Tag Archives: Portugal

The Ion Luca Paradox: the mystery of Caragiale’s birth date

I love you as the sclave loves…. light and the blind…. liberty!” – Rică Venturiano, a very confused citizen (character from a famous play of I.L.Caragiale, “O Scrisoare Pierdută” [“A Lost Letter”])

Yesterday, 30 January 2012, Google celebrated 160 years from the birth of Ion Luca Caragiale, a famous romanian playwright best known for his satirical humor. 

The problem is that Wikipedia, champion of knowledge, had let us totally perplex by providind 4 different dates of birth for Ion Luca Caragiale, two by old style (the Julian Calendar), and other two by new style (the Gregorian Calendar). At that interval of time (1800 – 1900), there was a difference of 12 correction days between the two calendars. 

So, the four dates of birth are 18 January (O.S.), 30 January (N.S.), 1 February (O.S.), 13 February (N.S.). But which is correct? Searching deeper into the problem, I found that: 

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The Rubbish Cabinet

A beer bottle…. broken;…. canned fish…. biscuit boxes… glass jar fragments…. many, many bags… a water can….. a 50 metters long cable… some enigmatic light bulbs… a broken TV!?!  This is what I found last year, on 25 september 2010, on a Saturday, at “Let’s Do It, Romania!” (1), when I, my twin brother, my collegues from class 8C and the mathemathics teacher went, along other 200.000 volunteers, to clean the land of our beloved nation!

This year, on 24 september, another Saturday, this thing is going to happen again. Last year, 1% of our country’s population went to the “national cleaning”. This year, the initiators hope to be 500.000 volunteers, which means 2,5% of the country’s population. This procent seems very small, taking into account how much tons of garbage are being left by romanians in the middle of nature! In 2010, 600.000 garbage sacs were collected. If the proportion is kept, this year 1.500.000 sacs of garbage would be raised. And yet, is it enough>

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