Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Very Wikipedia Birthday

I blame our base ten numbering system for the emphasis I can't quite help placing on the fact that I turn 40 tomorrow. Normally, I strive to avoid ill will toward numbers and numbering systems, but the arbitrary assignment of meaning would seem incomplete without a little arbitrary casting of blame.

Wikipedia has a surprisingly rich write-up of the number forty, which begins rather matter-of-factly before warming up to the subject:

40 (forty) is the natural number following 39 and preceding 41.
Indeed it is! In my palsied dotage I am gratified to see Wikipedia conform to my longstanding bias for stating the obvious.

Not that it's any consolation, but P. Diddy and Matthew McConaughey are also turning exactly 40 tomorrow, joining a long list of celebrities that share the birthday but turn some other age. The clock ticks and bell tolls for bigger-than-Jesus rappers and extremely talented actors too.

A lot of interesting stuff has happened on our planet's collection of Novembers fourth, including last year's election of Barack Obama, the 1979 taking of the Iranian hostages, the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, the 1783 debut performance of Mozart's 36th symphony, and the 1677 marriage of William and Mary, without which the college of William and Mary would have a different name but would still suck ass at all varieties of football.

Sigh. I'm too old to be writing this. I honestly thought I would "grow up" before becoming "old." When can I expect to be issued my astronaut diaper?

(image source)


Laura said...

Dale, have a very happy birthday!

larryniven said...

Congratulations on having survived another year on earth, and good luck with the next one.

Dale said...

LN, Laura, thanks!