On Nov 20, 2020 the Google Doodle was of Benoit Mandelbrot for his 96th birthday. Why have a Doodle on his 96th bday? Anyway, the Doodle is here.
On Nov 20, 2020 I read that Joe Biden turned 78. Why no Google Doodle of him? Maybe when he's 96.
This got me thinking of who else might have a Nov 20 birthday. I found the following (`found' is not quite right as I will explain later).
In order of age.
Benoit Mandelbrot: Dead at 85, would have been 96
Bobby Kennedy: Dead at 43, would have been 95.
Sergei Novikov: 82 years old. (Won Fields Medal in 1970 and did work on Solitons)
Dick Smothers: 80 years old (Tommy Smothers is not his twin, Tommy is 3 years older)
Joe Biden, 78 years old (in most crowds he would be an old-timer, but in this crowd he is the baby of the bunch- though there is a reason for that as you will see later)
There are more Nov 20 famous people (famous to someone- I have not heard of most of them) here
Some thoughts on all of this trivia
1) I keep a list of famous (to me) people over 80 (though if I look someone up who is not quite 80 I may put him on the list anyway, as is the case for Biden and Trump) so if they die I won't be one of those people saying `I thought they were already dead'. I then began putting people on it who were already dead so I could find matching bdays. Hence it was easy to find Nov 20 birthdays of people over 80, and one under.
2) Mandelbrot is more famous than Novikov since Mandelbrot has those pretty pictures. This is not a criticism of his work. Is it possible to make people who do hard and abstract math more in the public eye? Probably not.
3) There is an awesome song about the Mandelbrot set (though some of the comments on the you tube video say its the Julia Set, but HEY- if they have math in a song, I am happy and don't get too fussy about how accurate it is- though I would understand if Julia fans are annoyed). The song is here. It has 464 likes and 41 dislikes. That always puzzled me- why does it have any dislikes? I've seen really awesome songs still have some dislikes. Well, as Rick Nelson sings in Garden Party (see here) ,you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself. He got 25,000 likes and 702 dislikes. An awesome ratio, but why are there any dislikes?
4) I don't think Novikov will have a song about his work anytime soon.
5) Joe Biden has had some novelty songs about him in the past, and will do have more in the future once he is the Whitehouse. (Is the statement `Joe Biden is the president-elect' biased?)
6) I like the variety of the Nov 20 birthdays: two math, two politics, one entertainment.
7) I originally thought Nov 20 is NOT special and that most days would have around 5 bdays in my files. but actually no- I did a spot check of Nov 21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30 and they are all either 0,1, or 2 bdays. Prob not significant since this is just my small file. OR people avoid having babies close to thanksgiving (not sure of that one, but people DO avoid Feb 29 and Dec 25).
8) Of more interest are people born the same DAY and YEAR. I have a few of those, but I will point out one relevant to our field:
Albert Meyer and Art Garfunkel are same DAY and same YEAR.
Most famous SAME DAY and SAME YEAR of all time? I would guess
Abe Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
Margaret Thatcher and Lenny Bruce.
(I really doubt that's second place)