Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Twenty-Three 23

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’.  Today we have ‘significant’ number, twenty-three, 23, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.

Enjoy.

 

Twenty-three

23 sign

Until the recent Jim Carey movie that highlighted the Discordian fascination with the idea that everything that happens on earth and in all of existence is somehow related to the number 23, that number was really only of significance to a few conspiracy theorists.

Jim Carey movie '23'

Discordia is a rather rare belief that is based on the study of random events and numbers. The number 23 is sacred because it belongs to a Greek Goddess named Eris. She is the Goddess of Chaos and her followers practice a form of ritual worship called chaos magic.

 

In Religion

  • Although the Old Testament is unspecific, it is widely held that Adam and Eve had 23 daughters;
  • The 23rd verse of the first chapter of Genesis brings the act of creation to a close;
  • the 23rd chapter of the book of Genesis deals entirely with death, namely that of Abraham’s wife, Sarah;
  • The 23rd Psalm alao known as ‘the psalm of David’, and even better known to many by its first line ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ is the most famous and most quoted of the Psalms;
  • The Ancient Egyptians hailed the New Year on July 23 – the day Sirius rises behind the sun;
  • According to ancient Mayan prophesy on December 23, 2012 the world will end;
  • In Islam, the Qur’an was revealed in a total of 23 years to Muhammad;
  • Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, on the 23rd night of the 9th Islamic month.

 

 

In Maths

  • 23 is the lowest prime that consists of consecutive digits that are also primes;
  • Prime numbers have been described as being the building blocks of the world of numbers and therefore also the building blocks of the reality that we experience;
  • The Birthday Paradox states that a group of 23 randomly-selected people is the smallest number where there will be a probability higher than 50 per cent that two people will share the same birthday.

 

Graphical representation of the Birthday Paradox
Graphical representation of the Birthday Paradox

In Metaphysics

  • The number 23 has also been studied by many great metaphysicists, including Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson who wrote three books about the number. The number is seen by these authors as being the key to illumination and they also claim that major shifts in collective consciousness and world events can be seen in each cycle of 23 years.

 

In Love

  • Twenty three is also a significant number in love. This is because in ancient China, the number two was assigned a feminine role and the number three was given a masculine role. The number 23 then became to symbolize marriage, procreation, and progeny.

 love 23

In Psychology

  • The great psychologist and anthropologist Carl Jung also thought that the number 23 was special and defined it as a number of synchronicity.

 

In Politics

  • The 23rd President of the United States was Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901). Served as President from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893.   Party – Republican.  VP – Levi P. Morton;
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President of the United States of America
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President of the United States of America
  •  The Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) to the United States Constitution permits citizens in the District of Columbia to vote for Electors for President and Vice President. The amendment was proposed by Congress on June 17, 1960, and ratified by the states on March 29, 1961. The first Presidential election in which it was in effect was the presidential election of 1964. Prior to the passage of the amendment, residents of Washington, D.C. were forbidden from voting for President or Vice President as the District is not a U.S. state. However, they are still unable to send voting Representatives or Senators to Congress.

 

In Space

  • The tilt of Earth’s axis is roughly 23o accounting for the changing seasons and the procession of the Zodiac;
  • The first Apollo landing on the moon was at 23.63 degrees east; the second was 23.42 degrees west;
  • On July 23, 1996 the “Mysterious Eyes” of comet Hale-Bopp are first sighted.

 

In Militaria

  • The most famous aircraft with the 23 designation is the Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 also known by the NATO reporting name ‘Flogger’.
  • It is a third generation variable-geometry fighter aircraft, and was the first attempt by the Soviet Union to design look-down/shoot-down radar and one of the first to be armed with beyond visual range missiles. It was also the first MiG production fighter aircraft to have intakes at the sides of the fuselage.
  • Production started in 1970 and reached large numbers with over 5,000 aircraft built. Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with various export customers.
Mig-23
Mig-23
  • In America, the Northrop YF-23 or Northrop–McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was a less commercially successful single-seat, twin-engine fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force (USAF). The design was a finalist in the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, battling the Lockheed YF-22 (developed by Lockheed, Boeing and General Dynamics) for a production contract. Two YF-23 prototypes were built with the nicknames “Black Widow II” and “Gray Ghost”.
  • Although the YF-23 was stealthier and faster, but less agile than its competition. After a four-year development and evaluation process, the YF-22 was announced the winner in 1991 and entered production as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
  • The U.S. Navy considered using the production version of the ATF as the basis for a replacement to the F-14, but these plans were later canceled. As of 2009, the two YF-23 prototypes were museum exhibits.
Northrop–McDonnell Douglas YF-23, nicknamed Gray Ghost (foreground), flying with YF-23 Black Widow II
Northrop–McDonnell Douglas YF-23,  nicknamed Gray Ghost (foreground), with YF-23 Black Widow II

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  • On the ground the Soviet ZU-23-2 anti-craft gun was developed in the late 1950s. It was designed to engage low-flying targets at a range of 2.5 km as well as armoured vehicles at a range of 2 km and for direct defense of troops and strategic locations against air assault usually conducted by helicopters and low-flying airplanes.
  • In the Soviet Union, some 140,000 units were produced. The ZU-23 has also been produced under licence by Bulgaria, Poland, Egypt and the People’s Republic of China.
  • Development of this weapon into a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) led to the ZSU-23-4 Shilka. (see below)
The ZU-23-2 in Saint Petersburg
The ZU-23-2 in Saint Petersburg
  • However, the best known piece of ground militaria is probably the  ZSU-23-4 “Shilka” is a lightly armored, self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft weapon system. The acronym “ZSU” stands for Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka, meaning “anti-aircraft self-propelled mount”. The “23” signifies the bore diameter in millimeters; the “4” signifies the number of gun barrels.
  • It is named after the Russian Shilka River. Afghan soldiers nicknamed it maszyna do szycia (sewing machine) due to the sound of firing guns and because of the similarity of the name “Shilka” to the Russian word meaning “to sew”). It is also referred to by its nickname of “Zeus”.
The ZSU 23-4 Shilka
The ZSU 23-4 Shilka

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In Sport

  • The New York Yankees won the World Series 23 times;
  • Devin Hester, whose jersey number is 23, becomes the first person to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown in a Super Bowl ( XLI );
  • Basketball legend Michael Jordan wore 23 for the Chicago Bulls; his dad was also murdered on July 23, 1993, during a botched robbery;
  • World record-breaking basketball boy wonder LeBron James also wears the number 23 shirt;
  • English soccer star David Beckham took the number 23 when he joined Real Madrid; he said it was in deference to Jordan;
  • 23 was the shirt number worn by tragic soccer player Marc-Vivien Foe when he was at Manchester City; the Cameroon international died after collapsing on the pitch during a Confederations Cup semi-final;
  • In darts, 23 is the lowest score that cannot be gained with the throw of a single dart.

 

Michael Jordan action shot in the famous # 23 shirt
Michael Jordan action shot in the famous # 23 shirt

 

In Movies and TV

  • In the film Airport, the mad bomber has seat 23;
  • In the film Airplane II, the name of the spaceship is XR-2300;
  • The original Star Trek, as well as Babylon Five are set in the 23rd century;
  • In Star Wars Princess Lea was held in cell AA-23;
  • The German movie 23 explored an obsession with the number, based on a real-life story;
  • In the Beatles film Yellow Submarine, The Butterfly Stomper, who destroys all things of beauty, wears a shirt with the number 23;
  • In Die Hard III the train derails in subway station 23.

 

 

The Darker Side

  • In the Kaballah, the Hebrew studies of gematria, the number means severity or judgment. It is associated with apocalypse. In fact, the date to beware of in the future would be the year 2023, according to that system of predictive numerology;
  • Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was assassinated;
  • 230 people died in the conspiracy plagued TWA flight 800 disaster;
  • There are 23 chapters of the Cult Awareness Network;
  • THE average smoker gets through 23 cigarettes a day;
  • The Hiroshima bomb was dropped at 8.15am (8+15= 23);
  • The United States set off 23 atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific;
  • The Unibomber killed or wounded 23 people;
  • Rock star Kurt Cobain was born in 1967 and died in 1994. Both years bizarrely add up to 23 if counted as individual digits: 1+9+6+7=23. 1+9+9+4=23;
  • The date of the terrorist attacks on America on 11 September 2001 (9+11+2+0+0+1) add up to 23.

 

9/11 Memorial (AP photo by Mark Lennihan)
9/11 Memorial (AP photo by Mark Lennihan)

 

Other things about 23

  • Homo sapiens are given 46 chromosomes from their parents, 23 male and 23 female;
  • The human Biorhythm cycle is 23 days;
  • It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body;
  • There are 23 joints in the human arm, and 23 vertebrae in the human body;
  • A full turn of the DNA helix occurs every 23 angstroms;
  • The first Morse code transmission is reported to have been “What hath god wrought?”, a Biblical quote from Numbers 23:23;
  • In telegraphers code 23 means “break the line”;
  • There are exactly 23 characters, numbers and letters, on the face of all U.S. coins;
  • Every 23rd wave crashing on a beach averages twice the size as normal;
  • The Latin alphabet has 23 letters;
  • Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859 – 1+8+5+9 = 23;
  • AOL chat rooms only allow 23 people at a time;
  • The address of the Freemasons lodge in Stafford, England, is 23 Jaol Road. In New York City it’s on 23rd street;
  • The letter ‘W‘ is the 23rd in the alphabet and has 2 points down and 3 points up;
  • US Cavalry legend General Custer was promoted to the senior military rank at the age of 23;
  • William Shakespeare was born on April 23,1556 and died on April 23, 1616; the two 23’s obviously equals 46 which was Shakespeare’s age when the KJV was published; in Psalm 46 in the KJV Bible count 46 words and you arrive at the word ‘shake’; count 46 words backwards from the end of the chapter and you end on is ‘spear’;
  • The author William Burroughs was obsessed with 23. While living in Tangiers, he met a Captain Clark who ran a ferry between Spain and Morocco. One day, Clark told Burroughs that he had been doing the route for 23 years without incident. Later that day, the ferry sank, killing the captain. While Burroughs was thinking about the incident, a radio bulletin announced the crash of a Flight 23 on the New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark. The events prompted an obsession which saw Burroughs record every occurrence of the number 23 for the rest of his life.

 

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7 thoughts on “Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Twenty-Three 23

  1. Hey – what about Michael Jordan, Bulls #23? And since you took most of y military stuff, you DID miss BB-23, USS Mississippi, which was sold to Greece and was the first US battleship sunk in World War 2 (along with sister ship USS Idaho). Also, CVL-23, USS Princeton – converted from a light cruiser – which following a bad hit by a Japanese bomb, suffered a magazine explosion which damaged the cruiser that would have been her sister ship, USS Birmingham. Or the Messerschmidt ME-323, a 6-engined transport conversion of the Messerschmidt ME-321, the largest glider in history (at least to that time).

    • I was tempted to put him in a Washington Wizards shirt, but we have enough wizards there already.
      Thanks for the other info – you know a lot of stuff, in fact you should be doing a militaria blog!!!

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