I’m only a baby Beast today

I have turned 66. Don’t bother to wish me a happy birthday, though, because I still have to go through another 600 of these before I come into my full beastly power, and you will all have to bow down before me.

Or is it 550 years? I don’t know. Some people say the number of the beast is actually 616, and that there was a mistranslation or something.

I don’t even know what the beast is supposed to do. Am I going to have to sprout some more heads? That wouldn’t be particularly cool. I guess I have time to figure it out, not going to worry about it just yet.

Anyway, if you needed an excuse to party, go ahead and celebrate that I’m not of an age to go all Revelation on your butts.


  1. Rich Woods says

    Am I going to have to sprout some more heads?

    Well, you will need somewhere to store the extra horns.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    With a large readership, some of us inevitably share the same birthday with you – happy (shared) birthday, PZ!

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Depends on if you use the Roman or Greek alphabet.
    One number you get is supposed to fit another emperor than Nero (adding up the digits for letters in a name was a thing).

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Happy birthday.
    Oldest reference to Norse god Odin found in Danish treasure

    Lisbeth Imer, a runologist with the National Museum in Copenhagen, said the inscription represented the first solid evidence of Odin being worshipped as early as the 5th century — at least 150 years earlier than the previous oldest known reference, which was on a brooch found in southern Germany and dated to the second half of the 6th century…

  5. wzrd1 says

    If I recall correctly, the beast is supposed to release some truly beastly flatus bursts.
    Or is that me that’s supposed to release them, I forget.

  6. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Now you go through saint looey
    Joplin, missouri,
    And oklahoma city is mighty pretty.
    You see amarillo,
    Gallup, new mexico,
    Flagstaff, arizona.
    Don’t forget winona,
    Kingman, barstow, san bernandino.
    Won’t you get hip to this timely tip
    When you make that california trip
    Get your kicks on (birthday) 66

  7. René says

    Happy Birthday!
    IIRC 1957 was the year that Dutch women could open their own bank account for the first time. (My mother never made that.)

  8. moonslicer says

    @ #4 opposable thumbs
    “With a large readership, some of us inevitably share the same birthday with you .. .”

    I saw a bit on this in some popular mathematics book a long time ago, so I’ve always assumed it’s true. If it’s not, I’d be glad of enlightenment.

    The guy was saying that if you have 23 people together, the chances are 50-50 that two of them will have the same birthday. Amazing. With 366 possible birthdays, you might have the impression you’d need lots more people than that, but no, the guy says 23 will do it and the math proves it.

  9. KG says

    Happy birthday. As for what the beast is supposed to do, the answer is “Wait”. The number is just what it got out of one of those ticket-dispensing machines in government and commercial waiting rooms. The beast just has to drum its fingers? horns? tentacles? until the number 666 comes up on the display screen. At that point, an assistant will be available to answer its questions, check the form it’s filled in, or hand over whatever it’s bought.

  10. drsteve says

    @11 Yep, that’s right. The Wikipedia article on The Birthday Problem goes over the math in detail,

  11. cates says

    @4 The day, but I’ve got 10 years on the young whippersnapper.
    @11 True but not for a specific birthday. Still need a fairly large group for a shared specific birthday.

  12. mcfrank0 says

    Happy birthday PZ. I will never get used to realizing I am (technically) older than you,

  13. says

    Happy Birthday, Professor M. At 66, when you read all our comments, does it bother you that you are attracting all us geezers to your posts? Or, is it reassuring that you aren’t attracting the insipid tiktok crowd? I look forward to the podcasts.

    Thank you for providing this refuge from the insane, inane outside world. A treasured place where we can learn, enjoy and share.

  14. crocswsocks says

    Tanjoubi omedetou, Paul Zed! We can split the difference and plan for 2583, when you’ll be 626: the experiment number of Stitch.

  15. opposablethumbs says

    @11 moonslicer, yes it’s completely counterintuitive – just ‘feels’ wrong, doesn’t it! :-) Just off out for some music (it’s evening here). Happy Thursday all.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    opposablethumbs @21:

    yes it’s completely counterintuitive

    Not completely. The number of possible pairs from n people goes roughly as n²/2. So the probability would go (very roughly) as n²/730, for small enough n.

  17. Roberto Aguirre Maturana says

    Happy birthday, Mr. Myers, in a world were many of the icons of atheism have become just a let down, you are still a hero. Thanks for everything.

  18. WhiteHatLurker says

    moonslicer, drsteve, opposablethumbs, etc.
    In the first undergrad course on stats I took, the birthday thing was presented and the first two students asked had the same birthday (and weren’t twins).

    “Don’t bother to wish me a happy birthday” monstrous birthday, dude.
    Thanks for the heads up on 616. Hadn’t heard that before.