The factors that make up 2012

Soon after the clock struck midnight, I said to Laura how pleased I was that 2012 is an even number.  Something about its factorability made me irrationally optimistic about the new year.

This morning, during the light of day, being curious about what prime factors make up 2012 — and being properly lazy on a new year’s day — I turned to Wolfram Alpha for the answer:

2^2×503  (3 prime factors, 2 distinct)

1  |  2  |  4  |  503  |  1006  |  2012   (6 divisors)

Hmmm….503….what does that mean?