It is being called a multitude of things: the Powers of Ten Day, Eames Day, 42 Day, etc. Some are just calling it 10/10/10 day, or Ten Ten Ten day. It's one of those calendar oddities that no one really know how to explain, but for some reason, we're all fascinated by it. It's probably because 10/10/10 will never happen again during the lifetime of any human alive to witness it today, and it definitely shows just how fixated we all are on numbers and strange patterns. For as much as the human race pretends not to care about "meaningless details," it seems that people sure care about numbers.
Eames Day has a huge amount of backstory. For one, people are being encouraged to watch the Powers of Ten
, which is the Eames Office film. A YouTube video embed is below if you aren't familiar. According to Fastcodesign
"Powers of Ten is arguably more relevant now than it was the year it was released. The simple idea executed in the film has become a powerful construct for thinking through design problems today. In it, Charles and Ray Eames guide us through a deceptively straightforward exercise -- zooming out to 10^24 and then back in to 10^-16 -- re-framing a simple scene by showing it within ever-larger and then smaller contexts.
If all the zooming in and out across the visual landscape seems vaguely familiar, think Google Earth. We've become very practiced with scaling in and out of satellite images of our earth, using those funny, awkward sliders on the edges of Web maps to peer in on our homes, our cities, and Area 51. But this mass application of Powers of Ten is not the reason we should celebrate the film today. Instead, we need to approach it conceptually, at the level of scale."
Of course, there's another reason for geeks to celebrate 10/10/10 day. In binary, 101010 converts to 42. If you've watched The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll know that it took a supercomputer millions of years to find the answer to life, which ends up being "42." In many ways, today is the perfect geek day. Reports have stated that thousands upon thousands of weddings were planned for today in hopes of this day bringing long-lasting luck to the couples involved. One particular wedding chapel in Las Vegas had to hire six extra Elvis impersonators to help with ceremonies.
But 10/10/10 day is going even beyond the geek crowd
. The U.S. Green Building Council, San Diego Chapter (USGBC-SD) is partnering with 350.org, a non-profit environmental organization, to encourage San Diegans to take part in a global day of action to celebrate climate solutions and cut their carbon emissions this year by 10 percent on October 10, 2010 -- "10.10.10."
And that's not all. The long-awaited iOS 4.1 jailbreak is expected to also be released today, given that 10.10.10 means so much to the geek community. So, what are you doing to celebrate today? You've got 10 seconds to answer…
P.S. - Fun fact: this article was posted at 10:10:10 AM ET on 10/10/10.