Saturday, January 2, 2010

Never odd or even

The smoke has not even cleared from the decennial debate over whether the new decade actually began yesterday or a year from yesterday, but calendar experts are now celebrating today as Palindrome Day:

Thoreau never had one during his lifetime. Neither did George Washington nor Albert Einstein. Today in the United States, which uses the month/day/year format for dates, there is a rare chance to celebrate a palindrome date - 01/02/2010 - which reads the same forward as it does backward.

Jan. 2, 2010, is the second such date out of 36 that occurs this millennium. The first was 10/02/2001.

And--couldn't be prouder--the story has a Portland angle:

Aziz Inan, a University of Portland electrical engineering professor, has been studying this phenomenon and speaks with great enthusiasm as he describes the history of palindrome dates.

Before 2001, he excitedly pointed out in an interview yesterday, the most recent was in 1308, since days of the month never exceed 31. The next date comes next year: 11/02/2011.

What is the technical term for “calendar expert,” I wonder?

Somehow, though, numeric palindromes just aren't as interesting as their literary cousins. Let this be the final word:

No comments: