Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Billionth birthsecond

It's probably a guy thing, like watching the car's odometer roll over to 100,000 miles. But observing birthseconds is really no different than celebrating birthdays, when you think about it. Specifically, the occurrence of one's billionth birthsecond is a rather singular milestone in one's life span. It is the only birthsecond magnitude one can observe with any real appreciation. The next lower magnitude, that of 100 thousand seconds, occurs when one is just a tad over 3 years old, too young to grasp what such a number entails. The next larger magnitude, 10 billion seconds, occurs at an interval of over 300 years; no chance to observe that event.

Just shy of 32 years of age, the billionth birthsecond could be seen as a sort of coming of age. You're a complete adult now, having typically completed your formal education, embarked upon a career and vocation, fully established, experienced, and capable of assuming leadership while retaining the strength of youth. The moment marking the prime of life. Very close to a hobbit's coming of age at 33 years (ref. The Lord of the Rings).

One could also make an argument for observing one's conceptionsecond (and conceptionday), as that is when one's life really began. We are all about nine months older than our birth age. But it's difficult to determine the exact day, much less the time of day, marking that beginning. Births tend to be more public events than conceptions, and so birthdays and birthseconds are more readily observed.

At any rate, I think it a worthy and interesting subject for thought. So much so that my first foray into javascript programming is a series of simple calculators that compute the elapsed seconds between two dates and times, and so facilitate (among other things) the observance of one's billionth birthsecond. If you're interested, check it out at If you're 31+ years of age, your billionth birthsecond is near!

(I wish I'd thought of this 25 years ago, in time for my own personal odometer event.)

Note: Your browser appears to have javascript disabled. The linked page requires javascript, and will not run properly, if at all, without it.

1 comment:

Jerry said...
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