si-blog

XXXVI

Posted Mar 06, 2007 in Personal.

36 is actually quite an interesting number. It is XXXVI in Roman numerals, and 100100 in binary. Besides being the number of years I have been alive, it is also the number of degrees in the angle of the five tips of a perfect star. Given two dice, there are 36 possible combinations you can roll. When dealing with a single case, there are 36 alphanumeric digits and letters (0-9, A-Z). There are 36 inches in a yard. In the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), the number 36 corresponds to the dollar ($) sign. But that's not all.

Anyone who knows me will be aware that I'm quite the fan of science fiction. It turns out that in Stargate: Atlantis, all the gates of the Pegasus galaxy have 36 symbols. In the hugely-popular Heroes, the number of people with superhuman abilities on Chandra Suresh's list is 36. The atomic number of krypton, which is also the name of Superman's home planet, is 36.

For folks with long memories, there were 36 episodes of Noggin the Nog, although the BBC series ended six years before I was born. Incidentally, Auntie Beeb's television service will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2036. The 36th President of the United States was Lyndon B. Johnson. When he died in 1973, the nation mourned for the traditional 36 days. Staying in America for a moment, I find that Nevada was the 36th state of the Union and the number of passengers who died when the Hindenburg (built in 1936) caught fire was 36. On this very day (March 6) of 1836, the Mexicans defeated the Texians in the Battle of the Alamo. The Philadelphia Phillies honored the Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts by retiring his number 36. By a peculiar coincidence, the son of Cleopatra, Ptolemy Philadelphus, was born in 36 BC.

I have just a few more for you. There are 36 bristles on a fruit fly (very popular for genetic studies). The highest number on a roulette table is 36. In the United Kingdom, there are 36 gallons in a standard beer barrel. In US notation, the sixth of March is written as 3/6. Finally, in the New General Catalogue of deep sky objects, NGC 36 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pisces, which also happens to be my star sign.

Comments

  1. Gravatar

    Happy Birthday, my dear. 36 kisses to come your way when I come home.............

    Posted by JuniorFan on Mar 06, 2007.

  2. Gravatar

    So the boy is 36.
    He and other readers may be interested to know that in my 36th year I had 36 arguments with Simon covering 36 subjects. He was 36 and 3/6ths months old at the time.
    As a result I tried to commit suicide 36 times but was prevented by having 36 projects on the go so couldn't spare 36 seconds to do it.
    My first car had a 36hp engine and cost £36 plus £36 interest.
    I also recall that in those early days I wanted to go out with all the 36 girls I asked but sadly I was turned down 36 times and had to go out with a 36 year old instead, who had 36 brothers and sisters. Each got married but could only invite 36 guests who drank 36 bottles of 36 year old champagne before driving 36 miles home passing 36 speed cameras in the process.
    Their combined prison sentence was 36 days.
    Since then life has become a little quieter.

    Posted by parent on Mar 06, 2007.

  3. Gravatar

    In case anyone was wondering, the last comment was from my father. He's lying about life being quieter.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Mar 06, 2007.

  4. Gravatar

    Very interesting Simon ... and very amusing from parent too.

    Have great birthday Sir!

    Posted by Tim on Mar 06, 2007.

  5. Gravatar

    I say this with love: Simon, you are the 36th-nerdiest person on the planet.

    Posted by Emufarmers on Mar 07, 2007.

  6. Gravatar

    No offence, but I'll go for 33... :)

    Posted by Respiro, the logo design guy on Mar 13, 2007.

  7. Gravatar

    Happy belated birthday! Although this post felt like some sort of omen with everything lining up with the number 36, it was a very cool entry :).

    Take care!

    Posted by James Henry on Mar 15, 2007.

  8. Gravatar

    On a side note - I'm shocked you didn't mention that Lyndon Baines Johnson is 3 names, each 6 letters long.

    Posted by James Henry on Mar 18, 2007.

  9. Gravatar

    Erm, nevermind my last comment. Apparently, I never learned how to add. Haha. I just made an ass of myself on the interweb.

    Posted by James Henry on Mar 18, 2007.

  10. Gravatar

    Clearly the fault is with LBJ, who should have spelled his last name "Jonson".

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Mar 19, 2007.