Sunday, April 06, 2003

Party, boobytrap!

Well, April 6 is my birthday and I'm a palindrome again for the first time in 11 years. In celebration, I encourage you to brush up on your palindromic knowledge.

First a few historical palindromes from Jim Kalb's Palindrome Connection:
"The ancient Greeks often put "Nipson anomemata me monan opsin" on fountains. It translates as "Wash the sin as well as the face." The Romans admired palindromes too, as demonstrated by "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni" (We enter the circle after dark and are consumed by fire"), which was said to describe the action of moths."

Those crazy Greeks! What did they not invent? Check out Jim's page for links to dozens of other fascinating palindrome links.

I've been interested in word palindromes since I was a kid and one of my math teachers (the wonderful Eugene Lehman) asked us what was interesting about the following statement: That irrational numbers are said to be NEVER ODD OR EVEN.

Proof that I became fascinated in palidromes is an old webpage of mine from high school, where I compiled some of my favourite ones. (NB. This page has not been updated in 6 years. I've been trying to delete the darn thing, but I can't remember the password or username. Damn Geocities!)

I held two palindrome parties in the month leading up to New Years Eve 2002. Guests were invited to dress up as their favourite palindromes. I believe that either Sherwin Tjia or Jayne Kennedy won first prize at the first one, and Anders Yates won first prize at the second one. I can't remember Sherwin's palindrome, nor Jayne's, but Anders brought about six palindromes with him. He wore his Spam t-shirt and pinned maps to his back, brought a miniature racecar that may have been a toyota, and he brought a bottle of painkillers with him that only had one pill in it: lonely Tylenol.

2002 was an interesting year to say the least. I wish that I had turned 22 that year, but, alas, my mother was impregnated about five months too late.

Aside from word palindromes, there is the fascinating field of number palindromes. There's a wealth of fun information about them on the web, but I recommend this discussion of Palindromic Primes for advanced palindromers.

So, Happy Birthday to me, if I do say so myself. I hope that my palindrome year goes well... My only wish is that my birthday was not taking place during raw war.

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