Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fourteen, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.
The number 14 seems to have some regal significance, particularly where these two Royals were concerned:
ascended to the throne on May 14th, 1643 (1+6+4+3=14);
he was saved by Turenne at Blema in 1652 (1+6+5+2=14);
in accordance with an Edict of Charle V, he was declared major at 14 years and governed himself in 1661 (1+6+6+1=14);
he built the Hotel of the Invalids in 1670 (1+6+7+0=14);
he died in 1715 (1+7+1+5=14), at the age of 77 years old (7+7=14);
having reigned 72 years (7×2=14).
England’s King Henry IV
was born 14 centuries, 14 decades and 14 years after the Christian era;
he came into the world on December 14th ;
he died on May 14th :
he lived 4 x 14 years, 14 weeks and 14 days.
The atomic number for Silicon is 14.
The approximate atomic weight of nitrogen 14.
There are fourteen ascending and downward days of the moon.
The fourteenth year is, for the man, the year of the puberty.
The fingers of each of the two hands are composed of fourteen phalanxes.
February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, a fact most men are not allowed to forget.
In the Bible
There are fourteen generations from Abraham to David;
The fourteen epistles written by saint Paul, having on the whole 100 chapters and adding up 2335 verses;
With the return of Exile, after the rebuilding of the Temple, the Israelis celebrated the Passover the fourteenth day of the first month; (Ezr 6,19)
Jacob worked fourteen years for his uncle Laban in order to be able to marry his daughter Rachel, they had fourteen sons and grandsons; (Gn 29,15-30 and 46,22)
The sufferings of the Christ would have begun fourteen days before Passover to finish with his passion;
Every year, the celebration of the Easter is never done in the same date. At the fourth century after Jesus Christ, it was established that this major feast of the liturgical calendar would be celebrated the first Sunday following the 14th night of lunation of March;
In the Book of Enoch (not included in the Bible) it talks about the fourteen preferential trees which remain always green for all season of the year.
According to the Egyptian legend, the body of Osiris was cut into 14 pieces, 13 of which were found by Isis, the 14th, the penis, having been devoured by the fishes.
In Egypt, the Amenti, area westward of the Nile, where go the souls of deaths, was divided in 14 parts.
Among Greeks, the fourteen days “alcyonians” were the 7 days preceding and the 7 days following the solstice of winter. During this period, the sea was supposed calm so as to allow the “alcyons” to build their nest and to brood. The alcyons came from the Metamorphosis of Ceyx, son of the Star of the morning, Eosphéros (in Latin Lucifer) and his wife Alcyon, girl of Eole.
Fourteen also is:
The number of days in a fortnight;
In traditional British units of weight, the number of pounds in a stone;
A number supposedly ‘encoded’ in much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach may have considered this number a sort of signature, since given A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc., then B + A + C + H = 14;
A common designation for the thirteenth floor in many buildings for superstitious reasons;
The number of lines in a sonnet;
The Number 14 airship by Alberto Santos Dumont that was used to test the aerodynamics of his 14-bis airplane;
The number of the French department Calvados;
A Storage server manufactured by IBM. It goes by name of “XIV” and is pronounced as the separate letters “X”, “I”, “V”;
The Piano Sonata No. 14, also known as Moonlight Sonata, is one of the most famous piano sonatas composed by Ludwig van Beethoven;
Age 14 is the earliest that the emancipation of minors can occur in the U.S.
Minimum age at which one can work in many U.S states. Some require parental consent while others don’t;
Minimum age at which one can work in most Australian states with parent’s consent;
Minimum age at which one can drive a vehicle in the U.S. with a driver’s license (with supervision of an adult over 18 years of age, and with a valid, unmarked driver’s license, and at least 365 days of experience driving an actual automobile);
The minimum age limit to drive a 50cc motorbike in Italy.
The fourteenth President of the United States was Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) of the Democratic Party, who served from March 4th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857. His VP was William R. King (March 4th, 1853 to April 18th, 1853, when he died of tuberculosis only 45 days into office, the position being vacant from April 18th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857.)
Then There Was The Fourteen Points
‘The Fourteen Points’ was a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. It was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I, and was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe.
The Fourteen Points were:
There should be no secret alliances between countries;
Freedom of the seas in peace and war;
The reduction of trade barriers among nations;
The general reduction of armaments;
The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers;
The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations;
The restoration of Belgian territories in Germany;
The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine;
The readjustment of Italian boundaries along clearly recognizable lines of nationality;
Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary;
The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia;
Protection for minorities in Turkey and the free passage of the ships of all nations through the Dardanelles;
Independence for Poland, including access to the sea;
A league of nations to protect “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike.”
The Fourteen Points was accepted by France and Italy on November 1, 1918. Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The United Kingdom also wanted Germany to make reparation payments for the war, and thought that that should be added to the Fourteen Points.
The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had little to do with the Fourteen Points and was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In aviation the designation 14 has been used for several famous aircraft. Best known would be the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which entered the fleet in 1973, replacing the F-4 Phantom II. New variants were introduced in 1987 (the F-14B) and in 1990 (the F-14D).
The designation has also appeared on Soviet/Russian aircraft, the most notable being the Antonov An-14 Pchelka, a utility transport introduced in 1966 and primarily used by the Soviet Air Force, Aeroflot, Afghan Air Force and East German Air Force. Production continued until 1972. Known as the “Little Bee”, it was a twin-engined light STOL utility transport first flown on 15 March 1958. Serial production started in 1966, and about 300 examples were built by the time production ended in 1972. A small number of An-14 are still in airworthy condition.
The Ilyushin Il-14 was a commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft that entered service in 1954.
Apollo 14, launched on January 31st, 1971, was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions”, targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.
The astronauts were Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell.
Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5th in the Fra Mauro formation (this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission).
They spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth.
Apollo 14 landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9.
Finally, the No. 14 chair is the most famous chair made by the Thonet chair company. Also known as the bistro chair, it was designed by Michael Thonet and introduced in 1859. It became one of the best-selling chairs ever made with some 50 million being sold between 1859 and 1930. Millions more have been sold since.
Movement 1 from Ludwig Van Beetoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata
Another Monday and more quiz show answers. Those that know about these things tell me that the universe is expanding. All I can tell you it would need to be expanding fast because the amount of stupidity in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate.
Read on….(and enjoy)
Q: An article of clothing kids usually don’t like wearing
Q: An occupation in which you disguise your appearance
Q: Name something women borrow from each other
Q: Name a bad place to look for good husband material
A: Family Reunion
Q: Name something you put under a pillow
Q: An astronaut
A: Neil Young
Q: Name something a man wears to bed
Q: Name a room in the house where the family gathers
Q: Name something people do when they’re alone
A: Make love
Q: Name something starting with “egg”
Q: Someone you’d never want to see the results of your IQ test
A: The IRS
Q: Name a pie that does not contain fruit
A: Lemon Meringue
Q: An ugly color
Q: The one thing people know about Rosie O’Donnell.
A: That she was the wife on the TV show “Roseanne”
Q: Name something a wife tells her husband to put on
Q: Name something a woman out on a date would hate to discover on her face
Q: Name a department in a supermarket
Q: Name something you keep in the drawer beside your bed
Q: Name a magazine that many men get subscriptions to as gifts
Q: The one word that people yell at the end of a performance
A: “I love you.”
Q: Someone Bugs Bunny might invite to his birthday party
Q: Name something that might get backed up
Q: Name something you know about Rudy Giuliani
A: Absolutely nothing
Q: Name something you’d yell at if it stopped working
Q: Name a game show title that best describes your marriage
A: Happy Days
Q: Name a food that’s red on the inside
Q: The talent show with the crankiest judges, past or present
A: America’s Funniest Home Videos
Q: Name something you wash once a week
Q: Name a TV show with the word “family” in it, past or present
There are times when it is difficult enough trying to think up stuff for a new blog every day. But there are also a few times when you get handed some inspiration because of an event that happens somewhere in the world.
Occasionally those events are inspiring and exciting, more often than not though they are tragic. Today is one that is a mixture of both and has led to a double-blog post Sunday for the first time.
I’m sure from the title you know who this post is about.
I learned yesterday via an NBC news headline and from a friend from the blogshpere, John Erickson, of the death of Neil Armstrong.
Everybody knows who he was and what he achieved during his life, so there is no point in going over all that again here. Sunday’s newspapers will be full of it.
I have no personal anecdotes about Neil Armstrong. I never met him, and never came close to meeting him. But I was with him, as were millions of others, on July 20, 1969 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. I sat in front of our television and watched, totally enthralled, as he did it.
The tv picture was crappy and the sound intermittent, but it didn’t matter. It was happening, and we could see it happening in real time. It was the most exciting thing that had happened in my lifetime and then some. My Dad watched alongside me, every bit as engrossed in the whole event. He couldn’t quite believe it even though he was watching it happen.
It was and remains a truly wondrous event.
At the time, and being a kid, I never considered the courage it must have taken to be the first man to set foot on our moon. It was just an adventure, but what an adventure.
The word “hero” is bandied about a lot these days, but as far as Armstrong is concerned it is a plaudit well earned and well deserved. And not just for what he achieved in his career with NASA, but in how he lived his life as well.
Is it sad that Neil Armstrong is no longer with us? Of course it is. Men like him are all too rare. But he lived more in his lifetime than most of us could ever hope to or even imagine. He will be remembered well and that’s about as much as any of us can hope for.
And Mr Gorsky mentioned in the title of this post?
Naturally this blog being what it is there is a duty to add a little bit of humor and, fact or fiction, Neil Armstrong was aware of the story of Mr Gorsky and I am sure it provided him with a lot of amusement over the years, as it has also done for people like myself who have retold it many times.
For those who don’t know, the legend goes that when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but before he re-entered the lander, he said “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
Over the years, many people asked him what it meant but he would never say. Then one July 5, in Tampa Bay, FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26- year-old question. He finally responded. It seems that by that time Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could at last answer the question.
He said when he was a kid, he was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex? Oral sex you want? You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”