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29 November 2011

50 Years Ago Today

I was born on 30 November 1961.

On my birthday the Soviet Union vetoed Kuwait's application for United Nations membership and President Kennedy authorized project Mongoose.

The Fantastic Four were born the same month I was.

Nadia Comaneci is two weeks older than me, and a much better gymnast than I ever was although I did have big ideas for a while.

Also in 1961, East Germany built the (now long destroyed!) Berlin Wall, Stephen Smale proved the Poincare Conjecture for dimensions greater than 4, Erwin Schrodinger died – no one knows what happened to his cat, Ian Fleming's Thunderball, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, Alexander Lenard's translation of Milne's work, Winnie Ille Pu, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, and Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land were all published.

The first female in the Great State of Texas to be licensed as an asbestos abatement worker was born, but she wasn't licensed until 28 years later.

1961 is rotationally symmetric. The most recent time that happened was 1881. The next time it will happen will be 6009.

It was a very good year.