Wednesday is 12/12/12, which this year is turning out to be the Rodney Dangerfield of dates.

Any other time, this triple one-two punch of nifty numerals would be hailed as a knockout calendric coincidence, a lucky number, a math maniac's muse. Instead it's taking a back seat to the sexier date of 12/21/12 and a little thing called the end of the world as Mayan civilization knew it, the so-called doomsday deadline prompting apocalyptic parties, Mayan-themed hotel packages and T-shirts that read, "Party like there's no To-Maya."

Kinnon Vest, born at 12:12 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2000, is photographed with her mother, Caroline, in Livermore, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (Cindi
Kinnon Vest, born at 12:12 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2000, is photographed with her mother, Caroline, in Livermore, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (Cindi Christie/Staff) (CINDI CHRISTIE)

Yes, poor 12/12/12 could use a good publicist. After all, it has a lot to offer. For one thing, another such triple crown of 12s won't happen again for another 100 years, in 2112. Or maybe not at all, given the outcome of, well, you know. We won't even get any more repeating digits until 2/2/22 (2022), and certainly not the same three-in-a-row style until 1/1/1 (2101), depending on, well, you know.

And maybe the timing is mere coincidence, but what's billed as one of the biggest music events "in music history" -- a huge big-name benefit for Superstorm Sandy victims with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, The Who and Sir Paul McCartney -- will take place at Madison Square Gardens on this night.


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Delving into 12

At least the folks at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco are highly supportive of 12/12/12 and have pronounced it Anti-Doomsday Day.

"If 21 is doomsday, we thought we'd go in the opposite direction," said the society's Kathryn Harper, adding the fun facts that Mars is 12 light minutes from the sun, the average temperature of the Earth is 12 degrees Celsius, and Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit the sun.

"We're promoting a celebration of rational thought and science literacy that day," said Harper, who suggests maybe reading a book on science today. "Or donate $12, $24 or $36 to your favorite science literacy nonprofit, like the ASP!"

One segment of the population that's pretty stoked about today's date: any child turning 12, like Kinnon Vest, of Livermore. Not only is her birthday on 12/12, but her birth time was 12:12 p.m. back in 2000. "Even her delivering doctor had never seen anything like that," said her mom, Caroline Vest. "We've been looking forward to this birthday since she was born, and we're celebrating like it's her sweet 16th or 21st."

Date to remember

Others who don't give much credence to the world's end are those getting married today. In Vegas, there's been a surge in license applications for 12/12/12, but not as much as 11/11/11, and nowhere near the bridal barrage of about 4,000 couples tying the knot on 7/7/7 -- a distinctly meaningful day in Vegas as far as slot machines go.

"A lot of people pick repeating numbers for weddings because it's easy to remember," said Clark County Clerk Diana Alba. "And if you're picking 12/12 because it's easy to remember, you probably plan to remember it longer than nine days."

Perhaps we're all just a little jaded after so many numerical notables during the past decade, from 1/1/1 on up. Remember all the hullabaloo over 6/6/6? It was feared to be the end of the world -- hmm, where have we heard that before? -- and barring that, hundreds of expectant moms with sign-of-the-devil due dates opted for C-sections on other days. On 8/8/8, the Beijing Olympics were carefully coordinated to begin at 8:08 p.m., eight being a significant number in Asian cultures. And then we turned it up to triple 11s last year.

And now, the 12s. Yawn. Even the Bay Area's favorite numbers man, retired high school teacher Ron Gordon, of Redwood City, who pines for palindromes and loves a good Pi Day (March 14, or 3/14), sort of gave up on 12/12/12. He had sent out news releases about the sequential date of 10/11/12, but got little interest, so he figured folks might be tired of all the dizzying dates.

"Seemed like 12/12/12 just wasn't going to get enough respect," he said.

Read Angela Hill's Sunday Give 'Em Hill column or follow her at Twitter.com/giveemhill.