Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Binary birthday candles

A highly geeky way to decorate a birthday cake
  (+50, -3)(+50, -3)(+50, -3)
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The next time you're throwing a birthday party for the office geek, here's an easy idea he or she will appreciate, that also helps if candles are in short supply. Instead of, say, lighting 35 candles for their 35rd birthday, put six candles in a line on the cake, but only light the first, fifth, and sixth ones. When they ask what's going on with that, tell them, "It's in binary."
schnitzi, Sep 13 2002

Counting in Binary http://en.wikipedia...nary_numeral_system
Courtesy of our friends at the wikipedia [shapu, Feb 09 2005]

BAKED! http://www.evilmads...icle.php/binarybday
Long after posting, but EMSL made one. [bleh, May 13 2009]

[link]






       Nice. Until you get your paycheck and you're like, 'What the...?' and they're like, 'It's in base 400.'
General Washington, Sep 13 2002
  

       Or you could use the E24 resistor code and then you'd just need 2 candles, plus one more for the tolerance.   

       Croissant.
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002
  

       Tolerance... I'm 29 and holding.. (+/- 10%)
Mr Burns, Sep 13 2002
  

       You could decorate the cake with cookies, carefully laid out in binary.
BinaryCookies, Sep 13 2002
  

       I like this. At my last birthday we ran out of fire extinguishers.
angel, Sep 14 2002
  

       Very nice. In fact, seven candles should be enough for anyone (representing 2^0 to 2^6) as you can represent any age up to 127. Candles should therefore be sold in a block of seven, joined together, and the same block can be used for many years. It will represent a significant rite of passage when you first use the 2^4 candle.
hippo, Sep 14 2002
  

       I like this, a lot. (+).
bristolz, Sep 14 2002
  

       Me too.
FarmerJohn, Sep 14 2002
  

       I have no idea how to read binary, but you get a (+) for having such a wonderful idea to go with the title.
kaz, Sep 14 2002
  

       With some 16 bit (candle) flip-flops (cakes), one could do some elementary operations thus halfbaking the first birthday cake computer.
FarmerJohn, Sep 14 2002
  

       [UB] Yes but how would you represent five distinct states with one candle?
hippo, Sep 15 2002
  

       [Rods] - how about we make the directional distinction obvious? Let's see, the least significant candle would need to be about an inch high; the "two" could be double that, and so by the time you got to the MSB it would... oops. Never mind.
lurch, Sep 15 2002
  

       //You could get a tri-state candle by having a hard 'on' state//   

       No good, Rods. I've been trying all morning & it won't play ball.
General Washington, Sep 15 2002
  

       so bad bubba
po, Sep 15 2002
  

       She died recently
General Washington, Sep 15 2002
  

       If you represent your age in binary on the cake, you could use public key encryption to ensure that only your special friends found out how old you were.
pottedstu, Sep 16 2002
  

       [FarmJohn]//With some 16 bit (candle) flip-flops (cakes), one could do some elementary operations thus halfbaking the first birthday cake computer.// I wish I could rate your comment a [+]!!
kamathln, Feb 09 2005
  

       An oldie but a goodie.   

       Happy birthday sis.
methinksnot, Mar 15 2006
  

       //seven candles should be enough for anyone //... that, and about 64K.
zigness, Mar 17 2006
  

       The problem with learning binary on your fingers is the number 4.
DesertFox, Mar 17 2006
  

       The family of my ex-girlfriend had a tradition of representing age in cake candles by any method except standard unary. I'm pretty sure they did binary by leaving candleless gaps for the zeros. Thanks for the reminder of happy times :-).
spidermother, Mar 17 2006
  

       Stupid, stupid, stupid idea. From one side of the table, you're 35, from the other side, you're 49. [-]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 17 2006
  

       good!
nomadic_wonderer, Mar 21 2006
  

       If the "Happy Birthday" writing is upside down then so is your view of the cake and the candles. Not immediately realizing this glaringly obvious fact is stupid, stupid, stupid. ;-)
bristolz, Mar 21 2006
  

       Excellent! Evil Mad Scientist made one for you. <linky>
bleh, May 13 2009
  
      
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