There has been some discussion on CollegeConfidential and in the comments on my post announcing the 12/17 12:17 EA decision release. Specifically discussion about the reasons we picked that date and time.
My favorite observation comes from optimistic-mom:
1217 and 2011 are prime numbers and MIT selects “prime” candidates – is that a reason for the date and time!
While Pharyngula on CollegeConfidential mused that perhaps it is an appeal to something which happened on a historically significant December 17th.
I am going to continue to keep our reasons a deep, dark secret, but following Pharyngula – and using their title – here are some other momentous events from history which occured on 12/17s past according to Wikipedia:
- 546 – Gothic War: The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison.
- 1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England.
- 1777 – France formally recognizes the United States of America.
- 1790 – Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone.
- 1865 – First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.
- 1903 – The Wright Brothers make their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
- 1935 – First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.
- 1947 – First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.
- 1969 – Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings are generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”
- 1989 – The first episode of television series The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, airs in the United States.
- 2003 – SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.
- 2010 – Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution. The success of the Tunisian protests sparked protests in several other Arab countries.
Some of these events I’d really prefer our applicants not to emulate (please: don’t set yourself on fire or conquer any bastions of civilization ushering in centuries of dark ages tomorrow, anyone). Others would not be bad examples to follow (if you want to discover an ancient Aztec stone or fly a plane you invented, go ahead).
Do any of these things have anything to do with why we’re going live on 12/17 at 12:17? No.
What they have to with is this: history is awesome.