Posted by: Mark | June 14, 2015

Numberland

I checked out Mitchell Symon’s Numberland: The World in Numbers.

It’s a fun book but I don’t know how much to trust it.

For the number “240” it includes a factoid about 240 wives:  “Sultan Murad IV. . . assumed the throne of Turkey in 1744. He put each wife into a sack and tossed them one by one into the Bosphorus. ” Murad died in 1640 and Turkey didn’t properly exist during his lifetime. Citation is definitely needed.

It claims no books in the Bible mention if angels have wings. Seraphim and Cherubim are clearly described as having them. Do you consider them to be angels? I don’t know but it’s not as definite as the book makes it out to be.

It repeats the story of Hitler only having one testicle. Many people believe that but proof is sketchy.

Take these with a grain of salt but here’s a few other points:

Ferrets, unlike most mammals, have only one blood type.

153 is the sum of the cubes of its digits (this checks out–1+125+27).

Nowhere in England is more than 75 miles from the sea.

The longest sentence in literature is 13,955 words long (in Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club).

Christopher Lee was the only member of The Lord of the Rings cast who met Tolkien.

90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

What’s with British and ghosts?  Only 4% of British citizens believe in Nessie, but 12% believe they’ve seen a ghost. 26% believe in UFOs but 68% believe in ghosts.

If Communists ever take over and distribute all the Lego pieces evenly, everyone would get 30 pieces.

80% of animals have six legs. This includes insects and unlucky spiders.

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