Geeking Out on 11/11/11

The kids are out of school today, banks are closed, there’s no mail. Obviously, something special is going on. Turkey hasn’t gone on sale yet…what’s going on? Well, the calendar reminds us that today is Armistice Day or Veterans Day—two occasions certainly worth commemorating, but is that really what all the fuss is about?
One

Not exactly. If you write a check (do people do that anymore?) or check out your digital time display, you know that today is 11/11/11.  All those 1’s…very auspicious.

Get Your Geek On

One group that’s celebrating the date (and later, the time): programmers. Maybe you’ve heard of binary code—the “thing” that makes your computer and smartphone run.  Yeah, it’s a system of just 0’s and 1’s—that’s all you know about it. But programmers live it, breathe it, dream in it. And today is their new year: 11.11.11—“It is “ON,” as Adam Rifkin, organizer of the Nerd New Year part in Silicon Valley put it. They’re celebrating with a hackathon and party at 11:11 pm (talk about after hours).

You know who else is celebrating? Verizon. Today is the release of the Droid RAZR. It goes on sale at 11:11 am—so everyone on the East Coast, your new phones are ready.

One Isn’t the Loneliest Number…at least today

Ironically, on a day marked by 1’s, thousands of people are taking the plunge and getting hitched. Las Vegas chapels are running 11/11/11 wedding specials. Over 4,000 applications for weddings have already been processed. But the strip isn’t the only place seeing the coupling action. Municipalities all over the country are bringing in extra staff to process the requests in time for people to make the 1 + 1 commitment before bell tolls 12.

Who’s #1?

American programmers and sweethearts aren’t the only 11/11/11 observers. Mothers in South Korea have flooded hospitals demanding c-sections so that their babies can be born on this auspicious day. Apparently the birthday follows newborns in their resident registration numbers, which, if they are born today, begins 111111.

Although the same make-a-birthday rush hasn’t hit American hospitals, one Iowa doctor is offering a refund on delivery fees to women who give birth today. He’s not superstitious, just a nice guy giving back—the money will be held in a special account and given to the baby when they turn 21.  Personally, we think the kid’s 11th birthday seems more appropriate, but I suppose 11 year olds aren’t exactly good money managers.  Wait, are 21 year olds good money managers?

You may pride yourself on being above all this 11/11/11 nonsense. Or you may take pride in being one of those husbands who will never forget his wedding anniversary (nice planning, guys!).  But, whoever and wherever you are, you’ll probably be keeping an eye on the clock to make a wish at 11:11…we will!

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