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"13" still strikes fear in the heart--in business, in architecture, even in the U.S. Navy

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An apartment building in Manhattan skips the 13th floor. (CNS/ Anja Tranovich)

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Number avoidance and the anxiety it produces have measurable economic and even medical consequences. Developers build around it. Businesses avoid it. Even the U.S. Navy refuses to launch boats on Friday the 13th.