1010* Fun Things to Do on 10/10/10

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Counting on your fingers in BinaryCounting on your fingers in Binary

Counting on your fingers in Binary, photo by Nathan Barry

(Reposted with minor changes from Friday.)

Today is the 10th of October 2010, or 10/10/10, or 101010: a binary day! Of course, it’s also a decimal day too, and one of the few that is the same no matter which way around you write your dates — so long as you don’t write the century part of the year, of course.

Without the decimal system we’d all still be using crazy imperial systems, with their seemingly random “n foos to a bar” schemes. 16 ounces to a pound and 14 pounds to a stone. 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, 1,760 yards to a mile. 2 Coultons to the Hodgman and 9 Hodgmans to the Fry. Crazy fools… wait, what’s that you say? You’re still using them? Oh dear…

And without binary, the world would implode as virtually nothing would work without the system that all computing is based around.

So in honor of a date that won’t come around for another 100 years, here are 1010* binary and decimal items of interest:

*See the first item …

Binary People by Think GeekBinary People by Think Geek

Binary People by Think Geek

1 – First of all, if you don’t get the joke on this fabulous Think Geek T-Shirt, please take the opportunity to expand your horizons.

10 – Learn how to count to 1,023 on your fingers in binary.
Counting to 10 on your fingers is so easy, even small children can do it! Why not try and go higher?
Looking at the backs of your hands, your right pinky represents 1, the right ring finger is 2, and right middle finger is 4, and so on, doubling on each finger all the way up to 512 for your left pinky (see photo at the top of the post).
Now, a raised finger represents a one (on), and lowered finger is a zero (off) and away you go. Just watch out when you get to 132!
intuitor.com has a great little Java applet to help you visualise the process and it can also show you how to do it in Base Six, Hex and BCD, should you so desire.

11 – Check out a 47-first stellation of icosidodecahedron morphing with 26-first stellation of icosahedron.
Yeah, I didn’t understand any of that either, but that’s the technical name for the first CGI character to appear in a movie — the Bit from the original Tron. Why not rewatch it now in anticipation of the new movie?

Geekology by Aaron Hogg on ThreadlessGeekology by Aaron Hogg on Threadless

Geekology by Aaron Hogg on Threadless

100 – Talking of Tron, it’s threadless.com’s 10th birthday and they’re currently running a design competition in celebration of Tron Legacy. You’ve got until the end of the month to get your designs in and I’m not upset that they rejected my two designs. Not at all. Oh, no.
Of course, if designing is not your thing, you could always just buy a t-shirt from them. Starting at 10:10:10 am (CT) on 10/10/10 they’re selling all their T-Shirts for $10.

101 – Have some silly fun translating words into binary and vice-versa using Nick Ciske’s online translator.

01000111 01100101 01100101 01101011 01100100 01100001 01100100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100101 01110010 01101110 01100101 01110100 01110011

110 – Artist Lee Cavaliere and designers Studio Condition are producing a one-day-only, live exploration of the number 10 at London’s Design Museum. Called “10:10:10” , the show starts at 10 minutes and 10 seconds past 10 on Sunday morning, and features all sorts of artworks, videos and exhibits, some created live, all based around the number 10. FORMULA has created 10 brand new pieces of music to accompany the event, each one lasting 100 seconds. Be there AND be square:

TenxTenxTen from Lee Cavaliere on Vimeo.

111 – Make yourself a binary calendar from Lego.

Lego Binary CalendarLego Binary Calendar

Lego Binary Calendar, photo by Ken Denmead

Head GeekDad Ken Denmead has all the info you need in the GeekDad book, it’s another great way to share the basics of binary with your kids, plus it has Lego! Swap the pieces in and out or upside down to represent to I or O and exercise the grey matter to work out what the date is.

1000 – Rave on to some early ’90s electronica and watch the psychedelic video for 10×10 from the album ‘Gorgeous’ by 808 State. They also did another song titled ‘1 in 10′, but that featured UB40 so the less said about that the better.

1001 – The 10:10 campaign was founded by climate change campaigner Franny Armstrong with a simple goal – to cut your carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to do it either, insulating your loft or attic, cycling more, flying less and just changing your lightbulbs can all contribute to your 10% cut.
10:10:10 is their ‘Global Day of Doing‘ and it promises to be the ‘biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change’ with 1000s of events planned all over the world, from cycling Sumo wrestlers to mass tree plantings and even Low Carbon Sunday Lunches.

1010 – Finally would would happen at the great intersection of these two numerical systems? Well, if we convert 101010 from binary to decimal, the answer is 42. What further proof do you need that this is indeed a magical day?

(thanks to the wonderful @stephenfry for the link via twitter)

Got some more? Share them in the comments and let me know on Twitter @geekdadnath. Thanks for reading.

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