There exists perhaps no better a forum for showing off one’s useless talents than a bar. The combination of good company, music, and varying levels of inebriation amongst your audience creates an excellent atmosphere for impressing people with some sort of talent or trick that in most other situations would simply fall flat.
Personally, I’ve got a few of these “talents”. I can recite the alphabet backwards at a pace astonishing to most, I could name any state’s capital within seconds of being asked, and I can figure out on what day of the week any specific date in history fell on within seconds.
I’m not writing this post to brag about my useless talents though, far from it. I’m writing this to basically say that one of these talents, perhaps the most impressive one, is actually pretty easy to pick up. I’m writing this post to show you how to use the Doomsday Rule to impress your friends, whether at the bar or otherwise.
My birthday is on Doomsday. It sounds dark, but really, it’s not. In the context of the Doomsday Rule, “Doomsday” refers to a variety of dates that fall on the same day of a given year. One of the easier ways to use this trick to impress your friends is to find a “Doomsday” whose date falls close enough to their requested date. Here are a select few (Month/Day):
2/28 (Last day of February, 2/29 on Leap Years), 3/21 (first day of Spring), 4/4, 6/6, 7/4 (July 4th), 8/8, 9/26 (my birthday), 10/10, 10/31 (Halloween), 12/12, 12/26 (Boxing Day) and the group of 5/9, 7/11, 9/5, and 11/7 (which can be remembered by thinking of someone working a 9-5 at 7-11).
Once you’ve got some Doomsdays memorized, you can use some simple math to find a date close enough to the requested date (simply add or subtract 7 from the Doomsday until you get close, and then just count forward or back). After all this, and knowing that this year’s Doomsday falls on a Thursday, you can pretty simply figure out any day for any calendar date of 2013. But this trick is for more than just one year, you want to be able to find it for any year. That’s where the next step comes in.
If you want to figure out any date in the history of ever, it gets a bit more complicated. If you can’t handle algebra, then forget it. If you want to take a stab at it, try Wikipedia. I’m here to explain to you how to figure out dates of days that people might actually ask you about, such as their birthdays.
Memorize the above chart, and you’re golden (assuming your friends are more or less between the ages of 14 and 40). It’s not so easy, so try memorizing just a few of them, such as the range your friends are most likely to fall under. To progress beyond your memorized range, just go forward one day for every year you go forward (except on leap years, where you go forward by two). Figure out a way to memorize just enough of the doomsday years, and the doomsdays themselves, and you’ve got yourself an easy way to impress some people.