Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 23 of 30: 23 Skidoo

This is Day 23 of the 30-day Blogging challenge. Final burst of speed.

This will be a short one. I've been out all day celebrating a graduation. Graduation is not an ending, but a beginning. A time to prepare for what comes next. And what came next was paella at our favorite Spanish restaurant. We don't go there often, so when we do, it's a bit of a treat.

On to the today's topic: 23 skidoo. I could go on about the number 23 and the Law of Fives, but that would be silly because when it come to the best information, You're Not Cleared For That. But to keep in on a math topic, 23 skiddo is a phrase that has at its origin the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, appropriately in the Flatiron District. It an oddly triangular building sitting on a just-as-oddly triangular block formed the intersections of Fifth Avenue and Broadway near 23 Street. Broadway runs diagonally through most of Midtown, and crossing the major avenues creates these triangles, which wind up with fancy names: Herald Square, Times Square, Columbus Circle. There are no squares in Herald Square (but there is Macys). At Times Square, they have tried to refer to the "bow tie" made by the triangular blocks; I don't think this had caught on, and I will refuse to acknowledge it if it does. Columbus Circle does, indeed, have a circle.

As for 23rd Street, it has the Flatiron Building and the famous phrase. Why is it so famous? Well, the story goes, the police with shoo away the loiterers and vagrants who hung around there ("Skidoo!") because the usual design of the building would cause the wind to shift as you passed by. It was a little uplifting, if you catch my meaning, and those guys couldn't get enough ankle. (The skirts were long then. I'd say "unusually" long, but that was usual for then. Wonder what they'd think of today's skirts.)

Okay, back to math tomorrow. And Congratulations to my daughter on her graduation with Honors.

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