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:

33 Responses to “4.4.11”

  1. Artswebshow April 4, 2011 at 11:57 #

    Ha ha.
    So many fours, i dont know where to turn.
    Enjoyed this post


  2. Debbie April 4, 2011 at 11:58 #

    Oh my word. This is all a bit intelligent for a Monday morning. I think I need a lie down.


  3. Pseu April 4, 2011 at 12:14 #

    Some of these I’ve heard b4 and others I haven’t.


  4. Cindy April 4, 2011 at 12:43 #

    I ate four salt & vinegar crisps while reading this.


  5. Cindy April 4, 2011 at 12:43 #

    And will have a glass of wine four hours from now.


  6. beckysefton April 4, 2011 at 13:14 #

    DNA are composed of: adenine/thymine, guanine goes with cytosine. And the DNA structure are double helix’s… In RNA the thymine is replaced by uracil.

    Sorry to geek it up. xoxoxox


  7. 1sojournal April 4, 2011 at 15:24 #

    In the world of symbols, 4 is considered the strongest, most solid foundation, because it stands firm in all 4 directions. Just had to get away from all those factuals.



    • Tilly Bud April 4, 2011 at 15:51 #

      That’s interesting. I thought it would’ve been three, though.


  8. Mike Patrick April 4, 2011 at 15:55 #

    “You can substitute 4 for for or four, but not if you’re texting me, thank you very much.”

    And what have you got against fore? Some think it is my favorite word—while I’m playing golf. I holler it a lot, usually four times in a row, each with increasing volume. My golfing companions, being not as formal as I am, often substitute, “Incoming!”


  9. nrhatch April 4, 2011 at 19:01 #

    You obviously put some 4thought into this post. 😀


  10. Sharp Little Pencil April 4, 2011 at 20:11 #

    The most I can contribute to this uber-intelligent discussion of quantum thingies and abstract mathematical gimcracks (yeah, I’m SO right-brained!) is this:

    The Beatles numbered FOUR. That’s the Fab Four to you!

    Exhaustive research, Linda. Applause, fanfares coming from all the gigabytes and squagmire weirdies inside my computer!! Amy


    • Tilly Bud April 5, 2011 at 07:25 #

      Another one I missed! What is wrong with me??


  11. kateshrewsday April 4, 2011 at 20:28 #

    I’m all foured out…mind boggling post with a fabulous animation!!


  12. Toryboy April 4, 2011 at 23:57 #

    Earth, Wind and Fire? That’s three elements…


    • Tilly Bud April 5, 2011 at 07:28 #

      My son! Pointing out in public where your mother has gone wrong…you make me so proud 🙂

      Told you I was rubbish at maths.


    • vivinfrance April 5, 2011 at 07:48 #

      I was going to say that! Tilly your big son will go far.
      The thing is, it’s earth, wind, fire and water. A meringue? (Scottish pun)


      • Tilly Bud April 5, 2011 at 07:58 #

        As one who buys her meringues in boxes of eight at Morrisons, I’m afraid I don’t get this 😦


      • vivinfrance April 5, 2011 at 08:52 #

        Glasgow for “Am I wrong”?


  13. Pseu April 5, 2011 at 17:28 #

    Rubs forehead in amazement…


  14. Pseu April 5, 2011 at 17:31 #

    Is there a forfeit if you get things wring? Or will your son have to forgo supper for publicly showing you’ve made a mistake?


    • Tilly Bud April 5, 2011 at 21:59 #

      If it gets a laugh, I don’t mind. My dignity is for sale to the lowest bidder 🙂


  15. Chloe April 7, 2011 at 10:13 #

    A fab post Tilly 😀 xx


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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