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?