47 degrees at 7:47amSome people see 47 as a special number. It has been called the ultimate random number. There are many, many stories about 47, but let me mention these occurrences:

  • Between the Summer Solstice and the Winter solstice, the sun moves 47 degrees (23 1/2 degrees North of the equator to 23 1/2 degrees South of the equator)
  • People born with Down’s Syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the more common 46
  • Some people believe a flying saucer crash-landed in 1947 in New Mexico, the 47th state (in order of admission)
  • DVDs have a minimum capacity of 4.7 gigabytes

Sure, those last two are a little silly (there are sillier ones), but what about those first two — doesn’t 47 seem to have some greater significance than, say, 37?

I became aware of 47 in high school, at the same time I was becoming friends with many folks who are still my best friends. Over the years, most of us have noted 47 time and time again (for another example, the week before my 47th birthday, a 47-mile long iceberg broke free from Antarctica). So, for 35+ years, 47 has been important, special, to me (and others). My Droogie, Robert, sends me a Metro pass for my birthday — it has a prominent ’47’ on it because it is the 47th week of the fiscal year.

Having long passed my 47th birthday — a great celebration — the next birthday milestone is 74, then 94. In the meantime, I’m sure 47 will continue to turn up in big and small ways nearly every day. mjh

PS: That photo is legitimate. I woke up in Chaco one cold morning years ago to find it was 47 degrees and 7:47am — I had less than 60 seconds to grab my camera and shoot.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2010981&id=1108374610&l=39d6859a26 (47 in screenshots)

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