23 Enigmas

Today is the 23rd.

Some 23 enigmas (some more ‘true’ than others) for you:

The human biorhythm is 23 days long. Though Hermann Swoboda and Wilhelm Fliess, the two doctors who first posited biorhythm, did determine that a human’s ‘physical cycle’ was 23 days long, biorhythmics is at best a highly speculative and subjective area of study.

It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the entire body. Blood is a suspension and does not flow at the same rate for all of its components. Furthermore, there is no single path blood takes when it circulates. For both these reasons, verification is both difficult and meaningless.

Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the DNA of a child. True.
The human arm has 23 joints in it. Unconfirmed, and confirmation depends on the definition of joint.

On average, every 23rd wave on a beach will be twice the size of the average wave. False. This idea exists in many parts of the world, with varying numbers of waves.

Earth’s axis is off by 23.5 degrees. Dubious at best. For one, this is a case of stretched applicability, and it depends on using the arbitrary figure of a circle having 360 degrees to come up with an answer even close to 23.
Earth’s period of rotation is really 23 hours and 56 minutes, not exactly 24 hours. (That’s 4 minutes shorter than a day since a day is defined as the time between two noons on the same meridian, which is slightly longer than the period of rotation because meanwhile the Earth is revolving around the Sun.)

The first Moon landing, Apollo 11 was in the Sea of Tranquility at 23.63 degrees East. The second landing, Apollo 12, was in the Ocean of Storms, 23.42 degrees West. Also, 11 + 12, the numbers of the missions, add up to 23. Again, this is stretched as far as the degrees, and there are at least 11 pairs of integers that add to 23, not counting negative integers or zero.

December 23, 2012 is the date the Mayan calendar ends, predicting an apocalyptic event. The Mayan calendar’s “Long Count” does indeed end on either the 21st or 23rd of December of 2012, depending on calculation.
Both the ancient Egyptian and Sumerian calendars begin on 23 July. Both calendars were apparently calculated from the date of the heliacal rising of Sirius, which does occur at that latitude around that time of year.

William Shakespeare was born on 23 April, died on 23 April and had his first portfolio published in 1623. His first play Titus Andronicus was performed January 23rd 1594. Though the last three statements are true, his actual date of birth remains unconfirmed (see his article for more information).

Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was assassinated. True.

The Prophet Muhammad taught and received the wisdom of God for 23 years. There exist hadith that support this figure, but many more that give other lengths of time.

The Knights Templar had 23 Grand Masters, the last being Jacques de Molay. True.

The first song on the first side of the first Beatles album took 23 takes. That would be “I Saw Her Standing There” from Please Please Me, but in reality, the song that took the most takes was “Love Me Do,” at fifteen.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and his supposed assassin — Lee Harvey Oswald — was assassinated on November 24, 1963, the 23rd being in between. True.

If you add up all the digits in 9/11/2001 you get 23. Not exactly, this is another stretching. To make 23, add “11” as normal, but “2001” must be added as the numbers “2” and “1”.

Michael Jordan’s uniform number was 23 when he played for the Chicago Bulls. True

David Beckham wears the number 23 shirt for Real Madrid. True.

On a normal arabic alphabet keyboard, the 23rd letter W is right below and between 2 and 3. True.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt contains of 23 letters. True.

Pi’s first six digits (3.14159) added together equal 23. True.

Caesar Augustus was born on 23 September. True.

Volkswagen’s VW logo contains the roman numeral V (2+3=5) and the 23rd letter W. Volkswagen is based in Wolfsburg which starts with the 23rd letter. True.

666 is said to be taken from 2/3 = 0.666. Very unlikely; see the article Number of the Beast for its history.

John D. Rockefeller died on 23 May. True.

Hagbard (Karl Koch), German hacker and inventor of the trojan horse spyware, died on 23 May. Probable, but not definite. Also most likely a suicide, with the date chosen intentionally to fit this numerology.


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