20 twenty things

The other day, when I was making my little jokes about 20/20 vision and losing my glasses (in a very 2020 way), I found myself pondering things about the number 20. And that pondering led to some enumerating, and that enumerating became a list. On this 20th day of the month, and in the tradition of my ThThTh lists (but breaking tradition since it’s not Thursday), I present a list of things around the theme of 20. And it seemed only right to have a list of 20 of them.

1) 20/20 vision: Normal vision. It is based on what row of an eye chart you can read from 20 feet. 

2) The 20-20-20 rule. To help with eyestrain. For every 20 minutes you find yourself staring at a screen, spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away.

3) 20/20 hindsight. An expression meaning that things are clear in retrospect, typically after some misjudgment.

4) venti: size at Starbucks. It’s 20 ounces, and it means twenty in Italian. It’s sort of the “large” size, though there is also grande (which means “large” in Italian), but is smaller than the venti.

A 20-sided die. (image credit)

5) icosagon or 20-gon is a twenty-sided polygon

6) icosahedron: a polyhedron with 20 sides. The shape of a 20-sided die.

7) Twenty questions: a guessing game whereby one person thinks of a thing, and the second person tries to guess what it is by way of asking yes-no questions. The guesser wins if they name the correct thing before reaching the twentieth questions. (Experienced players know that it’s a good idea to narrow down the categories early on, rather than guessing one item in the universe of millions of things, i.e: Is it pants? This is the game for which “Is it bigger than a breadbox” and “is it smaller than a house” are frequent size-establishing questions.)

Mayan base 20 number system. (Credit: Bryan Derksen source)

8) Vigesimal: base 20 number system

9) a score: a term meaning the number twenty. Fairly infrequent, excepting in quotations of the Gettysburg Address. (“Four score and seven years ago…”)

10) XX: The Roman numeral for 20

11) 20th anniversary gift: china/porcelain

12) a dart board has 20 sections

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com
US 20 dollar bills. Photo by Shane on Pexels.com

13) The (current) US twenty dollar bill. A frequent denomination distributed in ATMs in the U.S. Currently bears the face of Andrew Jackson.

For those who can’t wait for the new bills to be minted, stamps are sold to make the adjustment manually. (source)

14) Harriet Tubman 20 dollar bill. 2020 was supposed to be the year when abolitionist and historical bad-ass Harriet Tubman was supposed to replace Jackson on the 20 dollar bill. This has been put off, but many have taken the transformation into their own hands and used a stamp. (See image above.)

15) 20 is the smallest primitive abundant number.

20: The atomic number for calcium. (Image source.)

16) 20 is the atomic number of calcium.

17) 20/20: a new-oriented US TV program.18) Twenty (2015): a South Korea film.

19) Twenty (2017-2018) a webseries.

20) The Roaring 20s. A nickname for the decade of 1920 to 1929. Now that we are in another decade of the 20s, we can only guess what it will be nicknamed.

Some ’20s fashion illustrations. (Source)

 

2020 vision revision

As of November 6th, there is a new mandate in Massachusetts requiring that masks be worn whenever people are out in public, even outdoors and when social distancing is possible. Previously, the state didn’t require masks for outdoor spaces where it was possible to keep 6 feet or more of distance. Up until the new requirement, whereas I wore a mask for any shopping or outdoor group events, I wasn’t wearing a mask while walking the dog. (I live in a pretty uncrowded area.)

In any case, with the new requirement, I’ve started wearing a mask while walking the dog. I have collected a few different styles of cloth masks, of varying degrees of comfort. The one I wore this morning is one that I like, style-wise, but I couldn’t get the nose-wire adjusted well enough. My glasses kept fogging up in the frosty morning air. After a number of unsuccessful adjustments as I headed down my street, I decided to just take off my glasses, and deal with a bit of blur. I put my glasses in my coat pocket, and we continued on our way. With my perfect 2020 hindsight, I realize now that this was a Bad Idea.

I didn’t really have too much trouble seeing. (It’s not like I need to read any road signs while walking the dog). However, further along in our walk, I saw another person and dog in the distance. I couldn’t make out who it was, so I decided to put my glasses back on. This was when I discovered that my glasses were not in my pocket.

Much to my dog’s disappointment, I turned us around to head back, so that we could retrace our steps, all the while hoping that I hadn’t dropped them in the busy street we’d crossed. I looked carefully on the ground as we walked, hoping to find them somewhere, uncrushed.

There were two major challenges to this endeavor. 1) Much of the ground looked like this:

And 2) I was not wearing my glasses, so I couldn’t see the ground very clearly.

I rushed us back home to get an old pair of glasses so that I could better stand a chance of seeing my glasses. And then we walked again, retracing our steps once more. And then all the way home again. And I saw a lot, I mean A LOT, of leaves.

What I did not see was my glasses.

On the bright side, my glasses were over a year old, and it was time to replace them. And I have some old glasses that are close enough to my current prescription. However I still didn’t like losing them. And I knew it was going to bug me endlessly. I was almost at the point of hoping to find them crushed somewhere, just to have the resolution of it.

When the time came for the dog’s afternoon walk, I bundled up again, put on an older pair of glasses, and a mask that doesn’t tend to causes fogginess. And we went back once again, retracing the path of the morning walk again. And on our way back home, I carefully stepped along the side of the road, pushing through the leaves with my feet. (And shuddering at the crunch any time I stepped on an acorn.) But then amazingly, miraculously, I saw an unexpected vision: my glasses peeking out from the leaves. They were remarkably unmarked from their ordeal.