Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's my Birthday.......again

I learn something new about my birthday on my birthday each year, usually nuggets of info forwarded by friends. So, today, I looked up April 20 on Wikipedia and learned a lot more - some good items, but mostly sad.

Yes, I am that geeky - I exported the list of famous birthday people into Excel and added a few category labels, generated a pivot table for sums of those categories and spun them out into a quick chart:
The rundown?  Apparently folks who share April 20th for a birthday can largely be classified as predominantly Artists or Athletes, which was surprising to me.  The folks in the Artists category include authors, dancers, painters, sculptors, singers, and actors. There are a few Thinkers and scientist sorts, but not very many.  The really interesting aspect was seeing the number of Leaders - although some of them would be better classified as despots including Hitler and Papa Doc Duvalier.

Another interesting tidbit was the number of Religious folks who were born on this day - including Mohammed.  Continuing in the Religion vein, today is also the day of 3 Christian feasts, a Bahai faith holiday, and a Scientology exhibition day.

Finally, I read a little about April 20 (or 420) being a counterculture day celebrating the consumption of pot.  Which, perhaps, could explain the number of notables born on this day who turned out to be Artists. Or not.  

Usually, my birthday week is marred by mass shootings or massacres - Waco, Columbine, Oklahoma City, West Virginia Tech, and smaller events.  I hope to get through my birthday week without such news.  So far, this year is feeling like I might make it.

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