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The W - CRZ's World - SLOW NEWS DAY ITEM OF THE DAY
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
04.04.04

http://www.signonsandiego.com/ news/features/20040404- 9999-news_mz1c4number.html

It puts the 'numb' in number

By Bill Dawson
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

April 4, 2004

Today is a special day for a dull little number that rarely gets to party. An April 4th with an '04 at the end a 4-4-04 comes around once a century, which is all the excitement this digit can handle.

Four is 2 squared and too square to make a fuss. It doesn't have the charisma of a 3, which is let's face it odd.

"There's divinity in odd numbers," wrote Shakespeare, but there's only dullness in four. Three is "enthusiastic, optimistic and fun-loving" but four is "practical, traditional and serious," according to numerologists. It's a little like six, which is "responsible, careful and domestic," but even six has a dark side, which you'll see two years from now when that little beast hangs a 6-6-06 on the calendar.

Four has old-fashioned virtues. It's reliable and patriotic. There's the Fourth of July, Lincoln's "four score" and those four-year presidential terms. It's the number of strings in those gentle instruments, the violin, viola and cello. In baseball, it's four bases, ball four and the cleanup hitter, who bats fourth, and sometimes wears No. 4.

Lou Gehrig, quiet, sturdy, a little boring, was the ultimate No. 4. Other sporting 4s baseball's Mel Ott, Paul Molitor and Luke Appling, basketball's Joe Dumars were as raucous as warm milk, although Brett Favre's wild-ride football style shows No. 4 can get a little jiggy, as long as it's in some out-of-the-way place like Green Bay, Wis.

Even in rhyme, four is a bore. Sure, there's war and roar, but you'll more likely be seated with chore, snore or say no more! Al Gore.

You can't even dress 4 in a Roman toga. Other numbers look classy in those X's and V's, but with 4 you get IV, which is short for "intravenous" and proves that 4 is just a drip.

To be fair to 4, it has its moments. There are those yellow-skinned and four-fingered Simpsons, plus "The Fab Four," which had the top four songs on the BillBoard singles chart "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 40 years ago today. (The Beatles actually had the top five songs, but including the fifth, "Please Please Me," just spoils the symmetry.)

At times, 4 can be lucky (four-leaf clover), awesome (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) or profane (four-letter words). It can be good, in a pompous military sort of way (four-star general), or grim, in a came-up-short-football way (fourth down). It can be comic-book heroes ("The Fantastic Four"), sporty '60s cars (with four on the floor) or out-of-favor Chinese leaders (Gang of Four).

Doubling your fours doesn't double your fun, although 44 was a great age for Gen. George Washington, who crossed the Delaware and captured Trenton, N.J. It was a fine time for Thomas Edison, who patented the motion picture camera that year, and delightful for L. Frank Baum, who published "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." But Hitler was 44 when he took over Germany, and Mary, Queen of Scots, Jackson Pollack and Marvin Gaye all died abruptly at 44. Anton Chekov, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday also checked out with two 4s on their age.

Three fours, that's something else. U.S. hostages spent 444 days in Iran, beginning on Nov. 4, 1979. Jonathan Swift wrote of the "four hundred and forty-four large pieces of gold (this nation delighting in even numbers)," he received from the Struldbrugs in "Gulliver's Travels." St. Patrick founded the oldest cathedral foundation in the British Islands in the year 444.

Maybe four acts all important when other 4s are around, but it shrinks to insignificance when left alone. You see that with 4-year-olds. They don't even have jobs or cars until they are at least 42, and by that time they've rejected the prim and proper pose of the number 4.

They're not the only ones. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, whose first name is pronounced something like "four door," found no delight in that digit. In "Notes From the Underground," he professed charm for "twice two makes five," but he stamped his foot on the four. "Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo barring your path and spitting," he said.

For those who don't get great-Russian-
author-speak, the translation is simple: "Four stinks."



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Since: 2.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.41

IN the words of Moses Malone,

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Since: 16.4.02
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Big props to the author's props of Molitor and Favre.



But how could they forget Big Bird's classic, I Just Adore 4? (Windows Media shortcut)



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Since: 13.2.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03


    Big props to the author's props of Molitor and Favre.


But a steel-toed size 12 to the head for completely ignoring "Numbah fowah Babby Owah!"




/tarnish...

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