December 12, 2012: The last repetitive date of the century.

At twelve minutes and twelve seconds past twelve PM today, the time will be 12:12:12 on 12/12/12, the 12th second of the 12th minute of the 12th hour of the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of this century.  Today marks Soundcheck Day (1-2-1-2-1-2) and Anti-Doomsday Day, The Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s way of asserting that the world is not ending on 12/21/2012.  Assuming they are right, the next repetitive date will not occur until January 1, 2101.   In honor of the plethora of twelves on this day in history, here are twelve facts about the number 12.

  1. 12 men have walked on the moon, ending with Eugene Cernan on Dec. 12, 1972.
  2. The human body has 12 cranial nerves and 12 pairs of ribs.
  3. A group of twelve things is called a “duodecad” from Greek dodeka (also the root of the term “dozen”).
  4. There are 12 months in a year and 12 signs in the western and Chinese zodiacs.
  5. The 12th moon of Jupiter is Lysithea.
  6. The Republic of Nauru’s flag has a 12-pointed star, one point for each of the 12 original tribes of Nauru.
  7. There are 12 basic hues in the color wheel.
  8. There were 12 principle Olympic gods, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, and 12 sons of Odin.
  9. 12 can be evenly divided into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and twelfths.
  10. The Seattle Seahawks retired the number 12 for their fans (“the 12th man”).
  11. The use of 12 as a division factor (duodecimal system) in measures likely originated in Mesopotamia.
  12. In 2011, the Christmas Price Index estimated the total cost for all goods and services in The Twelve Days of Christmas at $24,263.18.  This is almost double the original price calculation of $12,623.10 in 1984.