FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks,

Last day of this year and time for my recollections of 2014’s main events.

As always this is by no means meant to be a complete coverage of all the events that happened during 2014, just a personal blog post about some of the things I remember, and a few that I had forgotten until I started to compile this list.

I hope you enjoy.

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farewell 2014

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The Weather

We will start off with the weather since so many of us seem to be obsessed with it.

  • In the United States there were weather extremes. In California, for example, January was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Only four other Januaries since 1878 had been completely dry in Los Angeles until January 2014. Alaskans experienced their third warmest January in 96 years of record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

California drought 2014

  • In many parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, 2014 was the coldest winter since the late 1970s or early 1980s. And some southern states of the US became the victims of, firstly, winter storm Kronos which brought a rare blanket of snow as far south as Louisiana, and sleet as far south as Harlingen, Texas and Pensacola, Fla. in late January, and then, just days later, a second winter storm, Leon, hit many of the same areas causing commuter chaos in both Birmingham, Ala. and Atlanta. Leon also spread ice and sleet to the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle, and the Low country of South Carolina.
  • And worse was on the way. Winter Storm Pax deposited an inch or more of ice in a swath from east-central Georgia into South Carolina, including Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. Pax was the second heaviest ice storm dating to 1947 in Wilmington, N.C. The accumulation of ice from Pax claimed the famed “Eisenhower tree” at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pax marked the first time since January 1940 that Columbia, S.C. saw snowfall for three straight days.

Winter Storm Pax Washington

  • In complete contrast, the week after Pax, Columbia, S.C. tied its all-time February high of 84 degrees. Augusta, Ga. warmed into the 80s two straight days on Feb. 19-20.
  • Elsewhere in the world, severe Atlantic winter storms took their toll on many parts of England which in 2014 experienced storms and rain not seen since the late 19th century.

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

  • In Tokyo, Japan, which usually averages only about 4 inches of snow each year, there were also severe snow storms. In February, snow blanketed the city with 11 inches of snow in less than a week, the heaviest snowfall in 45 years for Tokyo and in 60 years for the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. The following weekend, parts of eastern Japan, including parts of the Tokyo metro area, received another round of snow. Some smaller communities were isolated by more than 3 feet of snow.
  • And in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that more than 10 percent of Queensland and almost 15 percent of New South Wales experienced their record hottest day on Jan. 3. A second heat wave hit parts of southern Australia in mid-January, with temperatures peaking above 41 degrees Celsius (just under 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for four straight days from Jan. 14-17, and reaching a sizzling 43.9 degrees C (111 degrees F) on both Jan. 16 and 17.

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

  • In the world of business and technology 2014 was the year the Obama administration decided to stop inversion deals, where US companies bought foreign domiciled businesses and moved their profit centers to a much more tax friendly location.
  • In technology buys, one of the largest was Facebook’s purchase of smartphone application WhatsApp for $19 Billion.

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

  • In other sectors 2014 saw world oil price plunge to around $50 per barrel, good news for consumers, not so good for producers.
  • Under pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices, along with the economic sanctions imposed by the west because of the ongoing situation in the Ukraine, the Russian Ruble went into free fall in December.

APphoto_Russia Economy

  • Also in 2014, in March, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific but commercial and refused to grant further permits.
  • With Quantitative Easing having been ended in the US (for the moment anyway) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for a new $29 billion fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job-creating programs, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.

Quantitative Easing cartoon

  • After their embarrassing foul up last Christmas, this year both FedEx and UPS managed to deliver more than 99 percent of express packages as promised on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to shipment tracker ShipMatrix.
  • South Korean prosecutors arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts. Most of the rest of the world tends to think that the idiot executive should suffer the consequences of her stupidity, not the whistleblower.

korean-air-lines-macademia-nut-scandal Cho Hyun-ah

  • And finally, after their embarrassing hack attack and cringe-worthy capitulation to what amounted to a terrorist cyber attack which was rightly criticized publicly by President Obama, Sony finally decided to release its movie ‘The Interview’.

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

  • In April an estimated 276 girls and women were abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria. The following month, Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala and terrorists in Nigeria detonated bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

  • June saw the emergence of a Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (also known as the ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’). It began an offensive throughout northern Iraq, with the aim of eventually capturing the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrowing the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The group has been responsible for beheading of hundreds of people including several from the United States.

Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’

  • In July and August tensions between Israel and Hamas grew following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July. Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed.
  • Also in July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 souls on board. There are conflicting claims as to who was responsible, some blaming pro Russian forces for a missile strike and others blaming Ukrainian forces.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

  • In August and September the United States military began an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants and the following month the United States and several Arab partners began an airstrike campaign in Syria.

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

During 2014 we said farewell to many well know people from various walks of life. Here is just my selection of those I remember.

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

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Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

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Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

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Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

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Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

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Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

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Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

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Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

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Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

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Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

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James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

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Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

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Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

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Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

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Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

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Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

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Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

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Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

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Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

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Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

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Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

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Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

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Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

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From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

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Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

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Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

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Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

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Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

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From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

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Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

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Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

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Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

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James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

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A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

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Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

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Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

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Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

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Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

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Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

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John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

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Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

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Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

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From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

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Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

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Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

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Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

Alfredo-Di-Stefano-Dies-at-Age-88

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

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Health

  • The big health scare of 2014 that dominated the headlines was the of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in February, that initially infected over 19,000 people and killing at least 7,000, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.

ebola_map Africa

  • In other news, also in February, Belgium became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.

Politics

  • On January 1, Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.
  • In February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest that left around 100 people dead in Kiev. The pro-Russian unrest lead to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

President Viktor Yanukovych

  • In March, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
  • Also in March, an emergency meeting, involving the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspended Russia from the G8.
  • In April, also in response to the Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution temporarily stripping Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.
  • The same month, United States President Barack Obama began new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin Obama

  • In May the Royal Thai Army overthrew the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.
  • Back in Europe, in June, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who ascended the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
  • And the political year ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century.

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

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Space

  • The major space event of 2014 happened in November when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Philae probe successfully landed on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

Rosetta Philae

Sport

  • The two major world sporting events of 2014 were the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and won by Germany, during June and July.

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

  • In American sport the Super Bowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, the MLB World Series  winners were the San Francisco Giants and in basketball the San Antonio Spurs came out on top.
  • Ice Hockey had three champions in 2014, Canada becoming Olympic champions, Russia world champions and in the NHL the Los Angeles Kings were the victors.
  • In tennis at the world famous Wimbledon Tournament in England Novak Djokovic became Men’s Singles Champion and Petra Kvitova Ladies Singles Champion, while the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open were Marin Čilić  and Serena Williams respectively.

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

  • In Soccer, as noted above, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The European Champions League winners were Real Madrid and the English Premiership was won by Manchester City.
  • The Formula 1 motor racing champion for 2014 was British driver Lewis Hamilton, who also picked up the award of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • In golf’s major championships, the Masters Tournament, held in April, was won by Bubba Watson by three strokes. It was his second Masters championship.
  • May saw the BMW PGA Championship where young Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to win by one stroke over Irishman Shane Lowry, who also birdied the 18th hole.
  • In June, U.S. Open winner was Martin Kaymer who won by eight strokes to become the first German player to win the U.S. Open, and the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.
  • In July, the Open Championship Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy, was on top again winning by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García. It was his third career major championship, and his first Open Championship. With the win, he became the fourth player ever of 25 years old or under to have won at least three majors.
  • In August, McIlroy was back, winning the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. He was having quite a year, it was his fourth career major and his second PGA Championship.PGA Champion Rory McIlroy
  • Then in September, in the Ryder Cup, Team Europe (also including McIlroy) defeated Team USA by a score of 16½ – 11½. It was the third consecutive Ryder Cup victory for Europe, and also Europe’s fifth consecutive home victory in the Ryder Cup.

Tragedies

  • In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • In April Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized and sunk after an unmanageable cargo shift. More than 290 people were killed, mostly high school students.

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

  • In May hundreds of workers were killed in mining accident in Turkey.
  • In July, Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.
  • And just a few days ago AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed, wreckage has been found off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast.

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

Pandering To Minorities.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

You know there is something very wrong with your society when it allows vociferous minorities to dictate how the majority of people are allowed to live their lives.

They still call it democracy, but it is not.

And it is happening more and more in Western nations, particularly America and Europe, and affecting more and more areas of our lives.

The reason it happens is not because loud mouth minority interests demand this or that or the other, but because the majority have lost any backbone they ever had and capitulate in the face of almost every demand, no matter how nonsensical.

It never works the other way because when Westernere go to other countries we abide by the rules of that nation. We do not try to impose our beliefs on them, not nowadays anyhow.

For example, if I end up in a Muslim country where alcohol is not permitted, I respect their laws and don’t drink alcohol. Similarly, if I want to visit Israel, I’ll eat kosher. Or if I go to India I won’t demand that they slaughter a sacred cow just so as I can have a juicy steak!

We’re on the subject of food and drink because the latest to buckle under is the fast food chain ‘Subway’ in the United Kingdom and Ireland. (Watch out, you’re next America!)

Because of the demands of a few within the Muslim community, Subway has chosen to ignore the wishes of the great majority of its customers and has removed ham and bacon from nearly 200 of its stores.

The meats that they still serve are also to be Islamic hal-al only.

Subway hal-al

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In case you don’t know, hal-al is not the Israeli national airline (that’s El Al), but is a specific way of slaughtering animals for human consumption.

Traditionally in halal abattoirs the throats of the animals are cut while they are fully conscious – an act many campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel – whereas in non-halal abattoirs, livestock are stunned before killing to prevent any unnecessary suffering.

So if you are in the UK or Ireland and looking for any of the following “Subs” you are in for a disappointment.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt  –  BANNED!
Steak and Cheese  –  BANNED!
Meatball Marinara  –  BANNED!
Subway Melt – ham, bacon, turkey breast and cheese  –  BANNED!
Italian B.M.T. – pepperoni, salami and ham  –  BANNED!
Spicy Italian – pepperoni and salami  –  BANNED!
Chicken Avocado  –  BANNED!
Mega Melt – bacon, sausage, egg and cheese  –  BANNED!
Sausage, Bacon, Egg and Cheese  –  BANNED!
Sausage, Egg and Cheese  –  BANNED!

As regards me personally, it’s Subway that is in for the disappointment, because I’ll be deliberately missing them the next time I get hungry enough for some fast food.

I fail to see why I should support a company like Subway for whom my tastes, as part of the majority of its customers, means nothing.

So well done Subway, you’re stock value should be heading the sub way too if you continue to show contempt for your core customers who made your company what it is  –  er, make that, what it was.

Now where did I put that Burger King menu???

Burger King logo

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Using Words Incorrectly Is Addicting.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Using words incorrectly may be addicting, but so are puns.

Here is this week’s word play selection.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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The skin on all the oranges in our

kitchen cupboard has been scraped off.

I think somebody has been taking the pith.

Orange-Pith-Small

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My friend composes ditties about sewing machines.

She’s a Singer songwriter.

Singer songwriter

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They say male lions will often turn to

cannibalism when they’re desperate for food.

They just have to swallow their pride.

Lions fight

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I went to the optician and he said I was short sighted.

I said, “Nonsense – I’m very open minded.”

optician cartoon

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I said to my friend,

“It’s important that no-one mentions any film production companies.”

“How important is it?” he asked.

“Paramount,” I replied.

Paramount_Pictures_print_logo

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My friend’s father has been living in Iraq’s

capital for the last year with an awful woman.

He’s just told him,

“you’ve got to leave that old bag dad.”

woman-pulling-hair-out.-Cartoon.

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It’s amazing how a piece of technology

as simple as a tablet can revolutionize your life.

Those viagra are amazing.

Viagra

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I have an intelligent Taser.

Whenever I use it on someone it explains to

them in no uncertain terms why I’m doing it.

I call it my frank zapper.

taser1

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How do they search online in Israel?

They just go on the Netanyahu.

Netanyahu online

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My next door neighbor recently won the lottery.

She always had gender issues and

felt she was a man trapped in a woman’s body,

so the first thing she did was have a sex change.

Who said money can’t buy a penis?

sex change

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“I love having red hair – the ladies really dig it,”

said Tom, gingerly.

epic-afro-ginger-hair

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When they bought a water bed,

the couple started to drift apart.

waterbed

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The world’s largest DIY store chain

is to run their own schools,

the curriculum will be normal but

the day will start with self-assembly.

self-assembly

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My son is being forced to smoke by our French exchange student.

Pierre Pressure.

mpaperdollfrench

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Documentary on the Pointer Sisters tonight.

I’m so excited.

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Gas Bags And Gas Prices

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Back at the end of July in a previous Sunday Sermon I wrote that:

“Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.”

Obama-Peace-Prize

Of course it’s still being denied by Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and his administration, but there is little doubt now that Syria is next on their war hit list and we are indeed about to be bogged down in another bloody mess.

Already naval and ground forces are being positioned, for example, the cruise missile laden USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan are all in the eastern Mediterranean.

The only remaining part is to con-vince the American public, who do not want another Middle Eastern debacle, that they are wrong and that a strike on Syria is essential for their future well being.

chemical weapons

The pretext that is going to be used this time is ‘evidence’ of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the rebels. And the people that are being relied on to provide that ‘evidence’ are the very same people who provided false ‘evidence’ that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Everyone now knows and accepts that the WMD excuse for getting embroiled in Iraq was a deliberate deceit – otherwise known as a ‘lie’ – so the track record of the ‘evidence’ providers is neither good nor credible.

Already government apologists are making statements about how Syria had “used them [chemical weapons] before”, which is untrue. UN investigators charged the rebels, not Assad’s government’s forces, with use of chemical weapons in Syria earlier this year. Strangely (or perhaps not) Obama did not feel such a moral necessity to send a missile or two towards the rebels, instead he gave them more support. 

Now add to that another good pinch of hypocrisy.

In fact make that two good pinches.

The first, because the rebellion now taking place within Syria would not have happened without the financial and military assistance of the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The hypocritical part of it all is that these three nations are in fact supporting people who, if successful, will become even more bitter enemies than the Assad regime.

And the second, because in an alleged effort to encourage ‘democracy’ in Syria, ‘democracy’ in America and Europe is being ignored.

For example, 64 percent of the French people have said they don’t want to get involved, but as in America the ‘people’ don’t have a say on the final outcome.

In Britain the Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron got a very embarrassing slap in the face in Parliament when he tried to emulate the lies of previous Prime Minister Tony Blair but lost a vote on military intervention in Syria. His spin doctors will be working overtime to cook up a good story for the next debate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

And it is plain that the majority of ordinary Americans do not want the President they elected on the promise of getting their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging them into another conflict which could prove to be as bloody if not bloodier. So plain in fact that until late Friday Obama had planned bypassing Congress obviously trying to avoid a similar embarrassment to that which was suffered by British PM Cameron.

Think this time it will only be a few missiles and drones and that troops won’t be involved? After all Obama has said “We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach”.

Then you need to think again.

Sure, at the outset Obama will try to fool the public by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these alone won’t be enough. Even in today’s high-tech world you can’t wage wars without those boots on the ground. And in those boots are brave, but misled men and women, some of whom will lose their lives or be maimed as a result.

Boots On The Ground Fallen Soldier

The doomsday pundits are saying that all this posturing and war mongering by Obama could spiral into something worse. Possibly even be the start of WW3. Unfortunately grandiose claims like these only serve to lessen the credibility of those who are arguing against another foreign intervention.

Putin seems to have more sense than Obama. The Russians have already made their mistake in Afghanistan and are unlikely to do it again. Even less do they want to start or become involved in, a major conflict – not at the moment anyway.

China has little interest in getting involved in a conflict in the middle east either. They will take the long view, and, as they did with Iraq, they will let the US waste billions more dollars blowing things down and building them up again and then they will step in and secure more oil supplies for themselves.  

If it does get down to the nitty gritty one possibility that is more realistic is that the conflict could spread to other nations within the Middle East.

Iran for example has a mutual assistance pact with Syria. It also knows it is next on the US hit list so the longer the US is focused on Syria the longer it will postpone an attack on itself. It is not beyond imagination therefore that Iran could send arms and even troops to assist Assad.

Neither is it unreasonable to imagine that, if missile strikes on Syria result in retaliatory Syrian missile attacks on Israel, Israeli troops will also be sent into Syrian territory, with US forces backing them up shortly thereafter.

That is boots on the ground, no matter what denials you currently hear.

However it pans out, two things are certain. ‘Evidence’ or no ‘evidence’ Uncle Sam will stick his nose in once again. And if it all goes pear shaped, as it most likely will, then UP is the only way your gasoline and heating oil prices will be heading.   

Happy winter!

gas and oil prices

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twelve 12 (Part 1)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to significant number factoid Friday.

Today the number is twelve and as usual it has a lot more associations that you might at first think. So many in fact that I have decided to split this post into two parts.

The second part (next Friday) will consist of the many entries in the ‘militaria’ section, while today’s will include the rest.

Even with the split it’s still a long post, but I hope those of you interested in numbers and their associations will enjoy reading it.

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The Number Twelve  12

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12

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In religion

  • The number 12 is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but also found in some other belief systems.
  • From the Bible we know that Jacob had 12 sons, (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin), who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
  • The New Testament describes twelve apostles of Jesus; after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and hanged himself, a meeting was held (Acts) to add Matthias to complete the number twelve once more.
  • The Book of Revelation contains much numerical symbolism, and a lot of the numbers mentioned have 12 as a divisor.
  • Revelation 12:1 mentions a woman—interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church or the Virgin Mary—wearing a crown of twelve stars (representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel).
  • Also there are 12,000 people sealed from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, making a total of 144,000 (which is the square of 12 multiplied by a thousand).

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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • In Orthodox Judaism, 12 signifies the age a girl matures (bat mitzvah)
  • There are 12 days of Christmas; the period of thirteen days including Epiphany is sometimes known as Christmastide, thus Twelfth Night is another name for the twelfth day of Christmas or January 5 (the eve of Epiphany).
  • Similarly, Eastern Orthodoxy observes 12 Great Feasts.
  • In Twelver (or Imami) Shi’a Islam, there are twelve Imams, successors of the prophet Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam were—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn’s descendants. Imamah is the Shi‘ah doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shi‘ah believe that the A’immah (“Imams”) are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muhammad, and Twelver and Isma‘ili Shi‘ah further that Imams are possessed of supernatural knowledge, authority, and infallibility as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of Muhammad. Both beliefs distinguish the Shi‘ah from Sunnis.
  • In the Quran, the Sura number 12 is Sura Yusuf (Joseph), and it is located in Juz’a number 12. This Sura narrates the story of Prophet Yusuf and his 12 brothers.
  • In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has 12 names. Also, there are 12 Petals in Anahata (Heart Chakra. There are twelve “Jyotirlingas” in Hindu Shaivism. The Shaivites (orthodox devotees of God Shiva) treat them with great respect and they are visited by almost every pious Hindu at least once in a lifetime.

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  • In antiquity there are numerous magical/religious uses of twelves.
  • Ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon.
  • Greek mythology has the twelve labors of Hercules.
  • The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons.
  • Several sets of twelve cities are identified in history as a dodecapolis, the most familiar being the Etruscan League.
  • In the King Arthur Legend, Arthur is said to have subdued 12 rebel princes and to have won 12 great battles against Saxon invaders.

Knights of the Round Table

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In mathematics

  • Twelve is the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12.
  • Twelve is a sublime number, a number that has a perfect number of divisors, and the sum of its divisors is also a perfect number.
  • Twelve is a superfactorial, being the product of the first three factorials.
  • The first four positive integers show up in the following equation 12 = 3 × 4, which can be continued with the equation 56 = 7 × 8.
  • A twelve-sided polygon is a dodecagon.
  • A twelve-faced polyhedron is a dodecahedron.

dodecahedron

  • Regular cubes and octahedrons both have 12 edges, while regular icosahedrons have 12 vertices.
  • The duodecimal system (1210 [twelve] = 1012), which is the use of 12 as a division factor for many ancient and medieval weights and measures, including hours, probably originates from Mesopotamia.
  • In base thirteen and higher bases (such as hexadecimal), twelve is represented as C. In base 10, the number 12 is a Harshad number.

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In science and technology

  • Twelve is the atomic number of magnesium in the periodic table.
  • The human body has twelve cranial nerves.
  • The duodenum (from Latin duodecim, “twelve”) is the first part of the small intestine, that is about twelve inches (30 cm) long. More precisely, this section of the intestine was measured not in inches but in fingerwidths. In fact, in German the name of the duodenum is Zwölffingerdarm and in Dutch the name is twaalfvingerige darm, both meaning “twelve-finger bowel”.
  • Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. The vitamin is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12), a colorless gas usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane (CFC), used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other countries in 1996 due to concerns about damage to the ozone layer. It is soluble in many organic solvents. Dichlorodifluoromethane was also the main component of Silly String.

silly-string

  • Force 12 on the Beaufort wind force scale corresponds to the maximum wind speed of a hurricane.
  • There are twelve function keys on most PC keyboards (F1 through F12)
  • There are twelve keys in any standard digital telephone (1 through 9, 0, * and #)
  • Microsoft’s Rich Text Format specification assigns numbers congruent to 12 mod 256 to variants of the French language.

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In space

  • Messier object M12 is a magnitude 8.0 globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus.
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 12 is a magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces.
  • The 12th moon of Jupiter is Lysithea.
  • Twelve people have walked on Earth’s moon.
  • Telstar 12, is a commercial broadcast satellite used in telecommunications, operated by Loral Skynet. It is a Ku band satellite with coverage of North America as far West as Cleveland, Ohio, the majority of South America, Europe as far East as the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Telstar 12 also has the capability to provide intercontinental connectivity including trans-Atlantic to the Mid-East.

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  • Apollo 12
  • Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon (an H type mission).
  • It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit. The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms.
  • Unlike the first landing by Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at their expected location, the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor, and removed some parts for return to Earth.
  • The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown.

apollo 12 patch

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  • STS-12 
  • During the Space Shuttle program, several missions were cancelled. Many were cancelled as a result of the Challenger and the Columbia disasters. Many early missions were cancelled due to delays in the development of the shuttle. Others were cancelled because of changes in payload and missions requirements.
  • STS-12 was originally scheduled for launch on 30 January 1981. The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-C and Anik-C2 into orbit during the 2-day mission. An alternate mission was also planned which replaced the TDRS-C with an Intelsat-V satellite, and would last five days instead of two. TDRS-C was eventually made as the replacement for the destroyed TDRS-B and launched from Discovery on STS-26 in September 1988.
  • The crew of STS-12 were, Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr. (Commander); Michael L. Coats (Pilot); and Mission Specialists Richard M. Mullane, Steven A. Hawley and Judith A. Resnik.

sts12_patch

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  • Majestic 12
  • According to UFO conspiracy theory, Majestic 12 (or MJ-12) is the supposed code name of an alleged secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The purpose of the committee was to investigate the recovery of a UFO north of Roswell, New Mexico during July 1947.
  • Initial indications of such a group’s existence appeared in 1978 in declassified Canadian documents. Another reference to a classified group called “MJ-12” was discovered in 1980, but was later identified to be a hoax. In 1984 a set of documents was discovered in United States archives, which closely resemble real declassified documents, but which the FBI have declared to be “completely bogus”.
  • UFO conspiracy theories and the popular media based on them sometimes incorporate Majestic 12.

Majestic 12

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In politics

  • The 12th President of the United States of America (1849–1850) was Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850). An American military leader, his 40-year military career ended with far-reaching victories in the Mexican–American War. His status as a national hero won him election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died 16 months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.

12th US President-Zachary_Taylor-circa1850

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  • The Twelfth Amendment (Amendment XII) to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice President. It replaced Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, which provided the original procedure by which the Electoral College functioned. Problems with the original procedure arose in the elections of 1796 and 1800. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Congress on December 9, 1803, and was ratified by the required number of state legislatures on June 15, 1804.
  • The United States of America is divided into twelve Federal Reserve Districts (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco); American paper currency has serial numbers beginning with one of twelve different letters, A through L, representing the Federal Reserve Bank from which the currency originated.

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  • There are 12 stars are featured on the Flag of Europe

EU Flag

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  • The French department Aveyron is number twelve.
  • In Northern Ireland the Twelfth of July is the main day of celebration and commemoration for the Protestant and Unionist community, and a public holiday.

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In sport

  • The competition that was founded in 2001 as the Celtic League changed its name in 2011 to Pro12, reflecting its status as a 12-team league after it expanded in 2010 to include teams from Italy.
  • The Southern Hemisphere competition now known as Super Rugby was known from 1996 through 2005, an era in which it had 12 teams, as Super 12.
  • In both soccer and American football, the number 12 can be a symbolic reference to the fans because of the support they give to the 11 players on the field.
  • Texas A&M University reserves the number 12 jersey for a walk-on player who represents the original “12th Man”, a fan who was asked to play when the team’s reserves were low in a college American football game in 1922.
  • Bayern Munich, Hammarby, Feyenoord, Atlético Mineiro, Flamengo, Seattle Seahawks, Portsmouth and Cork City do not allow field players to wear the number 12 on their jersey because it is reserved for their supporters.
  • The jersey number 12 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats (or, in one case, a team’s fans):
  • In Major League Baseball: the Tampa Bay Rays, for Hall of Famer Wade Boggs; the Toronto Blue Jays, for Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

Roberto Alomar

  • In the NFL: the Buffalo Bills, for Hall of Famer Jim Kelly; the Miami Dolphins, for Hall of Famer Bob Griese; the New York Jets, for Hall of Famer Joe Namath; the San Francisco 49ers, for John Brodie; the Seattle Seahawks, for their fans (the “12th Man”); the Dallas Cowboys have a policy of not retiring numbers, however, the team has not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Roger Staubach; the Pittsburgh Steelers currently have a policy of not retiring numbers, having retired only one number (70) in their earlier history, however, the Steelers have not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

Bob Griese Miami Dolphins

  • In the NBA: the New York Knicks, for Dick Barnett; the Utah Jazz, for Hall of Famer John Stockton; the Cincinnati Royals, for Hall of Famer Maurice Stokes, who suffered a career-ending head injury in 1958, the team’s first season in Cincinnati and the franchise continues to honor the number in its current incarnation as the Sacramento Kings.

maurice_stokes

  • In the NHL: he Detroit Red Wings, for Hall of Famer Sid Abel; the Montreal Canadiens, for Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer and Dickie Moore; the Vancouver Canucks, for Stan Smyl; the jersey number 12 has also been retired by the men’s basketball program of the University of North Carolina for Phil Ford.

Stan Smyl

  • In Canadian football, 12 is the maximum number of players that can be on the field of play for each team at any time.
  • In ten-pin bowling, 12 is the number of strikes needed for a perfect game.
  • In curling, the House or the circular scoring area, is 12 feet in diameter.
  • In cricket, another sport with eleven players per team, teams may select a “12th man”, who may replace an injured player for the purpose of fielding (but not batting, bowling or keeping wicket).
  • In association football, 12 was also the number of teams in the finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in its first two editions in 1991 and 1995.

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In books, music, movies and TV

  • Books
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a comedy by William Shakespeare.
  • ‘Twelve Angry Men’ by Reginald Rose, was adapted from his own teleplay (see TV below).
  • ‘The Twelve’ is a poem by Aleksandr Blok.
  • ‘Twelve’ is a novel by Nick McDonell.
  • ‘The Twelve Chairs’ is a satirical novel by the Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov.
  • ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ is a 1946 novel by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
  • ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is a folk tale.
  • ‘The Aeneid’, an epic poem by Virgil is divided into two halves composed of twelve books.
  • ‘Paradise Lost’, an epic poem by John Milton is divided into twelve books perhaps in imitation of the Aeneid.
  • In ‘The Hunger Games’, the fictional country of Panem is separated into twelve districts.

AENEID

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  • Music
  • Twelve is the number of pitch classes in an octave; the total number of major keys; and the total number of minor keys.
  • The twelfth is the interval of an octave and a fifth. Instruments such as the clarinet which behave as a stopped cylindrical pipe overblow at the twelfth.
  • The twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called twelve-tone music.
  • One of the most famous classical music pieces is the 1812 overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • The 12-inch single is a vinyl record format.
  • B12 are a British electronic music duo consisting of Mike Golding and Steve Rutter.
  • There is a group called ‘Twelve Girls Band’.
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a progressive rock band.
  • ‘12 Play’ is an R. Kelly album.
  • ‘The Number 12 Looks Like You’ is a mathcore band.
  • ‘Twelve’ is an album by Patti Smith.
  • ‘Twelve Deadly Cyns…and Then Some’ is an album by Cyndi Lauper.
  • ‘D12’ a rap group also known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.
  • There is a musical group named ‘12 Stones’.
  • ‘12’, a Song from Brave Murder Day by Katatonia.
  • ‘12’ is a studio album by German singer Herbert Grönemeyer.
  • ‘12’ is the 12th studio album by Keller Williams.
  • ‘12 Hundred’ is a song by band Mushroomhead of their Savior Sorrow album.
  • ‘12’ (“Dodeka” in Greek) is one of the most well-known hits by Anna Vissi.
  • ‘Twelve drummers drumming’ is the gift on the twelfth day of Christmas in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
  • ‘12:59 Lullaby’ by Bedouin Soundclash.
  • ‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35’ by Bob Dylan.
  • ‘Little 12 Toes’ by Chavez (band).
  • ‘12 Hours’ by Davenport Cabinet.
  • ‘12’ by Hot Chip.
  • ‘Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses’ by Kathy Mattea.
  • ‘Twelve Reasons Why’ by My Life Story.
  • ‘Dozen Wicked Words’ by The Longpigs.
  • ‘Prelude 12’ by Styx.
  • ‘12:51’ by The Strokes.
  • ‘12 Steps’ by Violent Femmes.
  • ‘The 12th Of September’ by Xavier Rudd.
  • ‘12 Fingers’ by Young the Giant.
  • ‘12-Bar Original’ by The Beatles.
  • Twelve is the number of studio albums ‘The Beatles’ released.

Dylan rainydaySP

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  • Movies
  • Movies with the number twelve or its variations in their titles include
  • 12
  • 12.01
  • 12 Angry Men (1957 and 1997)
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • 12 Monkeys
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • 12 Rounds
  • Twelve

The Dirty Dozen

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  • Television
  • The number twelve plays a significant role in the television franchise Battlestar Galactica. The characters come from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and worship the twelve lords of Kobol. In the re-imagined series, there are also twelve models of the humanoid version of Cylons.
  • Twelve Angry Men, the original 1954 live performance on the anthology television series Studio One.
  • ‘Number 12 Looks Just Like You’ is an episode of the television show The Twilight Zone.
  • Schoolhouse Rock! portrayed an alien child using base-twelve arithmetic in the short ‘Little Twelvetoes’.
  • 12 Oz Mouse was an animated television show on Adult Swim.

Battlestar Galactica

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In transport

  • Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior
  • The Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior, more commonly known as the Lockheed 12 or L-12, is an eight-seat, six-passenger all-metal twin-engine transport aircraft of the late 1930s designed for use by small airlines, companies, and wealthy private individuals.
  • A scaled-down version of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the Lockheed 12 was not popular as an airliner but was widely used as a corporate and government transport. Several were also used for testing new aviation technologies.
  • Aviator Milo Burcham flew a Lockheed 12A in the 1937 Bendix Trophy Race from Burbank, California to Cleveland, Ohio. This 12A had been modified with extra fuel tanks in the cabin, allowing it to save time by making the entire 2,043-mile (3,288 km) trip non-stop. The 12A came in fifth at an average speed of 184 mph (296 km/h); this was an impressive performance, since the first and fourth-place winners were both privately owned Seversky P-35 fighters.
  • Another Lockheed 12A, owned by Republic Oil Company and named The Texan, was modified by aviator Jimmie Mattern for a round-the-world flight attempt. Mattern filled the 12A’s cabin with fuel tanks and removed the cabin windows and door; the crew would enter the aircraft via a cockpit hatch. The aircraft was denied a U.S. permit for the flight following the Earhart incident (she had been flying a Lockheed 10 Electra), however it was pressed into action September 1937 in a long range search effort for Sigizmund Levanevsky who crashed somewhere between the North pole and Barrow, Alaska. “The Texan” was outfitted as a luxury transport afterward, and lost in a hangar fire in January 1938.

Lockheed_12A_Electra_Junior

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  • Hispano-Suiza J12
  • The Hispano-Suiza J12 was a luxury automobile made by Hispano-Suiza from 1931 to 1938. It replaced the Hispano-Suiza H6. The J12 was powered by a V12 engine with pushrod-operated overhead valves.
  • Hispano-Suiza suspended automobile production in 1938 to concentrate on the manufacture of aircraft engines.

Hispano Suiza J12 Sport Torpedo 1933

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  • Renault 12
  • The Renault 12 is a family car produced by French automaker Renault between 1969 and 1980. Available as a saloon (Berline) and estate (Break), it was also produced under license in many countries across the globe into the early 21st century.
  • In its first few years the 12 received praise from the European press for its spacious, comfortable interior, its styling, its performance and its low fuel consumption. However it fared worse in the North American press: in a test of the 1974 model, Road & Track was critical of the engine’s “obtrusive” noise, and called the heavy, non-power steering “a serious design flaw”. They also gave it “very poor marks” for the ventilation system.
  • Renault 12 production and sales ended in western Europe in 1980, but the model continued to be produced and sold by Renault affiliates elsewhere. The last R12 was produced in 1999 in Turkey, whilst Romanian automaker Dacia continued producing the R12-based 1310 sedan and estate until 2004 and the R12-based Dacia Pick-Up until December 2006.
  • In terms of sales the Renault 12 was a successful car, selling 2.5 million units.

Renault R12TL

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  • McLaren M12
  • The McLaren M12 was an open-cockpit racing car developed by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1969, solely for the purpose of selling to customers in the Can-Am series.
  • The M12 combined elements from two of McLaren’s previous efforts, the M6 series and the M8 series.
  • One of the more notable owners of an M12 was Chaparral Cars, who used the McLaren in the early 1969 Can-Am season while their own model’s development had been delayed.

1969 McLaren M12

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  • BMW E12
  • The BMW E12 BMW 5-Series was made between 1972 and 1981. The E12 was the first series to bear the 5 Series name: the ‘5’ denoting BMW’s fifth ‘New Class’ platform. Designed as a replacement for the popular BMW New Class mid-size sedan, the E12 5-Series models were smaller than the large BMW E3 sedan but larger than the two-door 2002 models.
  • The E12 was replaced by the BMW E28 5 Series in 1981, although production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

BMW_5_Series_e12_v_sst

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  • Volkswagen W12 Coupe
  • The Volkswagen W12 Coupe (also known as the Volkswagen Nardò, with reference to the Nardò Ring vehicle test track, near to the Italian city of Nardò) was a concept car created by Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 1997.
  • The car is portrayed in games such as Heat Online, Gran Turismo, and the Test Drive series.
  • This car also featured in an April Fools joke as the new Volkswagen 2015 LeVanto.

Volkswagen_W12_Syncro_Concept_Goodwood

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  • Vector M12
  • The Vector M12 was a vehicle designed by parent company Megatech LTD the Vector Motors Corporation, and was the first vehicle produced after the hostile takeover of the company from Jerry Wiegert by the Indonesian company Megatech.
  • The vehicle was a rebodied Lamborghini Diablo with a chopper gun fiberglass body set on a lengthened Diablo chassis. It was a loose copy of the Vector AWX-3, which was not released due to the Megatech hostile takeover.
  • The M12 was able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h) and was produced from 1995 to 1999, when production was halted, partly due to slow sales of the cars and alleged mismanagement of the company.
  • The average price of the vehicle was $184,000 (USD). Today you can purchase a M12 normally for $65,000 to an astounding $189,000 paid by a purchaser of a purple M12 at Barrett Jackson for a record sale price.

Vector M12

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  • Noble M12       
  • The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seat model, originally planned both as a coupe and as a convertible.
  • All M12s have been powered by modified bi-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engines. The M12 has a full steel roll cage, steel frame, and G.R.P. (fibreglass) composite clam shell body parts.
  • These famed “Ferrari killers” are extremely lightweight and stiff. Although looking to be track derived, the M12 performs very well on both road and track, with surprisingly good ride quality, but a rigid feel. This is achieved by having no anti-roll bars on the car. This allows the suspension to be stiff yet comfortable.

Noble-M12-GTO-3_5

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  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  • The Ferrari F12 berlinetta (also unofficially referred to as the F12 Berlinetta or the F12) is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer produced by Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. The F12 Berlinetta, introduced to the public at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, replaces the Ferrari 599 series grand tourers.
  • The F12berlinetta was named “The Supercar of the Year 2012” by car magazine Top Gear.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

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  • Spyker E12 Zagato
  • Spyker Cars shareholder and CEO, Victor Muller hinted at a Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera rival with an eight-cylinder (the E8) or a twelve-cylinder (the E12) engine, but due to problems getting the D8 into production, the idea was ignored until recently when Muller has said he “believes now could be the time to resurrect the saloon.”
  • Muller believes it will take about four years from time E8/E12 is revealed to the time it starts production. In March 2011, Muller stated that the production version of the Spyker E8/E12 will use a twelve-cylinder instead of the proposed eight-cylinder engine.

Spyker C12 Zagato

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  • V12 engine
  • A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft.
  • Since each cylinder bank is essentially a straight-6, this configuration has perfect primary and secondary balance no matter which V angle is used and therefore needs no balance shafts. A V12 with two banks of six cylinders angled at 60°, 120° or 180° (with the latter configuration usually referred to as a flat-12) from each other has even firing with power pulses delivered twice as often per revolution as a straight-6.
  • This allows for great refinement in a luxury car. In a racing car, the rotating parts can be made much lighter and thus more responsive, since there is no need to use counterweights on the crankshaft as is needed in a 90° V8 and less need for the inertial mass in a flywheel to smooth out the power delivery. In a large displacement, heavy-duty engine, a V12 can run slower than smaller engines, prolonging engine life.

V12 engine

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  • W12 engine
  • A W12 engine is a twelve cylinder piston internal combustion engine in a W configuration.
  • W12 engines are manufactured in two distinct configurations. One configuration uses four rows of three cylinders merged into two ‘cylinder banks’ (two narrow-angle VR6 engine blocks), coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Volkswagen Group W12. Another uses three banks of four cylinders coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Napier Lion.

W12-LionEngine

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Other stuff

  • There are twelve basic hues in the color wheel; 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue), 3 secondary colors (orange, green & purple) and 6 tertiary colors (names for these vary, but are intermediates between the primaries and secondaries).
  • There are 12 ounces in a troy pound (used for precious metals)
  • There are 12 signs of the zodiac.
  • In English, twelve is the number of greatest magnitude that has just one syllable.
  • There are normally twelve pairs of ribs in the human body.
  • The Twelve Tables or Lex Duodecim Tabularum, more informally simply Duodecim Tabulae was the ancient legislation underlying Roman law.
  • In the United States, twelve people are appointed to sit on a jury for felony trials in all but four states, and in federal and Washington, D.C. courts. The number of jurors gave the title to the play (and subsequent films) Twelve Angry Men.
  • There are 12 inches in a foot.
  • Twelve shillings made up one British pound in pre decimal currency.
  • There are 12 face cards in a normal card deck.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 steps, 12 traditions and 12 concepts for world service.
  • Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.
  • The Western zodiac has twelve signs, as does the Chinese zodiac.
  • The Chinese use a 12 year cycle for time-reckoning called Earthly Branches.
  • There are twenty-four hours in a day, the hours being numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. The basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

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The Uninformed Elect The Uninformed

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another rant cunningly disguised as a Sunday Sermon.

Some people say we should be grateful we get told anything at all nowadays. We certainly can’t rely on our governments being honest with their people. In fact, as we have discovered recently, they would rather spy on us and gather secret dossiers on our activities. Much more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than the Land Of The Free.

government hypocrisy and lies

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A big part of the problem is that in what passes for ‘democracy’ in Western nations, the people are told they have the power to elect whoever they think will be the best rulers, but they are not allowed the tools to do so effectively.

People are encouraged to vote party lines, rather than think about which candidate has the greatest ability.

ACME political poll - choose a party

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The Western media compounds the problem by drip feeding information to us on a “what THEY think WE need to know basis”. In doing so they censor and simplify, and more often than not sensationalize that information to the point of it being almost useless.

choice of candidates

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Naturally the politicians love it that way. An uninformed population makes uninformed decisions at election times, casting their votes for the candidate who has the nicest shirt or some other reason unrelated to political policy and philosophy.

That’s one of the reasons you got the government that is in power – so if you voted them in you did so without knowing all the facts – or maybe any of them! 

obama-agenda-in-one-cartoon1

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Not that there was much of an alternative. And it doesn’t matter what country you happen to live in either. Politicians worldwide, like bureaucrats, seem to be cut from the same cloth.

But that’s only part of the problem.

Bad enough that uninformed people make uninformed decisions and elect the wrong people. But worse is the fact that the people they elect are equally badly informed, their lack of knowledge becoming very clear quite quickly after they are elected.

Take America for example. Not the only culprit by any means, but the biggest one because of its size and the power and influence it wields throughout the world.

We all know that the economy is in a horrendous mess, with the administration seemingly clueless as to how to get us out of it. We’ve talked about that before and no doubt will do so again.

Obama economic advisors

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But if we were giving out grade marks for America, the ‘F’ minus with at least two exclamation marks would have to go to its understanding of foreign affairs. It’s not a case of ‘could do much better’ but more of a case of ‘couldn’t do much worse’.

Recent history is littered with foreign debacles. Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now North Korea, Syria, and Iran are just some of the places where America, and sometimes its allies such as Britain, have tried to interfere only to make things far worse.

To the insult of causing the needless deaths and horrific injuries to the brave souls who put themselves in harm’s way because of these political idiots, they add the bigger insult of trying to excuse their foreign ‘crusades’ by lying to their own people.

Saddam Hussein used to be a ‘friend’, even being granted the Keys to the City of Detroit because of his charitable gifts. Then a few months later they made up blatant lies about his having developed weapons of mass destruction and he became the arch demon of the Middle East. Saddam was no saint that’s for sure, he was an evil man, but he had no weapons of mass destruction and he had nothing to do with Al Quaeda or the  9/11 attack, yet the US Administration went gung-ho to invade Iraq and take him out. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

cartoon-Iraq_10th_Anniversary

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All the years Col. Gadaffi was supporting terrorist attacks in Israel and Britain and Ireland he wasn’t touched, apart from the odd cruise missile sent his way more for publicity than any lasting affect it had on him or his country. Then when he became an ‘ally’ in the war against terror he was killed, leaving behind a country in a complete mess and opening the way for radical groups to take over. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

obamas-libya-mess

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You could say exactly the same thing for Egypt or Syria or almost anywhere else where noses have been stuck in where they aren’t wanted.

Far from winning friends and influencing people, it’s almost as if America’s leaders want to create enemies and store up trouble for the future. Either this is a deliberate covert policy or it is the result of chronic stupidity.

Whatever the reason, it is costing the country far too much, both in terms of lives and money. Our politicians need to be told to get a grip on things in their own country before interfering in foreign lands where they clearly do not understand the damaging consequences of their ill-advised actions.  

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Sixty-Four 64

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another significant numbers day.

In case you are wondering these numbers are picked quite randomly. Only after it makes itself known does the search start for things associated with it.

Sometimes there is a lot, sometimes not so much. Sixty-four seems to be a well used number so a lot of information below.

If you are into numbers, enjoy.

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The Number Sixty-Four  64

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64

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In religion

  • The 64th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • King David prays for deliverance from his enemies in the 64th Psalm;
  • The 64 Dakinis or Yoginis are 8 Mother goddesses each with 8 attendants in India religious traditions; each of the 64 can be further correlated to the currents or winds of the human “etheric” body;
  • The Lord Shiva has 64 forms or manifestations.

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In mathematics

  • Sixty-four is the square of 8, the cube of 4, and the sixth power of 2;
  • Sixty-four is the smallest number with exactly seven divisors;
  • Sixty-four is the lowest positive power of two that is adjacent to neither a Mersenne prime nor a Fermat prime;
  • Sixty-four  is the sum of Euler’s totient function for the first fourteen integers;
  • Sixty-four is also a dodecagonal number and a centered triangular number;
  • In base 10, no integer added up to its own digits yields 64, hence it is a self number;
  • Sixty-four is a super-perfect number – a number such that s(s(n))=2n.

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  • Base64
  • Base64 is a group of similar binary-to-text encoding schemes that represent binary data in an ASCII string format by translating it into a radix-64 representation. The term Base64 originates from a specific MIME content transfer encoding.
  • Base64 encoding schemes are commonly used when there is a need to encode binary data that needs to be stored and transferred over media that are designed to deal with textual data. This is to ensure that the data remain intact without modification during transport.
  • Base64 is commonly used in a number of applications including email via MIME, and storing complex data in XML.

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  • Graham’s number
  • Graham’s number, named after Ronald Graham, is unimaginably larger than other well-known large numbers such as a googol, googolplex, and even larger than Skewes’ number and Moser’s number.
  • The number gained a degree of popular attention when Martin Gardner described it in the “Mathematical Games” section of Scientific American in November 1977, writing that, “In an unpublished proof, Graham has recently established … a bound so vast that it holds the record for the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof.” The 1980 Guinness Book of World Records repeated Gardner’s claim, adding to the popular interest in this number.
  • Specific integers known to be far larger than Graham’s number have since appeared in many serious mathematical proofs (e.g., in connection with Friedman’s various finite forms of Kruskal’s theorem).

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In Computing

  • 64-bit
  • In computer architecture, 64-bit computing is the use of processors that have datapath widths, integer size, and memory addresses of 64 bits (eight octets) wide. Also, 64-bit CPU and ALU architectures are those that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. From the software perspective, 64-bit computing means the use of code with 64-bit virtual memory addresses

64 bit is the future

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  • Commodore 64
  • The Commodore 64, commonly called C64, CBM 64 (for Commodore Business Machines), or VIC-64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International.
  • Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595.
  • Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes (65,536 bytes) of RAM, and had favorable sound and graphical specifications when compared to contemporary systems such as the Apple II, at a price that was well below the circa US$ 1200 demanded by Apple.
  • For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC compatibles, Apple Inc. computers, and Atari 8-bit family computers.
  • Sam Tramiel, a later Atari president and the son of Commodore’s founder, said in a 1989 interview “When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years.”

C64 computer

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  • Dragon 64
  • The Dragon 32 and Dragon 64 are home computers that were built in the 1980s. The Dragons are very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo), and were produced for the European market by Dragon Data, Ltd., in Port Talbot, Wales, and for the US market by Tano of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, which have 32 and 64 kilobytes of RAM, respectively.

Dragon-64 computer

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In science

  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Number of Gadolinium (Gd), discovered by Jean de Marignac 1880 (Switzerland), and named after the mineral gadolinite;
  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Weight of Copper (Cu).
  • There are 64 codons in the RNA codon table under genetic code.

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In space

  • Messier object M64, is a magnitude 9.0 galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, also known as the Black Eye Galaxy;
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 64, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus;
  • WOH G64 is a red hypergiant in the Large Magellanic Cloud. With 1540 times the radius of the Sun, it is one of the largest known stars and the largest known in the LMC. The physical parameters are still poorly known due to the distance, visual faintness, several solar masses of shrouding dust, and the possibility of a bright hot companion.

WOH_G64_Particular

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  • STS-64
  • STS-64 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 9 September 1994, to perform multiple experiment packages.
  • STS-64 marked the first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for “light detection and ranging”, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth’s atmosphere.
  • On day five of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using the Remote Manipulator System arm.
  • STS-64 was the first mission to see the use of the new full-pressure Advanced Crew Escape Suit, which eventually replaced the partial-pressure Launch Entry Suit.

sts-64-patch

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In politics

  • Department of State Form DS-64 is the one US Citizens need if they lose or have your passport stolen;
  • Department of Labor Chapter 64 regulates the employment of workers with disabilities at special wages;
  • In the United States presidential election of 1964, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964, Democratic candidate and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson who had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, and who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy’s popularity, won 61.1% of the popular vote, the highest won by a candidate since 1820.

United States presidential election  1964

  • In Chinese the “Six Four Incident” refers to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

tiananmen-square-1989

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In sport

  • There are 64 teams participating in the NCAA Basketball Tournament;
  • In chess or draughts, there are a total of 64 black (dark) and white (light) squares on the game board;
  • The Knight’s Tour of a chessboard is a sequence of moves by a knight so that each of the 64 squares is visited only once. The numbers of the knight’s moves form a magic square where each row and column adds up to 260;
  • 64 is the name of the premier Russian chess magazine;
  • NFL Hall of Famers with jersey #64 include Dave Wilcox, Linebacker (Boise Junior College, Oregon) and 1964-1974 San Francisco 49ers; George Blanda, Quarterback-Kicker, 1949, 1950-58 Chicago Bears, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1960-66 Houston Oilers, 1967-1975 Oakland Raiders; Joe Delamielleure, Guard, 1973-1979, 1985 Buffalo Bills, 1980-1984 Cleveland Browns; Randall McDaniel, Guard, 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Y.A. Tittle, Quarterback, 1948-1950 Baltimore Colts (AAFC/NFL), 1951-1960 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-1964 New York Giants.

Y A Tittle

  • In the National Hockey League, jersey #64 is used by James Robert McGinn IV is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

James McGinn

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In books, movies, music and TV

  • The $64,000 Question is an American game show broadcast from 1955–1958, which became embroiled in the scandals involving TV quiz shows of the day. The $64,000 Challenge (1956–1958) was its popular spin-off show.
  • When I’m 64 is a song by John Lennon & Paul McCartney from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (1967).


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In militaria

  • HMS Vansittart
  • HMS Vansittart was an Admiralty modified W class destroyer built for the Royal Navy. She was ordered in January 1918 from William Beardmore & Company with the 13th Order for Destroyers of the Emergency War Program of 1918-19. She was the second Royal Navy ship to carry the name which was first used in 1821 for a hired packet.

HMS_Vansittart (D64)

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  • HMS Beverley (H 64)
  • Completed in July 1920 as USS Branch (DD 197) for the US Navy, on 8 Oct, 1940 she was transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Beverley (H 64).
  • On 9 Apr, 1943, during WWII convoy duty in the North Atlantic, HMS Beverley had been seriously damaged in a collision with the British steam merchant Cairnvalona and had taken station in the rear of the convoy. When it was subsequenty attaced by a German U-Boat, U-188, 30 hours later she was hit by torpedos and sunk. HMS Clover (K 134) (Lt P.H. Grieves, RNR) later picked up five survivors and recovered two bodies, but one of the survivors later died on board.

hms_beverley

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  • HMS Fencer (D64)
  • The USS Croatan (CVE-14) (originally AVG-14 then ACV-14) was transferred to the United Kingdom on 20 February 1943 under lend-lease where she served as HMS Fencer (D64). As an anti-submarine warfare carrier, Fencer escorted Atlantic, Russian and African convoys, even participating in a strike on the German battleship Tirpitz before being transferred to the Pacific.
  • Following World War II, she returned to the United States 21 December 1946, stricken for disposal on 28 January 1947 and sold into merchant service 30 December as Sydney.
  • The ship went through a series of renamings, first to Roma in 1967, then Galaxy Queen in 1970, Lady Dina in 1972 and finally Caribia in 1973 before being scrapped in Spezia in September 1975.

HMS_Fencer_D64

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  • HMS Scorpion (D64)
  • HMS Scorpion (D64) was a Weapon-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Originally named HMS Centaur, the ship was renamed Tomahawk and finally Scorpion (in September 1943) before her launch.
  • Scorpion was the only Weapon-class ship fitted with the Limbo depth charge mortar rather than the older Squid.
  • In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

HMS Scorpion D64

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  • HMS Theseus (R64)
  • HMS Theseus (R64) was a Colossus-class light fleet aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 July 1944.
  • Theseus was laid down to serve in the Second World War, but was not completed before peace was declared in 1945. She was utilized as a training vessel until the outbreak of the Korean War when she was deployed to Korea, commencing standard carrier operations.
  • In 1956, Theseus was used as an emergency commando carrier, along with her sister-ship Ocean, during the Suez Crisis. From November to December, helicopters from Theseus transported troops ashore, as well as evacuating wounded soldiers. Compared to her actions during the Korean War, her role at Suez was relatively quiet. The following year she was placed in reserve. She was subsequently broken up at Inverkeithing in 1962.

HMS Theseus (R64)

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  • USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
  • The USS Wisconsin (BB-64), “Wisky” or “WisKy”, is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was launched on 7 December 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid).
  • During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions.
  • During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned.
  • She was reactivated 1 August 1986, modernised and participated in Operation Desert Storm in January and February 1991.
  • Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, as well as a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the January/February 1991 Gulf War.
  • She currently functions as a museum ship operated by Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. .

Uss_wisconsin

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  • USS Constellation (CV-64)
  • The USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk–class supercarrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the “new constellation of stars” on the flag of the United States and the only naval vessel ever authorized to display red, white, and blue designation numbers.
  • One of the fastest ships in the Navy, as proven by her victory during a battlegroup race held in 1985, she was nicknamed “Connie” by her crew and officially as “America’s Flagship”.
  • She was launched 8 October 1960 and delivered to the Navy 1 October 1961, and commissioned 27 October 1961, with Captain T. J. Walker in command. At that time, she had cost about US$264.5 million. Constellation was the last U.S. aircraft carrier (as of 2010) to be built at a yard other than Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company.

USS_Constellation_CV-64

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  • USS Gettysburg (CG-64)
  • The USS Gettysburg (CG-64) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser in the United States Navy, built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and named for the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
  • With her guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons, she is capable of facing and defeating threats in the air, on the sea, or ashore, and underneath the sea. She also carries two Seahawk LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters, but mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
  • She is based in Mayport, Florida.

USS_Gettsyburg_(CG-64)

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  • U-64
  • The first U-64 was a Type U-63 class submarine in the Kaiserliche Marine that served during World War I. She was built in 1916 and served in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • On 19 March 1917, while on patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea, U-64 torpedoed and sank the French battleship Danton 30 miles south of Sardinia, with the loss of 296 men. She herself was lost on 17 June 1918.

u_64_u_63_type_u_boot 1915-1918

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  • In 1937 another German submarine U-64, a Type IXB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine, was ordered in July 1937 and launched in September 1939.
  • This U-64 had a very short career and sank no enemy vessels. Having left her home port of Wilhelmshaven for her first war patrol on 6 April 1940, she was intercepted by Allied aircraft seven days later off the coast of Norway during the invasion of that country and was sunk by a bomb from a Fairey Swordfish aircraft of HMS Warspite. Of her crew of 46, eight men died and 38 escaped from the sinking submarine.

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  • K-64
  • The K-64 Designation was first given to the first Alfa Class Submarine, launched on April 22, 1969.
  • In 1972, the submarine suffered a major reactor problem in the form of a leak of liquid metal coolant. The superheated metal solidified on contact with the colder outside air, freezing and damaging internal components of the reactor. She was removed from service and towed to Severodvinsk.
  • The K-64 designation was again given to a Delta IV class submarine launched on February 2, 1986 as the fourth ship of its class, entered in service in the Russian Northern Fleet. The sub was laid down in December 1982 and was built at Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk.
  • This ship is still in active service.

Soviet submarine K-64

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  • P-64
  • P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s.
  • Six NA-68s ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force were seized before export by the US government in 1941, after the Franco-Thai War and growing ties between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. These aircraft were used by the USAAC as unarmed fighter trainers.
  • Seven NA-50s were purchased by the Peruvian Air Force, which nicknamed it Torito (“Little Bull”). The Peruvian NA-50s subsequently saw action during the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941.

na_p-64

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  • The Grumman G-64/111 Albatross
  • The Albatross is easily the largest of Grumman’s series of utility amphibians, and was the only one originally developed specifically for military service.
  • The Albatross resulted from a late 1940s US Navy requirement for a general purpose amphibious transport. The first Albatross prototype flew for the first time on October 24 1947, with more than 400 production HU-16s subsequently delivered to the US Navy, US Coast Guard and 12 other nations. Military Albatross missions included general reconnaissance, maritime patrol, anti submarine warfare (in which role it could be armed with torpedoes and depth charges) and search and rescue.
  • In the late 1970s, Grumman and major US flying boat operator Resorts International began work on a program to convert the Albatross for civil airline service. The conversion incorporated numerous changes to the basic Albatross, including a 28 seat passenger interior, a galley and provision for a flight attendant, upgraded avionics and other improved systems.
  • In all only 13 aircraft were converted, 12 for Resorts International, and 1 for Conoco Oil/Pelita which operated from Singapore. Several of these are still active, together with ex military examples.

Grumman albatross

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  • AH-64 Apache
  • The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.
  • Originally, the Apache started life as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975.
  • The AH-64 was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986.
  • The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems; is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage; and has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
  • The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded version of the original Apache, was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security; over 1,000 AH-64s have been produced to date.
  • The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. U.S. AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; both British and U.S. Apaches have seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AH-64D_Apache_Longbow

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  • Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
  • The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter, the civil version of the United States Army’s CH-54 Tarhe. The S-64 Aircrane is the current production version, manufactured by the Erickson Air-Crane company.
  • Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certificate and manufacturing rights in 1992 and since that date they have become the manufacturer and world’s largest operator of S-64 Aircranes. The Aircrane can be fitted with a 2,650-gallon (~10,000 litre) fixed retardant tank to assist in the control of bush fires, and it has proved itself admirably in this role.
  • Erickson is manufacturing new S-64s, as well as remanufacturing existing CH-54s, with each being assigned an individual name, the best-known being “Elvis”, used in fighting fires in Australia alongside “The Incredible Hulk” and “Isabelle”.
  • Other operators, such as Siller Brothers, have followed with their Sikorsky S-64E, Andy’s Pride. The Erickson S-64E nicknamed “Olga” was used to lift the top section of the CN Tower into place in Toronto, Canada.
  • The S-64 is the first helicopter built with a rear-facing pilot’s seat—this allows the pilot to watch exactly where the load is being placed as he’s flying the helicopter. The feature came in handy in 1993, when an S-64 removed and replaced the Statue of Freedom from the US Capitol building during a renovation. When transporting a big load like that, the S-64 uses an anti-rotation rigging system that prevents the aircraft from twisting and swaying.

Sikorsky S64

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  • T-64
  • The T-64 is a Soviet main battle tank, introduced in the early 1960s. It was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62: the T-64 served tank divisions, while the T-62 supported infantry in motor rifle divisions. Although the T-62 and the famed T-72 would see much wider use and generally more development, it was the T-64 that formed the basis of more modern Soviet tank designs like the T-80.

T-64 tank

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  • W64 nuclear warhead
  • The W64 nuclear warhead was the Los Alamos Laboratory’s entry into a brief competition between Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Los Alamos to design an “enhanced-radiation” nuclear warhead (i.e., a “neutron bomb”) for the United States Army’s MGM-52 Lance tactical surface-to-surface missile.
  • The Los Alamos design, the W64, was canceled in September 1964 in favor of Livermore’s W63. In November 1966, the W63 was canceled in favor of the W70, the model that finally entered production.

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  • L64
  • The L64 was an intermediate calibre British bullpup layout prototype assault rifle developed in the 1970s. The British Army had considered bullpup designs with intermediate calibre rounds in the 1950s, and officially adopted one of these as .280 British in 1951 in the EM-2 and Taden gun. However, US intransigence during NATO standardization efforts, and Winston Churchill’s interest in standards above all, led to the adoption of the significantly more powerful 7.62×51mm NATO round and the British and Canadian armies adopted the L1A1 SLR, a licensed version of the FN FAL, itself originally designed for the .280.
  • In the late 1960s a new L64/65 “Individual Weapon” was developed, outwardly similar to the earlier EM-2, but adopted a firing mechanism very similar to ArmaLite’s latest AR-18 design. The first examples were available in 1972.
  • By 1976, NATO was ready to standardize on a small calibre round, and testing of the various rounds head-to-head started in 1977. As designed, the British round out-performed the standard US 5.56 mm. However Fabrique Nationale’s entry based on the 5.56 mm, the “SS-109” performed as well as the British cartridge. In the end it was selected largely due to its similarity with existing US ammunition.
  • The L64 pattern was later developed into the SA80 family of weapons, which entered service with the UK in the 1980s.

L64-Enfield_bullpup_prototype

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  • P-64 Pistol
  • The P-64 is a Polish 9mm semi-automatic pistol designed to fire the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. The pistol was developed in the late 1950s at the Institute for Artillery Research, which later became the Military Institute of Armament Technology.

P64 pistol

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In other fields

  • Cities situated on longtitude 64 degree west are:  Charlotte Amalie,  US Virgin Islands; Hamilton,  Bermuda; Road Town,  British Virgin Islands; and Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Cities situated on latitude 64 north are:  Fairbanks, Alaska; Skellefteå, Sweden; Anadyr and Arkhangelsk, Russia; Nuuk (Godthåb), Greenland; and Reykjavík, Iceland.
  • There are 64 gems in total number in a standard Bejeweled game board.
  • 64 is the code for international direct dial calls to New Zealand.
  • There are 64 Braille characters in the old 6-dot system.
  • Since 1996, the number 64 has been an abbreviation or slang for Nintendo 64 (though N64 is more common) along with the games Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and more.

Nintendo_64_Logo

  • 64 is the maximum number of strokes in any Chinese character.
  • There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching.
  • There are 64 sexual positions in the Kama Sutra.
  • There are 64 demons in the Dictionnaire Infernal.
  • There are 64 classical arts listed in many Indian scriptures. They include: singing, dancing, painting, poetry, playing cards, making arguments, making flower garlands, etc.
  • The 64th French department is Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
  • Unsurprisingly it is the number of crayons in the popular Crayola 64 pack.
  • 64 is the maximum stack size in the popular game Minecraft.
  • 64 (dog) is a character in the Donald Duck comics universe.
  • Number of golden disks in the myth of the Tower of Hanoi.
  • The S64-1.25 MW has a well-suited ratio of rotor diameter to generator for most sites in a medium wind speed regime. The wind turbine concept is based on robust design and is efficiently handled by the Suzlon controller. These technologies are all well-known in the wind power industry and have proven themselves over time.

Suzlon_S64-1.25-MW

  • PARALOID B-64 solid grade acrylic resin provides an outstanding combination of hardness, flexibility, and adhesion to various substrates. This general-purpose resin permits wider latitude in formulating in solvents that are suitable for specific applications.
  • Group f/64 was a group of seven 20th century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.
  • 64 is the slang term referring to a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, often configured as a lowrider, a popular subject among early-90’s gangsta rap.

1964_chevrolet_impala_ss_convertible front_view

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