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August 16, 2006

Magic Number 99

If you drive up 148th Ave NE these days, you will notice a big hole in the ground between the Microsoft Building 112-115 cluster and the 116-119 cluster. This is the future Building 99.

If you know something about how Microsoft numbers its buildings, all the ones west of the 520 highway are supposed to be numbered starting at 100. So what gives with Building 99?

Here's my theory: the building is going to be the home of Microsoft Research. And I bet that Microsoft Research just thought it would be...well...cool to be in Building 99. Much cooler than Building 128 or whatever was next to be assigned.

This has happened before. You may not know this unless you are a road geek, but the US Interstate Highways are numbered according to a system where even-numbered highways go east-west and the numbers increase as you go further north, and the odd-numbered highways go north-south and the numbers increase as you go further east. Thus Seattle features the intersection of I-90 and I-5, and Jacksonville has I-10 hitting I-95. Anyway, the highways are funded by Congress but the numbers are assigned by AASHTO. EXCEPT for one interstate in Pennsylvania which just happens to go through the congressional district of Bud Schuster, who was the chairman of the committee that wrote the bill that funded it. The highway is between I-79 and I-81 but should really have been named I-370 or something...but lo and behold ol' Bud had it written into law that it had to be called Interstate 99. And there it sits to this days (actually it's gradually inching north towards New York State).

Wikipedia has some other 99s, highlighting further instances of its mind-altering powers.

Posted by AdamBa at August 16, 2006 10:51 PM

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