For episode 42, we had to do something related to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," but since neither of us had read the book, we decided to raise our glasses to numbers, instead! Aside from 42 being the ultimate answer, we also look at the number 3 in religions, how 30 percent of data begins with the number 1, and why 13 is really just the Jan Brady of numbers.
This episode's wine: Bell'Agio Rosso Dolce
This episode's cheese: Trader Joe's Cheddar with Caramelized Onions
We adored the Bell'Agio Rosso Dolce, which we were sent a bottle of to review. It's a light, effervescent red that tastes great chilled. And we would absolutely drink this with any of the recommended pairings and more! Even Kitty -- our friend who didn't even like wine adored this!
Even thought James and Emily haven't read Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," we decided to do something special for Episode 42. So we chose numbers to raise our glasses to this week. Aside from just Douglas Adams who used 42 in his writings, Lewis Carroll was also known for using that number in his works. Emily also points out some of the other instances in literature and pop culture 42 appears.
James talks about Benford's Law, which is the frequency of the No. 1 as the first digit of a lot of data sets. Don't believe us? Think of your electricity bill or some street addresses you may know. We realized, also, if you try to commit fraud, make sure the first number is 1.
Despite learning how the periodic table was filled in even before many elements were known, Emily gets to complain about the shape of the Periodic Table. And Emily's husband's pure hatred of 87 because of the Pittsburgh Penguins player, Sidney Crosby. And, if you haven't caught Cheers to Guys Night, in which Mark and James talk about the Trifecta of Beauty, check it out here!
James talks about some of the Chinese superstitions about numbers and why the phone number 888-8888 sold for $280,000. Apparently, if you're doing business with China, throw in some 8s, since it's a sign of prosperity, but don't use 4s, since they're considered unlucky. Emily tells us another way our mind plays tricks on us, as far as prices are concerned. So, when you see the 99 cents at the end of the price, your brain probably doesn't register it, so it's just the first one or two numbers of a price that tricks your mind.
Emily talks about the number 3, including why sometimes you'll see it with a flat top. And Emily blows Kitty's mind when she talks about how to find out if number is divisible by three. We also get into how the number 3 has been important in a number of different religions, including the creator gods of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda.
Emily also goes into the history of the Rule of Three and how storytellers, comedians, advertisers, and public speakers use this Rule of Three as a way to their advantage. Next time you're looking at slogans or hearing a joke or listening to a speech, see if you can pick out the rule of three in use.
James talks about unlucky 13 and how it's a global belief. Judas, Loki and the wicked fairy in the Grimms' version of "Sleeping Beauty." But, in reality, 13 is just the Jan Brady to the Marcia Brady No. 12. We also talk about the "bad" luck of those with 13 letters in their name -- and Emily makes quite an interesting sound when Christian Bale is mentioned. Also, we may be looking into joining The 13 Club, who tests the boundaries of the superstition surrounding the No. 13. However, the United States of America LOVES 13, and looking at a dollar bill, you will see evidence of that.
And, the Queen makes an appearance to read lyrics to popular songs with numbers in the title for a music quiz for James and the ever-present-but-seldom-vocal Kitty to guess. How well do you do on our quiz? Let us know!
Congratulations to Richard, Amy and Jen for winning copies of Scrimish in our giveaway!
Find more great podcasts on Twitter by searching the hashtag #PodernFamily!
Special thanks to Adam Centamore for his book, "Tasting Wine & Cheese: An Insider's Guide to Mastering the Principles of Pairing," which inspires us to try new wine and cheese pairings in every episode!
Sources used for episode: