Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I like interesting numbers.

Today's date is a great one that comes in bunches of twelves at the beginning of each century. We always get a 01-01-01 and an 02-02-02 and so forth right through 12-12-12 every hundred years. If you are unlucky in the year of your birth, you can live a long life and never enjoy one of these dates.

I am sure many of you have noted that just after 4 am last July 8th the time and date read: 04:05:06:07:08:09. This is another phenomenon that repeats in bunches after long lapses.

Just to erase any doubt about my peculiarity, I always note when the odometer on my car reflects a palindromic total. I observed this morning that the odometer hit 86,100 and I made a mental note that, most probably on Friday, I will see 86168 on my commute. Sometime around Thanksgiving I will get to see 88888. That will be a good day.

When I was younger, I made a note of the date when I turned 10,000 days old and celebrated briefly at a bar after playing squash with colleagues. I was living in Italy and solicited presents at the office (albeit unsuccessfully) in early 1996 when I aged to 1 billion seconds.

I am especially amused, in some inexplicable way, by prime numbers. Something about the way they are distributed unevenly through the counting system makes them mysteriously appealing to me.

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