Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Only Once In A Century: 11/11/11/11/11/11

At eleven seconds past eleven minutes after 11 AM this Friday, November 11, 2011, the time/date in succeeding digits will be for the only time this century a sequence of a single digit repeated a dozen times, 11/11/11/11/11/11. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Since the century began on 01/01/01 (no year zero, 2000 was indeed the last year of the 20th century), I have been thinking about those once a year days when one has the same two-digit number repeated three times for the date. There will be one more of those next year for this century on 12/12/12. I think the only one of these that got much attention was 07/07/07, which somehow became a faddish day to get married, one of my faculty colleagues (not in my dept) doing so then.

While thinking about this upcoming event this year, I was thinking about the fact that it was the old Armistice Day and remembered hearing when much younger that the armistice that ended WW I between France, Germany, Britain (and its empire), and the US was signed on "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" in 1918 (the war went on for several more years in some other locations). This got me thinking about time as well as date and how this one was full of elevens.

Then on Nov. 1 I was sitting in a piazza in Trento, Italy drinking some macchiato (gave a lecture there the next day) and saw a sign for the date, 1/11/11, and realized that we were dealing this time with a sequence of a single digit. Putting that together with my thoughts about both time and date led me to the conclusion I am posting on now here, which I think I am the first person to point out.

So, on Friday, when the moment comes for you wherever you are, have a happy onece-in-a-century 11/11/11/11/11/11.


Nerdy McGee said...

Won't the same time in the P.M. be equally full of elevens? I take the use of A.M. to imply that we're not using military time.

Also, kind of funny to place this moment of joy on Armistice Day, which is also supposed to have a minute of silent remembrance at 11 a.m.

Barkley Rosser said...

Nerdy, I wrote AM when describing it verbally. That it is only once implies that military, or European, or whatever you want to call it, is what really counts.

Flarn2006 said...

At my high school students had to turn in their cell phones at the beginning of the day. One of my teachers made an exception to let me take a picture of the digital clock on the wall at precisely 11:11:11 AM.