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|Essays · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Video||summer 2021|
Happy palindromic new year!
Two-thousand two is, in fact, the first 4-digit palindromic year since 1991. We who are living now and have been living since 1991 are the few who have been privileged to have been alive during not only one, but two 4-digit palindromic years first time EVER that such an opportunity has occurred within the spanse of a human lifetime. That is, via the Western, 'Julian' calendar, of course.
I guess the first real palindromic year would have been A.D. 101 (remember, in B.C. times, nobody went around calling it "B.C. 101"). That is, disallowing '99' as a palindrome, cause it's just too easy. So then, the first time humans could have lived through two palindromic years would have been the years 101 and 121 (20 years apart), followed by in that first century anno domini, 121 & 131, 131 & 141, 141 & 151, 151 & 161, 161 & 171, 171 & 181, 181 & 191, and 191 & 202. Presuming that in the first century A.D. the longest human lifespan may have been, say, no more than 120 years, then someone born in 101 and dying in 202 could have actually lived through not two but 10 palindromic years!
The second through the ninth centuries seem to have been equally rich with palindromic years, each with 10. But once we passed the first millenium mark, things turned quickly sparse: 1001 & 1111 [110 years] (only once in that century, and not again until the present day).
So, you're surely wondering, when will the next one be? Try 2002 and 2112 [110 yrs.], but then not again until some 800 years later the years 2992 and 3003 [11 years].
That is, in the Western calendar. Remember that song from (I think) the early 70s: In the Year 2525...? I used to just LOVE that song! It was so cool, so Science Fiction, so Futurist:
In the year 2525,
From my journal written back when I was in Thailand in 1996:
Since then I've done a slight bit of research* and have found this list, from oldest to youngest:
*Note: These from a very interesting website on the topic of historical calendars.
But those are only the calendars still in use. What about other, more ancient calendars, and what would be the current year if they were still in use?
So, after all this time, which calendar wins as the oldest possible one to use? The winner is... those wacky Egyptians, who would have us already in the year 6238. In fact, that wonderful calendar site notes that the Egyptian calendar begins with the first recorded year in history, 4236 B.C.E. So, happy 6238, or something.
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