The New 7½:

I'm turning it today. Yow. I guess I can't be an enfant terrible any more, so I'm working on becoming an eminence grise instead.

MHodak (mail):
Or, as my dad used to call it in Brooklynese, an alter kocker.
2.29.2008 8:32am
MHodak (mail):
BTW - Happy Birthday
2.29.2008 8:35am
Justin (mail):
Happy Birthday.

And here's my birthday present: 2000 wasn't a leap year. Thus, you've got 4 more years before you turn 10.
2.29.2008 8:46am
TheGoodReverend (mail) (www):
Except 2000 was a leap year. Most double-zero years--1700, 1800, 1900--are not, but every fourth one is.
2.29.2008 8:53am
Ahh, the Age of Reason, congrats
2.29.2008 8:58am
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
Took me a minute to figure out what you meant, but Happy Birthday!!
2.29.2008 8:59am
it's the 29th, so... how old are you?
2.29.2008 9:11am
M (mail):
"I guess I can't be an enfant terrible anymore"

Now you'll just have to settle for the terrible part!
2.29.2008 9:17am
Justin (mail):
Whoops. My condolences, then.
2.29.2008 9:32am
Je ne comprends pas.
2.29.2008 10:10am
John R. Mayne (mail):
Happy 10th Birthday, Eugene!

May you live to be 30.

2.29.2008 10:11am
Oh... now I get it. Joyeux anniversaire.
2.29.2008 10:15am
We had a big party for my Aunt in 1996, on her 24th birthday, when she turned 100. Because of the skip in 1900, she was eight years old on her first birthday in 1904.
2.29.2008 11:00am
Happy birthday! My great-grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 18.
2.29.2008 11:01am
Hmmm, reading Helen's comment, maybe he was only 17.
2.29.2008 11:02am
Mattazuma (www):
I know how you feel. I turned the big 1 0 today as well.
2.29.2008 11:03am
I have to post this story. It's one of the most disturbing things I've read in that community.
Today in my physics class these two kids were talking about the amazement of being born on a leap day:

Kid 1: That's so weird how you only have a birthday every four years. I mean, you'd technically be 20 years old, but you'd only look like a 5-year-old.
Kid 2: That would suck for them. Aging slower and all...I wouldn't want my life to be like that. Would you want that?
Kid 1: Nah, but I mean think about it. If you live to be 100 years old, you're really 500, and that's a pretty long time.
2.29.2008 11:28am

2.29.2008 11:35am
Welcome to the ranks of the paleoflatae, kid.
2.29.2008 12:20pm
Chris C:
My science teacher from high school became a teenager today. Finally, he can relate to his students.
2.29.2008 12:21pm
Sean M:
From Gilbert and Sullivan:

"How quaint the ways of Paradox!
At common sense she gaily mocks!
Though counting in the usual way,
Years twenty-one I've been alive.
Yet, reckoning by my natal day,
Yet, reckoning by my natal day,
I am a little boy of five!"
2.29.2008 12:48pm
lucia (mail) (www):
You're converting to Catholic?!
2.29.2008 2:22pm
real person (mail):
At first I thought you meant you'd been a professor for 7 1/2 years. Now I get it.

As long as you have this blog, you will always be an enfant terrible.
2.29.2008 2:32pm
SomeRandomName (mail):
Sigh, incorrect usage of "eminence grise". It does not mean "grand old man" but rather "power behind the throne". The term goes back to Ancien Regime France, when a humble monk (who dressed in grey) was the most influential adviser to a powerful cardinal (who dressed in red). The wits of the time referred to "son eminence rouge" (the cardinal) and "son eminence grise" (the monk - and the real power.) If you're ever in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, there's a painting by Gerome showing a stairway full of fancy courtiers bowing to the humble, but powerful, monk.
2.29.2008 2:54pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
SomeRandomName: A little bit of a joke -- yes, the "gray" originally referred to "shadowy," but I figured it would be amusing to apply it to hair color as well.
2.29.2008 3:33pm
Gov98 (mail):
Can someone explain the 1/2 to me? Because that makes no sense to me. It can't be his birthday and also be a half...
2.29.2008 3:52pm
Justin (mail):
Gov98: 40 is the new 30.
2.29.2008 3:58pm
theobromophile (www):
Happy birthday and many more.

On the plus side, you're only subjected to birthday-related indignities - people dressing up as animals and dancing for you, public displays of birthday-relateed harassment, surprise parties, etc. -every four years.
2.29.2008 5:25pm
Happy Birthday!

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary. The 15 year old child of our marriage thinks it is a hoot.
2.29.2008 9:14pm
Daryl Herbert (www):
I know how you feel. I turned the big 1 0 today as well.


Two leap year babies have the same birthday!

What are the odds???
3.1.2008 12:17am
kimsch (mail) (www):
Happy Birthday! My sister and her husband are celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary with their 12 year old daughter...
3.1.2008 12:30am
Gary Anderson (mail):
Cmon Eugene. You were born in '68 so you're 40...

It's hard for some; no need to try and dress it up in silly mathematical puzzles.

"Lordy Lordy, look who's 40!"

Though it must be harder for you, seeing as you were once the boy genius, and are now pushing middle-aged professor after all... Nothing to hang your head over, man!
3.1.2008 12:44am
LM (mail):

Sorry, but that sounds like the reporter not getting the joke. First, kid #1's attempt to up the inanity the second time around. Second, at least in my day kids who were really that dumb didn't take physics.

Could be wrong, but it has that aroma about it.
3.1.2008 2:10pm