By Deanna Tharpe, DSAIA Executive Director
Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia (the fear of Friday the 13th)? This Friday some people will be so paralyzed with fear they simply won't get out of bed. Others will steadfastly refuse to fly on an airplane, buy a house, or act on a hot stock tip. It's Friday the 13th, and they're freaked out. "It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do," said one expert.
How did we get to this point? If you believe some legends, it started as far back as the Vikings. As the story goes, twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, (god of mischief) had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to thirteen. True to character, Loki incited Hod (the blind god of darkness and winter) into attacking Balder the Good (fairest of the gods). Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. This tale apparently explains why the Norse themselves adhere to the belief that thirteen people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.
The Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code and the movie of the same name, popularized the thought that the superstition is tied to the mass arrest of the Knights Templar. Secretly ordered by King Philip of France, (and Holy Roman Emperor, Pope Clement V) the mass arrest, of all the Knights Templar in France happened on Friday, October 13, 1307. The eventual condemnation, and eradication of the Knights Templar was to follow. The King of France and the Pope got the spoils, and a date was cemented in time.
This “Friday the 13th” DSAIA has come up with a way to make it not so “unlucky”. DSAIA is extending the Early Bird conference deadline through Friday, January 13, 2012. You have a few more days to round up your conference attendees and register them for the DC conference while still getting the additional $100 discount. Of course, DSAIA members will also still receive the $200 member discount. If you are not a member, you might consider this fact: Bring 5 people to the conference and you could pay for a year’s dues with your savings! See, it’s getting luckier all the time!
So, get rid of that paraskevidekatriaphobia by getting registered this week for the conference and move on to a REAL fear: voorheesaphobia (the fear that they’ll make yet another Friday the 13th movie).
Registration is available online at www.dsaia.org/attendees. You can view the breakout session schedule here.