Hey, do you ever think about the number forty?
There’s so much to say about forty. I mean, here’s just a small sampling of some facts from the Wikipedia page on the number forty:
-“[T]he spelling “forty” replaced “fourty” in the course of the 17th century” Neat, I genuinely didn’t know that.
-“Negative forty is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, −40 °F = −40 °C” Okay. I bet that’s useful for somebody for something.
-“The highest number counted to on Sesame Street as of 2009” That’s a fact that seems like it probably isn’t worth still being on the page over a decade after the show broke the 40 barrier, but cool.
-“Forty is the number of n-queens problem solutions for n = 7” Yeah, and I don’t have to tell anyone what that means. (I literally don’t have to. Don’t even try to make me.)
One thing I’ve always liked about the number forty is that it has been used traditionally as a vaguely large but not necessarily specific number, kind of like one might say “umpteen,” such as in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and such. But while umpteen is not a real integer, forty exists both as a tangible specific amount and as a non-specific one. That’s our tricky number forty.
And a final fact I know about forty is that if someone was born on the 18th of July in 1981, they’d be forty years old now. I’ve heard that one around somewhere, but it isn’t mentioned on the Wikipedia page.