The 42 Day Thread (August 29)

I am 42 years old today! Here are some interesting tidbits about the number 42 pulled mostly from Wikipedia because my birthday means not having to put actual work into this thing.


The chemical symbol of molybdenum is, you guessed it, 42. Molybdenum is a metal with a high melting point, and it is an essential nutrient found in legumes, grains, and organ meats. Mmmmm, organ meats. It’s also quite difficult to spell and say. Thanks, science!


The number 42 is also famously the answer to “life, the universe, and everything” in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. The answer took over seven million years to be calculated, whereupon it was discovered that the askers needed to put a little more thought into the question first. Thus, the Earth was created. Or something. It’s been awhile since I read the novels, honestly.


Most significantly, 42 was Jackie Robinson’s number and is the only number to be retired across all of baseball. No player can wear the number 42 except on Jackie Robinson Day, when everyone wears it. Jackie Robinson Day is April 15th, but in the crazy mixed-up world of COVID-19, only yesterday, August 28, 2020, was Jackie Robinson Day honored on the field (or, even more appropriately, not on the field, as players for the Mets and Marlins walked off the field after a 42-second moment of silence, amongst other postponed games to protest racial injustice in America).

Other people born on August 29th are Michael Jackson, Ingrid Bergman (who also died on this day), John Locke, Carla Gugino, Temple Grandin, Speedy Gonzales, Charlie “Bird” Parker, and Sherwin Badger, a figure skater I’ve never heard of but whose name I greatly appreciate.

Today is also the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall near New Orleans, which is a real bummer for this Louisiana native. But, hey, I have officially been legally able to drink for exactly half my life, so that’s something!

Have an awesome Day Thread everyone! Thanks for indulging me!