A Golden Date

I suppose a “golden” date could refer to a really good time out with the perfect someone. Or it could refer to a couple of hot oldsters, past their silver years, tearing up the town. And I suppose the oldsters could double the value of their gold by being with that perfect someone. It doesn’t matter; I mean neither perfect occasions nor advanced years. I speak, literally, of the date.

It’s 11-11-11, and that’s slightly fun and slightly rare. It’s a bit like your Golden Birthday, when your age matches the date (for example, when you turn 19 on the 19th of whatever month). Today we match on the date, month and year; trifecta gold! And of course, double bonus points just before lunch at 11:11:11!!

[By the way, (BTW: remind me about “by the way”), speaking of “oldsters,” number me among those who find such phrases as “67 years young” … at best too silly to utter, if not in fact insultingly stupid. I passed the half-century mark in the last decade, so I am at least beginning to have some say in these matters.]

Anyway, today’s date is slightly fun in a numerical sense. We only get twelve triple-matches every 100 years, and we’re nearing the end of our twelve for the next 100.  This is, as its numbers imply, the eleventh this century. We’re just about done with golden dates for the 2000’s—no more until the 2100’s. Next year will be the last one for until nearly 100 years.

These magical dates only blossom, one per year, in the first part of any given century. Back, 100  years ago, in the early 1900s, the equivalent of today was 11-11-1911. In 100 years, someone will be noting that it’s 11-11-2111 (which has an extra “1”!).

We began this era’s progression ten years ago, in the true and proper first year of the millennium, 2001,  on the first month of the first (true and proper) year, and, in fact, on the very first day of the first month of the first (true and proper) year. Specifically: on 01-01-01. After that they came a month later each year until this year the golden date is in November. Our last one this century takes place on December 12th next  year (12 minutes past noon).

Today’s date is also fun, because it’s binary! So was a golden date from last year: 10-10-10. These two are the only others except for the one already mentioned above, the first one of any century: 1-1-1. And that’s it on binary dates!

I while back I mentioned some of my favorite CS jokes, probably my most favorite of which is the one about there being 10 kinds of people: those who can count in binary and those who can’t. (A joke that’s funny only to the people the joke is actually about.)

The most excellent xkcd featured a new spin on that joke recently:

If you get an 11/100 on a CS test, but you claim it should be counted as a 'C', they'll probably decide you deserve the upgrade.

xkcd 953

As always, the real punch, or a really funny secondary punchline, is in the image’s hover text. In this case it reads, “If you get an 11/100 on a CS test, but you claim it should be counted as a ‘C’, they’ll probably decide you deserve the upgrade.

And I confess, I didn’t fully get it until I was explaining it to someone else. I was thinking the  test score, 11/100, was intended to be a binary score. It wasn’t… the student actually got eleven out of 100. And that’s certainly not a ‘C’ grade!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

3 responses to “A Golden Date

  • arleneyolles

    I know this is an almost year-old post but, you’ve written much and I’m just getting started in reading…..Anyway, numerology is an interesting topic. I vividly remember when my new husband was 27 on the 27th and I was a young 22 on the 22nd!
    In school, I used to start the class with a “date equation” : take the date, like 5/16/12 and turn it into an equation without changing order. One answer with the date given is 5 – sq rt (sq rt (16)) = 1 + 2.

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