Thursday, July 06, 2006

In which the Meridian cultivates his talent for idleness via posting on another meme

I've seen this meme floating about the 'sphere and have had a hankering to post something with it, but it's only this morning, as I'm a) waiting for the caffeine to kick in and b) delaying the i) paying of bills and ii) doing of laundry, that I'm thinking, Hey--what about that cool meme? You could post about that!

I saw this most recently at Debra's blog, Find the Beauty . . ., which I learned just this morning has a sidebar link(!) to good old Blog Meridian. I'll put aside for now a considered exploration of the inevitable aesthetic question her linking here raises--specifically, just what "beauty" she found here worthy of a sidebar link(!) to this blog--and just thank her and ask you to go visit her place and get on with the meme-ing:

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three important events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two interesting birthdays and one interesting death.
5. List one holiday or observance (if none, make one up).

My birthday is April 25th. Let's do a bit of trivia-mining, shall we?

This isn't part of the meme, but it's a Fun Fact I've known ever since I could really care about such things: April 25th is the last possible date that Easter can fall on.

Three important events:
1) 1846 - Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War
2) 1898 - Spanish-American War: The United States declares war on Spain
[One lesson here would seem to be that the leaders of Spanish-speaking nations should become especially attuned to bellicose rhetoric from my nation come springtime]
3) 1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson publish Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA

Two interesting birthdates:
Some intriguing people named here that I already knew about (Cromwell, Al Pacino, Ella Fitzgerald); I'll define "interesting" here as "people whom I admire but whom I didn't know before doing this that I shared a birthday with them"
1) 1874 - Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 1937)
2) 1933 - Jerry Leiber (of Leiber and Stoller), American composer

One interesting death:
1) 1995 - Art Fleming, American game show host (b. 1925)

ANZAC Day (Australia, New Zealand). (Equivalant to the U.S.'s Memorial Day)

Hmm . . . I'm now richer in knowledge . . . time now to expend some monetary riches.

Technorati tag:


Raminagrobis said...

My birthday, which falls on Michaelmas, is shared with Cervantes. I looked at the Wikipedia entry for September 29 some time ago, and was annoyed to see that Cervantes wasn't listed there. So I took it upon myself to edit the page and add him.

If I participate in this meme, will I be upbraided for manipulating the results/planting evidence?

John B. said...

Naah. Cervantes needs to be there. You've done a Good Thing, you Righter of Sins of Omission. As for mine, Shakespeare was baptized on this day but that wasn't listed under Important Events. And Walter de la Mare ("The Listeners") was born on "my" day as well but doesn't appear in the Wikipedia list. But I don't much like him and so don't feel a huge injustice has been committed regarding his absence.

Debra said...


Nice to meet you too! I'm not sure what the blog etiquette is for linking to others' sites -- so I hope you don't mind that your link is on my blog. My friends are just amazed at how many really interesting and funny blogs I find and read daily, so I periodically create a new list of favorites for them to 'sample'.

I've been a lurker on your site for maybe a month or two and I can't remember how I found you. But I would guess I linked to you via another of the many blogs I read. Once I find a writer I enjoy -- bam, there they are in my list of favorites to be perused forevermore.

Thanks for mentioning me in your post today and please come back and visit whenever you're 'in the neighborhood'!

-Debra (callalily_1)

R. Sherman said...

Your BD is the day after my brother's and few days before my Dad's and the official middle son's. I'll probably play in a few days.


Winston said...

I've already gone and done the wikipedia thing, gathered the evidence, as it were. Someday soon when I am bored stupid, will do this one for my b'day.

btw, have you ever checked on the origin and real meaning of the word meme?

John B. said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting--and, again, for linking here.

Re meme: as it happens, the Dennett book I'm reading talks about that. Meme is a word invented by Richard Dawkins, who wanted to devise a Darwinian explanation for how ideas emerge and perpetuate themselves. He chose "meme" both for its referencing the idea of memory and for its slant-rhyme with "gene." So: these blogosphere memes aren't quite the same thing when the meme-er chooses people to tag; there's a contrivedness in the tagging that Dawkins' term, given its similarity to genes, doesn't appear to have. NOT tagging others, though, or choosing to perpetuate a blogosphere meme without having been tagged, seems closer to what Dawkins is after; at least it's a sort of model for Dawkins' idea.

poco said...

In that spirit, please see my response to the birthday meme.

emawkc said...

So "tagging" is a form of memetic engineering?