## Thirty-first of March

Ah, the thirty-first of March. My birthday and the Eve of April Fools’ Day*.

A normal human being might say “My! One of those weird coincidences, such a clown born on such a day!”, but since I am a mathematician, I know it’s something better, namely the Law of Small Numbers.

I also share my birthday with the quite bigshot mathematician RenĂ© Descartes (in 1596)… and on my birthday, the equally famous physicist-mathematician Isaac Newton died (in 1727). Spooky, no?

No.

Trust me, with only 365 unique days of the year to choose from, there surely is something that fits you, specifically you, among the things that happened either exactly on you birthday, or then on the day immediately before or after it. Really, 3 of 365 is around one percent — if the things that do happen are evenly distributed among the days of a year (a reasonable assumption), about one-hundreth of all the things that have ever happened, have done so on your birthday, on its eve, or on the day just after it. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume there’s something — a birth, a death, or some other event or premiere or publication that echoes your personal interests.

If you doubt that there’s something just for you, go and have a browse in Wikipedia (dates at the bottom of this page). I guarantee there’s something that makes you say something along the lines of “What! I’m a physicist too!” or “Another Belgian-born!” or “Why, I love that movie!”

Now, after a bit of searching, you can go around bragging that you’ve got the same birthday as Firstname Surname, an obscenely famous figure in your special field of interest… and those that don’t do mathematics exclaim “My! It’s like magic!”

* * *

* : You can even get sweet Eris Discordia the goddess of disorder into my birthday by thinking “(Eve of April Fools’) Day” instead of “Eve of (April Fools’ Day)”.