Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Laura's Top Ten List: Best things about being 63

1. The number 63 is ASCII for the question mark—the perfect symbol for how I go through life.

2. It's also the number of chromosomes found in the offspring of a donkey and a horse (both hinnies and mules).

3. Michael Jordan scored a record 63 points in a Chicago Bulls –Boston Celtics (double-overtime) NBA playoff game on April 20, 1986, just two weeks before my radio show "For the Birds" began.

4. It's also the sum of the powers of 2 from 0 to 5 (1+2+4+8+16+32).

5. I saw my first Common Yellowthroat on June 26, 1975—it was #63 on my lifelist.

Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat

6. Sixty-three is the minimum age for drinking plus the answer to life, the universe, and everything! Of course, when I've been drinking I always think I know the answers to life, the universe, and everything, but this year it's official.

Deep in the bowels of the New York City Subway lies the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

7. Sixty-three is the number of years Ulysses S. Grant was on the planet.

8. In 1963, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds came out.

9. The 63rd species on the official Checklist of the American Ornithologists' Union is the extinct Labrador Duck—sobering and sad, but a bit of trivia that gives me renewed energy to work to prevent more extinctions of wonderful birds.

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck in Philadelphia at the Museum of Natural History

10. Sixty-three is my daughter Katie's favorite number, backwards.

Katie and Gepetto
My daughter Katie in the late 90s

11. Sixty-three is 111111 in binary. Pretty cool for someone born on 11/11!