Twenty-Four Reasons to Give 24 Its Due

Welcome back to the countdown.

Hope you’re well on the way to getting past yesterday’s tryptophan onslaught! And along those lines, I hope everyone had a fabulous celebration. (Temps in the low ’60s here in the Greater NYC area was really the icing on the cake.)

As for today, countdown day 24, let’s try something a little different.

Any chance you guys remember learning about personification back in the day? You know, when you were supposed to be able to look out your window at a crooked, old tree, let’s say, imagining it suddenly coming to life. (Remember the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz, for example? Yeah, those same trees that the Scarecrow tricked into angrily firing apples at him and Dorothy.)

Think about that same sort of crooked tree in your own backyard, forcing up and out of its roots, breaking through the ground, and finally lumbering across the street onto your neighbor’s driveway.

Or maybe that rooster on a weathervane atop a silo on a farm near a rural road you passed by once…What if he just decided to waltz on down the side of the silo, across the road and onto the back of your car? (Hell, there are no exacting rules in personification, so why not just have him fly down?!)

OK, that’s enough of that.

Point is, though, if we agree that our imaginations will allow us to bring inanimate objects to life, can’t we say the same of numbers? Let’s say like people, maybe numbers have egos; maybe they’ve got feelings?

Take 24, for example. Accept for a few top-of-mind superlatives (obviously, our daily hourly count and maybe Willie Mays’ hallowed baseball number), I’m thinking that 24 often gets ‘dissed. I mean it isn’t a prime number, right? And it’s not a round one either. (You ever hear an angry drill sergeant yell at a recruit? “Get it together! Drop and give me 24!!”)
Not happening.

So for today, and for our countdown, let’s finally give 24 his/her due.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you 24 reasons to celebrate 24:
1. Twenty-four is the atomic number for the chemical Chromium, a hard silvery, gray metal.
2. Four and Twenty was the name of a 20th Century race-winning American racehorse.
3. The number of carats in 100% pure gold
4. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are divided into 24 sections, with 24 letters in the
Greek alphabet.
5. The standard for film projection in the cinema is at 24 frames per second.
6. The average person takes 12 seconds to count to 24.
7. A portion of cantaloupe (or about 1/8th of the melon) is 24 calories.
8. James Dean, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Chandra Levy all died at age 24.
9. In Roman numerals, the number 24 is written as XXIV.
10. The late Kobe Bryant, Ken Griffey Jr., Charles Woodson and, of course, the aforementioned Willie Mays, all sported the number 24 jersey.
11. According to the biblical Gospels, Christ conducted 24 miraculous cures out of a total of 33 miracles.
12. In both Japanese and Chinese culture, the year is split into 24 blocks of 15 days.
13. There are 24 elements that make up the human body.
14. In terms of wedding anniversary symbols, the 24th is actually earthenware. (Think clay pots and glazed pottery.)
15. In his famous “Old Man,” Neil Young sings of his narrator, “…Old man, look at my life, twenty-four, and there’s so much more…”
16. There is a total of 204 episodes in the Keifer Sutherland U.S. series 24.
17. Started in 1923, the coveted 24-hour Le Mans race (AKA 24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans, France) runs for, as the name suggests, 24 straight hours. And even after nearly 100 years, it remains one of the top auto races in the world.
18. A person who stays up for 24 hours straight enters a state of near-intoxication, often raising blood alcohol levels to as high as 0.1%, above the limit to legally operate a vehicle.
19. Famous clothier Ralph Lauren was in the army until he was 24 years old.
20.  A 24-sided shape is called an icositetragon.
21. Nicopolis (recognized as a Greek city for the last 700 years) was founded in 24BC by Caesar Augustus.
22. Twenty-four is a common number in records: It’s the age of the oldest cat, the largest number of beer steins ever carried by a German barmaid, and the recorded time for many different records.
23.  Our go-tos for grocery shopping, sundry needs, and hot lines are all open 24 hours.
24. Portugal is recognized as the 24thbest country in the entire world according to a global poll, with Switzerland topping the list.

So maybe now we can say, “Hey, 24, YOU ROCK!”

Make it a good one everybody. See you tomorrow.



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