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The Essay
Show #76
76: 7+6=13 1:3=4
David Gunn
Bon radio. Today, we celebrate the number 76, and its corollary, the trombone. It's the 76th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, a pivotal number in any context.It's also the 76th anniversary of KDKA, the first radio station in Pennsylvania and, by extension, the galaxy, although in 1890, certain sphagnum-based life forms in a parallel universe did reportedly use radio signals in a similar fashion to tease their hair. KDKA, for those radiophonic aficionados who could care less, stands for Keystone Disseminated Kinetic Airwaves. KDKA's initial broadcast was of a concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony premiering John Cage's Radio Music, which recorded a 100 on the Nielsen Ratings Bewilderment Scale. Operating at first on a shoestring, the engineer at the rudimentary radio station quickly discovered he could transmit for much greater distances by using #3 wire.

Greater distances is also what drove North and South Dakota to consent to statehood 76 years after the Great Flood of 1813, which turned what had been East and West Dakota into Lake Superior and Idaho Falls, respectively. Before joining the Union, anyone from the above-water Dakotas had to drive great distances through Manitoba and Saskatchewan to reach the rest of the US. For 76 years, this was not a problem. But when Eudora Mott from Minot entered the Miss America Pageant of 1889, thousands of neighbors clamored for statehood so they could attend the ceremonies as legitimate NoSoDak boosters.

Meanwhile, more 76s abound. Or rather, a-Pound, as in Ezra, who on this date in 1972 wrote 76 verses for a Quaker Oats breakfast cereal jingle. Alas, he died minutes later -- some would say suspiciously -- at the age of 87 which, in dibasic quantum physics terminology, equals 76, precisely 76 days before he was entitled to umpteen thousands of dollars in royalties, and which instead reverted to the top 7.6 marketing vice presidents in the company. Famous opera diva Victoria de los Angeles y Santa Monica would have been 76 today, except that she was born in the wrong year. She sends her regrets. And finally, noted conductor Dmitri Mitropoulos, the eponymously dubbed lad of the Fritz Lang film, used to tick off 76 reasons to anyone who'd listen why his name ticked him off so much. Coincidentally -- though some would say not so -- Dmitriís public life mirrored the film to a T ... a T that bore a striking resemblance to the number "76." Ooooooo.

Seventy-six also figures into the number of musical selections which Kalvos has been challenged to play today, eclipsing the old record by a power of four, the number one gets by adding the digits in 76: 7 + 6 = 13; 1 + 3 = 4. A mere fluke? Ha!

On the other hand, the number 76 has never appeared in a heated hand of Whiskers Six Draw, nor does it figure significantly in advanced Algonquin Hole computations, and is the single most ignored transit integer in funded studies of le flambeau oriange.

This portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, as well as others, is being broadcast with the help of the space-time continuum and remote pre-recording facilities. Its impact on the program will be determined as the episode continues. Or falters.

Here now to continue, or falter, is the father of 76 LP implants in the Field of Mo, the significance of which will be explained in due course, Kalvos.