More Than 10 Facts About The Number 10

Dear Kid,

Today is the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year (assuming you started counting 10 years ago), so it seems appropriate to talk about the number 3.

Great Facts About the Number 10 DearKidLoveMom.comJust kidding, the number 10.

I was going to share 10 fabulous facts about the number 10. But there are too many fun facts to stop at ten. Then I thought about 10 times 10 facts—until I realized that no one wants to read (or write) 100 facts.

So here are a bunch (I counted) of seriously interesting (mostly) facts about the number 10.

We (or at least most of us) have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Which is useful considering that most numbers we deal with are in base 10 (and that’s not even counting—get it, counting—the metric system). Also, the length of your hand (if you’re an adult) is a tenth of your height.

Number 10 Downing Street is the home of the British Prime Minister. But only if you say “Number 10” in a British accent.

“Deca” means ten (you knew that). But did you know that “decimate” really means to reduce by a tenth? If you write the number 10 twice (1010), you get the number ten in binary. Now that’s cool.

Ten is a triangular number (think about how bowling pins are arranged: 1+2+3+4). It’s also a tetrahedral number (very few people care).

There are 10 acres in a square furlong. (I never knew that, did you?)

Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and other crustaceans have 10 legs. This makes them very tasty (but difficult to find shoes for).
A $10 bill is also known as a “sawbuck.” The traditional 10th anniversary gift is tin, while the modern gift for the 10th anniversary is diamonds. That’s a lot of sawbucks.

There are 10 Lords A-Leapin’ according to the song. Capricorn (the sea-goat) is the 10th sign in the Zodiac. (Sea-goat? What on earth is a sea-goat?)

There are 10 provinces in Canada, eh? Virginia is the 10th State in the Union.

The number 10 is very important in sports, because it is the maximum number of events most people can watch at any one time. (I’ve watched you flip channels!) The decathlon has ten events. In auto racing, driving a race car at ten-tenths means driving as fast as possible. There are 10 yards in a first down, and ten yards in a football endzone. A basketball hoop should be hung 10 feet above the ground. There are ten players per side in lacrosse. The top score in gymnastics is 10 (except it isn’t anymore). Surfers try to Hang 10.

Odysseus traveled for 10 years (and that was before the invention of frequent traveler miles).

There are 10 commandments (plus “Pick your stuff up off the floor!). There were 10 plagues (the 11th may be the floor of your room). There are Ten Sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu appeared on the earth in 10 incarnations.

The Richter scale is measured in tenfold increase of energy. There are ten official ink-splats in the Rorschach inkblot test. The atomic number for neon is 10 (which you can write in neon).

Ten is the number you count to when you need to take a moment, and you take 10 when you need a longer break. We love Top Ten Lists, and searching for the perfect 10. 

10-4 good buddy.

Love, Mom

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It’s All Jibber Jabber

Dear Kid,

The things I do for you. Seriously. This is me going Above and Beyond in the Mom department.

I’ve been watching Big Bang Theory. There is an episode in which Penny tells Sheldon that she hasn’t seen him recently and misses his jibber jabber. Sheldon asks if she knows where the term “jibber jabber” comes from, and Penny says, “Oh, my God, you’re about to jibber jabber about jibber jabber.”

At that moment, Leonard interrupts to tell them that Howard’s mom is in the hospital (it turns out to be food poisoning, not the fact that Howard is going to marry a shiksah that put her there) and we never learn the etymology of jibber jabber.

Well, that can’t be right.

No, seriously, Sheldon never returns to the subject and we are left uninformed.

So, being that kind of mom, I looked it up.

Turns out that it wasn’t the shock of finding himself in a hospital with all those icky germs that kept Sheldon from telling us about jibber jabber. It’s that it’s boring—seriously boring—and the writers were smart enough to know that saying “jibber jabber” is fun, but talking about it isn’t.

There are no interesting stories. There are no amusing anecdotes. The term just is. No one agrees who invented it. No one cares.

It’s just jibber jabber.

Love, Mom

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World Smile Day! Make It a Great Day

World Smile Day! Make It a Great Day

Dear Kid,

It’s World Smile Day!

Happy World Smile Day! from DearKidLoveMom.comWorld Smile Day is about the yellow smiley face (which has spawned a thousand emojis). But I think it should be about…wait for it…smiling.

There is a lot of bad in the world right now. Some of it caused by Mother Nature, some of it cause by human inhabitants.

Meanwhile, the Happiness Fairy has taken to bed with a massive migraine and an Attitude that should really cause her Happy Certification to be revoked.

Since we don’t have a fairy raining down sparkles and glitter, we have to find our own. For some of us, that’s easy. Others of us struggle to find the tiniest thing to grin about.

One option is to imitate the Happiness Fairy and dive under the covers until she decides to return to work. Perhaps a better option is to pick up the wand she threw on the floor of the closet and spread a little happy around our own corner of the planet.

Smile at someone today. Smile at several someones! Grab some dragon sparkles and unicorn shine and …oh, just smile. Share your happy with someone who may be running short.

Celebrate the day with the traditional baring of the teeth. Grin. Smile. Smirk. Bring the LOL to life.

Have a great day.

Love, Mom

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Mastiffs, Elephants, the Alps, and a Chihuahua

Mastiffs, Elephants, the Alps, and a Chihuahua

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time (or for all I know, two or three times upon a time) Hannibal was getting ready to cross the Alps.

He decided to take soldiers because they fight better than hairdressers (and everyone knew about Sampson) and elephants (because elephants are well-known for enjoying a romp in the snow—not). “Why not take a dog?” said Hannibal’s friend Flavius (Flavius is Latin for “friend who knows nothing but always gives advice”).

“Um, no,” said Hannibal, picturing a Chihuahua (even though Chihuahuas hadn’t been invented yet).

There are lots of types of mastiff; they are all bigger than you. They are also all furrier than you. It’s possible that they eat more than you (not really). They almost certainly drool more than you. I hope. DearKidLoveMom.comThen Flavius (Latin for “friend who occasionally has a reasonably good idea”) showed Hannibal a mastiff (Latin for “freakin’ huge canine”).

“Holy cow!” said Hannibal who was never really good with animals (see: Elephants and Snow [above]).

So mastiffs marched with Hannibal, the elephants, and the soldiers over the Alps.

On the way, they met (and by “met” I don’t mean “met”) other dogs. Eventually, one of the offspring was born with a barrel of whiskey around its neck and Saint Bernards were invented.

After they crossed the Alps, all the mastiffs got together and agreed that Alp-marching wasn’t anything they were interested in doing again. Ever. In fact, they agreed that most forms of work and/or exercise were worth avoiding, a credo they follow to this day. Do not argue with a mastiff about who gets control of the channel changer.

There are lots of types of mastiff; they are all bigger than you. They are also all furrier than you. It’s possible that they eat more than you (not really). They almost certainly drool more than you. I hope.

Like most dogs, mastiffs are very sweet, delightful creatures. Except when they aren’t (like if they’re being asked to cross the Alps). Always ask the mastiff’s person before saying hello to avoid being its mid-day snack.

Love, Mom

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The Magic (or not) of Tiny Houses

Dear Kid,

I have been watching too much HGTV. Mostly tiny house shows.

I am fascinated with these homes that are smaller than a refrigerator. I don’t want one, mind you, but I’m fascinated.

Most of the tiny homes are built with a tiny budget and are more functional than anything else, but there are some that are high(er) end. For example, I was watching one last night that had three (count them, three) televisions—including one that swung out outside the home (the better to ignore nature and watch The Game).

Building a tiny home (in 30 minutes) involves operating in time-lapse reality. Today, we built the entire outside of the home in 12 seconds.

It also involves getting rid of pretty much everything you own. You can take anything you want as long as it fits in this gigantic 3 foot by 2 foot storage space. Who can fit all their worldly belongings in a space the size of a postage stamp?

Here’s what I really don’t understand. When you drive around with your tiny house hitched to your vehicle, don’t the chairs and things slide around? How does that work, exactly? And how do the plates stay on shelves if it’s open shelving?

And why am I so interested?

There has to be some HUGE (or tiny) secret to how people live in these things. It’s like an impossible magic trick and I’m desperate to know how it works.

Please let me know if you figure it out.

Love, Mom

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Not Being Able to Fall Asleep and Sidetracking into Synonyms

Not Being Able to Fall Asleep and Sidetracking into Synonyms

Dear Kid,

There is nothing worse than wanting to go to sleep and not being able to.

You can count me as much as you want, but I'm not jumping over a fence. DearKidLoveMom.comOf course, that’s not at all true. There are plenty of things that are worse than not being able to fall asleep. Like root canal and kale. But wanting to go to sleep and remaining steadfastly awake is bad.

Frustrating. Annoying. Vexing. Exasperating.

A veritable celebration among thesaurus enthusiasts who probably lie awake counting synonyms the way the rest of us (pretend to) count sheep. Lambs. Fluffy white ewes.

Personally, I don’t care what we label it, I just want the zzzs to arrive. On time. Now. When called to do their restorative two-step.

There’s a crack in the ceiling. A small one. It would be great (by which I mean distracting) if it looked like something interesting.

It just looks like a crack.

I am exactly as awake as I was an hour ago. More importantly, I am exactly not as asleep as I was an hour ago.

Sleep. Slumber. Snooze. Siesta. Nap. Shut-eye.

356, 357, 358, 359.

When you see me, be sure to compliment me on the gorgeous bags I’ll be wearing under my eyes. They’re from the Lack of Sleep collection by WHY AREN’T THESE DARN SHEEP DOING THEIR JOB? I’m sure they will look fabulous (and by “fabulous” I mean there is not enough makeup in the world to fix this).

Makeup. Cosmetics. Powder. Greasepaint. Cover-up. Concealer.

I have counted a lot of sheep. Do you know how many sweaters their wool would make? Enough to stock an entire sweater department. (OK, a virtual sweater department since they are virtual sheep. See how badly I need sleep?)

Love, Mom

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It’s October! And It’s Time to Celebrate!

It’s October! And It’s Time to Celebrate!

Dear Kid,

Happy October! And what a wonderful month October is.

October Holidays. Who thinks of these things? DearKidLoveMom.comOctober is (often) a month of perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Chilly without being frozen—just right to warm up with a cup of coffee.

October is the month of little ghosties, and pink ribbons.

It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and National Diabetes Month (perfect for the month with Halloween).

It’s Cookie Month (sugar free for the diabetics?), National Pizza Month, American Cheese Month (but not necessarily on the pizza), and National Vegetarian Month (skip the pepperoni).

It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, American Pharmacist Month, and Clergy Appreciation Month (thank you, clergy people).

It’s Sarcastic Month (but please don’t be sarcastic about domestic violence, pharmacists, or clergy).

It’s Bat Appreciation Month, and Caffeine Addiction Recovery (HA!) Month.

October is Spinach Lovers Month, Squirrel Awareness Month (we need a month to be aware of squirrels? What?), Raptor Month (can we combine them to be aware of Raptors eating squirrels? Because for sure the raptors aren’t eating spinach or vegetarian pizza).

It’s Toilet Tank Repair Month (I wish I were joking) and National Liver Awareness Month (are you ever really aware of your internal organs?), and National Dental Hygiene Month.

Whichever holidays you choose to celebrate (or be sarcastic about), have a wonderful October.

Love, Mom

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