Welcome to the Reader Rant Roundtable for February 23 to March 1, 2014
This week begins on the Twenty-Third, a propitious number.
Twenty-three is a prime number, the ninth, and the first prime number that is the sum of three previous, consecutive, prime numbers (5, 7, 11) and the smallest odd prime that is not a twin prime. Twenty-three is also the fifth factorial prime, the third Woodall prime. It is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and real part of the form 3n − 1. Twenty-Three has so many interesting quirks it has given rise to all kinds of lore.
In an article in Fortean Times (number 23, of course), Robert Anton Wilson described what he called the "23 Phenomenon."
I first heard of the 23 enigma from William S Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, Nova Express, etc. According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clarkís ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.
The coincidences related to the number, and obsession about it, of course, gave rise to the 2007 film, "The Number 23", starring Jim Carrey:
The obsession, and insanity that it brings, should not be surprising to those who follow the Principia Discordia, and Discordianism. 23, of course, is sacred to Eris, goddess of chaos, according to Discordian acolytes. But, fear not, for good things also come in 23. You can take comfort in the 23rd Psalm, probably the most quoted part of the Bible:
Is it coincidence (I think NOT!), by the way, that all of us (well, most, actually), receive 23 chromosomes from each of our parents? There are, indeed, 23 pairs of chromosomes in our DNA. If you want to find out about yours, you can have them tested by 23andMe.
The first message sent by Samuel F.B. Morse in his soon-to-be-famous code was from Numbers 23:23. "What hath God wrought?" Although it was argued that "23" in Morse Code was meant to be "away with you" - to end a transmission, that appears to be apocryphal, however, as 23 was used by Western Union to mean "All Stations Copy" ("end of transmission" being 30 - still used by journalists at the end of articles). (92 Code) Interestingly, it was on February 23, 2007, that the FCC removed the requirement for Morse Code proficiency from the requirements to obtain an amateur radio operator license.
23 skiddo, however, does mean to depart quickly, or "get while the gettin's good!" So, I think I shall.
February 23rd, is also the 69th(February 23rd, 1945) anniversary of the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima in Okinawa, Japan.
This is the second flag being raised, as the first one was deemed too small to be seen by other Marines. It is also the inspiration for the Marine Corp memorial that is now on display in our nation's capitol of Washington DC.
_________________________ milk and Girl Scout cookies ;-)
Save your breath-You may need it to blow up your date.
I'll never look at the number 23 in the same way again. Speaking of the 23rd, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi end today. The US may have grabbed another gold if only the "skater's" routine below had been on the card? Oh well, there's always 2018.
The 23rd is also the day the Alamo came under seige, and the date, in 1861, when President-elect Lincoln arrived in the Capitol. Coincidence?
_________________________ A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.
Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich