Saturday, July 07, 2007

10,000 Stitches

There are 10,000 stitches in an average woman's handknit sock. A staggering amount when you consider that there's still another one to knit...

"10,000" pops up all around us:

There are roughly 10,000 minutes in a week; 10,000 lakes in Minnesota; 10,000 days in the Vietnam War;

It's the number of seconds it takes to repair a heart valve; it is the number of other neurons in our brain that each single neuron touches; it is the number of steps we should aim to walk in a day to maintain a healthy level of fitness.

It's the name of a band - 10,000 Maniacs; the name of an album - 10,000 Days; the name of a song by Bob Dylan - 10,000 Men.

It is the collective name (The Year 10,000 Problem ) for all potential software bugs that will emerge as the need to express years with five digits arises; it is the size (processor speed) of the enormous Linux computer NASA built; it is the name (Powers of Ten Thousand) of a technique for browsing a very large space using a macroscope.

It is the number of yards from my house to Cultured Purl; the number of meters in a HECTARE; and, the metric length of my husband's favorite competitive road race.

It is the value of the US Treasury note featuring a picture of Salmon P. Chase (US Treasury Secretary under President Lincoln); and,

bringing us finally to the point of this post (!),

it is the number of known bird species in the world:

10,000 different kinds of birds...I've just finished a book about the "Big Listers", those very driven bird watchers whose goal is to see every bird on earth... Only a baker's dozen or so have managed to see 7,000. And 2 have made it to the 8,000 mark. An inspiring of those 2, a woman, had been an avid birder for some time when she received an imminently terminal cancer prognosis. Rather than quietly succumbing to the disease, she decided to spend what little time she had left traveling around the world seeing as many types of birds as she could. 17 years later!!!, she had listed nearly 8,500 birds - a world record...

There are roughly 900 species of birds in North America. And interestingly enough, about 320 pass through our very own Presque Isle each year! Who would have thought, tucked away up here in our little corner of the world, there'd be such a plethora of feathered delights. So, I have been trying to persuade my family (even one fellow avian sleuth would be nice company) that birdwatching would be an exciting and fulfilling hobby to take up, considering how one of the busiest bird sanctuaries is a mere stone's throw away from our house. so far no husband did raise his eye brows a little when I said all it really takes is a good pair of binoculars and some time: asking, when did I think I would knit...

so, it's looking like I'm on my own with this one. But if any of my knitting friends feel like putting the needles aside for a bit and strolling around the peninsula, let me know!

Until then,
yours in yarn,

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