Edmund Halley, the astronomer, mathematician and scientist was born on November 8th, 1656 near London. Now on the day of his birth, the calendar over his bed would have read October 29th, but when England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, eleven days were lost and his birth-date was changed over to November 8th. Halley himself had died ten years before this conversion, but then again he also missed seeing the comet (that was named for him) return in late December of 1758. Halley had seen it in 1682, and after pestering Isaac Newton to write the equations he needed to solve the comet’s orbit and predict its return, he said he hoped that posterity would record that an Englishman had made the prediction. Incidentally, if you missed seeing the last appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1986, then you’ll want to hang around for its next apparition in the year 2061. I’ll be 108, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again.