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Neighbors: Hoax about weekends in August fools often

Neighbors blew it recently when it ran a note from the Internet that said a month having five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays occurs only once in 834 years.

That is a “complete myth,” Bill Devlin, Finley, N.D., writes. “It actually happens quite regularly, including May of 2015 and twice in 2016.”

John Donahue, Fargo, writes that, “The truth is the first three weekdays of any 31-day month are repeated five times within that month. So any month that has 31 days and begins on a Friday has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays. And this happens much more often than every 823 years.”

From Morgantown, W. Va., Edward Curtis writes that a month with five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays occurs “almost every year.” He points to March 2013, July 2011, October 2010 and August 2008 as examples.

Edward says he has no connection to the Fargo-Moorhead area. “I just happen to have an irrational hatred for the 823 years hoax,” he writes, “and was actively searching for instances of it in the news media. I was emailed the October 2010 version of the hoax twice on my 40th birthday, which was in that month, so I can get a little obsessive about it.

“Good that some of your regular readers caught it as well.”

Greg Miller, Fargo, is one of those readers who sent in information correcting this item. “One of my co-workers (at 1st International Insurance, Fargo) told me this about three weeks ago, which led me to look into it.”

Eric Paulson, Fargo, in pointing out the error, also suggests that the writer of this column “utilize a little fact-checking before publishing made-up numbers in a widely-circulated newspaper. If we can’t believe the little things you publish, how can we take anything you say seriously?”

Can’t argue with Eric. Neighbors deserves to have its fingers slapped.

Finally, Dick Reich, Ponsford, Minn., writes, “I can’t believe you actually fell for that yarn and published it in your column. The five each Friday, Saturday and Sunday email has been going around for about 10 years now.”

Well, yes, Dick, Neighbors fell for it. No excuses.

And, finally, as Bill Devlin, who is the speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, puts it, “Another Internet legend bites the dust.”

Guess this proves that when it comes to a true gospel, the Internet isn’t it.

Horsey stamps

The Forum’s Jack Zaleski recently wrote about his stamp collection in his Sunday column.

Now, Irene Clinton, Fargo, writes that she has 20 canceled stamps from Hungary, Poland, Mongolia, Argentina, Afghanistan, Romania and Uruguay.

“They all depict horses, being ridden, working, racing, etc.,” Ilene writes. “Several are dated from the early 1960s.

“They are framed and in very good condition. Someone must have put a lot of effort into collecting them.”

Irene wonders if a philatelic society member might be interested in them. “The stamps would mean something to the right collector, and they are just lying in a dresser drawer,” she says.

Her phone number is 298-0783.

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