Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven Eleven Eleven Elevenses

What were you doing at 11:11 today, on the lovely palindromic date 11.11.11?

My mom, my daughter, and I were actually enjoying elevenses at 11:11, at the scrumptious Bainbridge Bakers on Bainbridge Island.

Here's what we very slowly and appreciatively consumed, with absolutely no regrets or thought given to 11.12.11:
Clockwise from top at 11:11:
Cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled muffin/doughnut hybrid; lemon tart;
strawberry-rhubarb turnover.
Afterward, my daughter and I tried to manipulate the temperature/humidity gauge in my mom's apartment to make it read "66.6/66%" (moving it away from the heater, putting it in the fridge, and breathing on it to increase the humidity reading) so that we could officially have the most demonic temperature/humidity gauge on Earth, with limited success. We did achieve 66.4/66 for a few seconds, though.

And while we're at it, here are 11 fun facts about 11, put together totally with a bias toward the things we like, such as horses and food and cumbersome words.

Top 11 List

1. 11 is a prime number.

2. If you divide a number by 11, reversing its digits will yield another multiple of 11. And that's all the math you're going to get out of me.

3. There are currently active or retired U.S. racehorses named Eleven Eleven, Elevenfiftyeight, Elevenlittledevils, Elevenseventynine, Elevenseventyseven, and Eleven Twentythree, but there is no registered racehorse named simply Eleven.

4. "Eleven benevolent elephants" is a wicked tongue twister. Try it.

5. At the start of The Lord of the Rings, hobbit Bilbo Baggins is celebrating his eleventy-first birthday.

6. In Sweden, people partake of a late-morning snack called "elva-kaffe" ("eleven coffee").

7. About 4 million kids celebrated their 11th birthday in the United States in 2011.

8. 11.11 is the birth date of one Alice Huyler Ramsey, first woman to drive a car across the United States; she was born in 1886 and lived until 1983. (Poor woman--she was born in Hackensack, NJ; drives across the states; eventually passes on in a town in California; ends up being buried in Hackensack. Wonder if she's ticked off at being rerouted back east after making all that effort to go cross-country...)

9. On the previous 11.11.11--that of 1911--a swath of the central United States suffered an unprecedented cold snap, an event that became known as The Great Blue Norther. The freaky weather caused some cities to break both their record high and low temperatures on the same date.

10. An 11-year-old girl who won a contest to be Mayor for a Day in a Texas town renamed the local Main Street "Justin Bieber Way" as her first order of business.

11. Fear of the number 13 is known as triskaidekaphobia, a word cobbled out of Greek words by a founding American psychoanalyst of the early 1900s. Humble 11, however, hasn't got such a name (perhaps because it's not feared by many?). If you fear 11, however, feel free to call it "enakaidekaphobia."