They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Lovely Nonsense

I found this via LocusOnline: author Jeff Vandermeer has author John Scalzi answer a few questions. Uh, sort of...

Guy Lombardo Time...

A friend of mine from Michigan Tech reported from elsewhere that on Wednesday that one could experience the time "01:02:03 on 04/05/06". And "that it would never happen again."

Of course, this means nothing to most Europeans, who might instead choose to celebrate Thursday 4 May 2006 with: "01:02:03 on 04.05.06".

As human beings with minds often not working at full power, we lovingly grasp all sorts of symbolism, numerology and other apparent patterns in the noise of life. On weekends, when we stay up later, I sometimes joke to Mrs. Dr. Phil about Magic Time -- when the digital clock reads 12:34. (I suppose in Europe that would be 01:23 instead - grin)

It's like the revelation one gets when one realizes that with the exception of February, the "even-numbered" months allow for a New/Old World friendly symmetric date which falls on the same day of the week for that year. (For 2006, 04/04 is a Tuesday. So is 06/06, 08/08, 10/10 and 12/12.) I pointed this out to a friend who was launching an online e-magazine, suggesting that they make the rollout in 2005 on 04/04, which would be 04.04 in Europe, rather than the ambiguous 04/01, which is April Fool's Day in America anyway...

But such things are merely the accident of numbering systems and conventions. So "01:02:03 on 04/05/06" is a product of both our love of patterns and a particular choice of notation. (1:02:03 on 4/5/2006 isn't nearly as sexy, but it's the same "time".) Whether it happens again in our lifetime or not.

Dr. Phil

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