On the Simplicities of Binary Day 10-10-10


I’ve been calling today “Binary Day.” One-Zero-One-Zero-One-Zero. All ones and zeroes. A binary day. Oh, there have been others this year — in January and in November — but this particular Binary Day is unique.

It’s the only Binary Day that is exactly the same on both sides of the Atlantic. Our British cousins, for reasons that pass beyond my meagre understanding, write out their dates differently than we do here in the United States.

They also add needless “u”s to words, and they’ve somehow made the letter “r” silent. They’re a strange people, our British cousins. 😆

The interesting thing about this Binary Day, besides the congruity of American and British renderings of the date, is what 101010 means, if translated from binary (base-2) to decimal (base-10).

It’s 42.

And, as any hoopy frood who’s read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy knows, 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

It also sounds profound in the dulcet tones of Dame Helen Mirren.

Ergo, Douglas Adams would approve of today. :h2g2:

I don’t know that anything I did today amounts to the profundity that Binary Day clearly demands. I did not read any Hitchhiker’s Guide. I have not listened to Big Finish’s adaptation of the unfinished Shada. I have used the computer, and its language is that of ones and zeros, so all is well there.

I did laundry, hung it out on the clothesline. I suspect that today will be the last good outdoor laundry this year.

I read much of Robert Harris’ The Ghost Writer. I’d picked the book up, cheap, at Borders a few weeks ago, intending to read it. Seeing the movie on DVD at Wal-Mart last night pushed the book to the fore of my reading queue. (I did not pick up the DVD, however. I will, but I wanted to read the book first, before watching the film.)

Not every day needs to be memorable. Or profound. Sometimes, it’s enough just to be content, to be in the moment, to sit in the sunshine, read a gripping book, and feel the autumnal breeze.

That was Binary Day for me.
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Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On the Simplicities of Binary Day 10-10-10

  1. The British – indeed, most of the world – write their dates day/month/year because that way the components are actually in order. You wouldn’t say that something weighed “2 tons, 6 ounces, and 300 pounds”; why would you say “today is the first month, the fifteenth day thereof, of the year 2010”?

    (Personally, I tend to write year-month-day because then it also sorts alphabetically. Very important when naming files. ISO 8601 is my friend.)

    1. I work someplace where there is absolutely no consistency to dating conventions. There are things that are done month first and things that are done year first, and then people get their knickers in a twist when month-first files don’t sort they way they expect in archival directories. 🙂

      I personally use the British system in my own correspondence — day month(spelled out) year.

      My friends just think I’m weird. 😉

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