# Twenty-Two Facts About the Number 22

## Dear Kid,

Surprises are nice, but sometimes it’s good to know what’s coming.

So in the spirit of sneak previews, here are 22 Interesting Facts about the Number 22.

1. 22 is a palindromic number, meaning it’s the same coming and going.
2. 22 divided by 7 is Pi, which makes you related to your sister seven times over. There are of course other things that make you related, but I’m not talking about that today.
3. 22 is (and I quote) “an even composite number composed of two prime numbers multiplied together.” Uh-huh. Twenty-two is a bunch of other arithmetic things I don’t understand and will therefore not subject you to (or twenty-to).
4. The number 22 is double 11 (which symbolizes disorder and chaos) and is therefore representative of double disorganization and quantum chaos. This explains the big number 22 someone put over my desk at work.
5. The length of a cricket pitch is 22 yards. No one cares.
6. The Titanic was traveling at a speed of 22 knots before it crashed into the iceberg. The iceberg was not knotting at all and still won.
7. There are 22 yards in a chain. No one knows what that kind of chain is, so the phrase is never used. Except by cricket players.
8. The atomic number of titanium is 22.
9. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew aleph-bet (alphabet). You know all of them.
10. The Paramount Pictures logo has 22 stars. This has led to lots of idle speculation and faux facts over the years.
11. When you see squwanky letters and symbols in a URL, look for %22 (which represents quote markets). Then you can nod knowingly and say, “Ah…%22. A Quotation Mark.”
12. In American football, there are 22 players on the field at any one time. At least there should be.
13. Ditto the other kind of futbol.
14. In the Kabbalah, there are 22 paths between the Sephirot. I don’t know what that means. But there are definitely 22 of them.
15. In Bingo, 22 is referred to as “two little ducks.” Quacking optional.
16. Twenty-two is considered a significant “master builder” number in numerology. Remind me to find out what a “minor builder” number is.
17. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel) gave rise to the expression “catch-22” which means a dilemma or quandary. Like whether to look up “minor builder” numbers or live in ignorance.
18. In Jay-Z’s song “22 Twos”, he rhymes the words “too”, “to”, and “two” 22 times in the first verse. The rhyming is not so impressive. The 22 times is kind of cool.
19. The USAF stealth fighter is the F-22 Raptor. (Its friends just call it 22 Rap).
20. F/22 is the largest f-stop (therefore smallest aperture) on most single lens reflex cameras. This will not be on the test.
21. A traditional Tarot deck has 22 cards. I’m sure people who Know These Things understand the significance. I am not one of those people.
22. In French jargon, “22” is a warning that the police are on the way (translation: Yark! The po-po!).

There are more facts about the number 22, but why mess with a good thing?

# 5 Important Things to Know When You’re Sick

## Dear Kid,

It is not easy being a mom when your kid is sick and you’re not near your kid.

Of course, it’s not easy being a sick kid, especially when your mom is nowhere around.

Fortunately, you (the sick kid) carry your immune system wherever you go. And fortunately it works pretty well most of the time.

Occasionally something slips by and you get sick. This usually causes your immune system to kick itself in the butt and get working. Because chances are you have a virus and there’s not much in the way of treatment for viruses except letting the aforementioned immune system do its job.

Here are 5 Important Things to Know When You’re Sick and Mom Isn’t Around:

1. Stay hydrated. Sometimes easier said than done. Water, apple juice, chicken soup, and tea are all good options.
2. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It will help ease the aches and pains and help you fight whatever fever you’ve got. (On the other hand, plenty of people say that a fever is your body’s way of creating an inhospitable environment for the virus.)
3. Sleep. Again, easier said than done. But try. Napping is good.
4. Toast. Take a few nibbles of toast if you can. Don’t overburden your system with a lot of food.
5. Know you will survive. You may not feel like it is possible, but I promise you will live through this. It just has to run its course. And that can take a while.

We love you, kiddo. Feel better.

# You Will Not Believe What We Ate In Bloomington Indiana (Go Hoosiers)

## Dear Kid,

Continuing my attempt to eat enough calories to feed a small country in a single meal. Yesterday, Pi and I had lunch with one of her friends at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant.

It was absolutely delicious. But vegan does not mean low calorie. Nothing that starts with a mountain of sweet potato fries (with two dipping sauces) is low calorie. Even if it’s for the table to share (because tables don’t eat very much – ha).

Then, because why not, we went to a little coffee café for dessert.

Saying “dessert” in this case is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is a puddle.

We had a sundae that started with two kinds of ice cream (we chose honey and a chocolate loaded with all kinds of stuff), then added chocolate syrup, salted caramel, and whipped cream. And because there is no way that could be considered excessive, it was topped with a piece of to-die-for cheesecake, more whipped topping, more syrup and caramel and nuts. And two spoons.

Again, stopping there seemed too conventional. So we added a piece of cinnamon pecan bread pudding with brandy sauce. And coffee. What’s dessert without French press brewed coffee? Black because A) that’s how I like coffee and B) I’m watching my calories. Watching them go right to my hips, anyway.

Since we were still full from lunch we took our time deciding about dinner, and eventually decided to try a Tibetan restaurant. I’d never had Tibetan food before. We thought we’d have light a light meal. Except not so much.

Dinner came with soup (excellent even though we had no idea what it was) and salad.

Then we had an order of momo (Tibetan dumplings) filled with mashed potato and different kinds of onions, served with soy sauce and hot sauce (the hot sauce wasn’t), and Kham Amdo Thugpa “a hearty stew made with handmade Tibetan noodles, daikon radish, onion, tomato, green onions, and cilantro.” Your choice of chicken, beef, or tofu (we chose chicken) and spice level 1-5 (we chose 2).

It was awesome. The spice level (2) would have killed Dad, but Pi and I thought it was perfect. Spicy goodness, set off perfectly by the not so spicy momos.

Then we rolled home. Can’t wait to see what we’re doing for brunch today…

# And You Thought I Only Liked Rings On My Fingers…

## Dear Kid,

Continuing new experiences, I went to a boxing match last night.

To be clear, it was Indiana University fraternity and sorority members fighting, the rounds fights were 3 one-minute rounds, and there was a lot of safety equipment. Even so, the medical team won most of the matches. Match called on account of excessive nose-bleeding and whatnot.

Coming in second was the charity the event was raising money for. We’re sure they talked about it because they had non-boxing people in the ring at one point, but it was far to noisy to tell what they were talking about.

The mobs (as mobs are wont to do) screamed for blood and victory (unclear in which order).

Pi decided she can represent her sorority in the fight next year. And before you ask, OF COURSE I’ll be here to watch her. I pointed out that perhaps trying to hit someone while they are trying to punch your face off might be a wee bit different than punching a heavy bag. She shrugged and said it was all about committing to the punch.

Pi in the ring. Lord Love a Duck. Fortunately, I have a year to get used to the idea.

## Dear Kid,

Are you familiar with Guanaja (Gwa-na-ha) chocolate? Of course not. Because if you were, you would have undoubtedly shared such information with your mother and I only learned about Guanaja chocolate last weekend in Chicago.

This is clearly a giant hole in my education. And—being the kind of mother I am—decided it would be wrong of me to let you suffer from the same ignorance gap.

So—obviously—I consulted My Friend the Internet.

If you were to head into the Caribbean and stop approximately 43 miles north of Honduras, you might (if you’d planned things carefully) find yourself on the island of Guanaja.

This might surprise you since not many people aim for Guanaja, but there are several excellent reasons to go there.

The first is that the ocean around Guanaja is home to a gorgeous and enormous coral reef. There are also several beautiful waterfalls. Watch carefully for traffic. In 2006 there were only 3 cars on the island, but by 2011 there were 40. By now there is doubtless a traffic jam.

Apparently (pre-traffic jam), Chris Columbus landed on Guanaja. Here he discovered cacao for the first time and immediately dropped peanut butter in favor of chocolate.

All this according to My Friend the Internet.

The thing is, when you ask MFtI for more information about Guanaja chocolate, you are immediately offered opportunities to purchase Guanaja chocolate. When you protest and suggest history, amount of exports, or any other darn fact is what you’re looking for, the Internet giggles and wipes chocolate off its chin.

The point is Guanaja chocolate exists. One usually speaks of it as 70% Guanaja. If you pronounce it correctly you can look smug and superior, even if you have no idea what you’re talking about.

And even though I have no idea what I’m talking about, I can say with certainty: Yum.

# Chicago | The Trip Finale

## Dear Kid,

While we ate our way from one end of Chicago to the other (and back again), we did a bit of shopping and sightseeing (just to break up the monotony of all the food).

We rode the trolley, the El, and taxis. We found the taxi drivers to be kind and interesting and the taxi fares to be….um, encompassing.

Across the street from the hotel was the aforementioned patisserie, and a tea shop where we learned about different kinds of tea (shocker). And I purchased some new and interesting teas (even bigger shocker).

Wandering around, we found some really interesting statues.

And the occasional dinosaur.

We also found some really expensive stores which will have to survive on someone else’s hard earned cash as we bought exactly nothing. At least nothing we couldn’t immediately eat.