Countdown to 40 - Day 21

Everything you wanted to know about the number 40 and more. 40 is actually my favorite number and it has been for about 12 years. Ever since Pat Tillman got drafted in 1998 by my favorite football team and donned #40 I have been a fan. Pat is far and away my favorite football player and he is an even better human being. A lot has been written about him after he decided to pass on a lucrative NFL contract, join the military, and tragically die in Afghanistan in 2004. I always will admire Pat because of his spirit — willing to sacrifice personal glory and comfort for what he saw was a greater good. Anyway here are some tidbits about my favorite number:
  • To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days. ~Arabic proverb
  • The atomic number of zirconium.
  • Negative forty is the temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, −40°F = −40°C. It is referred to as either "minus forty" or "forty below".
  • In the saying "Life begins at forty"
  • In the expression "forty winks", meaning a short sleep
  • A song by Dave Matthews Band
  • The number of years of marriage as the ruby wedding anniversary
  • The code for direct dial international phone calls to Romania
  • The number in the designation of:
    -- Interstate 40, a freeway that runs from California to North Carolina
    -- U.S. Route 40, the 2,285-mile (3,677 km) highway that runs from Baltimore, Maryland, to Park City, Utah, a portion of which follows the National Road
    -- European route E40 from Calais to Ridder
    -- The A40 and M40, important highways in the UK. The A40 is a trunk road in England and Wales, connecting London to Fishguard. The M40 motorway is the second motorway in the British transport network to connect London to Birmingham
  • "40", a 1983 song by U2 from their album War
  • "40'" is the title of a song by Franz Ferdinand
  • In the title of the Food Network show $40 a Day
  • In the name of WD-40, a spray lubricant
  • In the name of the food additive FD & C Red Dye #40, commonly known as Red 40;
  • The 40 ounce (1.14 litre) size used for liquor, a term commonly referred to in Canada
  • The number of questions asked in the theory road test in the Republic of Ireland
  • The number of thieves in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, from Thousand and One Nights (both the numbers 40 and 1001 are more likely to mean "many" than to indicate a specific number)
  • The customary number of hours in a regular workweek in some Western countries. The song, "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')" by Alabama (as well as their album, 40-Hour Week), takes its name from the standard workweek length.
  • Many distilled alcoholic beverages (such as vodka) contain approximately 40 percent alcohol by volume
  • The jersey number of Pat Tillman, which was retired by the Arizona Cardinals
  • The jersey number of Gayle Sayers, which was retired by the Chicago Bears
  • UB40 is a form for those claiming unemployment benefits in the United Kingdom. The band UB40 was named after this form
  • The number of positions on a number of radio countdown programs, most notably American Top 40 and American Country Countdown.
  • Generally considered the number of points that a Premier League team needs to avoid relegation.
  • Forty is the number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy, counting from the woman’s last menstrual period.
  • The age for people is middle age in some cultures.
  • The number of the French department Landes
  • In tennis, the number 40 represents the third point gained in a game. A score of 40-40 (three points each) is called "deuce", at which time a player must score two consecutive points to win the game.
  • Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States;
  • In the song "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, the lyrics state that "For forty days and for forty nights / the law was on her side" in reference to the Genesis story of Noah.
That's all folks; see you tomorrow.


  1. maybe i'll try to drink a 40 pounder of scotch on my ruby anniversary.

    sadly, i'll probably be on ruby version 3.0 by then.

  2. Ah... 40% alcohol... vodka... my beloved!

    Hey, is it wrong to feel that way?

    I might add... the 40s are supposed to be the best years sexually for a woman. (Equal in zesty spirit to a teen-aged male.) See what you have to look forward to Shife?

  3. I did not know that about UB40. I stand educated.

  4. Negative forty is the temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, −40°F = −40°C. It is referred to as either "minus forty" or "forty below".

    I saw that this winter here in Bemidji... not fun.


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