Now that we are more than a decade safely beyond Y2K and secure in our knowledge that the big calendar switch didn't incite the collapse of the modern world, we can relax a bit and enjoy some of the cooler quirks that come along with living in the infant stages of a new millennium.
One such curiosity is the advent of palindrome dates. Jan. 2, 2010, for example, was just the second time in more than six centuries that the day's date could be read the same forwards as backwards. Palindrome dates, by their very nature, only occur in the early centuries of a millennium. There will be 36 of them during this millennium — the last one will be on Sept. 22, 2290. The next one after that won't be until Oct. 3, 3001.
But palindrome dates aren't the only way that calendar number geeks — I mean enthusiasts — get their thrills.
Among other patterns, there are repeating dates (1/11/11 = 11111), repeating sequences (10/31/03 = 103 103), and sequential dates (8/9/10 = 8,9,10; and if you start with the time of 12:34:56.7, you get 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Which brings us to Oct. 11, 2012 — otherwise known as 10/11/12, a classic sequential date. If you start with the time of 12:34:56:7.89 (you'll need a very precise clock) you get the golden sequence of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Wow!
But that's not all. Oct. 11 has other tricks up its sleeve. The 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar has some nifty patterns worth noting. At 12:11:01 a.m. it will be (in military hours) 10/11 0:11:01 which is special for its triple repeat of three numbers: 101, 101, 101.
In the year 1582, there was no Oct. 11 in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar. But in 2012, it exists to the delight of number funsters everywhere. In fact, there are 26 number patterns that can be found in the date. Check out the Date Pattern Calculator for the whole Oct. 11 shebang.
And if you feel sad that a uniquely patterned calendar date has passed, not to worry. There's always the next day — Oct. 13 at 9:31:01 p.m. presents a perfect palindrome: 101312-213101.
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