Tomorrow is my 50/52 (or 25/26) birthday! Usually I only keep track of monthly fractions like my half-birthday on Dec. 2, or my 5/6 birthday on April 2. We’re in the endgame now though, and anticipation is rising. My favorite thing about being 28 has been that it’s a Perfect Number, according to mathematicians. To be perfect, the factors of a number must add up to the number itself. The last time I was a perfect number was when I was 6. Observe:
1 x 6 = 6
2 x 3 = 6
28 = 28 x 1; 14 x 2; 7 x 4
1 + 14 + 2 + 7 + 4 = 28
Wow! I love that! And I won’t be a perfect number again till I’m 496. It’s been a big year for me, finishing my first year as a high school teacher way back in Syracuse, attending my little brother-in-law and new sister-in-law’s wedding and my college roommate and new college-roommate-in-law’s wedding, reveling at my 10-year high school reunion, and of course, leaving everything I know to adventure in Berlin. Man, I’m getting old for this kind of excitement.
Luckily, 29 also has it’s charms. It’s a prime, which means it only has two factors, 1 and itself. There’s no other way to multiply positive whole numbers to get 29. As I age, I get fewer primes. They used to crop up all the time (11, 13, 17, 19), but my last one was age 23. This year, I’m glad to be heading back to my prime.
Which brings me to my second nerdy pastime, puns. None of you seem to have appreciated my tulip pun at the end of April. Samuel Johnson said puns are the lowest form of humor, but Shakespeare agreed with me. Puns are hilarious! If I ever got good enough to make a pun auf Deutsch, I would feel like I’d arrived. I can use Deutsch to make puns in English, but so far, no German puns. It’s hard in a language where, for example, the word for a ride is Mitfahrgelegenheit (with-drive-possibility) and speeding is Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung (speed-exceedence).