A Brief Note of Historical Significance

Today is a day unlike any other we shall know again in our lifetimes. To explain why, let's step back for a moment and talk about a subject that is both dynamic and essential, both exhilarating and terrifying. Let's talk about fonts.

I know, I know. It's very exciting. Try to maintain your composure, we're all adults here.

You see, while some fonts maintain uniform width for all characters, most have varying width. Go ahead, type "terrifically." I'm not saying type in a terrific fashion, I'm saying actually type the word out. Odds are, the t is narrower than the c, the i's are narrower than the e, the l's are more slender than the y. Oh, how the y envies the l's, the way they prance about with the varsity football stars while y listens to Maroon 5 in her room and cries and cries.

This is true of the numbers as well. The almighty zero is widest, followed by the eight, and so on down to the lowly one. As anyone who's tried to maintain a date column within a spreadsheet can tell you, this gets to be a bit of a hassle. When October rolls around, suddenly the dates don't fit and you have to make the column bigger — "10" is the widest month number. The problem crests at the end of the month, as the date gets progressively wider on the 20th, the 28th, and finally, the 30th.

10/30/2000 was the worst culprit, but 10/30/2008 is a close second.

Which means that right now, today ...

... we are experiencing the fattest day of the next thousand years.

Not until the day before Halloween in the year 3000 will the date be as fat as this one.

What does this mean? Hard to say. Maybe we should throw caution to the wind for just 24 hours, and polish off that pint of Häagen-Dazs. Maybe it's just the opposite, and we should re-think the cheeseburger we were going to have for lunch.

Either way, it will fall upon future civilizations to commemorate the next date of this girth. Assuming that, you know, their spidergoat masters allow them to read.