O'Really?

February 22, 2022

Happy Twosday! 22/2/22

Happy Twosday, 22.2.22 or 2.22.22! Picture adapted from a public domain image of the international maritime signal flag for the number two on Wikimedia Commons w.wiki/4sCm

Today is Tuesday, the 22nd day of the 2nd month of the year 2022 . Happy Twosday! Depending on where you live that makes today:

What order do you prefer your date in?

How many digits would you like? YYYY (2022) or just YY (22)? MM or just M? DD (02) or D? Numbers (2) or letters (FEB)? Which time zone are you in? Which separator would you like? Dots, slashes, spaces or emojis? 📅

Has the triviality and boredom of date formatting made you lose the will to live? If it hasn’t then the Wikipedia entry on date format by country will probably finish you off. For me, today has to be 22.2.22, despite the fact it doesn’t follow the very sensible ISO 8601 standard. Why? Because when the clock hits 22 hours, 22 minutes and 22 seconds it will be 22-2-22;22:22:22 in the brand new ISO-my-special-date-format that I just made up exclusively for you today. You’re welcome!

Two is a magic number

To cheer us all up and help us remember our times tables, Jazz musician Bob Dorough once sang that three is a magic number. [1] But two is a magic number. Yes it is, it’s a magic number. Somewhere in that ancient mystic duality, you get two as a magic number. There are three reasons why two is an even more magical number than three:

  1. the number two is both the smallest and the only prime number which is even, so it’s known as the oddest prime. See what they did there?
  2. the number two has spiritual and cultural significance, because duality has two sides. Good and evil. With us or against us. Yin and Yang. Dead or Alive. Female or male. Moscow or Washington. Binary or non-binary etc.
  3. the number two is the base of the binary numeral system and how computers compute everything from what sounds you’re listening to, to what show you’re watching, which words you are reading and which route your car takes.

Talking of binary, there are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t. So have a magic Twosday 22.2.22, whichever side of the binary divide you are.

References

  1. Bob Dorough (1973) Three is a magic number in Multiplication Rock, Capitol Records (also covered by De La Soul in their 1989 album 3 Feet High and Rising)


October 24, 2008

PNAS envy?

Filed under: publishing — Duncan Hull @ 6:02 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lincoln with Stars & Stripes by tanakawhoThe United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an “honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare”. Set up by none other than Abraham Lincoln himself, the academy publishes a prestigious scientific journal, called the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, better known as just “PNAS” and available at www.pnas.org. This publication is  part of a supposedly elite club of high-profile journals – Nature, Science and PNAS (NSPNAS) – that many scientists from all around the world, strive to publish in. Now, there are those that think the world would be a better place if we concentrated on what scientists have to say, rather than where they say it. But currently, life doesn’t always work that way. Better journals, usually tend to have better reviewers and these are often the most important places to publish results. (more…)

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