Photo © Stewpot.org

Photo © Stewpot.org

Today is the 11th day of the 12th month, 2013. People are getting quite excited about it, as this sort of sequence won’t happen again in the calendar for another 89 years! (The next one will be 01/02/03 on the 1st of February, 2103). You can even add the time into the sequence. If I’d been a bit quicker I could have written this post at 09:10 on 11/12/13!

It’s fun looking at patterns like this in birthdays and other important dates. Maybe you have a good birthday with an interesting number. I know a little girl who was born on 11 August 2011, so her birth date is 11/8/11. My grandmother was born on 11 May 1905, which is 11/05/05. What if you were born on September 9th, 1999? Then your birth date would be 9/9/99. The 3rd of March 2003 would give you 03/03/03!

My own birthday isn’t one of those special ones, but I like looking for patterns in the numbers I come across (for example, when I look at the number of visitors to this blog). Recently I reached over 44,000 visits and I thought it would be great if I could catch the counter when it reached 44,444. Sadly, it happened in the middle of the night, so I missed it! Then I thought, I’ll just wait until it gets to 45,678. But somehow I missed that too. It’s now over 46,000, so it will be a long time until another interesting number comes along. What shall I try for? Maybe 54,321

Apparently lots of people will be getting married today for good luck. A retired science teacher in America called Ron Gordon is very interested in quirky dates, and he is offering a cash prize of $1112.13 for the best celebration today. Back in 1981 he invented “square root day” (on the 9th of September, since 9 x 9 = 81). There is another square root day coming up in a few years’ time: 4 April 2016. I wonder if he’ll be offering any more prizes! He is also looking forward to “trumpet day” on 2/2/22.

In honour of today’s date I thought it would be fun to share some number games. There is one called Kaprekar’s Sequence which goes like this: 1) think of a two-digit number (they must be different numbers); 2) reverse the digits for a new number; 3) subtract the smaller number from the larger one; 4) repeat several times with different numbers and see if you can spot a pattern emerging in the results. Here are a few examples:

85 – 58 = 27   32 – 23 = 9  62 – 26 = 36  91 – 19 = 72  53 – 35 = 18

(Hint: what are all the results a multiple of?)

If you like number patterns you might like to try this BBC website where you can find the last two numbers in a sequence to open a safe! Inside you’ll see some pretty weird prizes, like a fancy sports car and an emu. Or is that an ostrich?

Here’s another great website full of number patterns and games you can play. It’s called Maths is Fun! It will explain triangular, square and cube numbers. I didn’t know numbers came in so many shapes!

Do let me know if you have a quirky number for your birthday. There must be lots of you born in the first decade of this century (2001 to 2010 on the 1st of January, 2nd of February, 3rd of March and so on…) I want to hear from you!

Breaking news! I’ve finally caught a great number on my viewing statistics (and it only took until 9.10.14 to happen:

all sixes