America Just Can’t Make It Anymore.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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USA industrial economy

The statement in the title is not true, except that it is.

If you are a little confused stay with me and let me clarify.

The United States used to be the industrial power house of the world. Its industries generated unprecedented wealth for the country, creating the world’s first self-made billionaires and productive wealth creating jobs galore for everyone. The whole country prospered.

Today, however, the United States has become the world’s second biggest importer of goods. Worse than that, even though America still exports billions of dollars’ worth in oil, consumer goods and automotive products, it imports even more. This creates a trade deficit ($471 billion according to recent figures).

US Trade Deficit

So what are all these imports into the US?

Well, they include industrial machinery and equipment ($681 billion), automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($309 billion), miscellaneous private services, primarily financial services ($201 billion), cell phones ($90 billion), travel passenger services ($86 billion), pharmaceuticals ($84 billion), computers ($65 billion), chemicals ($61 billion), other transportation services ($59 billion), computer accessories ($57 billion), telecommunications equipment ($54 billion), royalties and license fees services ($42 billion), apparel ($49 billion), petroleum products ($48 billion), fuel oil ($44 billion), industrial supplies ($29 billion), U.S. Government service imports primarily defense ($25 billion), fish ($18 billion), fruit ($13 billion), and vegetables ($11 billion).

Cartoon imports

If you are a bit shell-shocked by all those figures let me phrase it a bit differently using as examples the types of goods you would tend to buy.

  • 100% (almost) of the shoes bought in the U.S. come from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico;
  • 90% of white goods (washers, fridges, etc.) and consumer electronics are imported;
  • 85% of household furniture is imported;
  • 80% of cars on U.S. roads come from Canada (31%), Japan (24%), Germany (16%) and Mexico (12%); and,
  • 65% of U.S. clothing is imported from China (37%), Vietnam (9.4%), Indonesia (7.2%) and Bangladesh (6.7%).

Probably the saddest part is that even things you thought were “American” are now actually made overseas and imported.

I remember while on a business trip to the US many, many years ago I bought a gift for the young son of a friend of mine. He was a big sports enthusiast so I reckoned that one of the most iconic symbols of sport from America would be a baseball. I bought one in Wal-Mart. It was marked with all the different holding positions for the various ways to throw a baseball (fast ball, curve ball and all that). The perfect gift.

I gave it to him on my return feeling ever so pleased with myself. The kid opened it, showed momentary delight, then looked up at me accusingly. “It says ‘Made in China'” he told me.

Baseball made in China

But it’s not only baseballs. Similar types of product that you would think are all-American, like Converse All Stars, Levi’s, Huffy bicycles, televisions, Monopoly, Etch-a-Sketch, Radio Flyer wagons, Barbie dolls, and last but by no means least, most of those American flags just ain’t American no more.

modern monopoly board

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Apple, for example, doesn’t have to become the richest company in the world by manufacturing its products in China and storing its vast hoards of cash overseas.

Or does it?

Everything on the lists above could still be made in the US and surpluses exported to other countries. But the US government and its moronic bureaucrats are spending their time and our money thinking up new ways, not to help American businesses, but to add ever-increasing amounts of rules, regulations and bureaucracy on to American companies.

American businesses can no longer compete, because their own government has ensured that the deck is stacked against them.

In the mind of a bureaucrat losing a million productive wealth creating jobs, for example, in the automotive industry, and replacing them with a million more administrative jobs that cost the country money evens things out.

It doesn’t. Simple math will tell you that. Every time it happens things get worse and America gets poorer.

So America just can’t make it anymore, but not because China has stolen the jobs. It’s because the US government bureaucrats gave them away.

Put the blame where it should be.

StimulusBureaucrats

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First Of June, First Quiz Of June.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Summer is beckoning but not before you try another fasab quiz.

Twenty more random questions to test your knowledge.

As usual if you get stuck you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1:  How many leaves are there on a shamrock?

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Q.  2:  It is the name of a region in Western Europe, a unique language, a close fitting bodice and a common form of the ball game Pelota. What is it?

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Q.  3:  What nationality was the first person to reach the North Pole alone and on foot?

            a) Finnish          b) English          c) Norwegian          d) Swedish

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Q.  4:  Which mode of transport did Christopher Cockerell invent in the 1950’s?

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Q.  5:  What word links a herb or other small vegetable growth, the buildings, equipment, etc., of a company or an institution, or a shot in snooker where the cue ball hits a red ball which hits another red ball to make it go into a pocket?

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Q.  6:  What city in the United States of America is known as the “City of Oaks” because of the many oak trees that line the streets in the heart of the city.

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Q.  7:  What is a female bear called?

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Q.  8:  Gävleborg, Gotland and Uppsala are among the counties of which country?

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Q.  9:  In which Olympic sport are there ‘Normal Hill’ and ‘Large Hill’ events?

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Q. 10:  In Greek mythology who went in search of the ‘Golden Fleece’ ? (You get a point for the name of the leader, the name given to his followers and two bonus points for the name of their ship.)

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Q. 11:  What color originates from a famous 16th Century Italian painter and what color is it? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 12:  Which English city has more than 100 miles of canal?

            a) London            b) Birmingham            c) Manchester

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Q. 13:  Which empire ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries?

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Q. 14:  What writer created the famous Baker Street detective?

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Q. 15:  Which black and white bird has the scientific name ‘Pica pica’ ?

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Q. 16:  What is the name given to that part of the North Atlantic bounded by the Gulf Stream on the west, the North Atlantic Current on the north, the Canary Current on the east, and the North Equatorial Current on the south.

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Q. 17:  If you added together all the voting seats in the US Senate and House of Representatives, how many idiots could sit down?

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Q. 18:  Name the star of the movie ‘Taken’.

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Q. 19:  What company, still in existence, was at one time the largest landowner in the world, having 15% of the land in North America?

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Q. 20:  Finally a chance to beef up that points score. What were the eight original tokens used in the board game ‘Monopoly’ ?  (A point for each correct answer and two bonus points if you get all eight correct.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  How many leaves are there on a shamrock?

A.  1:  Three (3).

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Q.  2:  It is the name of a region in Western Europe, a unique language, a close fitting bodice and a common form of the ball game Pelota. What is it?

A.  2:  Basque.

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Q.  3:  What nationality was the first person to reach the North Pole alone and on foot?

            a) Finnish          b) English          c) Norwegian          d) Swedish

A.  3:  The correct answer is c) Norwegian. He was Børge Ousland and he walked there by himself in 1994.

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Q.  4:  Which mode of transport did Christopher Cockerell invent in the 1950’s?

A.  4:  The Hovercraft.

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Q.  5:  What word links a herb or other small vegetable growth, the buildings, equipment, etc., of a company or an institution, or a shot in snooker where the cue ball hits a red ball which hits another red ball to make it go into a pocket?

A.  5:  A ‘plant’.

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Q.  6:  What city in the United States of America is known as the “City of Oaks” because of the many oak trees that line the streets in the heart of the city.

A.  6:  Raleigh, North Carolina, is known as the “City of Oaks”.

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Q.  7:  What is a female bear called?

A.  7:  A ‘sow’.

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Q.  8:  Gävleborg, Gotland and Uppsala are among the counties of which country?

A.  8:  Sweden.

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Q.  9:  In which Olympic sport are there ‘Normal Hill’ and ‘Large Hill’ events?

A.  9:  Ski jumping.

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Q. 10:  In Greek mythology who went in search of the ‘Golden Fleece’ ? (You get a point for the name of the leader, the name given to his followers and two bonus points for the name of their ship.)

A. 10:  His name was ‘Jason’, his followers were the ‘Argonauts’, and the name of their ship (after which the followers were named) was the Argo.

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Q. 11:  What color originates from a famous 16th Century Italian painter and what color is it? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 11:  Titian, a brownish-orange color.

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Q. 12:  Which English city has more than 100 miles of canal?

            a) London            b) Birmingham            c) Manchester

A. 12:  The correct answer is b) Birmingham.

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Q. 13:  Which empire ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries?

A. 13:  The Mughal Empire.

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Q. 14:  What writer created the famous Baker Street detective?

A. 14:  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his creation was Sherlock Holmes.

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Q. 15:  Which black and white bird has the scientific name ‘Pica pica’ ?

A. 15:  The (Common) Magpie.

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Q. 16:  What is the name given to that part of the North Atlantic bounded by the Gulf Stream on the west, the North Atlantic Current on the north, the Canary Current on the east, and the North Equatorial Current on the south.

A. 16:  It is called the Sargasso Sea.

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Q. 17:  If you added together all the voting seats in the US Senate and House of Representatives, how many idiots could sit down?

A. 17:  535 (100 + 435).

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Q. 18:  Name the star of the movie ‘Taken’.

A. 18:  Liam Neeson.

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Q. 19:  What company, still in existence, was at one time the largest landowner in the world, having 15% of the land in North America?

A. 19:  Hudson’s Bay Company.

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Q. 20:  Finally a chance to beef up that points score. What were the eight original tokens used in the board game ‘Monopoly’ ?  (A point for each correct answer and two bonus points if you get all eight correct.)

A. 20:  Wheelbarrow, Battleship, Racecar, Thimble, Old-style shoe (or boot), Scottie dog, Top hat, Iron.

original monopoly tokens

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I Really Can’t Stand Sitting Down.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I bet you can’t stand sitting down either. It’s not easy.

But what is easy is having a look at some more puns.

So here you are.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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I just bought a Monopoly set which had no instructions.

What are the chances?

MONOPOLY_c1937_Chance_ElectedChairman

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Sony. Panasonic, Technics, Bang Olufsen, Teac.

They’re just stereotypes.

stereo

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A contestant accused me of being an unfair quiz host.

Point taken.

quiz host

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I was walking down the street.

This guy waved to me, then came up to me and said,

“I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else.”

I said, “I am.”

diesel-waving

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Bilbo Baggins has died.

I read it in the hobbituary column.

Bilbo Baggins

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Two mountaineers reach a huge, deep fissure in a glacier.

“Careful here,” says one of them.

“My mountain guide fell down there last year.”

“I bet you feel bad about that,” says the other.

“Not really, it was pretty old and missing a few pages.”

mountaineers

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My friend just finished watching Kill Bill, volume 1;

He said he couldn’t hear it very well, though.

Kill-Bill-Volume-1

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I was reading this book on the anatomy of a pig.

It was pretty standard, but I got to the end

and found there to be a twist in the tale.

cartoon pig with curly tail

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I’ve been out of work for a while but have just got

a job at a factory making periscopes.

Things are looking up.

periscope

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Our Marriage Guidance Counsellor said my wife and I

needed to talk about the elephant in the room.

I turned to my wife and said

”see, even she thinks you’re fat”

the elephant in the room

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It took me ages to change all my clocks.

There’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back!

changing-daylight-savings-time

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I’ve decided to have a party in my vegetable garden tonight.

Lettuce turnip the beet.

Lettuce turnip the beet

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I haven’t used my eBook reader for a while.

Maybe it’s time to rekindle our relationship.

Kindle-Paperwhite

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How does the barber cut the moon’s hair?

Eclipse it.

Barber's tools

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And speaking of hair, The Beatles’ song,

“Love Me Do” was written by John Lennon

after he’d had a really good haircut.

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These Quizzes Might Not Quite Be Legend, But Today One Of The Questions Is!

Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes indeed, today one of the questions is legend.

So get your thinking caps on and have a go.

And remember if you get stuck you can find all the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 05

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Q.  1: George Washington was the first President of the United States of America, who was the second?

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Q.  2:  Barbie’s friend Ken has a last name, what is it?

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Q.  3:  Most of us have played the board game “Monopoly”, but can you name the six tokens available to the players? (And yes, you get a point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  4:  Which capital city is also the name of a very hot spice used in the kitchen?

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Q.  5:  American writer Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel called “I Am Legend” was adapted for a movie of the same name in 2007 starring Will Smith. But this was the third adaptation of the novel, what were the first two and what were the names of the actors in the starring roles? (A point for the name of each movie and further points if you can name the starring actors.)

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Q.  6:  The world was declared safe from which virus in 1979, after it had killed more than one billion people?

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Q.  7:  What is the second highest mountain in the world?

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Q.  8:  Which famous World War II general, who just before retreating from the Philippines in 1942 said, “We shall return”?

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Q.  9:  Which Colombian city was notorious for being the center of the cocaine smuggling business, the drug cartel responsible even taking the name?

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Q. 10:  Which island did Turkish troops invade in 1974?

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Q. 11:  The 25th President of the USA had the highest peak in North America named after him, what was his name?

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Q. 12:  Who was the British actress who starred in the epic movie “Gone With The Wind” and what part did she play? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the national airline of Belgium that operated from 1923 until bankruptcy forced its cessation in 2001?

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Q. 14:  Much in the news currently, what is the capital city of Ukraine?

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Q. 15:  Josip Broz led the Communist partisans to victory against foreign occupation forces in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. By what name was he later better known?

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Q. 16:  What was the name of the seafaring people based in Scandinavia, who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands, from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries?

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Q. 17:  What is the name of the Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces?

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Q. 18:  Which Russian word meaning “Speaking Aloud” was a policy of Mikhail Gorbachev in order to liberalize various aspects of Soviet life?

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Q. 19:  Who was the South African surgeon who carried out the first heart transplant operation?

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Q. 20:  Which famous singer songwriter and guitarist from the 1950s had his most famous hit, and only number one recording, in the 1970s with his ding-a-ling?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: George Washington was the first President of the United States of America, who was the second?

A.  1:  John Adams.

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Q.  2:  Barbie’s friend Ken has a last name, what is it?

A.  2:  It’s Carson, the little dude’s full name is Ken Carson!

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Q.  3:  Most of us have played the board game “Monopoly”, but can you name the six tokens available to the players? (And yes, you get a point for each correct answer.)

A.  3:  The Monopoly tokens are a Battleship, a Boot, a Dog, a Flat Iron, a Racing Car, and a Top Hat.

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Q.  4:  Which capital city is also the name of a very hot spice used in the kitchen?

A.  4:  Cayenne (French Guyana).

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Q.  5:  American writer Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel called “I Am Legend” was adapted for a movie of the same name in 2007 starring Will Smith. But this was the third adaptation of the novel, what were the first two and what were the names of the actors in the starring roles? (A point for the name of each movie and further points if you can name the starring actors.)

A.  5:  The first big screen adaptation of the novel was “The Last Man on Earth” (1964) which starred Vincent Price, and the second adaptation was “The Omega Man” (1971) starring Charlton Heston.

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Q.  6:  The world was declared safe from which virus in 1979, after it had killed more than one billion people?

A.  6:  Smallpox.

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Q.  7:  What is the second highest mountain in the world?

A.  7:  Located Pakistan, “K2” (also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen) is the second-highest mountain in the world with a peak elevation of 6,811 meters (28,251 feet).

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Q.  8:  Which famous World War II general, who just before retreating from the Philippines in 1942 said, “We shall return”?

A.  8:  General Douglas MacArthur.

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Q.  9:  Which Colombian city was notorious for being the center of the cocaine smuggling business, the drug cartel responsible even taking the name?

A.  9:  Medellin, now thankfully a much more peaceful place.

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Q. 10:  Which island did Turkish troops invade in 1974?

A. 10:  Cyprus.

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Q. 11:  The 25th President of the USA had the highest peak in North America named after him, what was his name?

A. 11:  William McKinley.

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Q. 12:  Who was the British actress who starred in the epic movie “Gone With The Wind” and what part did she play? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara.

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the national airline of Belgium that operated from 1923 until bankruptcy forced its cessation in 2001?

A. 13:  Best known internationally by the acronym Sabena (SABENA), which is the answer I’m looking for, it was The Societé Anonyme Belge d’Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne, or Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services.

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Q. 14:  Much in the news currently, what is the capital city of Ukraine?

A. 14:  Kiev.

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Q. 15:  Josip Broz led the Communist partisans to victory against foreign occupation forces in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. By what name was he later better known?

A. 15:  President Tito.

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Q. 16:  What was the name of the seafaring people based in Scandinavia, who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands, from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries?

A. 16:  They were called Vikings or Norsemen, take a point if you gave either answer.

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Q. 17:  What is the name of the Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces?

A. 17:  Sashimi. (Not Sushi, which includes cooked vinegared rice.)

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Q. 18:  Which Russian word meaning “Speaking Aloud” was a policy of Mikhail Gorbachev in order to liberalize various aspects of Soviet life?

A. 18:  Glasnost.

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Q. 19:  Who was the South African surgeon who carried out the first heart transplant operation.

A. 19:  Dr Christian Barnard.

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Q. 20:  Which famous singer songwriter and guitarist from the 1950s had his most famous hit, and only number one recording, in the 1970s with his ding-a-ling?

A. 20:  Chuck Berry, have a listen….

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Did You Know? Here Are The Facts – Let’s Face It Folks, Your Whole Childhood Was A Lie!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes indeed, here are the facts. Another random selection for your enjoyment.

I hope you find them interesting, maybe even educational.  

And, of course, you’ll find out a little later why your whole childhood was a lie.

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did you know2

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The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf

are one in sixty-seven million, 1:67,000,000.

Did You Know hole in one

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Another word for hiccups is ‘singultus’.

Did You Know hiccups

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Airports that are at higher altitudes require

a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

Did You Know lukla-airport

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The only poisonous birds in the world are the three species of Pitohui.

The Hooded Pitohui from Papua New Guinea is the most deadly out of the three

Did You Know Hooded Pitohui poisoness bird

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In 1955, only 330 Volkswagen Beetle’s were sold

at a price of $1800 each in the United States.

Did You Know 1955_volkswagen_beetle

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The Chihuahua was named after

the Mexican state where they were discovered

Did You Know Chihuahua

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There are more than 640 muscles in the human body

(and as you get older they all start to hurt!)

Did You Know Chihuahua

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The odds of having quadruplets are 1 in 729,000

(for men the odds are much higher!)

Did You Know Popeye Quadruplets

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The destruction of the Berlin Wall began when private citizens

started to demolish entire sections of the Wall without interference

from government officials on November 9, 1989

Did You Know berlin_wall

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France is known as the perfume capital of the world

Did You Know France perfume

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Since its introduction in February 1935,

more than two hundred million Monopoly board games

have been sold worldwide

Did You Know Obama-Monopoly

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It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL

with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.

Did You Know NFL-football

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When former Texas Governor James Hogg was on his deathbed

he made a special request that a pecan tree

be planted at the head of his grave instead of a tombstone.

The governor passed away on March 2, 1906,

which is Texas Independence Day.

The pecan tree is now the state tree of Texas

Did You Know Jim_hogg

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In 1477, the first diamond engagement ring was given to

Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximillian of Austria

Did You Know 1st diamond engagement ring

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The smallest frog is the “Brazilian baby frog”,

which is smaller than a dime

Did You Know brazilian_gold_frog

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India used to be the richest country in the world

until the British invasion in the early 17th Century

Did You Know Golden_Temple_India

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Marie Curie, the Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered radium,

died of radiation poisoning

Did You Know Marie_Curie_c1920

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The iron disulfide (Pyrite) is considered “fool’s gold”

because it looks very similar to gold.

Did You Know fools_gold

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In 1759, St. James’s Gate Brewery (where they brew Guinness)

was leased for to Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years for 45 pounds per year.

Did You Know St James Gate Guinness Brewery entrance

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A Roadrunner’s top speed is 20 mph

while coyotes can reach speeds of up to 43 mph

– so let’s face it folks, your whole childhood was a lie!

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twenty-Eight 28

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s been a few weeks since we had a numbers factoid. Today we are having a look at the number twenty-eight, so if that’s your lucky number or your date of birth or if you are just interested in numbers and things associated with them then read on.

And enjoy.

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The Number Twenty-Eight 28

 28

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In religion

  • In Hebrew, the first verse of the Bible “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis I.1) has seven words and 28 letters.
  • The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits. (Exodus, 26.2)
  • The length of one curtain was twenty and eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: the curtains were all of one size. (Exodus, 36.9)
  • In Chapter 28 in Genesis: Isaac blesses Jacob; Jacob’s Ladder; God’s promise; Stone of Bethel:
Artistic impression of Jacob's Ladder
Artistic impression of Jacob’s Ladder

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In mathematics

  • 28 is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14.
  • Twenty-eight is the second perfect number. As a perfect number, it is related to the Mersenne prime 7, since 22(23 – 1) = 28. The next perfect number is 496, the previous being 6.
  • Twenty-eight is a harmonic divisor number, a happy number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, and a centered nonagonal number.
  • Twenty-eight is the ninth and last number in early Indian magic square of order 3.
  • There are twenty-eight convex uniform honeycombs.

In science & technology

  • 28 is the atomic mass of silicon and the atomic number of nickel.
  • 28 is the molecular weight of nitrogen, (N2 = 28.02) and the molecular weight of carbon monoxide, (CO = 12 + 16 = 28.01); also interesting in that while carbon monoxide is poisonous, nitrogen is essential to life, yet they have the same molecular weight of 28 daltons.
  • 28 is the fourth magic number in physics.
  • The average human menstrual cycle is 28 days although no link has been established with the nightlighting and the Moon.
  • Skin research has discovered that the epidermis is constantly regenerating itself, and all of its cells are replaced every 28 days.
  • By the age of fourteen most people have 28 permanent teeth; the last four molars, the wisdom teeth, erupt only if the jaw allows space for them.
  • The curing time of concrete is classically considered 28 days.

In space

  • Our universe is 28 billion light years in distance from edge to edge.
  • The revolution time of the surface of the Sun on itself is 28 days while its core is revolving in 33 days.
  • The moon completes 4 phases once it has wandered through the 28 lunar mansions.
  • 28 Bellona is a large main belt asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. Bellona was discovered by R. Luther on March 1, 1854. It is named after Bellona, the Roman goddess of war; the name was chosen to mark the beginning of the Crimean War. Its diameter is 120.9 km, rotation period of 15.7 hours, and orbital period of 4.63 years.
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 28, an elliptical galaxy in the constellation Phoenix.
  • Messier object M28 is a magnitude 8.5 globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius.
Messier object m28
Messier object m28

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  • STS-28
  • STS-28 was the 30th NASA Space Shuttle mission, and the fourth dedicated to United States Department of Defense purposes. It was also the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Columbia.
  • The mission launched on 8 August 1989 and traveled 2.1 million miles during 81 orbits of the Earth, before landing on runway 17 of Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 13 August.
  • The mission details of STS-28 are classified, but the payload is widely believed to have been the first SDS-2 communications satellite.
  • The crew consisted of Commander Brewster H. Shaw, Jr., Pilot Richard N. Richards, and three Mission Specialists, James C. Adamson, David C. Leestma and Mark N. Brown.

Sts-28-patch

  • Space Shuttle Challenger
  • One of the worst space related disasters happened on January 28 1986.
  • On that fateful day Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.
  • The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC). Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRBs aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter.
  • The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable.
  • The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA’s organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident. NASA managers had known contractor Morton Thiokol’s design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors.
  • What Rogers did not highlight was the fact the vehicle was never certified to operate in temperatures that low.
  • Many viewed the launch live because of the presence of crew member Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project and the (planned) first female teacher in space.
  • The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics.


In politics

  • 28th President of the United States is Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), who served (1913-1921). Wilson was President of Princeton University (1902-1910), where he graduated (1879) and taught as Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Economy (1890-1902). Wilson won the 1919 Peace Nobel Prize.
President Woodrow Wilson portrait December 2 1912
President Woodrow Wilson portrait December 2 1912

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  • 28th State to enter the Union is Texas (December 29, 1845)

texas

In sport

  • The jersey number 28 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
  • In Major League Baseball: the Minnesota Twins, for Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.

bert blyleven

  • In the NFL: the Chicago Bears, for Willie Galimore; the Kansas City Chiefs, for Abner Haynes; the New York Jets, for Hall of Famer Curtis Martin; the St. Louis Rams, for Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.

marshall faulk

  • Car number twenty-eight was formerly run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by Yates Racing. The most notable driver was Davey Allison, who had the ride for his entire Cup Series career.

car 28

  • Baseball’s 28th All-Star Game was played at Municipal Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, on July 11, 1960.
  • In the British game of cricket, the wicket is made of three wooden stakes each 28 inches high stuck into the ground.
  • The widely used 6-6 domino set contains 28 pieces. 

In books, music and movies

  • In Quebec, Canada, François Pérusse, made a parody of Wheel of Fortune in which all of the letters picked by the contestant were present 28 times. As a result, 28 became an almost Mythical number used by many Quebec youths, the phrase “Y’en a 28” (There are 28 [Letters]) became a running gag still used and recognized more than 15 years later.
  • The Preludes, Opus 28 consists of Frédéric Chopin’s 24 preludes for piano, ordinarily but not necessarily played together in concert.
  • 28 Days (2000) is a 104-minute movie directed by Betty Thomas and starring Sandra Bullock, Viggo Nortensen, Dominic West, Diane Ladd. A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.
  • 28 Days Later (2002). Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.
  • 28 Weeks Later (2007). Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.  
  • 28 Hotel Rooms (2012). A novelist and an accountant meet while they are traveling for work, and though they both are in relationships, their one-night stand could become something more.

28 Hotel Rooms

In militaria, shipping and aviation

  • T-28 Trojan
  • T-28 Trojan is a training military aircraft. In 1948 the U.S. Air Force originally acquired the T-28A as a trainer to replace the venerable AT-6. The T-28B and T-28C were acquired by the U.S. Navy and included a tailhook for carrier landing training. T-28 was shown on Card #15 of Topps Wings: Friend or Foe (1952).

 T-28B_VT-2_over_NAS_Whiting_Field_c1973

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  • Miles M.28 Mercury
  • The Miles M.28 Mercury was a British aircraft designed for either training or communications during the Second World War. It was a single-engine, monoplane of wooden construction with a twin tail and a tailwheel undercarriage with retractable main units.
  • Originally, the M.28 had been planned as a replacement for the Whitney Straight and Monarch, but this was shelved when war broke out.
  • In 1941, the project was revived in response to a requirement for a training and communications aircraft. The design was produced as a private venture by Ray Bournon using Miles’ normal wooden construction. The resulting machine introduced several features not found on trainers ncluding retractable undercarriage and trailing edge flaps. In the communications role, the M.28 had four seats and a range of 500 miles (800 km).
  • Owing to Miles’ heavy commitment to war-production, however, only six aircraft were built, of slightly varying specifications, the last being the Mercury 6 which first flew in early 1946.  Examples were operated in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Australia.

Miles_M.28_Mercury .

  • XB-28
  • The North American XB-28 (NA-63) was an aircraft proposed by the North American Aviation to fill a strong need in the United States Army Air Corps for a high-altitude medium bomber. It never entered into full production, with only two aircraft having been built.

North_American_XB-28

  • MiG-28
  • The MiG-28 is a fictional aircraft that has appeared in several different unrelated works. These fictional aircraft have been independently created and the aircraft share nothing but a name.
  • The first instance of a “MiG-28” was in the 1978 Quiller novel The Sinkiang Executive written by Adam Hall. Referred to in the work as the MiG-28D, it was an aircraft that resembled a somewhat modified MiG-25, but with sharper air intakes and swept wings.
  • In the 1986 film Top Gun, Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) squared off against MiG-28s of unspecified nationality. These were actually US Northrop F-5s, which at the time were being used as aggressor aircraft for dissimilar air combat training at the real TOPGUN seminar (now known as the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School). The F-5s “acting” as MiG-28s were painted flat black to indicate their villainous status, and retained those paint jobs after production closed. The paint also increased the aircraft’s visibility, a plus for filmmaking.
  • Another MiG-28 is “seen” in the 1988 ABC television series Supercarrier. This MiG-28 was a fictional Soviet stealth fighter. An F-16 fighter in Soviet-style markings was used to “simulate” the Soviet fighter.
Top Gun pretendy MiG-28
Top Gun pretendy MiG-28

  • Fokker F-28 Fellowship
  • The Fokker F28 Fellowship is a short range jet airliner designed developed in Holland (1964) and assembled by defunct Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker. The Fokker F-28 Fellowship jet was to complement Fokker’s highly successful F-27 turboprop.
  • Announced by Fokker in April 1962, production was a collaboration between a number of European companies, namely Fokker, MBB of West Germany, Fokker-VFW (also of Germany), and Short Brothers of Northern Ireland. There was also government money invested in the project, with the Dutch government providing 50% of Fokker’s stake and the West German government having 60% of the 35% German stake.
  • In total 241 Fokker F-28s were sold, including 160 in commercial service and 10 used as corporate jets.
  • The Fokker F-28 shown on a 40¡ Nauru stamp. Postage stamps with Fokker airplanes

Fokker_F-28-Fellowship

  • Enstrom F-28
  • The Enstrom F-28 and 280 are a family of small, light piston-engined helicopters produced by the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation.[1]
  • Since delivering their first helicopter shortly after Federal Aviation Administration type certification of the F-28 model in April 1965, Enstrom helicopter has produced (as of 2007) approx 1,200 aircraft.[2]
  • The company produces three models, the F-28, the more aerodynamic 280 and the turbine-engined 480, each with their own variants. The F-28 and 280 both use Lycoming piston engines virtually identical to those found in general aviation fixed-wing aircraft

Enstrom_280FX_Shark_helicopter. 

  • T-28 Tank
  • The Soviet T-28 multi-turret medium battle tank was among the world’s first medium tanks and became a symbol of the Red Army as was its heavier “brother” the T-35. Its silhouette is well known from pre-war newsreel about Soviet military parades in Moscow’s Red Square.
  • 41 T-28 tanks were built in 1933 with hightest production of 131 in 1939. In the summer of 1941, the design of the T-28 became obsolete due to the drawbacks of multi-turret vehicles. The T-28 could hit any German tank from long distances.

T28_parola_1 .

  • The B28
  • The B28, originally Mark 28, was a thermonuclear bomb carried by U.S. tactical fighter bombers and bomber aircraft. From 1962 to 1972 under the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program, American B28s also equipped six Europe-based Canadian CF-104 squadrons known as the RCAF Nuclear Strike Force. It was also supplied for delivery by UK-based Royal Air Force Valiant and Canberra aircraft assigned to NATO under the command of SACEUR. Also USN carrier based attack aircraft such as the A3D Skywarrior and the A4D Skyhawk were equipped with the MK 28.

Mk_28_F1_Thermonuclear_Bomb .

  • HMS Kandahar (F28)
  • HMS Kandahar (F28) was a K-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, named after the Afghan city of Kandahar.
  • Kandahar was launched on 21 March 1939, and on 21 February 1941, in company with HMS Kimberley and HMS Manchester, she captured the German blockade runner SS Wahehe off Iceland. On 19 December 1941, she was part of British Force K, tasked to intercept an Italian convoy bound for Tripoli when she was irreparably damaged by a newly laid Italian mine whilst attempting to rescue the stricken HMS Neptune. She was scuttled the next day by Jaguar. 73 men went down with the ship.

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  • HMS Cleopatra (F28)
  • HMS Cleopatra (F28) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy, built at HMNB Devonport. She was launched on 25 March 1964 and commissioned on 4 January 1966.
  • Upon Cleopatra’s commissioning, she joined the 2nd Destroyer Squadron, Far East Fleet and then participated in the Beira Patrol, which was designed to prevent oil reaching the landlocked Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique (Lorenzo Marques).
  • In 1969, Cleopatra was present at the Evans-Melbourne collision.
  • In 1972, Cleopatra took part in escort duties during the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s South East Asia tour.
  • In 1973, Cleopatra was dispatched to protect British trawlers against the Icelandic Coast Guard in the Second Cod War.
  • Afterwards, Cleopatra began her modernisation, becoming the first Batch Two Leander to do so, which included the removal of her one twin 4.5-in gun to allow the addition of the Exocet anti-ship missile system.
  • On 31 January 1992, Cleopatra was decommissioned. The following year, Cleopatra was sold for scrap.

HMS_Cleopatra_(F28) .

  • Mosin–Nagant M/28
  • The Mosin–Nagant is a bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle created under the government commission by Russian inventors, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations.
  • It has gone through many variations, the M/28 designed by the White Guard. The M/28 differs from the Army’s M/27 primarily in the barrel band design, which is a single piece compared to the M/27’s hinged band, and an improved trigger design. Barrels for the M/28 were initially purchased from SIG, and later from Tikkakoski and SAKO.
  • The M/28-30 is an upgraded version of the M/28. The most noticeable modification is a new rear sight design.

Mosin_Nagant_series_of_rifles.

  • Smith & Wesson (S & W) Model 28
  • The most famous handgun with the 28 designation is the Smith & Wesson (S & W) Model 28, also known as the Highway Patrolman. It is an N-frame revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, in production from 1954 to 1986. It is a budget version of the S&W Model 27.

Smith_Wesson_M27_-_M28_Highway_Patrolman

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Other stuff

  • The Roman numeral for 28 is XXVIII.
  • The Arab alphabet has 28 letters
  • Cities located at 28o latitude include: New Delhi, India.
  • Cities located at 28o longitude include: Johannesburg, South Africa; Pretoria, South Africa; and Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 28 is not yet used as the code for international direct dial phone calls.
  • Two Cleveland skyscrapers have 28 floors, the McDonald Investment Center (1969): East 9th St. at Superior Ave. (305 ft);and the Marriott at Key Tower (1991): 127 Public Square, Cleveland (320 ft)
  • Parker Brothers Monopoly board game consists of 40 squares with 28 properties for sale. In the U.S. version, the properties are named after locations in Atlantic City, NJ.

monopoly board

  • The Runik alphabet, also called Futhark, used by Germanic peoples of northern Europe, Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland (3rd century to the 16th or 17th century AD) has 28 letters.
  • In Gematriya, the system of Hebrew Numerology, the number 28 corresponds to the word koakh, meaning “power”, “energy”.
  • The number of days in the shortest month of the Gregorian calendar, February (except in leap years, when there are twenty-nine).
  • The Gregorian calendar follows a 28-year cycle for the most part, since there are seven days in a week and leap year generally occurs every four years; usually, a calendar from any year is the same as that from 28 years earlier (e.g., 2008 and 1980 or 2009 and 2037). However, that rule holds only when there have been exactly seven leap days in a 28-year interval; years divisible by 100 but not by 400 are not leap years. Indeed, 1900 (as well as 2100, 2200, etc.) does not use the same calendar as 1872 (2072, 2172, etc., respectively) for the simple reason that 1900 is not a leap year. In 28 years, any day-of-the-week and date combination occurs exactly four times. February 29 will fall on each day of the week once.
  • In Jewish tradition there is a 28 year solar cycle in which the sun returns to its place in Creation every 28 solar years. This is commemorated in April every 28 years with the recitation of Birkat Hachama, the blessing of the sun.
  • There are 28 wheels on a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

  • 28 is the common name for the parrot ‘Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus’, widely distributed in Western Australia and South Australia, because its call sounds like “wenniate”.
  • In neo-Nazi circles, twenty-eight indicates Blood and Honour (28 = BH – B – second letter of the alphabet and H – the eight letter).
  • The number of Chinese constellations, “Xiu” or “mansions” (a literal translation), equivalent to the 12 western zodiac constellations.
  • 28 is the postal code of the province of Madrid, in Spain.
  • Twenty Eight is a popular game played in Kerala India.
  • 28 is the number of the French department Eure-et-Loir.
  • There are approximately twenty-eight grams in an ounce, a measure frequently used in the illegal drug trade.
  • In horticulture the America and Cherish Roses have 28 orange pink petals; the Black Velvet Rose has 28 dark red petals; the Maestro Rose has 28 petals with a red center, pink edges and speckles; the Garden Party Rose has 28 white blend petals; and the Ophelia Rose has 28 light pink petals.

ophelia-rose. 

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Forty 40

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The factoid number for this Friday is forty. As usual there is more associated with it than you might think. Whatever your interest you will probably find something in here that you didn’t know about the number forty.

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The Number Forty 40

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40

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In religion

40 is probably the most frequently used number in the Bible and corresponds to many major events. For example,

  • During the great flood it rained for forty days and forty nights [Genesis 7:4, 12, 17,8:6].
  • Isaac was forty years of age when he married Rebekah [Genesis 25:20].
  • Moses’ life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out.
  • Moses spent three consecutive periods of “forty days and forty nights” on Mount Sinai; during the forty days during which he received the Law of the Sinai Covenant [Exodus 24:18], the children of Israel were tested [Exodus 32:1].
  • The Hebrew people lived in the Sinai desert for “forty years”. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
  • Forty days after his birth a male child of Israel was dedicated to God at the Sanctuary [Leviticus 12:1-4].
  • The Israelite spies reconnoitered the land of Canaan for forty days [Numbers 13:25]; and Caleb was forty years of age when Moses sent him to reconnoiter Canaan [Joshua 14:7].
  • There were forty year intervals of peace in the age of the Judges (Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28)
  • There were forty years of war between Israel and the Philistines.
  • Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years”, that is, a generation. (Examples: Eli, Saul, David, Solomon.)
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.
  • Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days before His temptation [Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2].
  • Jesus taught His disciples for forty days after the Resurrection. On the fortieth day He ascended to the Father [Acts 1:3].
  • In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.

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  • In Islamic belief Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel.
  • Masih ad-Dajjal roams around the Earth in forty days, a period of time that can be as many as forty months, forty years, and so on.
  • The Quran says that a person is only fully grown when they reach the age of 40.

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  • Some Russians believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for forty days.

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  • In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas). The most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).
  • In Hindu system some of the popular fasting period consist 40 days and is called the period One ‘Mandl kal’ Kal means a period and Mandal kal means a period of 40 days. For example the devotees of ‘Swami Ayyappa’, the name of a Hindu God very popular in Kerala, India ( Sabarimala Swami Ayyappan ) strictly observed forty days fasting and visit ( Only male devotees are permitted to enter into the God’s Temple) with their holy submittance or offerings on 41st or a convenient day after a minimum 40 days practice of fasting. The offering is called ‘Kanikka’.

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In science

  • Forty is the atomic number of zirconium.
  • Negative forty is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, -40°F=-40°C. It is referred to as either “minus forty” or “forty below”.
Negative forty  -40°F=-40°C
Negative forty -40°F=-40°C

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In space

  • The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression (some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
planet venus
planet Venus

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  • Messier object M40, is a magnitude 9.0 double star in the constellation Ursa Major
Messier Object M40
Messier Object M40

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  • STS-40
  • Although designated STS-40, this was in fact the 41st flight of the Space Shuttle and the 11th flight of Columbia. Its mission was to conduct the Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) experiments, the first spacelab dedicated to life sciences research. This included experiments that explored how the heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and hormone-secreting glands respond to microgravity, the causes of space sickness and changes in muscles, bones and cells during the microgravity environment of space flight and in the readjustment to gravity upon returning to Earth.
  • Launch took place on June 5, 1991, 9:24:51 a.m. EDT. It was originally set for May 22,1991, but postponed less than 48 hours before launch when it became known that a leaking liquid hydrogen transducer in orbiter main propulsion system which was removed and replaced during a leak testing in 1990, had failed an analysis by vendor. Engineers feared that one or more of the nine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen transducer protruding into fuel and oxidizer lines could break off and be ingested by the engine turbopumps, causing engine failure.
  • In addition, one of orbiter five general purpose computers failed completely, along with one of the multiplexer demultiplexers that control orbiter hydraulics ordinance and orbiter maneuvering system / reaction control system functions in aft compartment.
  • New general purpose computer and multiplexer demultiplexer were installed and tested. One liquid hydrogen and two liquid oxygen transducers were replaced upstream in propellant flow system near 17-inch disconnect area, which is protected by internal screen. Three liquid oxygen transducers replaced at engine manifold area, while three liquid hydrogen transducers here were removed and openings plugged. Launch reset for 8 a.m. EDT, June 1, but postponed again after several attempts to calibrate inertial measurement unit 2 failed. Unit was replaced and retested, and launch was rescheduled for June 5. Launch Weight: 251,970 lbs.
  • The Commander STS-40 was Marine Corps Col. Bryan D. O’Connor. Other crew, Air Force Lt. Col. Sidney M. Gutierrez (Pilot), James P. Bagian, M.D.; Tamara E. Jernigan, Ph.D.; and Margaret Rhea Seddon, M.D. The payload specialists, Francis Andrew Gaffney, M.D., and Millie Hughes-Fulford, Ph.D.

sts-40-patch

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In politics

  • South Dakota ranks 16th in size among the 50 states. It was the 40th state to join the Union in 1889. South Dakota encompasses 77,123 square miles, averaging 10 people per square mile.
South Dakota State flag
South Dakota State flag
  • Ronald Reagan, former actor and Governor of California (1967-75) was the fortieth President of the United States of America, from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. His Vice President was George H. W. Bush.
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
  • Reagan’s Presidency was notable for at least two incidents.
  • On March 30, 1981, only 69 days into the new administration, Reagan, his press secretary James Brady, Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were struck by gunfire from would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Although “close to death” during surgery, Reagan recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. The attempt had great influence on Reagan’s popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%. Reagan believed that God had spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a greater purpose.
  • A couple of videos, the first rather long but interesting in that it shows the live story of the assassination attempt developing, and the second President Reagan recounting the assassination attempt from his personal perspective.

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  • Another controversial incident involving President Reagan happened in summer of 1981 when PATCO, the union of federal air traffic controllers, went on strike, violating a federal law prohibiting government unions from striking. Reagan declared the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, and stated that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated”. They did not return and on August 5, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order, and used supervisors and military controllers to handle the nation’s commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained. As a leading reference work on public administration concluded, “The firing of PATCO employees not only demonstrated a clear resolve by the president to take control of the bureaucracy, but it also sent a clear message to the private sector that unions no longer needed to be feared.”

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In sport

  • In football (soccer), forty is generally considered to be the number of points that a Premier League team (or, by extension, a team in any 20-team league with a standard home-and-away season) needs to avoid relegation.
  • In baseball, each team in Major League Baseball is allowed to have 40 players under major-league contracts at any given time (not including players on the 60-day disabled list). From September 1 to the end of the regular season, teams are allowed to expand their game-day rosters to include the entire 40-man roster.
  • In tennis, the number 40 represents the third point gained in a game. A score of 40-40 (three points each) is called “deuce”, at which time a player must score two consecutive points to win the game.

deuce

  • Beginning with the 2013 season, forty cars will run each race in NASCAR’s second-level Nationwide Series.
  • The jersey number 40 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
  • In Major League Baseball: the Houston Astros, for Don Wilson; the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Danny Murtaugh, most noted as the team’s longtime manager.

Danny Murtaugh

  • In the NBA: the Denver Nuggets, for Byron Beck; the Detroit Pistons, for Bill Laimbeer.
Byron Beck
Byron Beck
  • In the NFL: the Arizona Cardinals, for Pat Tillman; the Chicago Bears, for Hall of Famer Gale Sayers; the New England Patriots, for Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; the New York Giants, for Joe Morrison; the Philadelphia Eagles, for Tom Brookshier.
Gale Sayers
Gale Sayers

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In militaria

  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • Manufactured by Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Buffalo, New York and designed by Donovan Berlin, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk’s first flight was on 14 October 1938. Over 13,700 were built and during its twenty year life it was used by the United States Army Air Forces, the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and many others. A single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft, it was used extensively by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war.
  • The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF

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  • PPD40
  • The PPD (Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova) was developed by famous Russian small arms designer Fedor Degtyarov. It was formally adopted by the Red Army in 1935 and entered limited production as the PPD-34. Made in small numbers, it was mostly relegated for NKVD use, mostly for border guards. Slightly modified in 1938, it was then produced until 1939 in PPD-34/38 variation, with newly developed 71 rounds drum with long neck.
  • After the Winter War experience (1940 war between USSR and Finland), new version of PPD has been rapidly developed, with the most visible change being the two-part stock, cut to accept new pattern of drums, which had no neck. This became the PPD-40.
  • After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic Warin 1941, it was soon been discovered that the PPD-40 is less than ideal for wartime production, so it was quickly replaced by the more efficient and inexpensive PPSh-41, which appeared in great numbers and was widely used by Red Army.
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40

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  • MP40
  • One of the most famous submachine gun designs in history, the M.P. 38 submachine gun started its life under requirements from German Heereswaffenamt (HWA, Army Weapons Office), which saw the need for a compact submachine gun, suitable for use by armored vehicles crews and paratroopers.
  • German arms-making company Erfurter Maschinenfabrik Gmbh, better known under its trade name Erma, began the development of a new weapon under HWA specifications. It was manufactured for just 2 years, when it was replaced in production by externally similar, but less expensive MP-40, which used more stamped parts instead of machined parts, found in MP-38.
  • There also were minor variations in design of MP-38, such as shape of cocking handle etc. MP-40 was also produced in a number of variations, which differed in shape of certain parts; also, toward the end of the war, several production shortcuts were introduced to save the costs of manufacturing. probably the most interesting variation of the MP-40 were the MP-40-II and MP-40-II. These guns featured dual magazine housings which hold two magazines in a laterally sliding bracket. This increase the total ammunition capacity “in the gun” to 64 rounds, in a desperate attempt to catch up with 71-round magazine capacity of Soviet PPSh-41. The later variant, MP-40-II, was made in limited numbers, but turned out to be a failure – sliding dual-magazine housing was a constant source of jams and failures, and was very sensitive to dirt and fouling.
  • Nevertheless, the MP-40 submachine guns were of good design, and set the pattern for so called “second generation” of submachine guns (“first generation” being represented by the wood-stocked and carefully machined MP-18, MP-28 and the like). The second generation weapons usually were of compact design, and made using mostly steel stampings and pressings, or castings.
  • Many MP-40 that survived the WW2, continued to serve up until late 1970s or early 1980s, in few European armies such as Austrian or Norwegian.

MP-40

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  • Taurus MP40
  • During the 1990s Taurus replaced in production its MT-12A submachine gun (licensed copy of the Beretta PM-12) with another foreign design, this time purchased from Chile.
  • Originally known as the FAMAE SAF, in Brazil it is made in a slightly modified form as the Taurus MT-9 (in 9mm Luger) and MT-40 (in .40SW, especially for the Brazilian police forces that favor this caliber). In this case, the MT index stands for Metralhadora Taurus – Taurus Submachine gun, and the digits denote a caliber.
  • Taurus also makes an interesting offshoot of the MT-40, the CT-40 semi-automatic carbine, which is also intended for police and security use but is restricted to semi-automatic fire and has somewhat longer barrel.

Taurus MP40

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  • SVT-40
  • The SVT-38 (Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva – Tokarev Self-loading rifle) was originally adopted in the 1938 after more than 20 years of the research and development, done by famous Russian arms designer Fedor Tokarev. 
  • This rifle was made in relatively large numbers (more than 1 million made prior to 1945), and was originally issued as a standard infantry rifle, replacing the obsolete Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 bolt action rifles. A few SVT-40 were also manufactured in the sniper variant, (only about 50 000) equipped with scope mounts and telescopic sights, but accuracy was not sufficient. 
  • The SVT-40 had a somewhat controversial reputation. It was highly regarded by the enemies (Finns and Germans) and it was a very sought-after war trophy, re-issued to both German and Finnish troops. On the other hand, it was often considered unreliable and over-complicated by the Soviet troops (when comparing with old Mosin-Nagant rifles), but it was more to the poor training and maintenance, than to the rifle itself. Some better trained and educated Soviet troops, such as Sea Infantry (Marines, which always were some kind of elite in the Soviet army) used the SVT-40 with great deal of success.

SVT40

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  • Husqvarna M/40
  • The ‘Luger-like’ L-35 pistol was developed by the Finnish designer Aimo Lahti and manufactured by Finnish company VKT from 1935 until 1985 or so. It was adopted as a standard sidearm for Finnish army in 1935. 
  • In 1940, Sweden purchased a license for Lahti pistol, simplified it and began production as a Husqvarna M/40 pistol. Due to simplification and poor quality of steel used in M/40, these guns tended to crack when fired 9mm “submachinegun” ammunition, and also M/40 were less reliable than original L-35s, so in the 1980s almost all M/40s were recalled from military service and replaced by older m/07 pistol (licensed Browning M1903 pistols) as an emergency feature.

Husqvarna M40

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  • HK-UMP40
  • The UMP (Universal Machinen-Pistole = Universal Submachine Gun) had been developed by the Heckler & Koch company of Germany in the mid- to late- 1990s and first appeared on the markets in 1999. The key idea behind the UMP was to create a lightweight and powerful submachine gun, that was also cheaper than one of the H&K’s flagships, the MP-5. UMP, being targeted primary for USA law enforcement market, first appeared in .45ACP and .40SW chamberings, and later – in 9mm. 
  • The UMP is a blowback-operated select-fire submachine gun, being fired from the closed bolt. The receiver is made from the polymer, the controls are fully ambidextrous. UMP can be fired in full-auto, in single shots, and in 2 or 3 round bursts (optional). UMP also has bolt hold-open device, which traps the bolt in the open position when the last round from magazine had been fired. UMP has side-folding buttstock and two set of picatinny rails – one on the top of the receiver, and the other – on the forend. These rails can accept wide variety of sighting and other equipment, such as red-dot sights, laser pointers, tactical grips and flashlights. The barrel has quick mount for snap-on silencer.
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole

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In books, music and movies

  • Forty Shades of Green is a visual term for rural Ireland, Johnny Cash popularised it with his 1961 song of the name.
  • “40” is a 1983 song by U2 from their album War
  • “40′” is the title of a song by Franz Ferdinand
  • The American-Japanese rock band Crush 40 from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog video game series with Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli and guitarist Jun Senoue
  • Canadian hip-hop producer Noah Shebib is known as “40”.
  • A well known radio program is the American Top 40
  • Rick Dees hosts a Weekly Top 40 radio program
  • The best known story from a Thousand and One Nights is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves which has been made in movie and cartoon versions

ali baba and the forty thieves

  • Movies with ’40’ in their titles include 
  • “40 Carats”, about a forty year old woman who was vacationing in Greece
  • “40 Days and Nights”, a modern take on a Noah’s Ark tale
  • “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, a comedy about, well, a 40 year old virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

  • “This is 40”, a sequel to the 2007 movie ‘Knocked Up’ about at the lives of characters Pete and Debbie a few years on. 

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Other stuff

  • The expression “forty winks”, meaning a short sleep
  • There is the famous Saying “Life begins at forty”
  • Forty years of marriage is a ruby wedding anniversary
  • The international direct dial phone code for Romania is 40
  • The number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy, counting from the woman’s last menstrual period is forty.
  • There is an Arabic proverb that says, ‘To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days.’
  • A regular work week in some western countries consists of forty hours.
  • There are forty spaces in a standard Monopoly game board

monopoly board

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And finally,

Last, but definitely not least, perhaps one of the greatest ever inventions also carries the ’40’ tag. It is WD-40.

WD-40 is the trademark name of a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray, developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, in San Diego, California.

The term ‘WD-40’, is an abbreviation of the phrase “Water Displacement, 40th formula”.

Larsen was attempting to create a formula to prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles, by displacing the standing water that causes it. He claims he arrived at a successful formula, which is primarily composed of various hydrocarbons, on his 40th attempt.

WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin, and more importantly, the paper thin “balloon tanks” of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.

WD-40 first became commercially available on store shelves in San Diego in 1958

WD40 product range
The WD40 product range

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