Sunday, February 5, 2012

# 100

Pop the champagne cork, or at the very least, twist the cap off of a beer, or something, because we’re about to celebrate. Yep, you’re reading the 100th version of the “In My Humble Opinion” column.
Thank you, thank you. It was nothing. Really. In appreciation, mail your cheques or cash to box number…
Anyway, I am not quite sure what to make of this milestone. Human culture has long had a fascination with numbers and, in particular, round numbers or numbers of significance like 10, 25, 50 and 100 so, yes, I am proud of the significance of having had 100 of these columns published in this paper but it’s tempered with the fact that so much time has had to pass by so quickly in order for me to reach that number.
What started as a “fill-in” for former reporter/columnist, Darcie Khounnoraj, two years ago, became a full-time gig for me when Darcie decided not to return to The Citizen with her pen and paper, or typewriter, or keyboard, after the birth of her last child.
As many a writer will attest, some days the words flow from the brain through the fingers and onto the computer monitor with no effort at all and then there are other times, like right now, when creating any kind of flow seems like it’s the hardest thing one could do. Thankfully out of those one hundred columns I had many more of the former situations than I did of the latter. I suppose you might find it kind of ironic that an opinionated motormouth like me would have a hard time finding something to say but, believe me, there are more than a few times when I struggle to find adequate words for a weekly piece.
In honour of the 100th In My Humble Opinion column I will now give you some facts regarding the number 100 that I bet, unless you’re a mathematics teacher, many of you wouldn’t know.
So here we go. The number 100 is the sum of the first nine prime numbers as well as the sum of four pairs of prime numbers (47+53, 17+83, 3+97, 41+59), and the sum of the cubes of the first four integers (100 = 13 + 23 + 33 + 43). Also, 26 + 62 = 100, thus 100 is a Leyland number which is a number of the form xy + yx , where x and y are integers greater than…oh, nevermind.
Moving on: On the Celsius scale, 100 degrees is the boiling temperature of pure water at sea level.
100 is the number of tiles in a standard Scrabble set for 19 different languages.
100 is the police telephone number in Greece, India, Israel and Nepal, the ambulance and firefighter telephone number in Belgium and the telephone operator in the United Kingdom.
It’s the number of runs required for a cricket batsman to score a “century”, which is a significant milestone.
It’s the number of points required for a snooker cueist to score a “century break”, which is also a significant milestone.
100 is the minimum distance in yards for a Par 3 on a golf course.
100 is the record number of points scored in one NBA basketball game by a single player, set by Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2nd, 1962.
I could probably list 100 items about the number 100 here but, as you can see, I just don’t have the room. In the past columns I have tried to enlighten, educate and entertain and I hope that I have done that on more occasions than not and my hope is that I will continue to do so at least another 100 times.
“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.”-Rose Kennedy (1890-1995).

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