Today is your 24th birthday, Lewis. I know your real life and online friends know you as revstrangehope and realnightcat, but I know you as Lewis, and that’s all you’ve ever asked me to call you even though you’ve shared with me (and the rest of the world very publicly) countless handles and avatars.
It’s amazing how quickly time goes by, and as hackneyed as the phrase may sound to those who haven’t come to this realization, time flies by and before you know it, the future is staring you straight in the face.
I remember thinking when you were born, if I could hold on to a wall calendar from 1995, you could use it again in 2023 when both years would have the exact same dates on the exact same days. Imagine that! The year you celebrate your 28th birthday, you’ll be able to recycle that calendar from 1995.
Oddly enough, Time magazine’s cover story that week was “The Mysteries the Brain.” The edition was titled, “In Search of the Mind.” Perhaps the universe was whispering a warning to me that you had a most amazing mind with incredible ideas and unexpected insights?
The month you were born, there were some amazing movies that hit the theaters, and I didn’t get to see any of them until years later:
Species (both on July 7, 1995): A government scientist intercepts a space transmission with the genetic sequence for an alien life form.
Nine Months (July 12, 1995): A successful child psychologist and full-time playboy panics when he finds out his current girlfriend is expecting their child, and the crisis of impending fatherhood hits him straight on.
The Indian in the Cupboard (July 14, 1995): A 9-year-old boy is given a cupboard for his birthday, and when he puts a small figuring of a Native American Indian inside, Little Bear comes to life.
The Net (July 28, 1995): A computer programmer starts a new freelance job and shortly after starting the job, her fellow computer programmers start dying.
Waterworld (July 28, 1995): A lone wolf mariner has adapted to the ocean and develops gills after both polar caps have melted.
Alone, each movie is interesting but when they are seen as a package, I can’t help but think there was a fair bit of foreshadowing going on that July as it wasn’t long before your love of all things scientific and computer were of particular interest to you, your love of water was evident within months of being born, and you loved the idea of magic in the world around you.
Over the past 24 years, you have lived through 8,766 days from the day you were born through to today — your birthday.
There have been 297 full moons over those years. I wonder if you remember that the full moon this month is called the Thunder Moon? Did you know this year it’s also involved in an eclipse? It’s actually called a half-blood lunar eclipse so, you know … Harry Potter tie-in.
As a side note, it’s going to take until March 26, 2027 for you to celebrate one billion seconds of life so let’s celebrate that when you’re 31 going on 32, okay?
I wonder if you realize what amazing things happened on July 18th in the years leading up to your birth. For one thing, Carl Sagan turned one billion seconds old on July 18, 1966. Pretty cool science connection, right, Lewis?
Also on July 18, 1966, Gemini 10 was launched from Cape Kennedy on a 70-hour mission, so that’s another science connection to your birthday. Another side note is that Buzz Aldrin was the back-up crew for the Gemini 10, and he went on to be assigned to the Apollo 11 crew that landed on the moon 50 years ago.
Talking about NASA, remember how you and I and Thomas visited NASA in Florida back in September 2009? We picked up all kinds of mission patches for you. Good times, good times.
But getting back to this birthday post all about you and July 18th — Intel was founded in Mountain View (CA) in 1968. By the time you were born, the digital native generation was just kicking off. How cool is that when it comes to strange albeit unrelated connections?
And on July 18, 1986, the first videotape recordings showing Titanic’s sunken remains were released to the public (and long before the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet movie hit the big screen).
I know how much you like random facts so here are a couple neat ones for you this year on your 24th birthday:
1. If you find yourself in a room with 22 other people, there’s a 50% chance two of you will share the same birthday (month and day, but not necessarily the same year).
2. If you find yourself in a room with at least 253 other people, there’s a 50% chance two of you will share the same birthday (month and day and year).
Other random facts that have to do with the day you were born are that on July 18th that same year, 361,817 babies were born. That works out to 251 babies per minute.
You were unique, and so were all those other 250 babies born at exactly the same minute you were born.
But as unique as all those other babies were, you were MY newborn and so that makes you the most unique of them all in my heart.
You’ve lived through so much chaos and tragedy in those few short years, but I have always believed you were headed towards an amazing future. I look forward to seeing where life takes you over the years.
But this year, I’m celebrating 24 years of your life. Happy birthday, Lewis.