PZ (or, as they call him in England, Pee-Zed) Myers was born on this day1 in the mid 20th century. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s talk about why it is important.

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PZ Myers visits Mike Haubrich (Born August 31st) and Greg Laden (Born June 24th) at the Minnesota Atheists Radio Show in the Twin Cities on the morning of The Great Blizzard of 2011.

This is not a conversation I could have had when I first started blogging, because in those days, I had blogger’s angst. I didn’t think I’d get blogger’s angst but I got it anyway, about the time I was recruited by Science Blogs2. I remember very clearly when PZ’s first birthday (that I knew about) came around and everybody made a big deal of it. They always have.

In the old days Bora often organized it. One time Bora asked me for suggestions and I recommended an LOL PZ link fest, and put a bunch of photos of PZ and Squid (sometimes in the same photo) in a sekrit location for other bloggers to use. This was my result. One blogger got really mad at us because she felt it was her job to organize the PZ birthday link fest, and hasn’t spoken to us since. Jeesh. Bloggers.

Anyway, once you are a blogger it is important that people remember your birthday (mine is on June 24th as you know) or you’ll be all sad and shit when they don’t. So you start dropping hints as the date approaches that your birthday is coming up. So, just to take me as an example, I’d start dropping hints that my birthday is on June 24th on or about June 5th. Look for it.

You’ll remember my birthday (June 24th) because it is the day before the Global Water Dance that I hope you attend.

Anyway, partly because birthdays are birthdays, and partly because Chief Blogger PZ’s birthday is a big deal, all bloggers eventually develop an angst about whether or not people notice their birthdays. Lesser bloggers worry that they might not be noticed noticing the famous and powerful blogger’s birthday.

(Feel free to send a link to this blog post to PZ if you want.)

Actually, my personal blogger’s angst has largely gone away. That happens after you blog for a while. I couldn’t care less if June 24th roles around and people don’t remember that it’s my birthday. Its not like June 24th is a special day or anything.

At least six of my favorite people have birthdays that are on special days so it is hard to forget them. My wife, Amanda, was born on February 14th, Valentine’s day. What’s funny about that is that she is the first or second most disdainful-of-Hallmark-Holidays person that I know (me being the other one). Even birthdays do not impress her. So while the rest of the planet is running around trying to go out for a nice dinner on their birthday, or trying to go out for a nice dinner on Valentine’s day, or both, we are at home relaxing and grading papers. We have gone out for Valentine’s day/birthday exactly once since we’ve known each other.

Julia was born in July (thus her name3), and in particular on Bastille Day. That’s easy to remember. Or, alternatively, if I remember when Julia’s birthday is, then I know when Bastille Day is.

Huxley was born on Thanksgiving. Now, I know that Thanksgiving is not celebrated on the same calendar day every year, but who cares? This whole birthday thing is an arbitrary cultural convention anyway. My Mother’s birthday is on Mother’s day, which confused the hell out of me when I was little. Well, OK, Mother’s day also moves around on the calendar, but given the tendency to move birthday celebrations to convenient nearby dates, it’s functionally the same thing. (Which reminds me, my parent’s anniversary was, effectively, on Christmas/New Years. Who gets married that time of year?)

Finally, my bff Ana has her birthday on July 4th, so she was like that movie: “Born on the Fourth of July.” This fits her perfectly because she is the most patriotic person that I know. She spends considerable effort, for instance, keeping track of the important news stories about important and patriotic topics, and thus has the best facebook feed ever. A friend of mine asked me a while back what news sources I relied on and trusted most. I said “Ana’s feed. But you have to be her facebook friend to get that.”

Oh, and I guess now I can add this: My brother’s birthday is also on an important holiday. “What holiday?” you ask? Well, my brother was born on …. PZ Myers’ Birthday!

Which brings us back to PZ Myers’ Birthday. About which I really have very little to say except that he’s older than me.

Happy Birthday, PZ.

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Always Read the Footnotes!

1March 9th. In case you are currently experiencing March 8th, do note that I’m working on Kiribati time, where at this writing it is just before 3AM on March 9th.

2Saying you are “recruited” is a dogwhistle for “I’m hot shit. They recruited me.” I was also recruited by Harvard.

3Only kidding. She is named for Julia Child, whom she’s met, and Julian the Apostate, the Roman Emperor who attempted to destroy the church.

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Comments

  1. #1 Karen
    March 8, 2011

    As you footnoted, PZ’s birthday is March 9th. I always remember because that is my birthday. Mike’s birthday is August 31st. I know this, because I sleep with him.

  2. #2 Karen
    March 8, 2011

    Now that you corrected the date of Mike’s birth, my comment seems a little odd. Not to worry. I am quite enjoying the conversation I am having with myself in your comments section!

  3. #3 theshortearedowl
    March 8, 2011

    (Which reminds me, my parent’s anniversary was, effectively, on Christmas/New Years. Who gets married that time of year?)

    Mr owl and I got married on Dec 18th. We had our reasons.

  4. #4 spaninquis
    March 8, 2011

    Hmmm. My daughter’s birthday is March 9, so I’ll remember that.

    And mine is Aug 27, at which time I spend a significant part of the day listening to Bob Dylan. I trust Mike does that too, Karen.

  5. #5 Al
    March 8, 2011

    You mean now you’ll remember your daughter’s birthday?

  6. #6 oldebabe
    March 8, 2011

    Each person’s birthdate should be important at least to that person, for the obvious reason, i.e. that is the day they began their existence and cognizances, no mean thing.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2011

    Many cultures don’t bother with birthdays.

  8. #8 Lorax
    March 8, 2011

    @Greg Does that phenomenon happen to coincide with cultures without calendars?

  9. #9 gwen
    March 8, 2011

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY P-Zed!! Birthdays are a big deal in my family. You can expect to start getting phone calls (and now text messages) starting at 5am from people to say they are happy you are alive…my mother never called until the time of your birth (which could be confusing because we were born in several time zones, and some were born on other side of the dateline–but she would conveniently ignore that)….so PZ, Happy Birthday, and I’m so happy to have you sharing the earth with us!!

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2011

    Lorax: I’m not sure. The Lese, with whom I worked in Central Africa, have calendars but don’t have birthdays. They don’t know the year of their birth or celbrate the day of their birth, except those who have been missionized into doing so (and even then, they are often faking it).

  11. #11 gruebait
    March 8, 2011

    I have a birthday. Sometime in the winter. Usually, I am unaware of it until somebody in the family wishes me a happy birthday. Then I pretend to have known all along.

  12. #12 Mike Haubrich
    March 8, 2011

    Thanks for watching out for me, Karen. In oh, so many ways.

  13. #13 Mike Haubrich
    March 8, 2011

    And mine is Aug 27, at which time I spend a significant part of the day listening to Bob Dylan. I trust Mike does that too, Karen.

    I do, and I especially like a cd that you gave me of live versions of the songs on Blood on the Tracks.

  14. #15 Jason Thibeault
    March 9, 2011

    Congratulations to all involved for one more lap around the sun.

    My wife’s birthday is tomorrow.

  15. #16 URGENT UPDATE
    March 9, 2011

    Please Note: My Scienceblogs.com site appears to be non-functional today from my end. I can’t put up new posts. So, for the time being I’ll be putting up posts here:

    http://gregladen.com/wordpress/index.html

    (There is something new on the NPR scandle now.)

  16. #17 Steve
    March 10, 2011

    Happy Birthday to PZ who looks like he has been eating well since I last saw him in Seattle.

  17. #18 birthday greetings
    July 13, 2011

    PZ myer’s Birthday i tried to find out but not find anything however i wish him in advance or belated happy birthday to him thanks val

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