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10 November 2011

Praise: Veterans and Geeks

Veterans Day in the United States, once known as Armistice Day and known elsewhere as Remembrance Day, originally celebrated the signing of the agreement to end the War to end all wars.  As we know, it failed to do so.  The Great War, ending at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, had to be renamed World War I when it had a successor far too soon after.

All of those who serve and who did serve should receive a simple thank you.  That is both deserved and appropriate.  We made the mistake of blaming the soldiers of the war in Viet Nam.  It is the leaders who deserve credit and blame for going to war.  Those who serve deserve thanks.

11-11-11 is auspicious because of the symmetry of the date.  A perfect palindrome is unusual.  Numerologists are having a field day.  The cities of Reno, Las Vegas, and Niagara Falls are expecting a lot of weddings, both planned and last minute.  Anyone marrying on this date who forgets their anniversary deserves to be in the dog house for a long time.

Some women are trying to give birth on 11-11-11.  Some psychics have some extreme predictions.  There are too many to link here, just go and play with Google or Bing if you are curious.

Math and computer geeks are having fun with the numbers themselves.  111111 can be a binary number, the equivalent of 63 in our usual decimal way of counting.  Mathematicians would point out that 111111 is a valid number in any regular base, not just base two.

111111 base 3 is the equivalent of 364 base 10

here are a couple more

111111 base 11 is the equivalent of 177,156 base 10

for the computer geeks

111111 base 16 is the equivalent of 1,118,481 base 10

and for the real math geeks

111111 base 111111 is the equivalent of 16,935,155,549,712,959,237,333,656 base 10

Try to get that answer with your calculator!

Happy Binary, Geeky, Veterans Day.

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