Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Okay People, Settle Down!

Another in the "Day Late, Dollar Short" series....

Alright, let's get something straight. Yesterday was not 6/6/6, or even 6/6/06. Yesterday was 6/6/2006. That extra two thousand makes all the difference!

Furthermore, even if it had been 6/6/6, it still would have meant nothing. Because 6/6/6 is not 666, but merely a convention for abbreviating dates which utilizes slashs or hyphens. (The American styles of mm/dd/yy and mm/dd/yyyy stink, BTW. The styles that should be used are either dd/mm/yyyy, or better still yyyymmdd without separators of any kind. Any old HR data hounds will understand why.)

In fact, trying to get a number out of 6/6/06 yields one of two answers:

6/6/06 = (6/6) / 06 = (1) / 6 = 1/6


6/6/06 = 6 / (6/6) = 6 / (1) = 6
For Revelations to be relevant to yesterday's date, it would have to read something like this:

"This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is either 1/6 ... or 6. We're not real clear which."
Not very menacing!

(Not that 666 is all that menacing, either. It's not even prime! And the prime factorization of
2 x 3 x 3 x 37= 666
hardly strikes fear in ones heart. It doesn't make me the least bit uncomfortable. Really, they should have picked a truly intimidating number like eleven.)

All of which provides me an excuse to quote some King of the Hill dialogue. (This is from memory, as I didn't see this quote at IMDb.) Hank Hill, his wife Peggy, and their twelve year-old son Bobby are driving to Bobby's Little League game:

Hank: Bobby, remember to give it 110 percent. You can't give anymore than that.
Bobby: Why can't I give it 113 percent?
Peggy: Oh, I don't like that. Thirteen is an unlucky number!
Hank [annoyed]: It's not thirteen, it's one hundred and thirteen!

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