Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – the fear of the number 666 ran amok yesterday:

Around the country, some superstitious mothers-to-be took steps Tuesday to make sure their babies were not born on the most bedeviling of dates, 6-6-6.

In New York, “people are canceling left and right because of what today represents,” said Liza Washington, an administrative assistant at Children’s Hospital of the New York-Presbyterian Medical Center. More than a dozen deliveries were postponed because of 666, which is said to be the “Number of the Beast” in the Book of Revelation.

Many of the expectant mothers had been scheduled to deliver babies by Caesarean section or after doctors artificially induced labor.

Now, ya gotta understand, the calendar we use today is not what was used a while back:

The Julian year is 365 days 6 hr, hence a little too long. Therefore, by the 16th cent. the accumulation of surplus time had displaced the vernal equinox to Mar. 11 from Mar. 21, the date set in the 4th cent. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII rectified this error. He suppressed 10 days in the year 1582 and ordained that thereafter the years ending in hundreds should not be leap years unless they were divisible by 400. The year 1600 was a leap year under both systems, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 were leap years only in the unreformed calendar. The reform was accepted, immediately in most Roman Catholic countries, more gradually in Protestant countries, and in the Eastern Church the Julian calendar was retained into the 20th cent. The present generally accepted calendar is therefore called Gregorian, though it is only a slight modification of the Julian.

The reform was not accepted in England and the British colonies in America until 1752. By that date the English calendar was 11 days different from that of continental Europe. For the intervening period before the reform was introduced into the English calendar, the Gregorian style is called the New Style (N.S.), and the Julian the Old Style (O.S.). New Style years begin Jan. 1, but Old Style years began usually Mar. 25. Thus Washington’s birthday, which is Feb. 22, 1732 (N.S.), was Feb. 11, 1731 (O.S.). To avoid confusion sometimes both styles are given; thus 11 Feb. 1731/22 Feb. 1732.

So, it’s very easy to see that yesterday was not the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the second millennium since Christ’s death.  It’s a fairly modern standard of time and trying to figure the actual number of times the Earth has rotated the Sun since then is rather difficult.

And, to boot, according to some, 666 is not even the mark of the beast:

Where more conventional versions of the Bible give 666 as the “number of the beast,” or the sign of the anti-Christ whose coming is predicted in the book’s apocalyptic verses, the older version uses the Greek letters signifying 616.

So now I am curious about how many people will be freaking out on 6/16/06 or 6/6/16?  Apparently the word didn’t get out on 6/1/06.

Mrs. Moon just informed me that we do have something serious to concern ourselves with.  The three armed baby in the news recently was operated on successfully on 6/6/06.  He was 66 days old.  He was born a “beast” and became human on 6/6/06.  Scared yet?