Monday, March 17, 2008

In my prime

The most wonderful day this week is not today, Monday, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, even though faux Irishmen everywhere are spending the day wearing clothing of Kelly green and drinking beer of similar hue. The most wonderful day this week is not Friday, March 21st, the vernal equinox, even though it's one of only two days each year when Earth's poles are equidistant from the sun (on all the other days, thanks to the tilt of Earth's axis, one pole is closer to the sun than the other, which causes our planet to have seasons). One might argue that the most wonderful day this week is Sunday, March 23rd, the day on which Easter (the most wonderful day of this or any other year) occurs this year, except that Sunday is not part of this week, it's part of next week. No, the most wonderful day this week, in my humble opinion (and that phrase, whenever you encounter it, always means "in my not-so-humble opinion"), is tomorrow, March 18th. If you are wondering why, here's the reason:

It's my birthday.

But it's not just any birthday, it's my 67th birthday. Which brings me to prime numbers. Being 66 has been just grand, really it has, but I haven't been in my prime because 66 is a multiple of 11 (you know, 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66) and therefore not a prime number. Prime numbers are not multiples of anything; the only two integers they are the product of are themselves and 1. I would tell you more, but I'd prefer that you go to Drexel University's Math Forum site ( where you can click on "Ask Dr. Math" and then on "FAQ" and then on "Prime Numbers" because they're explained a lot better over there. Also, Drexel has the information copyrighted. While reading about prime numbers over there, you just might also learn about The Sieve of Eratosthenes.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to being in my prime for a whole year. I won't have another such opportunity until 71 comes along (because 68 is 17 times 4, and 69 is 23 times 3, and 70 is 10 times 7, don't you know).


  1. Belated birthday wishes from me to you....from my blog to yours....God's blessings!!

  2. I love this post because I, too, have unusual reasons for loving some ages of mine, more than others. That reason, is called synesthesia. As a synesthite, I see numbers (as well as letters) in color. I'm currently in my 40's, which are a deep, rich, lovely green. But I'm not really looking forward to my 50's, which are a sunflower yellow, because I prefer cool colors to warm.

    I like the idea of factoring in (pun not intended, but appreciated) prime vs composite when thinking of my age. So thanks for that! Now, I'm off to learn about the Sieve of Eratosthenes!