On a recent visit to Brigham and Women’s Hospital I noticed that their elavator doesn’t have a 13th floor button (they had a floor labeled M2 somewhere below I believe). I know this is a common practice, but I’d have thought that for an institution based on science they might have forgone this superstition. And does simply not labeling a floor avoid the bad luck? There still is a 13th floor after all.

On the other hand, while I was there, I was reading Complications by Atul Gawande (himself a surgeon at BWH and contributer to The New Yorker). The book nicely details the imperfection and fallibility of medicine and those who practice it, so maybe keeping any extra bad luck away can’t hurt. (He appeared on the WBUR show On Point last year.)

And on the subject of luck, I recently saw Intacto. A cool film where luck is an important and transferable quality.