Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or

This month kicks off the 10th year of this column. In honor of theevent, here is a look at things associated with the number 10.

Things that come in 10s

* Fingers -- There are no muscles in the finger. They are actually moved like puppets on a string, the strings being the tendons which are moved by the muscles of the forearm.

Hand surgeons say that , if a person must do so, the index finger is the best one to lose.

* Toes -- The big toe has only two bones while all the others have three. The average person walks up to 10,000 steps a day, with the big toe carrying the brunt of the body's weight. Over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to more than three full trips around the world!

* Hot dogs -- When manufacturers began packaging hot dogs in 1940, they chose the 10-to-the pack formula. Most packages still come in 10s.

The first words Mickey Mouse ever uttered in a cartoon were "hot dogs" ("The Karnival Kid", 1929). The cartoons he was featured in were silent ones up until that point.

* Bowling pins -- In ten-pin bowling, 10 pins are arranged in a triangular pattern and there are 10 frames per game.

The official weight of a single pin must be at least 3 pounds 6 ounces and no more than 3 pounds 10 ounces.

* Snellen eye chart -- The traditional eye chart has 10 letters. They are C, D, E, F, L, N, O, P, T, and Z. Dutch ophthalmologist Hermann Snellen developed the chart way back in 1862.

* Telephone numbers -- The North American Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) uses a 10-digit dial plan that includes a three-digit area code and a seven-digit telephone number.

The number in the Glenn Miller Orchestra's hit song "Pennsylvania 6-5000" is the number of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, and was issued in 1919. The number is now written in 10 digits as (212) 736-5000.

* Inkblots -- The Rorschach inkblot test, named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach, consists of 10 cards.

The Rorschach images, copyrighted in 1921, can be used by anyone under United States copyright laws. All works published before 1923 are considered to be in the public domain

* PAC-10 -- The Pacific-10 Conference is a college athletic conference which operated in the western United States. On July 27, 2010, the Conference announced it would rename itself as the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac 12), upon addition of Colorado and Utah.

* Two-word state names -- The states are New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

* Gosselins -- "Jon & Kate Plus 8" premiered on television in April 2007. While it is true that the show turned to "Kate Plus 8" in August of 2010, there are still 10 Gosselins.

The twins were born on Oct. 8, 2000. Cara is the older twin. She arrived six minutes before Madelyn. The sextuplets were born on May 10, 2004. Their birth order is Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel.

Tens in the Bible

* Plagues -- In the book of Exodus, 10 plagues are inflicted upon Egypt.

* Commandments -- God gave his people 10 commandments by which to live. The first five concern a person's relationship with God. The last five concern a person's relationships with other humans.

* Generations -- The Bible records 10 generations between Adam and Noah, and 10 generations between Noah and Abraham.

* Tithes -- Whether it's produce, livestock or money, 10 percent of a person's first fruits are given back to God.

* Passovers -- While the Passover was to be observed every year, only 10 specific Passovers are recorded in the Bible.

* I AMs -- Jesus spoke the words "I AM" 10 times in the book of John.

* Fire -- Ten times fire came down from heaven, six of which were in judgment.

* Abraham's faith -- From his departure from Haran to his offering of Isaac, Abraham's faith was proven by way of 10 trials.

* Shouts of joy -- From Leviticus to Ezra, 10 times the people "shouted for joy."

* Prayer instruction -- The Lord's Prayer is completed in 10 clauses.

This 'n' That

* Mandatory since 1981, is the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). One consistent element of the Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS) is the 10th digit, which is required worldwide to encode the model year of the vehicle.

* The chemical element Neon has the atomic number of 10.

* A 10-gallon hat holds less than a gallon.

* The No. 10 is the smallest number of different digits.

* The length of a hand is 10 centimeters, a measurement used on horses.

* A basketball goal ring is 10 feet off the floor.

* There are 10 lanes in a professional horse race.

* Ten is the number of digits in the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

* Ludwig van Beethoven composed 10 violin sonatas.

* The most popular number with which to begin a countdown is (what else?) 10.

Ten rock songs that last longer than 10 minutes

* "Starless" by King Crimson (12:16 -- 1974)

* "Voodoo Child" by Jimi Hendrix (14:59 -- 1968)

* "Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan (11:21 -- 1965)

* "Child in Time" by Deep Purple (10:18 -- 1970)

* "2112" by Rush ( 20:33 -- 1976)

* "Close to the Edge" by Yes (18:43 -- 1972)

* "July Morning" by Uriah Heap (10:32 -- 1971)

* "The End" by The Doors (11:40 -- 1967)

* "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly (17:05 -- 1968)

* "Echoes" by Pink Floyd ( 23:21 -- 1970)