sixteen ~ oxygen

It’s time for the traditional Quinn’s birthday post. First of all, sixteen is a very satisfying number for making a grid of birthdays:

12 months 8 sock monkey bdaysealion Photo2196 Photo1104

Photo505 0225131805 Picturez 006 happy 7 orange IMG_6629


Some facts about sixteen… that’s XVI for you Roman numeral fans.



One of my favorite photos of Quinn this year, embodying his drum sticks with the football team in the background.

Sixteen is the fourth power of two (which makes me think of the Indigo Girls… “I’m stronger than the monsters beneath your bed, smarter than the tricks played on your heart….”)


Quinn says 16 is the basis of hexadecimal, whatever that is, but that he hasn’t learned hexadecimal quite yet. Apparently it is a goal.

It’s the atomic number of sulfur, the element of “brimstone,” but it’s also the molecular weight of oxygen, making up 21% of the atmosphere, literally the air I breathe, and 86% of the weight of the ocean, a big reason I breathe it.


Timpani are quull!

There are sixteen pawns in a chess set, and each player has sixteen pieces to start a chess game. Quinn is as insatiable with games as he always has been, at least last I checked, which was when he was 15 years and 361 days old, roughly 15.99, over this past weekend when we played several rounds of Tiny Epic Dinosaurs.



A sixteenth note is also called a semiquaver. I think it will be fun to discuss hemidemisemiquavers with him at some point. A true highlight of life right now is watching Quinn emerge on the stage of high school life through his involvement in concert band, pep band, and now jazz band.


Rich’s awesome birthday present find, a “Dungies and Dragons” shirt.


He’ll be marching in the spring and jamming in his bedroom with new cymbals added to his drum set.


There will also be more cowbell.

But don’t expect him to be able to blow out sixteen candles in one go. He’s a percussionist, not a wind player.


I see two things: my brother Brendan’s laugh, and some light-trick butterfly-hearts fluttering.

Traditionally, I look for astronomical associations with Quinn’s age, and 16 did not disappoint. My favorite find was a huge asteroid called 16-Psyche named for a Greek goddess associated with the human soul. NASA plans to launch a mission to visit it this very year of 2023. Some planets and space objects are given iconic symbols, and the symbol given to 16-Psyche is  a butterfly wing topped by a star.

Quinn is the lucky recipient of a snow day from school for his birthday (and his mama was the lucky recipient of a snow day from work, hence she had time to write this post!). Happy sixteenth birthday Quinn!

1 comment to sixteen ~ oxygen

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>