Archive | 11:49


4 Apr
Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Image via Wikipedia

It is Interesting Date Day again.  2011 is proving to be a vintage year for dates.  As we’ve already done eleven, I looked up some facts for the number four:

  • It is claimed that you can use just four colours to colour a map so that no two neighbouring countries are the same colour.  I don’t know if that’s true and I don’t care enough to find out, but it is certainly interesting.
  • The word four has four letters.  In English, no other number is made of the same number of letters as its value*.
  • *You checked in your head, didn’t you?  Did you use your fingers to count the letters?  No?  No need; you’re smart?  Umm…me neither.
  • 4 is a number of types of numbers: Square, Lucas, Centered Triangular, Motzkin, and Tetrahedal.  I have no idea what any of those are except the first (even I can do 2×2).  If you want a maths teacher, go to school.  And ask if they’ve got room for me – I had to look up ‘2×2’.
  • In Chinese culture, 4 is considered as unlucky as 13 is in Western culture, because it sounds similar to their word for ‘death’.
  • I Am Number Four is a new movie based on a book by Pittacus Lore, not the mantra you say over and over to yourself to keep believing that you will eventually be taken off hold when calling your utility provider.
  • Things are often arranged in fours: compass points, cards, seasons, this fact.
  • DNA has four thingies.  As you can see, I am as good at science as I am at maths.
  • The atomic number of Beryllium is 4.
  • 4 is the number of split seconds I spent wondering what Beryllium was and why I should care.
  • There are four elements: Earth, Wind and Fire, though Wikipedia claims it is fourteen, with Phillip Bailey being the most famous i.e. the only one I’ve heard of, if he’s the guy who sang that duet with Phil Collins.
  • There are 4 bits in a nibble, equivalent to half a byte.  I guess computer nerds eat a lot.
  • You can substitute 4 for for or four, but not if you’re texting me, thank you very much.
  • In rowing, a Four is a boat, with or without a coxswain. 
  • In rowing, a Four is about as many people an argument can sustain without it descending into fisticuffs.
  • Go back two facts: that reminds me of the toothpaste advert in the Seventies – a Coxed Four are missing a member; the coach shouts, ‘Where’s Number Four?’  The Cox shouts back, ‘At the dentist.’  My family was on holiday in Butlins in 1977 (I remember it because I was sent to buy the paper on the day Elvis died).  My brother and I were playing with the park’s remote control boats; one was missing.  Another child shouted, ‘Where’s number 4?’ and a passing stranger shouted back, ‘At the dentist!’
  • You will find that I have squared the number 4 to give a nicely symmetrical sixteen points.
  • You counted, didn’t you?  It’s eighteen, once I wrote this and the last dot.

Bonus fact:

  • Fantastics come in Fours:

Joke 11

4 Apr

The teacher said; “Take a pencil and paper, and write an essay with the title ‘If I Were a Millionaire.’ ” Everyone but Joe, who leaned back with arms folded, began to write feverishly.

“What’s the matter?” the teacher asked. “Why don’t you begin?”

“I’m waiting for my secretary,” Joe replied.


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