Dogs, Dickens And Drink! – It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Today’s post is another assortment of random facts, at least some of which I hope you find interesting.

And they do include dogs, Dickens and drink!

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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Research indicates that 42% of Americans

have tried marijuana at least once.

smoking_joint

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The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

is considered to be the birth place of modern golf;

it has been played there since the 15th century.

Old-Course-Hotel-with-Golfe

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At the time ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ was filmed,

the actress who played Hogwarts student ‘Moaning Myrtle’

was 37 years old.

Moaning Myrtle

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At any given time approximately 0.7%

of the world population is drunk,

in other words about 50 million people

are drunk right now.

Cheers!

drunks

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The town of Gibsonton, Florida is

a favorite retirement spot and official home of

people who have worked (or still do) in the circus industry.

The town is also famous for its many exceptional museums

on the carnival and circus lifestyle.

Gibsonton, Florida

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It has been estimated that

as many as 800,000 people

were involved in the construction

of the Great Wall of China.

Great Wall of China

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Orlando Serrell is what is known as an “acquired savant”.

He began to exhibit enhanced mental skills

after being hit on the side of the head by a baseball

when he was ten years old.

Since the accident he has been able to

remember the weather of every single day.

Orlando Serrell

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There are more than 12,000 known species of ants,

ranging in shape and color and size

from just 0.03 to 2 inches in length

ants

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Pluto’s surface is one of the coldest places in the solar system

at roughly minus 375 degrees F (minus 225 degrees C).

Pluto's surface

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 ‘Sergeant Stubby’ is the most decorated war dog of World War I

and the only dog in US history that was promoted to sergeant

because of his time in combat.

Stubby served for eighteen months and participated

in seventeen battles on the Western Front

during the course of which he saved his regiment

from many unexpected mustard gas attacks

and found and comforted several wounded soldiers.

It is also said that he once caught

a German spy by the seat of his pants,

holding him there until American soldiers

found and captured him.  

Sergeant Stubby Wearing Military Medals

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Fear on an empty glass

is called Cenosillicaphobia.

empty glass

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Every year in Finland, since 1992, there is a

‘Wife Carrying World Championship’

in which male competitors race through a

special obstacle course in the fastest time

while each carrying a female teammate.

Most competitors use the piggyback or fireman’s carry

technique, though a few prefer to go Estonian-style

where the wife hangs upside-down with her

legs around the husband’s shoulders,

holding onto his waist.

Wife Carrying World Championship

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In Tribeca, New York,

there is a Japanese Ninja Restaurant

where your meal will include Kung fu fire tricks,

sword-carrying waiters and exploding food.

Japanese Ninja Restaurant

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Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were pen friends

and even met once in Philadelphia

when Poe was 34-year-old and Dickens was 31.

Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe

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On July 16, 1959, the Juno II rocket which was

meant to take the Explorer S1 satellite into orbit

was launched but after a few seconds the rocket

performed a near 180 degree flip

and hurtled back towards the launch pad.

The safety officer exploded the rocket

to protect those at the site.

From December 1958 to May 1961, five out of ten

Juno II rockets malfunctioned during launch.

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Had To Be 1776

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello everyone.

And a very happy Fourth of July to everyone, particularly my American friends.

Independence Day again, and no sign of invading spaceships so I’m assuming its safe to do another number factoid.

And what else could it be today other than 1776, the year America became an independent nation.

Here we go.

Enjoy

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1776

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And where else to start but with….

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American Revolutionary War

Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag

  • On January 1st, 1776 Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag. The same day the town of Norfolk, Virginia, was destroyed by the combined actions of the British Royal Navy and occupying Patriot forces.
  • On Jan 5th the Assembly of New Hampshire adopts its 1st state constitution.
  • On January 10th Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense “written by an Englishman” in Philadelphia arguing for independence from British rule in what were then the Thirteen Colonies.

pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • On Jan 16th the Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks.
  • On February 27th Scottish North Carolina Loyalists charge across Moore’s Creek bridge near Wilmington to attack what they mistakenly believed to be a small force of rebels. Several loyalist leaders are killed in the ensuing battle. The patriot victory virtually ended all British authority in the province.
  • On March 2nd and 3rd the American Continental Navy and Marines made a successful assault on Nassau, Bahamas, and in the Battle of the Rice Boats, American Patriots resisted the Royal Navy on the Savannah River effectively ending British control over the Province of Georgia.
  • On March 4th American Patriots capture Dorchester Heights thereby dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts. Threatened by the Patriot cannons on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuate Boston on March 17th.
  • On April 12th the Royal Colony of North Carolina produced the Halifax Resolves making it the first British colony officially to authorize its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On May 4th Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of Great Britain.
  • On June 7th Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Second Continental Congress (meeting in Philadelphia) that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
  • On June 11th the Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five to draft a Declaration of Independence.

declaration-of-independence-1776

  • On June 12th the Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason was adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates and three days later on June 15th the Delaware General Assembly voted to suspend government under the British Crown.
  • On July 2nd the final (despite minor revisions) U.S. Declaration of Independence was written. The Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution.
  • And as we all know, on July 4th the United States Declared Independence: The Continental Congress ratified the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On July 8th the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the following day an angry mob in New York City toppled the equestrian statue of George III of Great Britain in Bowling Green.

Liberty Bell

  • On August 2nd most of the American colonies ratify the Declaration of Independence.
  • On August 15th the first Hessian troops land on Staten Island to join British forces.
  • On August 27th in the Battle of Long Island, Washington’s troops were routed in Brooklyn by British under William Howe.
  • On September 1st the Cherokee Nation was invaded by 6,000 patriot troops from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina begins. The troops destroyed thirty-six Cherokee towns.
  • On September 7th saw the world’s first submarine attack when the American submersible craft Turtle attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • On September 11th an abortive peace conference took place between British and Americans on Staten Island.
  • On September 15th British troops landed on Manhattan at Kips Bay.
  • On September 16th in the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Continental Army under Washington are victorious against the British on Manhattan.
  • On September 22nd the British hanged spy Nathan Hale in New York City for espionage.
  • The following month, on October 11th on Lake Champlain near Valcour Island, a British fleet led by Sir Guy Carleton defeated 15 American gunboats commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Although nearly all of Arnold’s ships are destroyed, the two day-long battle gave Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
  • On October 18th in the Battle of Pell’s Point, forces of the American Continental Army resisted a British and Hessian force in The Bronx, whilst on October 28 in the Battle of White Plains, British forces attacked and captured Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
  • On October 26th Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

Benjamin Franklin

  • The last day of that month, October 31st saw King George III make his first speech before British Parliament since the Declaration of Independence that summer, in which in perhaps the understatement of the year, told the British Parliament that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.
  • On November 16th Hessian mercenaries under Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen captured Fort Washington from the American Continentals. The captain of the American navy ship Andrew Doria fired a salute to the Dutch flag on Fort Orange and Johannes de Graaff answers with eleven gun shots.
  • On December 7th the Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.
  • And on December 21st the Royal Colony of North Carolina reorganizes into the State of North Carolina after adopting its own constitution. Richard Caswell becomes the first governor of the newly formed state.
  • On December 23rd Thomas Paine, living with Washington’s troops, began publishing The American Crisis, containing the stirring phrase, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
  • At Christmas 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered the first issue of The Crisis to be read to his troops on Christmas Eve, then at 6 p.m. all 2600 of them march to McKonkey’s Ferry, crossed the Delaware River and land on the Jersey bank at 3 a.m.
  • And finally December 26th saw the Battle of Trenton, in which Washington’s troops surprised and defeated the 1500 Hessian troops under the command of Col. Johann Rall outside Trenton, taking 948 prisoners while suffering only 5 wounded.

 crossing the Delaware River

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In other things and other places in 1776

  • The year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar.
  • In Roman Numerals 1776 is written as MDCCLXXVI.
  • On January 2nd Austria ended interrogation torture
  • On February 17th Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • On March 9th Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in London.
  • On March 28th Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On April 15th the Duchess of Kingston was found guilty of bigamy.
  • On May 1st Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
  • On June 17th Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga leads a band of colonists from Monterey Presidio, landing on June 29th and constructing the Mission Dolores of the new Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On July 12th Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which would turn out to be fatal.

Captain James Cook

  • On July 21st Mozart’s Serenade No. 7 (the “Haffner”) is first performed in Salzburg, Austria.
  • On July 29th Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, and eight other Spaniards set out from Santa Fe on an eighteen-hundred mile trek through the American Southwest. They were the first Europeans to explore the vast region between the Rockies and the Sierras.
  • On September 6th a hurricane hit Guadeloupe, killing more than 6000 people.
  • On September 24th the first of the now very famous St Leger horse races were held at Doncaster, England.
  • On October 7th Crown Prince Paul of Russia married Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.
  • On October 9th Father Francisco Palou founded the Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California.
  • On October 18th in a New York bar decorated with a bird tail, a customer orders “cock tail”.
  • On December 5th the first US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), is formed.

Phi Beta Kappa

  • The Standard Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles is Active Standard ASTM D1776
  • The Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Paintball Sports is Active Standard ASTM F1776.
  • MTE M-1776 is a Surge Protective Device
  • P1776 is the code for solenoid stuck in low/reverse which is a fairly common problem and can be prevented most of the time by keeping the fluid clean.
  • The 1776 Premier Program offers a venue for highly-committed, elite players to receive professional, year-round coaching and to seek competition at the highest levels of US Youth Soccer.

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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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Fact File Fun Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fact file fun facts it says and fact file fun facts they are.

As random as ever, you’re sure to find something that you didn’t know before.

Enjoy.

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did you know 4

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A shrimp can swim backwards.

shrimp

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Kathleen Casey-Kirschling of Philadelphia

was born at 12:00:01 A.M., Eastern time, on January 1st, 1946.

This not only made her the first child born in the United States that year,

but also made her the first “Baby Boomer.”

first boomer Kathleen Casey-Kirschling 

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At 6000 degrees Kelvin,

the surface of the Sun is actually one of its coolest spots.

Both the Sun’s interior and its corona

measure in the millions of degrees Kelvin.

sun

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Sir Isaac Newton was only 23 years old

when he discovered the law of universal gravitation.

Sir Isaac Newton

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When Burger King decided to sell fast-food Down Under,

they found that there was already a local carry-out restaurant called “Burger King.”

As a result, if you’re looking for a Whopper in Australia today,

you’ll have to go to a chain called “Hungry Jack’s.”

hungry_jack__s_updated__by_tectris

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More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones.

blue toothbrush

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If you combine the electoral college results

of the ’80 and ’84 elections, Reagan won 1014-62.

reagan-mondale-1984-electoral-college-map

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In the United States the two-digit Interstate numbers

are designed to let drivers know the general direction of the highway.

If the Interstate has an odd number, it runs north-south.

Interstates with even numbers run east-west.

interstate sign

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More people are afraid of open spaces (kenophobia)

than of tight spaces (claustrophobia).

confined_space_caution_sign_2__77519

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Goosebumps are actually caused by a muscle.

It is called the arrector pili muscle.

Doesn’t knowing that give you…

I mean, stimulate your arrector pili muscle?

goosebumps

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The word “samba” means “to rub navels together.”

samba

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Paul Hunn holds the record for the loudest burp,

which was 118.1 decibels, which is as loud as a chainsaw

Paul Hunn burp

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All dogs are the same species, meaning that

(notwithstanding the obvious physical challenge)

a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard could procreate.

Louisville Fall Festival Dog Show

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Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

were born on the exact same day.

darwin-vs-lincoln

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The Chicago River used to flow into Lake Michigan,

but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers switched it to flow backwards,

AWAY from the lake, for sanitation purposes.

Chicago River

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Swedish pop sensations ABBA had to negotiate the rights

to their name with a canned fish company.

Abba

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In the 16th century, gin was referred to as “mother’s ruin”

because people thought it could induce an abortion.

gin-and-tonic

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The Neanderthal’s brain was actually

bigger than yours is, not smaller.

Neanderthal

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The area where Washington, D.C., now stands

was originally a mosquito-infested swamp.

It took years to drain and clear the land before the

nation’s government was moved to the city in 1800.

washignton-dc

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William Wrigley originally started in the baking powder business.

With his powder, he gave a free pack of his gum.

He later abandoned the baking powder business

when he learned that people were buying it just to get the gum.

william_wrigley_jr_1891

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Ready To Give Your Head A Good Workout?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The title means, of course, that it is quiz day again.

So if you are ready to give your head a bit of a work out to start the week you’ve come to the right place.

Easy, tricky and difficult, you should find something in this lot to make you think a bit. And if you get stuck you know the answers are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below – but NO cheating.

Enjoy.

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Quiz 03

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Q.  1:  We all know about Martha Stewart, but what did the American Martha Graham become famous for?

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Q.  2:  What is the capital of Finland?

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Q.  3:  What in the human body is the epidermis?

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Q.  4:  Sitting Bull, a victorious chief at the Battle of Little Big Horn later went on tour in which travelling show?

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Q.  5:  In which famous short animation movie from 1969 does a beloved Disney character meet an untimely end?

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Q.  6:  Which very popular writer with a degree invented the word ‘nerd’?

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Q.  7:  Which three animals (a point for each) are directly responsible for  the most deaths each year in the USA? (The mosquito is excluded, as are fatalities resulting from a car crash with animals)

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Q.  8:  James Madison was the first US President to sport which clothing fashion?

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Q.  9:  In which two movies does Henry Fonda play the US President; and in which monumental movie does he play the ‘Medal of Honor’ winning son of US President Teddy Roosevelt? (Again a point for each correct answer)

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Q. 10:  Which Frenchman, famous for abhorring bad drink, said “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world”?

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Q. 11:  David Hedison, Jack Lord, Rik van Nutter, Jeffrey Wright, John Terry, Cec Linder, Michael Pate, Norman Burton and Bernard Casey have all played which role in movies?

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Q. 12:  What kind of burst is the most powerful radiation known to science?  

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Q. 13:  Leningrad, Fort Sumter, Sarajevo and Massada are all examples of what?

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Q. 14:  Which famous Russian female made around the world headlines after the 3rd of November 1957?

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Q. 15:  Like other coastal regions in the area, what was the coast of Florida called in the 16th century?

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Q. 16:  What was depicted on the seal of the Knights Templar?

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Q. 17:  Which worry prone movie character is fluent in more than 6,000,000 forms of communication?

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Q. 18:  The name for which delightful and lofty empyrean goal stems from the Persian word for ‘walled enclosure’?

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Q. 19:  In which five US states has the USA tested atom bombs? (Another chance to get a point for each correct answer)

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Q. 20:  Philadelphia is the old name for the largest city in which country?

 

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  We all know about Martha Stewart, but what did the American Martha Graham become famous for?

A.  1:  As a Modern Dancer / Choreographer

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Q.  2:  What is the capital of Finland?

A.  2:  Helsinki

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Q.  3:  What in the human body is the epidermis?

A.  3:  Skin

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Q.  4:  Sitting Bull, a victorious chief at the Battle of Little Big Horn later went on tour in which travelling show?

A.  4:  Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

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Q.  5:  In which famous short animation movie from 1969 does a beloved Disney character meet an untimely end?

A.  5:  Bambi meets Godzilla

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Q.  6:  Which very popular writer with a degree invented the word ‘nerd’?

A.  6:  Dr. Seuss.  From the book ‘If I ran the zoo’.

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Q.  7:  Which three animals (a point for each) are directly responsible for  the most deaths each year in the USA? (The mosquito is excluded, as are fatalities resulting from a car crash with animals)

A.  7:  Bees, dogs and horses.

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Q.  8:  James Madison was the first US President to sport which clothing fashion?

A.  8:  Long trousers (pants)

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Q.  9:  In which two movies does Henry Fonda play the US President; and in which monumental movie does he play the ‘Medal of Honor’ winning son of US President Teddy Roosevelt? (Again a point for each correct answer)

A.  9:  Fonda plays the US President in ‘Fail Safe’ and ‘Meteor’. In ‘The longest day’ he plays Teddy Roosevelt Jr.

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Q. 10:  Which Frenchman, famous for abhorring bad drink, said “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world”?

A. 10:  Louis Pasteur

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Q. 11:  David Hedison, Jack Lord, Rik van Nutter, Jeffrey Wright, John Terry, Cec Linder, Michael Pate, Norman Burton and Bernard Casey have all played which role in movies?

A. 11:  CIA agent Felix Leiter in Bond films.

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Q. 12:  What kind of burst is the most powerful radiation known to science?  

A. 12:  A gamma ray burst. (A burst recorded in December 1997 was for a few seconds brighter than all the other objects in the entire universe put together.)

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Q. 13:  Leningrad, Fort Sumter, Sarajevo and Massada are all examples of what?

A. 13:  Famous or infamous sieges.

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Q. 14:  Which famous Russian female made around the world headlines after the 3rd of November 1957?

A. 14:  Laika. The Russian cosmonaut dog. (or muttnik )

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Q. 15:  Like other coastal regions in the area, what was the coast of Florida called in the 16th century?

A. 15:  The Spanish Main

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Q. 16:  What was depicted on the seal of the Knights Templar?

A. 16:  Two knights riding on one horse.

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Q. 17:  Which worry prone movie character is fluent in more than 6,000,000 forms of communication?

A. 17:  C3PO

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Q. 18:  The name for which delightful and lofty empyrean goal stems from the Persian word for ‘walled enclosure’?

A. 18:  Paradise

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Q. 19:  In which five US states has the USA tested atom bombs? (Another chance to get a point for each correct answer)

A. 19:  New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska and Mississippi.

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Q. 20:  Philadelphia is the old name for the largest city in which country?

A. 20:  Jordan  (The city of Amman)

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Fifty-Five 55

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another numbers factoid today. This time the number is fifty-five, along with its various associations.

Enjoy.

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The Number Fifty-Five  55

 55

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In religion

  • The number 55 is used 2 times in the Bible.
  • The 55th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • At the end of his Gospel, Saint John devotes 55 verses (chapter 20 and 21) to describe the resurrection and his appearances of the Christ which took place after his death.
  • The words throne and number are used 55 in the NT.
  • 55 is the representative number of the Virgin Mary. In the New Testament the name Mary is referred to 55 times (26 times by the word mother; 10 times by the word woman; and 19 times by the name of Mary).
  • Fifty-five years separate the Annunciation from the Assumption of the Virgin.

 

  • A rabbinical study enumerates 55 prophets, divided into 48 prophets and 7 prophetess. This list appears in the Comment of Rachi on Meguilla 14a.

 

  • Epsilon, E, is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet, and Lambda, L, is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet and the product of the 3rd & 5th prime numbers: 5 x 11 = 55 = EL
  • EL is an ancient Semitic title for God. In Assyrian-Babylonian mythology, the great trinity Anu (sky), Bel (light), and Ea (sea) emanated from EL. EL was used by the Phoenicians for the high-one. Elohim is the plural form of EL. The Hebrews associated EL or Elohim with a sun-deity absorbed by Yaw (Jah or Jehovah). In Hebrew poetry EL appears as First Cause, God, Mighty One, principle or beginning of all things.
  • In Cabala, EL is a name of Chesed, the 4th Sephira.
  • EL is Celtic for angel.  

 

  • 55 represent the Divine Person, according to Abellio.
  • 55 represent the limit of the humanity, according to E. Bindel.
  • 55 represent the total and complete man, symbolized by the two hands which join at the moment of the prayer to remake the unit in the form of ten, but being able also to express that under the form of 55, “addition in the senses of the divine wisdom” according to saint Martin.
  • The Bouriates knew 99 gods, divided into 55 goods and 44 bad. These two groups of gods would fight for a very long time between them.

In Mathematics

  • 55 is the sum of the first 10 numbers: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th triangular numbers: 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 = 55
  • 55 is the sum of the first 5 square numbers (also known as a square pyramidal number): 1 + 4 + 9 + 16 + 25 = 55
  • The sum of 5 odd heavenly numbers: 1+3+5+7+9 = 25; the sum of 5 even earthly numbers: 2+4+6+8+10 = 30; the sum of the heavenly & earthly series (I Ching): 25 + 30 = 55
  • Fifty-five is the 10th Fibonacci number and a triangular number (the sum of the numbers 1 to 10), it is the largest Fibonacci number to also be a triangular number.

Triangular 1-10

  • 55 is heptagonal number, and a centered nonagonal number.
  • In base 10, 55 is a Kaprekar number.
  • 55 is a semiprime, being the product of 5 and 11 and it is the 2nd member of the (5.q) semiprime family.
  • In Roman numeral 55 is written as LV
  • 55 in Binary is 00110111
  • In Pythagorean arithmetic, 2 is the first even number, 3 the first odd number. The even & odd tetractyes both radiate from the One, which is the source of all numbers. The sum of these two series is 55

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In Science

  • 55 is the Atomic Number of Cesium (Cs).
  • The cesium clock is used as a standard in measuring time. Its accuracy is one second in 30,000 years. The cesium atomic clock is based on the frequency corresponding to hyperfine structure transition in the atoms of cesium nuclides Cs-133.

ntp_time

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In space

  • Messier object M55, is a magnitude 7.0 globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius
Messier Object M55
Messier Object M55
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 55, is a magnitude 7.9 barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor
  • On February 9, 1986, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to the sun (perihelion) at a distance of only about 55 million miles.
  • The velocity of Halley’s comet at perihelion is 55 kilometers per second.

halleys-comet-1986

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In politics

  • 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787) and 39 signed the United States Constitution.
  • Agitation and Propaganda against the State, also known as Constitution law 55, was a law in Communist Albania.
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 1787

In Books, Music, Movies and TV

  • A song produced by Group X was called “Schfifty Five”.
  • 55 is the name of a song by British Indie Rock Band Kasabian. The song was released as a B side to Club Foot and was recorded live when the band performed at London’s Brixton Academy.
  • “I Can’t Drive 55”, is a song by Sammy Hagar
  • “Old 55” is the title of a song by Tom Waits and The Eagles
  • Cristian Vogel released an album in 2005 with the title “Station 55”
  • “Ol’ 55”, is an Australian rock band.
  • “Primer 55” is the name of an American band
  • “55 Cadillac”, is an album by Andrew W.K.

AndrewWK_55Cadillac 

  • “55 Days at Peking” is a film starring Charlton Heston and David Niven

55 Days At Peking

  • “55 Degrees North” (2004–2005) is a British TV series about a  London detective who moves to Newcastle after blowing the whistle on a corrupt colleague.
  • “Class of ’55”, is a TV comedy created by writer David Seltzer, and starring Alan Alda, John Archer, Sharon Cintron
  • “The Fall Of ’55”, a crime drama, written by Seth Randal, about an incident in late 1955 and early 1956, when the citizens of Boise, Idaho believed there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, investigators arrested three men on charges of having sex with teenage boys. The investigators claimed the arrests were just the tip of the iceberg-they said hundreds of boys were being abused as part of a child sex ring. There was no such ring, but the result was a widespread investigation which some people consider a witch hunt. By the time the investigation ended, 16 men were charged. Countless other lives were also touched.In some cases, men implicated fled the area. At least one actually left the country. The investigation attracted attention in newspapers across the nation, including Time Magazine. The “Morals Drive” left scars which remain to this day.

the fall of '55 

  • José Saramago’s novel “The Cave” features the Center, a vast multistoried shopping mall whose catalog runs to 55 volumes of 1,500 pages each, an entertainment complex offering Disneyland versions of virtual reality, and apartments, a hospital, a crematory and administrative headquarters.

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In Transportation

  • Speed Limit
  • 55 was the highest speed limit allowed in the United States between 1974 and 1986 per the National Maximum Speed Law.

 55 speed limit sign

  • Yoshimura R-55 GP Style Slip-On Exhaust
  • The Yoshimura R-55 is a legendary exhaust building experience that gives the sportbike rider power in a lightweight, stylish package, using a tapered trapezoidal shape, finished off in either carbon fiber or stainless steel.

Yoshimura_R-55_GP_Style_Slip-On_Exhaust

  • The R-55 on the Kawasaki ZX-14R looks seamless and will weigh less than the ones that come stock.

 Kawasaki Ninja

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  • BMW K55
  • In 1991 BMW tuner Racing Dynamics of Italy produced a special version of the 8 Series dubbed the K55 Sport Coupe. The K55 5.5 Coupe was based on the 850i, powered by the 5.0-liter M70 that was stroked to 5.5 liters, new valves, camshafts lifters and intakes along with extrude honed heads. The one US version engine producing 475 bhp (354 kW; 482 PS) and the Euro version producing 401 bhp (299 kW).
  • 40 K55s were produced for the Euro market and one in the US.
  • In addition to engine modifications, The K55 offered a variety of body, suspensions, rear end options.

BMW k-55 

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  • Mercedes-Benz S-55
  • The S-Class is a series of luxury sedans produced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz, a division of German company Daimler AG.
  • The classification was officially introduced in 1972 with the W116 S-Class, which succeeded previous Mercedes-Benz models dating to the mid-1950s.
  • The S-Class has served as the flagship model for Mercedes for over fifty years in its various incarnations and has debuted many of the company’s latest innovations, including drivetrain technologies, interior features, and safety systems (such as the first seatbelt pre-tensioners).
  • The S-Class has ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan

 mercedes-benz-s55

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  • Mercedes Benz G55 AMG
  • The G-Wagen, or Gelandewagen as it is officially named, started out as a complete off roading machine. Mercedes-Benz built it for the German armed forces and as with any military vehicle, it was designed to take on the harshest of terrain and remain rather trouble free.
  • A civilian version was introduced a couple years after the G-Class first made its debut, and it too displayed the same level of ruggedness and ‘go anywhere’ ability.
  • The G Wagen has been around since the 70s and though it has received upgrades over the years, it still remains the ultimate off roading machine that is sought after by anyone and everyone who wishes to tour the world, go lion spotting in the Savannah or drive up Mount Everest!
  • The G-Wagen’s reliability has grown to legendary heights and it commands an imposing presence as it drives by.
  • There is no doubting the fan following garnered by the G Wagen over the years and in order to cater to the growing demand, Mercedes-Benz has toyed with the vehicle to make it more exciting and usher in a level of performance and sheer ludicrousness through their AMG subsidiary.
  • The latest incarnation of the G Wagen is the G55 AMG. Considered to be the most powerful G Class vehicle yet, it boasts of having performance figures that one would normally find associated with sportscars and it can still handle the rough.
Hamann_Typhoon_Mercedes_Benz_G55_AMG_4
Photo showing the Hamann Typhoon enhanced version of the Mercedes Benz G55 AMG

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  • Mitsubishi Jeep J55
  • In 1950 the Japanese wanted a prototype 4X4 trucks and other vehicles and in response by January 1951 Toyota had produced a prototype. Toyota based their design on the Bantam vehicle that had seen military action in Malaysia. At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4X4. For this reason Toyota called it’s prototype the Toyota Jeep. These became the FJ40 that Americans found to be a rugged and reliable off road vehicle.
  • However, largely unknown to those in North America, there was another strong contender to the legend, the Mitsubishi Jeep. Their design was based on the Willys Jeep, the vehicle ultimately selected for procurement by the National Police Reserve Forces, and in 1953 Mitsubishi secured the rights to build the Willys under their own name. Thus the Mitsubishi Jeep was born.
  • In the USA the Willys was built till 1965 but in Japan Mitsubishi had a good thing going so they kept the line in production till 1998.

Mitsubishi_Jeep_J-55 

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In militaria

  • HMS Suffolk (55)
  • HMS Suffolk (55) was a Royal Navy County class heavy cruiser and part of the Kent subclass. She was launched on 16 March 1926, and commissioned on 25 June 1928.
  • Like her sister ships, Suffolk served on the China Station until the outbreak of WWII when she returned to Europe and patrolled the Denmark Straits.
  • In April 1940 Suffolk participated in the Norwegian Campaign and arrived at Tórshavn to commence the British pre-emptive occupation of the Faroe Islands. On 14 April 1940 Suffolk sank the German tanker Skagerrak northwest of Bodø, Norway.
  • On 17 April 1940, Suffolk and four destroyers, HMS Kipling, HMS Juno, HMS Janus and HMS Hereward, were sent to bombard the airfield at Sola, Norway. The operation had little effect and the retaliation from German bombers severely damaged the aft of the ship, forcing her to return to Scapa Flow.
  • Suffolk was out of action from April 1940 until February 1941 while she was repaired at the Clyde.
  • During May 1941, as part of the 4th Cruiser Squadron, Suffolk was involved in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Suffolk had engaged the battleship twice during the battle, making several salvoes on her. Using her radar, Suffolk was able to track the Bismarck through the Denmark Strait and maintained contact long enough for other units to vector into Bismarck’s path.
  • After repairs Suffolk served with the Home Fleet in Arctic waters until the end of 1942, then underwent a refit between December 1942 and April 1943. On completion of this the ship was ordered to the Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean until the end of the war.
  • Suffolk was scrapped on 24 June 1948.

hms_suffolk_55 

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  • HMS Finisterre (D55)
  • HMS Finisterre (D55) was a Battle-class destroyer of the Royal Navy (RN). She was named after one of the battles of Cape Finisterre. Launched on the 22 June 1944 and commissioned on 11 September 1945.
  • She first joined the Home Fleet upon her commissioning. After duties in the Far East, Finisterre returned to the UK via the Mediterranean. In January 1950, she took part in the rescue attempt of the submarine HMS Truculent, which had sunk after colliding with a Swedish merchant ship Divina in the Thames Estuary. The collision had resulted in the loss of 64 of those on board. The following year Finisterre became the Gunnery Training Ship, based at Whale Island, Portsmouth as part of HMS Excellent.
  • In 1953, Finisterre took part in the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The following year Finisterre was placed in Reserve. After her sister-ship HMS Hogue collided with an Indian cruiser in 1959, Finisterre replaced her in the 1st Destroyer Squadron, based in the Far East. She was one of a number of Royal Navy ships stationed off Kuwait to keep the peace as the country gained its independence in 1961.
  • In 1965 she was sold for scrap.

 hms_finesterre r 55

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  • USS Aludra (AF-55)
  • The USS Aludra (AF-55) was an Alstede-class stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy and tasked to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.
  • Originally ordered as refrigerated cargo ship “SS Matchless” she was launched on 14 October 1944 and delivered to the United States Lines under a bare boat charter on 23 March 1945.
  • She operated in the Pacific Ocean during the final months of the war and during the first four years following Japan’s capitulation and then laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet berthing area at Bay Minette, Alabama.
  • She was reactivated in November 1950, as the result of an expansion of the Fleet to meet its greatly increased responsibilities because of the United Nations decision to oppose communist aggression in Korea. Renamed Aludra on 16 January 1951, she was assigned to Service Squadron 3, Service Force, Pacific Fleet and took up the tasks of supporting Task Force (TF) 77 in strikes along the east coast of Korea and TF 72 in patrols in the East China Sea and off Formosa.
  • Ending her first deployment to the western Pacific, she returned to San Francisco, California, on 4 May 1953. Thereafter, for more than 16 years, she alternated operations on the west coast of the United States with tours in the Far East resupplying ships serving in the Orient. Among the highlights of her service was her participation in Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of thousands of Vietnamese refugees from communist-controlled areas of Vietnam after that country had been partitioned in 1954.
  • The ship again visited Vietnamese waters in March 1965 and, for a bit over three and one-half years thereafter, devoted most of her efforts to supporting American warships fighting aggression there. She left that war-torn country for the last time on 19 April 1969 and headed—via Sasebo, Japan—for home.
  • Aludra was decommissioned on 12 September 1969 and withdrawn from the reserve fleet on 19 January 1977 for stripping by the Navy prior to sale. She was purchased from MARAD by Sea World Processors Inc., for non-transportation use, 16 November 1977 and delivered, 16 February 1978. In 1981 she was burned and scuttled.

USS_Aludra_(AF-55) 

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  • USS Valcour (AVP-55)
  • USS Valcour (AVP-55), later AGF-1, was commissioned on 5 July 1946 as a seaplane tender from 1946 to 1965 and as a flagship from 1965 to 1973. She was the last of the 35 Barnegat-class ships to commission.
  • Valcour was designated as flagship for the Commander, Middle Eastern Force (ComMidEastFor) and served in the Middle East from 5 September 1950 to 15 March 1951.
  • On the morning of 14 May 1951, two months after she returned to Norfolk from her second Middle East tour, Valcour suffered a steering casualty and power failure and collided with another vessel. An intense fire broke out aboard Valcour causing the commanding officer, Captain Eugene Tatom, to order abandon ship. Eleven men died, 16 more were injured and another 25 were listed as “missing”, later to be confirmed as dead.
  • After an extensive overhaul and improvements, and from 1952–1965 she rotated yearly between the United States and the Middle East.
  • In January 1972 Valcour was for inactivationand  was decommissioned on 15 January 1973. On 1 May 1977, the U.S. Navy sold Valcour for scrapping.

 USS Valcour AVP-55

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  • Kh-55 (missile family)
  • The Kh-55 is a Soviet/Russian air-launched cruise missile, designed by MKB Raduga. It has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads. Kh-55 is launched exclusively from bomber aircraft and has spawned a number of conventionally armed variants mainly for tactical use, such as the Kh-65SE and Kh-SD, but only the Kh-101 and Kh-555 appear to have made it into service. Contrary to popular belief, the Kh-55 was not the basis of the submarine- and ground-launched RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’ and SSC-X-4 ‘Slingshot’).
  • A Kh-55 production unit was delivered to Shanghai in 1995 and appears to have been used to produce a similar weapon for China.

Kh-55 Cruise Missile

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  • RK-55 Granat
  • The Novator RK-55 Granat was a Soviet land-based cruise missile with a nuclear warhead.
  • It was about to enter service in 1987 when such weapons were banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • A version launched from submarine torpedo tubes, the S-10 Granat (SS-N-21 ‘Sampson’;GRAU:3M10), has apparently been converted to carry conventional warheads and continues in service to this day.
  • The RK-55 is very similar to the air-launched Kh-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’) but the Kh-55 has a drop-down turbofan engine[3] and was designed by MKB Raduga. Both have formed the basis of post-Cold-War missiles, in particular the 3M-54 Klub (SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’) which has a supersonic approach phase.

 RK55 Granat

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  • 55th Fighter Squadron
  • The 55th Fighter Squadron was originally organized as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. By November 1917 the squadron was deployed to Issoudun, France. It was demobilized on 6 March 1919, following the end of WWI, but was reactivated in November 1930, at Mather Field, California.
  • At the beginning of World War II, the 55th continued to train aviators for squadrons in Europe and the Pacific. In May 1942, it was redesignated a fighter squadron and operated from several locations in the United States.
  • The 55th was deployed in Europe in August 1943, operating from RAF Wittering, England, and flew 175 combat missions. With the rest of the 20th Fighter Group, the 55th flew daily strafing, long-range-patrol and bomber-escort missions. In June, they provided air cover during the massive allied invasion of Normandy.
  • The 55th also performed escort and fighter-bomber missions supporting the Allied advance through Central Europe and the Rhineland. In December 1945, they took part in the Battle of the Bulge, escorting bombers to the battle area.
  • The 55th was demobilized on 18 October 1945, after the end of WWII, but was reactivated on 29 July 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas.
  • The 55th entered the jet age in February 1948, with the F-84G Thunderjet. In January 1950, and was redesignated the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron returned to England at RAF Wethersfield in June 1952, where it was redesignated the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron and then moved to RAF Upper Heyford in June 1970. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 55th participated in countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. exercises and operations, which directly contributed to containment of Soviet threats to Europe.
  • In January 1991, elements of the 55th deployed to Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. They flew more than 144 sorties, amassing 415 combat hours without a loss. These missions neutralized key facilities throughout northern Iraq and helped to liberate Kuwait and stabilize the region. The squadron was inactivated in December 1993.
  • It was transferred and reactivated on 1 January 1994, to its present home, Shaw Air Force Base, flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In July 1996, the squadron transferred its aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, and stood down.
  • In July 1997, the 55th made history when it stood up as a combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days. It has since made numerous deployments to Southwest Asia, continuing to contain the Iraqi threat. In the meantime, the squadron has earned awards and recognition, including the David C. Schilling Award in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Air Force Association Citation of Honor.
  • In the summer of 2000, the 55th deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Northern Watch. It followed that deployment with Operation Southern Watch in the fall of 2001, and in the winter of 2002, deployed again in support of Operation Northern Watch. Most recently the 55th deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2008.

55th_Fighter_Squadron

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  • Lockheed Martin X-55
  • The Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) is an experimental twin jet engined transport aircraft intended to demonstrate new cargo-carrier capabilities using advanced composites. It is a project of the United States Air Force’s Air Force Research Laboratory, and was built by the international aerospace company Lockheed Martin, at its Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works) facility in Palmdale, California.

.Lockheed_Martin_X-55_ACCA_001

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  • The T-55 tank
  • The T-54 and T-55 tanks are a series of medium tanks that were designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just as the Second World War ended. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world’s armed conflicts during the late 20th and early 21st century.
  • The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000. They were replaced by the T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 in the Soviet and Russian Armies, but remain in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting.
  • Soviet tanks never directly faced their NATO Cold War adversaries in Europe. However, the T-54/55’s first appearance in the West in 1960 spurred the United States to develop the M60 Patton.

t55 tank

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  • K55 SPG Self-Propelled Gun
  • Since 1985 when it entered service, and until recently, when it has been replaced by the more miodern K9 Thunder platform, the South Korean Army relied on the K55.
  • It was a localized development of the US military’s M109A2 Paladin SPG family, license-produced by Samsung Techwin / Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA).
  • Over 1,100 (1,180) of the type were procured by the South Korean government, supplying the Army with a long range, heavy hitter capable of lobbing conventional, chemical and nuclear shells at any potential enemies – namely North Korea.
  • The 25-ton K55 borrowed much from the American M109 including its conventional design consisting of an armored tracked chassis and boxy turret superstructure. The vehicle is crewed by six personnel and primary armament is a 155mm main gun of 30 caliber length. Defense is through 1 x 12.7mm K6 heavy machine gun. Power is served through a Detroit Diesel 8V-71T turbocharged, diesel-fueled engine of 450 horsepower. Maximum road speed across ideal surfaces is 56 kmh. The main gun can supply a rate-of-fire of 4 shots per minute while targeting is through manual means. A full ammunition load aboard the K55 is 36 projectiles.
  • The K55 entered a modernization program in 1994, producing the K55A1 designation.
  • The newer 47-ton K9 Thunder formally entered service in 1999 and is crewed by five personnel, carried 48 projectiles and features a rate-of-fire of 6 shots per minute with manual or automatic targeting. Additionally, the powerplant provides road speeds of up to 66 kph.

K55_155mm_self-propelled_howitzer_tracked_armoured_vehicle_South_Korea_Korean_army_001

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Other stuff

  • 55 is the code for international direct dial phone calls to Brazil
  • 55 gallon is a standard size for a drum container
  • Gazeta 55, an Albanian newspaper
  • An Emerald wedding anniversary celebrates 55 years.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress was assigned Lot #55 at the Christie’s Auction on October 27, 1999.  It sold for a record price for a dress— $1,267,500. 

Marilyn Monroe birthday dress

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Stained Windows 3.1

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I did a few posts recently about the resignation of pope Benedict and the election of Francis I (here  and here ) and that reminded me of something that happened in the way distant past of the internet. In fact it became the first internet hoax.

I am sure a great many of you are far too young to remember this, so here is the story.

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Sometime in early 1994 a press release began circulating around the internet claiming that Microsoft had bought the Roman Catholic Church.

The press release, allegedly from the Vatican City itself, announced that this was “the first time a computer software company has acquired a major world religion.”

The release also quoted Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as saying that he considered religion to be a growth market and that, “The combined resources of Microsoft and the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for a broader range of people.”

The deal would allow Microsoft to acquire exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and would make the sacraments available online.

Similarities were drawn between the business practices of Microsoft and the Catholic Church’s historical conversion efforts, claiming that throughout history the Church, like Microsoft, had been “an aggressive competitor, leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not they planned to use it.”

At the time very few seemed to get the joke. Stained Glass Windows 3.1 was not in fact about to be launched, but still many people telephoned Microsoft’s public relations agency to inquire if the news was true.

In the end it got so bad that Microsoft had to issue a formal denial of the release on December 16, 1994.

Pope Bill 3.1
Pope Bill 3.1

A follow-up hoax release announced that in response to Microsoft’s acquisition of the Catholic Church, IBM had bought the Episcopal Church.

Since then hoaxes on the internet have gone from strength to strength, from end of the world scenarios, thru Nigerian 419 scams to the plethora of “warn all you friends about this new deadly virus (that doesn’t really exist)” hoaxes.

People were dumb, are dumb and will get dumber!

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I have reproduced below the original hoax announcement.

Would you have fallen for it?

If you are reading this blog I doubt it. But read it anyway for amusement value.

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By the way, the authors of these hoaxes remain unknown – good for them.

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Here it is:

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MICROSOFT BIDS TO ACQUIRE CATHOLIC CHURCH

By Hank Vorjes

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a joint press conference in St. Peter’s Square this morning, MICROSOFT Corp. and the Vatican announced that the Redmond software giant will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for an unspecified number of shares of MICROSOFT common stock. If the deal goes through, it will be the first time a computer software company has acquired a major world religion.

With the acquisition, Pope John Paul II will become the senior vice-president of the combined company’s new Religious Software Division, while MICROSOFT senior vice-presidents Michael Maples and Steven Ballmer will be invested in the College of Cardinals, said MICROSOFT Chairman Bill Gates.

“We expect a lot of growth in the religious market in the next five to ten years,” said Gates. “The combined resources of MICROSOFT and the Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for a broader range of people.”

Through the MICROSOFT Network, the company’s new on-line service, “we will make the sacraments available on-line for the first time” and revive the popular pre-Counter-Reformation practice of selling indulgences, said Gates.

“You can get Communion, confess your sins, receive absolution — even reduce your time in Purgatory — all without leaving your home.” A new software application, MICROSOFT Church, will include a macro language which you can program to download heavenly graces automatically while you are away from your computer.

An estimated 17,000 people attended the announcement in St Peter’s Square, watching on a 60-foot screen as comedian Don Novello — in character as Father Guido Sarducci — hosted the event, which was broadcast by satellite to 700 sites worldwide.

Pope John Paul II said little during the announcement. When Novello chided Gates, “Now I guess you get to wear one of these pointy hats,” the crowd roared, but the pontiff’s smile seemed strained. The deal grants MICROSOFT exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and the Vatican’s prized art collection, which includes works by such masters as Michelangelo and Da Vinci. But critics say MICROSOFT will face stiff challenges if it attempts to limit competitors’ access to these key intellectual properties.

“The Jewish people invented the look and feel of the holy scriptures,” said Rabbi David Gottschalk of Philadelphia. “You take the parting of the Red Sea — we had that thousands of years before the Catholics came on the scene.”

But others argue that the Catholic and Jewish faiths both draw on a common Abrahamic heritage. “The Catholic Church has just been more successful in marketing it to a larger audience,” notes Notre Dame theologian Father Kenneth Madigan. Over the last 2,000 years, the Catholic Church’s market share has increased dramatically, while Judaism, which was the first to offer many of the concepts now touted by Christianity, lags behind.

Historically, the Church has a reputation as an aggressive competitor, leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not they planned to use it.

Today Christianity is available from several denominations, but the Catholic version is still the most widely used. The Church’s mission is to reach “the four corners of the earth,” echoing MICROSOFT’s vision of “a computer on every desktop and in every home”.

Gates described MICROSOFT’s long-term strategy to develop a scalable religious architecture that will support all religions through emulation. A single core religion will be offered with a choice of interfaces according to the religion desired — “One religion, a couple of different implementations,” said Gates.

The MICROSOFT move could spark a wave of mergers and acquisitions, according to Herb Peters, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Baptist Conference, as other churches scramble to strengthen their position in the increasingly competitive religious market.

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