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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fraction Fiesta (June 8, 2011)

Today I am exactly 37 years, 6 months and zero days. You know what this means, right? If I’m 37.5% of 100, today is my three-eighths of a century! (Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten all the fractions/percentages stuff from 7th grade!)

How does one celebrate being 3/8 of a century? Above, I illustrated what 3/8 of a cake would look like. Can you sing 3/8 of the tune “Happy Birthday?”

This is probably one of the less celebrated achievements in life. I seriously doubt Hallmark has a line of 3/8 birthday cards. Maybe they should! Maybe this will be my intro to greeting card design—a line of cards celebrating obscure milestones. Of course for most of us, life is very busy and we are lucky to remember the actual birthdays of those close to us. (This is why all the card companies have belated birthday cards.) So aspiring to calculate and remember a friend’s 3/8 of a century is a bit optimistic.

It was a few weeks ago that I realized this day was coming. I called my Dad, because he is a math enthusiast. He was excited that I had noticed my upcoming 3/8 of a century, as this is precisely the kind of thing he often calculates. Once, we were visiting relatives and all of a sudden, a whoop of excitement came from the next room. Dad shouted happily to my sister that it was her 1/8 of a century (she was exactly twelve and a half that day). Dad threw himself a One Billion Seconds Alive party when he was approximately thirty-one (he figured out to the nearest hour what time he would reach this milestone). So you see what I mean. Our family is no stranger to celebrating obscure anniversaries.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to celebrate other milestones too, besides the birthdays ending in “0,” which tend to be celebratory affairs. My great-aunt is almost 101 and very sharp, so I have hopes of longevity. If you’re not doing anything in December 2073, I’ll be celebrating my 100th birthday. Watch for the Evite.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Happy semi-unbirthday to you. I wish you were thinking of this 58 or more days ago. I could have used it back on April 12th! I guess I can't be greedy. I made my 37th bday sort of significant through my own numerical manipulations!