I am not a great mathematician, but I do appreciate numbers and computation in general. I also have a soft spot for palindromes: nuggets such as "Madame, I'm Adam" and "A man, a plan, a canal--Panama" have long been goofy faves. Even numerical palindromes are a bit magical: July 11, 2017 can be written "7.11.17".

July 11, 2017 this year is also a bit somber in the Jewish calendar, for it is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day which ushers in the Three Weeks and Nine Days, and of course it is capped by the saddest date in our year, Tisha B'Av. So while much of the United States was enjoying free Slurpee drinks at the 7-11 chain of stores, observant Jews were introspective.

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I have to admit that I did not fast on this day, although I do on Tisha B'Av. And I have to admit as well that I indulged in two free Slurpees at two different 7-11 stores in Queens, New York. But this was tempered by the fact that I had a dental appointment: I had to have two cavities filled in one tooth. Fortunately my dentist is a very good, capable and sometimes quite funny person (thanks, Eric) so it was not the worse experience of my day.


Actually, I faced a weirder disappointment, and I know that at least a few thousand other people in New York City did so as well: we were under the impression, through news stories and social media posts, that NYC was going to demolish the old Kosciuszko Bridge! The new bridge is built and already in use, and word got around that the old, rusty bridge would be dynamited. I thought this would be an exciting spectacle to witness, and a great photo opportunity. I was trying to figure out where to stand for an optimal view.

And then it emerged that the city was NOT demolishing the bridge! Nope! Hahahaha. Thus my day was not going to full of loud booming things, but a shrill dental drill. Ugh.

It even seemed oddly appropriate, to have a bridge demolished on the 17th of Tammuz. Ancient destruction, modern destruction, right? Nope, not today.

There is some bizarre humor in this incident. Or should I say, NON-incident. Well, at least there is the Major League Baseball All-Star game this evening.

And this is all happening on a Palindrome Day. Hooray.

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