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Test Pattern: Birthdays by the numbers

Sure, 04/05/06 is kind of cool, but don’t forget 9/9/99

Birthdays by the numbers

By now, you've probably received at least one e-mail or seen one article (hey! maybe it was !) about today's date being 04/05/06. Yes, it's inconsequential, but me being someone who's always thought it was a little cool when the clock reads 12:34, I got a kick out of it anyway. Some newborns out there are ending up with a pretty lucky sounding birthday.

A friend of mine was born on 4/5/67, and he's always had fun filling that in the million forms that come one's way in life. And my niece had a near-miss with a cool birthday of her own, when she arrived just one day before 6/7/89.

We've had equally cool dates where the numbers just repeat over and over. Princess Beatrice, daughter of Sarah Ferguson and England's Prince Andrew, entered this world on 8/8/88. (If I remember correctly, she was even born at 8:18.) Even in Britain, where they list the month after the date — the reverse of the U.S. style — that's a neat birthdate. On a OK-not-quite-as-famous level, my niece reports that her dog's birthdate is easy to remember because he arrived on 9/9/99. (On a spookier note, the is being released on ... 06/06/06.)

I imagine folks who arrived on dates heading back as far as 1/1/11 think they have pretty cool birthdays as well. And how easy is it to figure out the ages of 5- and 6-year-olds these days, as long as you remember they were born in that magic birth class of 2000?

If they're honest, almost everyone's just a little bit fascinated with his or her birthday. It's so random and yet so personal. When a friend gave birth recently, I went out and bought as many newspapers and magazines as I could that carried that day's date. Right now, they just seem like month-old detritus, but if I can find a way to preserve them (acid-free paper might help), I hope that some day they'll be a fascinating peek into the past for that little girl. And another friend is celebrating an almost-milestone birthday this weekend, and I'm working up a trivia quiz about the day and year he was born. A great help in this activity is . Just type in any month and date in the search box and you'll be taken to a page that's chock full of famous happenings from that day throughout history.

Happy birthday, whenever yours may be.

Stranger than fiction

I know April Fool’s Day was Saturday, but there are a couple of news stories floating around still that I’m not quite sure aren’t April Fool’s Day hoaxes. Oh come on, you’re thinking the same thing.

• Come on, how can not be a hoax? Although I'm kind of thankful that it didn't depict her C-section.

. Whatever happened to the head Deadhead’s head?

• Kids . They’ve got to quit driving themselves through the drive-thrus. Also, no wonder .

• Britney’s husband says Only if they’re burning piles of the album.

Multi-link Monday: Ladies love William Hung

Brand-new week, brand-new month. Here's this week's multi-link Monday, and remember, you're always welcome to send in suggestions for a fun Monday link.

• Remember William Hung, the oh-so-awful "American Idol" auditioner who's made a career out of singing so badly? There's a whole page on his official site called featuring notes and photos from women who luuuuuuve him. Says one: "Your voice makes a choir of angels pale in comparison."

• It's almost Easter, so it's Cadbury Creme Eggs time. Spotted at my local Seattle 7-Eleven: . Absolutely brilliant.

• There hasn't been much choice in 39-cent postage stamps recently, but they're starting to trickle out. I just bought , featuring animals from classic children's books, and they're really very cool. The animals include Wilbur the pig from "Charlotte's Web," Curious George, Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks, and one of the Wild Things from "Where the Wild Things Are."

• Bizarre but kinda catchy: is one goofy song. I never really thought about whether cats have knees or not.

•  Reader-submitted link: More fun with Easter candy: is an oldie, but a goodie. (Thanks to Melodie for sending this in!)