On 39

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

April 2, 1977 – that was the day of our wedding in a Cleveland (Ohio) suburb. It was cross-state from my home, but a good group of my family and friends attended.

I graduated the previous June, then came to Cincinnati for my first job. She graduated a few weeks before the wedding, then joined me in Cincinnati after our honeymoon in Hilton Head, SC.

Since then, she knows I love trivia – or in her terms – useless information – this is the perfect post for our celebration – more useless information the number 39 in one place than one ever imagined. Yep – I’m quite the romantic.

In Language
Тридесет девет (Bulgarian), Trenta nove (Italian), Tridsať deväť (Slovak), Trettio nio (Swedish), Ba mươi chín (Vietnamese), XXXIX (Roman numerals) … Know any others?

In Mathematics
39 – a natural number, an odd integer that is divisible by 1, 3, 13, and 39

39 – a distinct semiprime number, a Perfect totient number, a Perrin number, Størmer number

39 – the number of edges on a F26A graph

39 – the sum of consecutive primes (3 + 5 + 7 + 11 + 13) and the product of the second and sixth prime (3 x 13)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Chemistry
39 – the atomic number of yttrium, whose neutrally charged atom has 39 protons and 39 electrons

In Biology
Brodmann area 39 (BA39) – part of the human brain’s parietal cortex

39 – Number of chromosome pairs in the cells of African wild dogs, Chickens, Coyotes, Dholes, Dingos, Dogs, Doves, and Golden Jackal

In Astronomy
39 – the Saros series number for 73 lunar eclipses over 1298.1 years

39 – the star number that is in many constellations including Andromeda, Aquarius, Auriga, Boötes,Cancer, Draco, Eridanus, and more

In Religion
39 – according to Halakha, the number of activity categories prohibited on Shabbat

39 – the number of mentions of work or labor in the Torah

39 – the actual number of lashes given by the Sanhedrin to a person meted the punishment of 40 lashes

39 – according to Protestant canon, the number of books in the Old Testament

39 – the number of statements in Anglican Church doctrine known as the Thirty-Nine Articles

Papyrus 39 – an early papyrus manuscript of the New Testament in Greek of the Gospel of John, but only John 8:14-22

Psalm 39 (Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness)

39 – other than numerical designations for pages, chapters, etc, 39 does not directly appear in the Bible

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Arts and Entertainment
39 – Comedian Jack Benny’s perpetual age after 40

39th Tony Awards – winner include Biloxi Blues, Big River, and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

In Literature
The Thirty-Nine Steps – a novel by John Buchan (1915), which has been transformed into multiple films (info later), a play, a television feature, and a video game

The 39 Clues – a book series revolving around 39 clues hidden around the world.

Sonnet 39 by William Shakespeare

In Television
39 – the number of days contestants compete on Survivor (the CBS reality show)

39 – the number of episodes done the 1955-1956 season of The Honeymooners (commonly referred to as the “Classic 39”).

The 39 Steps is a 2008 BBC adventure feature-length adaptation of the John Buchan novel The Thirty-Nine Steps

39th Emmys – winners included Golden Girls (Best Comedy) and L.A. Law (Best Drama)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Film
Based on The Thirty-Nine Steps – the novel by John Buchan (1915) – are four versions:

  • The 39 Steps (1935 film), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • The 39 Steps (1959 film), directed by Ralph Thomas
  • The Thirty Nine Steps (1978 film), directed by Don Sharp
  • The 39 Steps (2008 film), directed by James Hawes

Glorious 39 – a 2009 drama film set at the beginning of World War II

39th Academy Awards – Oscars go to A Man for All Seasons (Best Picture), Fred Zinnemann (Best Actor), and Elizabeth Taylor (Best Actress)

39 Steps (band), a rock band appearing in Woody Allen’s film Hannah and Her Sisters

In Music
39 – a song by The Cure and Tenacious D

FabricLive.39 – a 2008 mix album by DJ Yoda

Fabric 39 – a 2008 album by Robert Hood.

39 Steps – an album by guitarist John Abercrombie (2013)

Now 39 (aka Now That’s What I Call Music! 39) – the 39th release of music featuring top singles i the UK.

Symphony No. 39 in G minor – written by Joseph Haydn 1767/1768)

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In World History
39 – Forty save one: the traditional number of times citizens of Ancient Rome hit their slaves

39 – the duration (in nanoseconds) of the nuclear reaction in the largest nuclear explosion ever (the Russian Tsar Bomba detonated on 30 October 1961)

39 – the number of Scud missiles Iraq fired at Israel during the Gulf War (1991)

Year 39 CE

  • A common year starting on Thursday
  • Tigellinus, minister and favorite of the Roman emperor Nero, is banished for adultery with Caligula’s sisters.
  • Philo leads a Jewish delegation to Rome to protest the anti-Jewish conditions in Alexandria.
  • The Trung Sisters resist the Chinese influences in Vietnam.
  • Born – Lucan (Roman poet) and Titus Flavius (future Roman emperor)
  • Deaths – Seneca the Elder (Roman rhetorician)

Year 39 BC

  • A common year starting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday or a leap year starting on Saturday
  • Sextus Pompey (self-proclaimed “son of Neptune”) controlled Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica
  • Born – Antonia Major (daughter of Mark Antony, grandmother of Nero and Messalin),
    Julia the Elder (daughter of Caesar Augustus)

In US History
39 – the number of signers to the United States Constitution

39th President of the United States – Jimmy Carter

Number 39 – the Federalist Paper essay by James Madison describing the nature of the United States government as a new idea. (The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles,
published January 18, 1788)

Title 39 – the United States Code outlining the role of United States Postal Service

39th Congress – served from 4 March 1865 – 4 March 1867 during the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln (1 month) and Andrew Johnson

Image from cooltext.com

Image from cooltext.com

In Sports
39 – the number of wooden boards normally consisting a bowling lane

Retired #39 Uniforms
MLB – Roy Campanella (Dodgers)
NFL – Larry Csonka (Dolphins)
NBA – none
NHL – Dominik Hašek (Sabres)

Super Bowl XXXIX – New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 on February 6, 2005 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida

NASCAR #39 – in 422 races, #39 won 4 races (all by Ryan Newman)

In Geography
39th Parallel north – crosses land in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, China, North Korea, Japan, and United States

39th Parallel south – crosses land in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina

39th Meridian west – crosses land in Greenland and Brazil

39 Meridian east – crosses in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia,Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique

National Highway 39 – found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany
India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States

Pier 39 – a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California

I-39 – a US interstate highway from Normal, Illinois to Wausau, Wisconsin

In Miscellaneous
The 39 Steps is video game adaptation of Buchan’s book

39 – the international code for direct-dialed phone calls to Italy

ICL Series 39 – a range of mainframe and minicomputer computer systems released by the UK manufacturer ICL in 1985

Curse of 39 – the belief in some parts of Afghanistan that the number 39 is cursed or a badge of shame associated with prostitution

39 – Japanese Internet chat slang for “Thank You” when written with numbers (3=San 9=Kyuu)

Lace – the traditional gift for a 39th wedding anniversary

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On Exploring the Driest

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance. (Will Durant, historian)

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. (William Langewiesche, author)

No doubt about it – deserts are dry. Because all deserts are not created equal, where is the driest desert on our planet?

Embed from Getty Images

Surely you didn’t guess the place in the image above, which is Death Valley in California. Besides, I’m confident the Atacama Desert quickly came to everyone’s mind.

Yes, the Atacama – a 600 mile (1,000 km) high plateau in Chile. The Atacama – sandwiched between the Andes Mountains to its east and the Pacific Ocean to its west. The Atacama – the land of stone, sand, and salt lakes. The Atacama – a land of unique flora and fauna that is sparsely populated by people.

Unlike previous posts in this series, today’s Explore provides two short looks at Atacama – an initial drive through the desert followed by the beauty of its night sky. Enjoy this journey to a land you may not have known until now.

On Exploring Gobi

Embed from Getty Images

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. (C. S. Lewis)

My work is all about adventure and teamwork in some of the most inhospitable jungles, mountains and deserts on the planet. If you aren’t able to look after yourself and each other, then people die. (Bear Grylls)

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing. (Baltasar Gracian)

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Saving the world via medical research or going off to Gobi Desert to dust off dinosaur eggs is what I thought I might be doing when I was a kid, and I’d love to bring those interests to a show like ‘E.R.’ or ‘The West Wing,’ or a movie like ‘Jurassic Park.’ (Morgan Fairchild)

For whatever reason, I enjoy geography. I’m sure geography during elementary school provided my first exposure to the Gobi Desert. Although this expansive, arid region found in two countries is fifth largest desert in the world, there’s something intriguing about this desert. It has sand, but it’s more rocky with mountains and steppes … yet it as grasslands for livestock. As the world’s northern-most desert, it has very hot summers, and brutally cold winter.

Enjoy this trip to the Gobi Desert, yet to me, the music sets the tone for this interesting area.