Today is really Square Day!

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Happy Square Day!
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2009 17:24:39 -0600
From: Roger Hill
Reply-To: Handheld Computing Conference discussion list
Organization: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
To:, ****

Hi all,

Recently there was something in the news about “Square Root Day”,
03/03/09, and Richard Nelson circulated an E-mail about it. I was
corresponding with a friend about this, and he suggested asking what
you would get if you just ran the day, month, and 4-digit year
together as MMDDYYYY and looked for perfect squares. For example,
today in American-style notation is 3/05/2009 which runs together as
the number 3052009.

So I checked on that, and was rather startled to discover that the
nearest “square day” is actually TODAY! Happy Square Day!!

Naturally I had to turn a computer loose on the problem, so using
Excel I found that today is only the 6th square day since 1900 (which
is as far back as Excel deals with dates). The last one was
9/01/2004. But the next one is only a few weeks away, 4/01/2009 (no
fooling!). After that, you’ll have to wait till 2/26/2016.

If (like me) you favor the YYYY/MM/DD notation, today is not a square
day but the next one will be 2015/11/21. I have not yet tried to
figure it out for the European-style (DDMMYYYY) format.

— Roger

(P.S. I’m sending this to both the HHC and the CHIP lists; sorry if
you get it twice as a result.)

HHC mailing list


Where’s “The Lost and Found”?

At 9:16 AM Dec 22nd @vincenthunt said, “There are far too many people walking around looking for their passion, and their purpose. I wonder where the ‘lost and found’ is??” Immediately, my mind started thinking about why. I wrote back “The ‘lost and found’ is everyone and it is also deep inside each person waiting. You’ve inspired me to write a blog post.” So here’s the post:

Society at large seems to teach us that we are born, go to school, get a mediocre job, retire, then die. While we’re living we might make some money, we might inadvertently change the world, and we’ll probably buy a few things along the way. This doesn’t strike me as a picture that inspires purpose into a life. In fact it seems to take away purpose.

I think most people think they need a “job”; they think they need to be employed. Most people are raised to think that there is no other way to make an easy living. People also tend to seek the approval of others. Many people probably don’t do this intentionally, rather subconsciously. Maybe they think people won’t approve of them quitting their job and risking their income. Maybe they’re just afraid that they won’t be able to have all of what they do now. That might be true. It might be tough to start a new venture after quiting a job.

Entrepreneurs are more likely to not think this way. If they want something to happen they will go for it. If they see how the world could be different they will convince enough people to make it happen. They will ask for whatever it takes to do it. They won’t be afraid to ask. They won’t think about how weird it might seem. They don’t think about how strange doing something seemingly impossible is to other people. They also have the confidence to know that it can be done and the knowledge and ability to direct it to completion. They know how to work their magic.

Now this is too idealistic. Most entrepreneurs are not one hit wonders. They too must learn their craft. Perhaps a few of them were lucky to have caregivers that taught them the ways of the entrepreneur. I venture that most didn’t have that good fortune. So what makes these people different from you or me? Nothing really. They just saw something and went for it. They probably fell along the way. Everyone falls when they learn to walk.

So what does this have to do with where the “lost and found” is? I think people lose their purpose about the time they realize it’s easier to keep doing what they’re doing: crawling along at some job they can merely put up with. The thing is, people probably still have that purpose inside of them. Buried underneath the seeming impossibility of it all, is a passion they lost track of in the mess that our lives seem to become. Now here is where everyone becomes involved: Everyone is similar at some level. People have needs. If one has a compulsion to do or make something, there are probably a few people out there who would enjoy it or have a need for it. Basically, if you feel compelled to provide an item or a service that brings value to people, you’ll succeed. It seems so simple and feels so counter to our everyday lives; but if you really go for it, you’ll be free from the tyranny of boredom. Just go out there and learn to walk and you’ll do what you enjoy doing. You might just find your passion and purpose.