O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

It’s Square Root Day (Happy Nerd Holiday!)

You probably would never have thought of this yourself (I didn’t), but today is a special day: It’s Square Root Day. I’m surprised we didn’t get the day off.

What makes today Square Root Day? Well, math-is-hard Barbie, it’s because today’s date is 3.3.09. And three is the square root of nine. Square Root Day — a day in which the month and day are the square roots of the last two digits of the year — only occurs nine times each century. That means it’s a big deal. That means if you don’t celebrate properly today, you’ll have to wait until April 4, 2016, to do this day right.


Miss that one and you’re stuck until May 5, 2025. Don’t waste today.

Are you into other nerd holidays?

If so, then you’re certainly looking forward to Pi Day on March 14 (3.14). The best time to celebrate it is at 1:59, because true math nerds know the mathematical constant ? can be rounded to 3.14159 at five decimal places.

You might also be anticipating the Day of Ones — November 11, 2011. On that date, we’ll note it 11.11.11. Or 11/11/11, depending on whether or not you’re a dot or slash person.

Even bigger nerds will want to be aware of Mole Day, which occurs between 6:02 am and 6:02 pm on October 23. Because you would note that date as 6:02 10/23, which is similar to the Avogadro constant (6.02×1023), which defines the number of number of elementary pieces (molecules, for instance) in a mole. And as nerds know, a mole is one of the seven base SI units, along with the metre, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, and candela.


When I write my next novel, by the way, it will definitely feature an evil scientist named Kelvin Candela.


OK, I apologize. That second-to-last paragraph was the boringest thing I’ve ever written. Wading through it just made me want to pull out every single strand of my hair, braid them into a rope, and use that rope to try to lasso the squirrels in my backyard…just to have something else to do.

Please come back tomorrow. I promise not to talk about any constants — mathematical, Avogadro, or otherwise.

To make it up to you, I will now post a photo of cute kittens.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

“Wading through it just made me want to pull out every single strand of my hair, braid them into a rope, and use that rope to try to lasso the squirrels in my backyard…just to have something else to do.”Are you having flashbacks to a time when your flowing golden locks would have actually made a quality squirrel-catching apparatus? Because now, notsomuch.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

Huh? I’m sorry. I missed the last paragraph because I was too focused on the word “boringest.” (English nerd.)Happy Square Root Day! And it falls the same month as Pi Day… March is awesome. 😀

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Jason Boyett

posted March 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

@jen:I went with “boringest” because “most boring” is traditional, appropriate, and therefore: boring.I’m rebelling against English nerd-dom. I’m rebelliousalicious.@Shuey:Admittedly, it would have been easier to capture squirrels with a rope made from the flowing golden mullet.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 10:56 am

Square Root Day. How awesome!I’m totally nerdy. If anyone wants any evidence, they need look no further than the fact that I like squares and cubes and as they relate to people’s ages. I definitely said once last year, “I like being 25 because it means I’m a perfect square.”Perfect square indeed.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

Every morning at 11:23:58, I drink to the memory of Leonardo of Pisa. I have another at 1:12:35.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 11:24 am

please notice the time stamp on my comment.

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posted March 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

i just wished all my classes a happy square root day!! i’m a math teacher and a nerd so it’s pretty exciting.

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Travis Thompson

posted March 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Thank you for joining the cause that all math and science teachers proudly champion: nerd holiday awareness. The kids in my classes can’t wait for the March 14th, cause you just can’t have pi day without pies!

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posted March 4, 2009 at 8:32 am

Jason, this is how seriously we take Pi Day at our office –

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Dan Lewis

posted July 16, 2009 at 8:01 am

I'm kind of catching up on your blog, and I know you'll probably never see this because it is now July, but in addition to pi day, what about when it's the year 3141 on May 9th at 2:65am, oh wait…crap, that doesn't work!

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posted December 13, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Some of those holidays don't exist in Australia, as we do day/month/year. I feel like I am missing out now :(

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