Happy Birthday to Wil Wheaton — You’re Still Prime to Us!


Illustration by Chuck Gamble

If you follow friend-of-GeekDad and all around most excellent geek Wil Wheaton on Twitter, you’ll know that earlier this week he was bemoaning the fact that he would be turning 38 today. He tweeted “…it feels much, much older than 37.” Especially because his age was no longer a prime number.

His Twitter fans ponied up with the geeky support, pointing out that 38 was the sum of the squares of the first three primes (2×2 + 3×3 + 5×5), giving it some kind of 2001: A Space Odyssey kind of cosmic significance. He cheered up.

However, we at GeekDad, in wishing Wil a happy birthday ourselves, want to point out a few more (easily googlable) things about the number 38 to help keep his new age in perspective.

  • You can choose to say that you’re in your late-middle thirties, rather than your early-late thirties. Glass half-full!
  • The number 38 was especially prominent in Norse mythology. The number was said to represent unnatural bravery, characteristic of the legendary heroes of Norse sagas. Most legendary sagas were divided into 38 chapters, and the number often recurred throughout stories, with the heroes combating giants or other beasts in groups of 38. Just think of your life up to now as a Norse myth!
  • Egyptian pharaohs were often buried with 38 statues of cat guardians, and their sarcophagi were adorned with 38 ankhs. If ever you needed an idea for a tattoo…
  • There are 38 slots on an American roulette wheel. Poker is sooo last-year.
  • On a good day, you can say you’re feeling “38 Special.”
  • The number 38 is a nontotient. And if you knew what that was without looking it up, +10 nerd points!

So 38th Happy Birthday Wil, from your friends at GeekDad! Keep up the good work, and remember: next year you’re 39, which is when you get to stop counting!

Special thanks for the awesome image above go to Chuck Gamble, aka LuckyRadish, the awesomely cool creator of Slide-a-ma-jig!

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