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eh, ca va la vache?
march 01, 2002
A woman, a plan, a canal, Panamowa!

~ anon

I had no idea my birthday this year was such a rare occurrence until somebody dropped me an e-mail about it. The last time such an event took place was 891 years ago, in the year 1111.

At two minutes past eight on the night of February 20, 2002, when I was exactly 43 years and 12 hours old, the time and the date formed an extremely rare triple date palindrome: 20:02, 20/02/2002, reading the same backwards and forwards. Military time, of course.

It seems there are mathematicians who think about numeric and date palindromes a lot. Palindromic numbers follow certain mathematical patterns: They frequently can be formed from a nonpalindromic number, such as 38, by adding the original number to itself reversed: 38 + 83 = 121. Doesn't always work, though. Try adding 49 and 94.

Mathematician Clarence J. Dockweiler figured out that a numeric palindrome with an even number of digits is a multiple of 11.

Which is a handy thing to know.

The man who identified the February 20 triple palindrome is John Cremona, professor of pure mathematics at Nottingham University. He noted that the last one of these occurred at 11:11 a.m. on November 11, the year 1111, and that the next one will take place in 110 years, at 12 minutes past nine in the evening of December 21, 2112. The date and time will read 21:12, 21/12/2112.

Israeli psychic Uri Geller lead a day of spiritual meditation on my birthday. Here's what he said about it:

"The date 20/02/2002 is very, very rare. Palindromic dates have always had very supernatural auras about them. . . . For two to three minutes there will be a massive surge of positive consciousness. It will be a moment to bring healing, a moment to bring peace. . . . I would appreciate everyone concentrating in GMT [Greenwich Mean Time], but if you can't do that, take a moment when you can. The message is be positive, be optimistic and believe in yourself."

Well, there you have it. All on account of account of my weird palindromic birthday! If you experienced inexplicable tingly sensations on February 20 of this year, that is why.

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

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