Use playing cards to remind yourself that you are going to die

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The 13 cards in each suit represent the 13 phases of the lunar cycle.

What? New moon, waxing crescent, waxing half, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, waning half, waning crescent: eight phases. What are the other five?

Finally, adding up all the numbers in each and every card the result is 365 – the number of days in a year.

No it isn’t. 365 isn’t even, let alone divisible by four.

1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55; 55 * 4 = 220.

Even if we say that Jack = 11, Queen = 12 and King = 13, you get (55 + 11 + 12 + 13 ) * 4 = 364, not 365.

Close but no cigar.


But you forgot about the (wildcard) joker :wink:

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  1. Every pack of cards I’ve ever bought had two jokers.

  2. The article specifically refers to a 52-card deck.


Another complication is that your expected lifespan gets longer with each year that you don’t die. The effect is very small when you’re young, moderate when you’re middle aged (about 0.1 year gained per year), and quite large when you’re old (0.4 years years per year when you’re 75). Details here:

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I use a simple brick to remind myself of the inevitable existence of gravity in my life.

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I hear your buddies are a bunch of pedantphiles.

You need to get some other gravity in there so you’ll know how to break it up. Maybe a Pilates alarm clock that pushes at alternate 60 degree angles. We’ve been lowballing air beds too long and they’re no longer considered as risky as even giant inflatables off a pier.

This reminded me - I always disliked how illogical and inconsistent the calendar is and how dates shift around. As a kid, I made up a calendar of 13 months, each of 28 days (for 364 total) plus one day (new year or midyear?) that would be consistent and rational. (Bonus: every month would have a Friday the 13th! :smiling_imp:)

In a world with a rational calendar, this would fit - I guess we’d have Joker day instead of New Years.

But what of the spare Joker? Perhaps it’s a ‘year card’, or maybe related to Leap Years. (Or perhaps that week you spent in Vegas counts as 2 cards and a Joker should definitely be one of them.)

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Ça me fait plaisir de vous rencontrer, M. Auguste Compte!

Seriously, I guess the idea was simple enough that it could be reinvented independently. Another solution is 12 months of 30 days each (360 days), and then have 5 or 6 days at the end outside of any month to fill out the year – The French revolutionaries had such a calendar.

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That might seem great to you if your birthday is on a Saturday year after year. But what if it’s on a Monday? Nobody wants to celebrate on a Monday. Everyone hates Mondays.


"There is a long, rich history of people who thought it very important to
remind themselves and others, once in a while, that we humans don’t get
to live forever. Granted, a lot of them were monks and philosophers,
who tend to be a gloomy bunch. "

How many monks has Anthony Alvarado actually met? I’ve met many, both as part of my own spiritual journey and as part of my work with hospice, and they are, almost without variation, all things uplifting: positive and optimistic, accepting, loving, active, and always working so hard on the behalf of others that really, there is no room for gloom.

Since money IS an object, the correct title of that video is “If money WERE no object.”

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