4 Times We Celebrate Nothing
4 Times We Celebrate Nothing – There’s really something the way we humans make something out of nothing. Sometimes, nothing really is something. And then, there are those times…no, sorry. Those were nothing, too. We really don’t know what this article about nothing is about, but we did find 4 Times We Celebrate Nothing. Events where a lot of nothing happened…and then something did.
1. April the Giraffe
In February of 2017, the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, announced their reticulated giraffe named April was due to deliver her fourth baby. They set up a YouTube channel so fans could follow her progress. And they followed. And they waited. Nothing happened.
March came and went. Still, viewers continued to log into the live feed. And nothing happened. No baby. Just April eating her hay, day in and day out. And then, on April 8th, the zoo announced that changes in April’s body indicated the giraffe’s delivery date was nearing. The channel had already logged well over 100 million views. With the anticipation of April’s delivery heightened, the numbers began to climb.
And then nothing again. Why? Because of complaints about the appropriateness of the stream. However, the live stream continued again, and on April 15th, the mother giraffe delivered a healthy baby boy with 1.2 million views. Now, that’s something.
2. Scoreless Baseball Game
Baseball fans expect an inning or two where not much happens. No hits, no diving catches, and hopefully no bad calls. They come prepared with popcorn, a few drinks, and a seventh-inning stretch. Normal loyal fans of baseball had nothing on the approximately 3,000 remaining fans at the Astrodome on April 15, 1968. These sturdy and tired fans lasted through 24 innings and 6 hours, 6 minutes of baseball.
As with most games that go into consecutive extra innings, it was a pitcher’s duel. Hurlers Tom Seaver and Don Wilson squared off. Pitching for the Mets, Seaver lasted 10 innings, and under his watch, only four batters reached base. Not a single one passed second. Not to be outdone, Wilson threw nine innings, allowing one hit.
In total, 13 pitchers took the mound, and they only allowed 11 hits. Keep in mind, this is two decades before baseball tracks pitch counts, but you can be certain those numbers were low.
And no one scored for 23 and half-innings. Nothing.
But in the bottom of the 24th, the Astros had loaded the bases with one out. At bat, Bob Aspromonte hit a ground ball to Mets shortstop Al Weiss. Usually, a quick double play would have ended the inning in nothing flat, but the ball rolled through Weiss’s legs, and the Astros scored.
The long game of no hits, no runs, no winning was suddenly over. The Astros had something in the win column, and the Mets had nothing.
Our third on the list of 4 Times We Celebrate Nothing brings us to the year 2000. If you were born after 1990, you wouldn’t understand this. It was a lot of something that was nothing. When computer programmers in the 1960s first began developing computer language, the millennium seemed so far away. When creating code for dates, they used two digits for the day, two digits for the month, and two digits for the year. In the 1900s, that worked just fine. Never in a million years did they think two tiny numbers would affect technology in the year 1999.
But they could. Those two digits could impact banking, flight schedules, medical billing, and so much more. And programmers realized the need to prepare, and they did years before the general public was aware.
As the year 2000 approached, businesses enlisted their employees to update their work computers and other online systems. News reports urged people to prepare. As their awareness spread, so did the panic. What chaos would ensue when the year 2000 arrived? Would planes fall from the sky? Would the stock market crash? Computers were going to take over the world, and businesses would fold. How could two little digits cause so much trouble?
The world held its collective breath on December 31, 1999, and waited for the stroke of 2000. And almost nothing happened. Banking went on as usual. Planes stayed on schedule. Payrolls were made. Thanks to the programmers who successfully corrected the problem and prepared the world, nothing happened.
4. All or Nothing
We promised 4 Times We Celebrate Nothing, and we’re an all or nothing kind of crew. So here it goes, #4.
Henry Pickering Bowditch joined the First Massachusetts Cavalry in November 1861 during the American Civil War. The war interrupted his college career, but it didn’t sway him from his duties to his country. For him, it seemed to be an all or nothing situation. By 1863, Bowditch was promoted to captain, and by the end of the year, he was wounded. Despite being discharged after his recovery, Bowditch reenlisted. All or nothing, once again. He would serve until June 3, 1865, when he resigned his command.
Returning to his studies, Bowditch entered Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1886 with his medical degree. The question remained for Bowditch whether to pursue practical medicine or scientific medicine. On the practical side, he would gain all the benefits of financial freedom. The scientific side offered nothing of the financial freedom, but science interested him much more. A lifetime of financial freedom or nothing?
For a time, Bowditch considered dividing his loyalties between practical and science. However, Dr. Oliver Wendall Holmes and Professor Jeffries Wyman’s encouragement reminded Bowditch where his true love lay – pure science. He was all in.
Research and Bowditch agreed with each other quite well, too. In Bonn, Germany, Bowditch worked in a physiology laboratory where he immersed himself in study. While there, he invented the kymograph and developed his research skills. He would be asked to return to Harvard twice – the first time he declined, stressing the importance of his valuable time remaining. Once again, an all or nothing kind of man. However, upon the second request, in 1871, Bowditch accepted an assistant professor position at Harvard, where he started a laboratory in an attic.
That year, Bowditch established a principle called the “all or nothing” principle. The principle reads:
An induction shock produces a contraction or fails to do so according to its strength; if it does so at all,
it produces the greatest contraction that can be produced by any strength of stimulus in the condition of the muscle at the time.
Bowditch continued in his field as a well-respected doctor of physiology.
So, you see, celebrating nothing really is something. You can thank us later. It’s really nothing.
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