Letter to the editor
December 12, 2012
Numbers have been an important part of my life as a scientist, and that affliction occasionally has bordered on obsession. In fact, even calendars aren’t immune. For example, I remember the euphoria of finally realizing, in middle age, that my birth day was a palindrome.
Thus, for me at least, today’s date is noteworthy: 12-12-12. That category of triplication happens only a dozen times in each century (01-01-01, 02-02-02, 03-03-03, etc.). And today’s occurrence is the last one until January 1, 2101, … almost 90 years from now.
You probably are wondering at this moment how anyone could possibly find such things to be of interest. Yet, contemplating those distinctive calendar numerals certainly trumps dwelling on much more worrisome and frustrating things such as global warming, or legislative deadlock, or multi-trillion-dollar deficits.
So, happy 12-12-12! (Now, what was that about an 11-12-13 next year?)