Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

29 Jun 2008, 10:12 a.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

What the heck is up with the letters on these pieces of cake? Forget the depressing news story; Leonard and I came up with multiple explanations for the stock photo accompanying it.

  1. The letters are the first-name initials of the children; to indicate which piece goes to which child. Would work well on cupcakes.
  2. Something in a foreign language got written on the cake. What words can you spell with DYHTPPA?
  3. The cake got cut up, "Happy Birthday" got written on the cake with one letter per cake square, and we're now only seeing seven slices.
  4. Aha! "Happy Birthday" got written on the cake before it got sliced up; note the T, D, and A from "Birthday" with frosting on the bottom edge, and the P from "Happy" with frosting on the top edge. The most likely explanation.
Unless you have others.


29 Jun 2008, 11:40 a.m.

Someone ate all the other pieces of cake when the other weren't looking (just look at the hand reaching for the H). I am prone to this sort of thinking because when my older brother turned 11, my younger sister (then two and a half) ate many sugar letters while we weren't looking so that the cake ended up saying HAP DAY SEB instead of HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEBASTIAN.

30 Jun 2008, 10:25 a.m.

This reminds of my AA Mile. When Owl tries to spell Happy Birthday Eeyore and it comes out looking something similar to the above.

05 Jul 2008, 23:22 p.m.

It's not "grattis på födelsedagen", however. Still more proof that the Beeb doesn't care about accuracy in cake-related stories!

05 Jul 2008, 23:23 p.m.

(Also, did you know your server dies when you give it Unicode?)