issue, so I thought I’d do something different for this issue. Since it’s issue #13, and they say it’s “unlucky for some,” I thought I’d write a little about the history of where the perception that 13 is unlucky came from.

What’s So Unlucky About the Number 13?
Unexplained fears surrounding the number 13 can be traced to ancient times.

The number 13

The post linked below has some interesting info about the potential origins of the whole 13 being unlucky thing:

So the background is that it’s a combination of 13 coming right after 12, which is considered to be the perfect number. This is because there’s 12 months in the year, 2x 12 hours in the day etc.

Then there’s history too; there were 12 disciples, but Judas Iscariot, disciple #13, decided to rock up and ruin things for our mate Jesus. Nice one, Judas!

Also Loki decided to turn up uninvited to a party in Valhalla (I’m sure you’ve all seen the Thor movies and know who he is), and you guessed it, he was the 13th guest.

Interestingly, it seems that the number 4 is unlucky in Asian culture, not 13. Anyway, the link above is an interesting read if you’re sad like me and like to horde useless information. Makes me good to have around for a pub quiz though! ?

Oh before we move on, I did write a quick post about how people are losing it following Chrome’s announcement of “the follow button” which will apparently kill RSS (I don’t think it will). In my post I link to a most excellent essay from Scott Nesbitt. Well worth a read.

🧐 Meta Picks

Ok then, enough waffle about the number 13 and RSS feeds. Let’s take a look at some of the things I’ve found on my travels around the web, shall we?

The origin story of the Wingdings font
The funny font from vintage Microsoft Word has an unbelievable past and great influence on today’s culture

Oh Shit! Git?!
Get yourself out of trouble with Git using this very useful website.

💭 Meta Thought

I’ll leave you for another fortnight with this thought, which I have to say, blew my mind a little. ?

Apparently, a lemon is not naturally occurring and is a hybrid developed by cross breeding a bitter orange and a citron. Life never gave us lemons; we invented them all by ourselves.

Until next time; Kev, out.