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Strange numbers in our life

By mystic in Op-Ed
Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 04:10:59 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

I was reading "The Solitaire Mystery" by Jostein Gaarder and reaching the section where in the "Sticky Book" the relationship between years/months/weeks are expressed in terms of numbers of cards in a pack. I was reminded of my old fascination for numbers and their uncanny connection to our technology and life in general.

I just had to rant it out. If you are interested read further. You have been warned "Do not call me an X-file addict the next time you see me".

There have been many numbers that we encounter again and again and again in our life but we just don't think much about it. An example? How about the number represented by "pi"? Ever wondered why that number is so common in our life?

Coming back to "The Solitaire Mystery", a guy is stranded on an island and has only a pack of cards with him. So he devises a way to keep track of days.It goes as follows:

The year has 52 weeks, so each week is represented by one of the cards in a pack. 7x52= 364. The day left over is called Joker day. It belongs to no month and no week. Every four years there are two such Joker days. Fiflty-two weeks are divided into 13 months, each of 28 days. The first month is Ace ad last King. There is an interval of 4 years between every two Joker days. It begins with year of diamonds, followed by year of clubs, then hearts and finally spades.

Furthermore, if you add all symbols in a suit together(Ace=1 King=13, Queen=12), we get 91. 91 x 4 = 364. So there are 364 symbols in a pack of cards.
Fun? Uncanny? How about replacing the present calendar with "Cards Calendar"? Read further.

The number 7
  • Babylonian Ziggurats had seven steps, as did the Temple of Solomon.
  • The angle of the Great Pyramid is that of a seven-sided polygon. Rome was built on seven hills.
  • The Tree of Life has seven branches, six around one trunk that is the axis of the universe.
  • The ancient symbol of the Trinity, Borromean Rings (three rings which mutually interlock precisely through their centers), has seven sections - six around one in the center.
  • There are seven stars in the celestial crown of the Virgin Mary, like the seven rays of Justice that shine from the head of Liberty.
  • In Persia there were seven gates that lead to Glory of Mithras.
  • Ishtar in Babylon and Isis in Egypt both passed through seven gates in the underworld to effect the resurrections of their slain husband-deities.
  • Buddha seeks salvation for seven years before circling the Bodhi Tree seven times,thereby achieving enlightenment.
  • The world Mountain has seven sides, each one facing one of the seven continents.
  • In Tibet and Japan, the souls of the dead are said to tarry for 7 x 7 days before departing to distant, unknown realms.
  • The constellation Ursa Major (the Big Dipper), by which early navigators found the north star - and thus their way home - consists of seven stars.
  • When rolling two dice,"Lucky Seven" is statistically the most probable of all possible outcomes.
  • There are Seven Pillars of Wisdom, seven Wonders of the Ancient world, seven circumambulations around the Ka'ba in Mecca, seven Liberal Arts
  • There are seven tones in one octave of the diatonic musical scale (do-re-me...).

The number 666
  • "Let he that has wisdom count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666." The Book of The Revelation to John, Chapter 13, Verse 13, Verse 18.
  • 2000 divided by 3 = 666.666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666..
  • VISA Card : "VI" is the number 6 in the Roman numerals, "S" is the Stigma in the Greek culture whose value is 6, and lastly the "A" in the Babylonian culture is 6 ... i.e, VISA = 666!
  • 666 has an uncanny connection to barcode which many of you may have read by now. Read more here

The number known as "pi"
Pi is:
  • the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet
  • the ratio of a circle to a square when one side of the square is the circle's radius
  • the equivalent of 180 degrees when measured in radians
  • The pyramid of Cheops hase a base length of 230,38 m, and a height of 146.6 m. If you take two times the base length, and divide this by the height, you get a value of "3,14297..."

So what have I achived by this long post? If not anything else, I would have given you a good laugh at the "silliness of it all". If you did not laugh so far, let me dare to ask you a question which you may want to let loose in your brain "Is there any special reason why some numbers seem to come back to your life again and again?"

Since I started with "The Solitaire Mystery", let me end with a quote from it:
People would have gone absolutely wild if the astronomers had discovered another living planet, they just don't let themselves be amazed by their own.


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Numbers are
o just number. Stop. 40%
o fun and magical 27%
o uncanny and mystical 14%
o I hate maths. Go away. 18%

Votes: 85
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o here
o Also by mystic

Display: Sort:
Strange numbers in our life | 52 comments (48 topical, 4 editorial, 1 hidden)
Interesting. (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by FyreFiend on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:01:29 PM EST

I just voted +1 because I find things like this interesting. For 90% of it I think it's a coincidence, but interesting none the less.

That site you linked to is just messed up (IMHO). I always try to keep an open mind but not so open that my brains fall out.

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we".
-- Mark Twain

Instinctive and Coincidental numbers (3.40 / 5) (#2)
by tumeric on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:01:38 PM EST

Like 3, the number 7 is one of those numbers people instinctively go for. Its something to do with the symmetry of taking a section from the centre.

A fun exercise with coincidental numbers is to take one that you feel isn't special (8?) and work it into as many situations as you can. For instance, its just turned the 8th of December and I have to be in work in 8 hours.


What stands out (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by titus-g on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:28:43 PM EST

when seat belt laws were first introduced in the UK, everyone knew someone, who knew someone who had been killed because they wore a seatbelt.

Very few people could remember cases where people were killed through the lack of.

It's what stands out.

But maybe there's more :)

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

skidoo (1.40 / 5) (#3)
by pope nihil on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:11:13 PM EST

Where is the stuff about 23 ?!?!

I voted.

sun moon (1.66 / 3) (#4)
by titus-g on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:12:57 PM EST

same rotunditude as viewed from earth (hence total eclipses), u missed, many more just as big I can't remember.

these things are sent to taunt us :)

wish I could remember the others though...

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --

Wow. (4.00 / 2) (#6)
by Mad Hughagi on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:33:04 PM EST

I'm sitting at home, somewhat in an altered state, drifting off to epic trance and slowly making my way through k5.

(New comment?)

(Oh great, another one of these wacky number significance stories?)

(Huh?, this one is pretty good in a sensationalistic kind of way! +1 Main!)

Now, time for pi (and maybe a bit on 42! the most important one of all!)

The signiciance of pi I believe isn't that it's simply derived from circles, it's that it is a totally infinite non-periodic number! While this might not really be that cool, it definately says something about the universe that we live in. 'e' is another one of these numbers, and I'm pretty sure that there's more, I just can't remember them...

The fact that something can contain that much information, and yet have no pattern truly amazes me. Although I wouldn't say that it is a trait that makes our universe 'special' it does show you how complex things really are. It's not often in our current day that something is unexplainable by the reductionist principles of Newtonian science.

But then again, the answer to the Universe is 42!!!


We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.

another such number (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by spectatorion on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 10:54:39 PM EST

There is the "golden ratio," usually represented by the greek letter "phi." It arises from an interesting problem in geometry and is supposedly the most asthetically pleasing aspect ratio a rectangle (and many other things can have). It is the ratio of the two (unequal) sides of a special rectangle called the golden rectangle. This rectangle has the special property that if you take out a square with sides equal to the length of the shorter side of the rectangle, you leave behind a rectangle of equal proportion. It is equal to (1+sqrt(5))/2 (where sqrt() means the square root of what's in the parentheses) and is the only positive solition to the equation x^2 + 1 = x, plus it is the ratio x/y=y/(x+y). It is also the limit of the ratio of two adjacent Fibonacci numbers. (Fibonacci numbers are a recursive sequence of numbers defined by: Fn =Fn-1 + Fn-2 where the first two terms, F1 and F2, are both 1-- although according to some, F1 can be zero with the same result--the golden ratio is Fn+1/Fn as n gets large). Are you going "huh?" right now? I probably did not explain any of this very well. Try here for a more illustrated explanation. There are some pretty pictures here, too. Be sure too look at the pretty pictures of the spiral.

The golden ratio shows up a lot in Greek architecture and the Golden Spiral is "embedded" in Leonardo Da Vinci's famous picture of human anatomy, which shows a man who appears to have four arms and four legs. There are so many interesting things in numbers, it is practially impossible to list them all. I hope someone found this informative and/or interesting.

[ Parent ]
PI and other rubbish (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by leviathan on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:22:53 AM EST

PI is only of infinite length when you try to write it down in base n, or in fractions. There's no reason for a number that comes intrinsically out of geometry should fit neatly into our number systems.

We usually deal with neat numbers like 2 and a half because that's handy for us.

It is surprising that the number system that someone came up with by laying out seeds on a surface is so capable of describing modern day physics.

Perhaps there were other number systems people came out with, but they died out when they weren't as useful?

I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]

heh (3.80 / 5) (#7)
by kei on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:45:54 PM EST

All of this reminds of Pi, the movie. I'm gonna go listen to the soundtrack now.

12:45: Restate my assumptions. One: Mathematics is the language of nature.

Two: Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.

Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge.

Therefore, there are patterns. Everywhere in nature...
"[An] infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
- /usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle

More links.. (3.66 / 3) (#8)
by mystic on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:50:00 PM EST

The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 3
The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 5
The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 9
The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 72

How do I vote on this? (3.40 / 5) (#9)
by JungleJim on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:52:19 PM EST

Too bad I cannot vote +pi on this, or +666, or -7, or.... I think I'll stop here.

Haha !! (none / 0) (#10)
by mystic on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 09:56:43 PM EST

I chose the examples carefully ! ;)

[ Parent ]
A book (3.75 / 4) (#11)
by mwright on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 10:14:25 PM EST

I recommend John H. Conway's book The Book of Numbers. The beginning of the book discusses a lot of things like this related to numbers, and the rest of the book points out all sorts of amazing relationships between the numbers, as well as different kinds of numbers (imaginary, etc.). It's a very good book.

Mistake (none / 0) (#42)
by mwright on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 10:10:22 AM EST

My apologies... I just realized I had omitted one of the authors. It's John H. Conway and Richard Guy's book.

[ Parent ]
Another book... (3.50 / 2) (#12)
by escherIV on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 10:23:53 PM EST

This just makes me think of Focault's Pendulum, a book by Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose... made into a movie with Sean Connery... Same guy). It's easily one of my favorite books, though a little hard to wade through at times. There's a hefty bit of, for lack of a better term (I'm drawing a blank), numerology, but not in the fortune telling ways. It does kinda refute some of the things you said though... The Pyramid of Cheops? Close, but not quite. It varies after the 6th (I believe) digit. It also makes the point that these things can be found anywhere, from a hotdog stand to a crystal.

You have number x that you want to get to number y. You need to find a path, because there obviously is one.

Basically, people see things like this because they want to, whether subconciously or conciously.

other things that explore these kind of ideas.. (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by einstein on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 10:38:26 PM EST

this kind of thing always leaves me bouncing back and forth between two main thoughts. One is that's just coincidence, and doesn't mean much, or... it's do to the grand nature of the universe, that fractal patterns in nature repeat and is part of the beauty of creation. books and movies that have made me think about this are Pi, that indie film about great spirals and the number/name of God.. and Contact by Carl Sagan which hints about the idea of the creator of the universe hiding messages in the far out digits of Pi and other numbers. both a good view/read

[ Parent ]
Forty-seven (3.00 / 5) (#16)
by Eimi on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 11:14:43 PM EST

Amazingly, no one has yet mentioned 47.

Anyway, I tend to be of the opinion that you find what you look for. Just about all of the examples you gave boil down to one of two things: "Hey look, this constellation has seven stars! What are the odd?" or can be attributed to the fact that various ancient cultures found the name numbers intriguing that you do. That's not really proof that it is significant.

Cheops and PI... (4.71 / 7) (#18)
by Speare on Thu Dec 07, 2000 at 11:38:43 PM EST

The Cheops Pi conundrum goes like this:

    The pyramid of Cheops hase a base length of 230,38 m, and a height of 146.6 m. If you take two times the base length, and divide this by the height, you get a value of "3,14297..."

The explanation of that goes like this:

    How did the Egyptians measure large linear distances? If you use twine, it stretches.

    Solution. Pick some nice measure cubit, say. It doesn't matter how long it is, just define something as a cubit. Put a wheel of radius 1 cubit on the end of a stick. Mark a point on the circumference. Walk, rolling the wheel as you go, until the mark has touched the ground n times. That's a distance of n cubit-wheel-rotations. Now, build your pyramid n cubits high. You now have a pleasing pyramid that will not erode for thousands of years by being too pointy. Without even knowing pi, you've introduced a side-effect: the height and base have a ratio of 3.14...

As for the numerology of the calendar, the Aztec pyramids divide the year up in a very different way, with the months defining the steps up the corners, and the days defining the steps up the sides. The whole pyramid is turned and pitched so that sunlight passes down the edges exactly on the equinoxes.

[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
Ah, but.... (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by pb on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 03:57:03 PM EST

If they were using a wheel, why does it come out so much closer to 22/7? :)

My favorite one (not mentioned here) is that in old Greek dice games, they'd throw three dice... and "triple sixes" was considered lucky. Go figure.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of another book (2.71 / 7) (#20)
by TheDude on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:14:40 AM EST

Anyone who wants to be mind-assaulted by numbers and their meanings, read The Illuminatus Trilogy. My mind isn't the same after that book got to me.

TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

You forgot a number.. (-1 Troll) (1.30 / 10) (#21)
by k5er on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 01:49:05 AM EST

What about 69.... Thats an important number!?
Long live k5, down with CNN.
Ehm, you forgot the most important numbers (3.66 / 6) (#22)
by boxed on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:23:53 AM EST

  1. Five finger on each hand and toe
  2. Five-fold symmetry is impossible (so sue me, my dads a chrystallographer :P)
  3. A pyramid has 5 sides counting the bottom.
  1. Four limbs on a human.
  2. Four noble truths of the buddha
  1. 2+3=5
  2. 2/3=666.6666...
  3. Under the american seal it says "novus ordoseclorum". 23 letters (notice that the first word is 5 letters long.
  1. Friday the 13:th
  2. Above the american seal it says "Annuit Coeptis". 13 letters.
  3. The pyramid in the american seal has 13 steps.
That's just a sample, for the full list read the Illuminatus!-trilogy.

Oh, and btw, the stuff you said about the number 7 is largely manmade stuff.

13 and American Icons (3.66 / 3) (#31)
by Speare on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 10:54:15 AM EST

The pyramid in the american seal has 13 steps.

That's kinda by design.

  • 13 original colonies, 13 states first in the union
  • 13 stars on the original flag to commemorate those states
  • 13 stripes on the flag then and now
  • 13 stars, 13 arrows and 13 leaves on the olive branch the eagle holds in the eagle seal
  • 13 block layers on the pyramid on the pyramid seal
  • 13 beads in each leaf to each side of those seals

  • [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
    [ Parent ]
    42! (2.22 / 9) (#23)
    by Luke Francl on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:51:48 AM EST

    Well, this story is mostly stupid. Just a bunch of amusing coincidences.

    However, why has no one mentioned the most important number of all: 42?

    Strangeness (3.16 / 6) (#25)
    by Beorn on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 04:15:09 AM EST

    It is odd that several people have taken time to "debunk" these numbers, as if the existence of fascinating patterns threatens their rational world-view. That is like being shown a beautiful sunset and saying "yeah, but there's a perfectly natural explanation for this." Of course there is, but that's beside the point, and the real question is not "precisely what is this", but "why does this mean anything to me?".

    Some numbers and mathematical patterns obviously has some sort of universal psychological power, or they wouldn't be popping up in all sorts of places: religions, art, even purely functional visual symbols. This is an important and to me fascinating subject. The links Mystic listed somewhere else, (3, 5, 9, 72), are a good place to start.

    - Beorn

    [ Threepwood '01 ]

    666 (2.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Holloway on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 04:23:37 AM EST

    666 = totalled numbers on a roulette wheel.

    == Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

    Huh? (3.00 / 1) (#28)
    by fvw on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:18:37 AM EST

    A roulette wheel has the numbers 0-36 on it, right? That would make (1/2)*(36)*(36-1)=630 the sum...

    [ Parent ]
    Doh! (4.00 / 1) (#40)
    by fvw on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:37:26 PM EST

    Oops, my bad, that should of course be (1/2)*(36)*(36+1)=666, you're completely right, my apologies.

    [ Parent ]
    SPOOK! (4.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Holloway on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 08:26:26 PM EST

    ...thus proof that gambling is the devil.

    == Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

    [ Parent ]
    Not convinced... (2.75 / 4) (#27)
    by pak21 on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 05:23:17 AM EST

    Sorry, but for me this doesn't mean much:

    1. Given that there are a large number of cultures/traditions/etc in the world, you're always going to get some overlap between them.
    2. Many of these examples are the same thing, for example the fact that there are pi radians in 180 degrees is directly due to the fact that the radius of a circle is 2*pi*r, which then gives you the area as pi*r*r, which then gives you the square fact.

    Interesting possibly, but I don't think it sheds any new light on the Universe.

    (Disclaimer: I am a theoretical (astro)physicist)

    Babylonian math (none / 0) (#34)
    by ucblockhead on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:09:44 PM EST

    The reason a circle is 360 degrees is that the Babylonians mistakenly thought that there were 360 days in a year.

    Anyway, all these cultures talked, so you are right, the coincidences don't mean much. The reason that so many cultures consider seven a lucky number of some sort is that they all have roots in the same near east culture based around what is now Iraq.

    This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
    [ Parent ]
    Bah! Humbug! (3.28 / 7) (#29)
    by jabber on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:22:05 AM EST

    I vote -1. This kind of fun with numbers ends after 4th grade. The math is trivial and coincidental. The bullets are fabricated for the sake of increasing their count. The book seems aimed at people who read the Weekly World News, watch professional wrestling, and believe that both of these are real.

    If you want to see some truly interesting things, play with pi, e, the Plank Constant, G and some other fundamental values. By doing some sophistry, almost all of them can be derived from one another - so what?

    So without further ado...

    Warning! Bill Gates (the president of the Microsoft) may be the next antichrist:Revelation 13:18 says:

    "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

    The real name of the Bill Gates is William Henry Gates III. Nowadays he is known as Bill Gates (III), where "III" means the order of third (3rd). By converting the letters of his name to the ASCII-values (which are used in computers) you will get the following:

    B I L L G A T E S 3

    66 + 73 + 76 + 76 + 71 + 65 + 84 + 69 + 83 + 3 = 666

    M S - D O S 6 . 2 1
    77+83+45+68+79+83+32+54+46+50+49 = 666

    W I N D O W S 9 5
    87+73+78+68+79+87+83+57+53+1 = 666

    Daniel 7:23 says: "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on Earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole Earth, trample it and break it in pieces." Current history knows three antichrists:

    - Adolf Hitler
    - Joseph Stalin
    - The Pope
    (You can count number 666 from each of the names above.)

    Is the fourth beast Microsoft corporation which represents the power of money? Revelation 13:16 and 13:18 says:

    "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads," "and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    "Windows compatible?"

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

    Transentental and imaginary numbers... (3.25 / 4) (#32)
    by Hillgiant on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:03:54 PM EST

    ...are much more interesting than these mundane intergers.

    Observe: e^(i*pi)+1=0
    Here we have the two most useful (in science) transendetal numbers, the imaginary operator (i), and all basic mathmatical functions (subtraction is the inverse of addition, ect.), and the only interger common to all counting systems. Mix all these together and you should get a mess. But instead you get zero, the non-number.


    More fun with transendental numbers: Take any x and x+y. No matter how small y is, there are INFINITE transendental numbers between these two. And yet, there are very few transendental numbers that we can define. IMHO this is even more facinating than prime numbers.

    "It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny

    misconception (none / 0) (#38)
    by heighting on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 07:32:09 PM EST


    The equation is not such a miracle as you seem to suggest: the *definitions* of pi and e are related. All that the equation really says in plain language is:

    "Making two half turns gives a full turn"

    For *real* numerology, try this:

    e^(pi*sqrt(163)) is 'very close' to an integer (accurate to 12 decimal places!)

    Clearly, having stated this, it is trivial to verify, but the observation (by Ramanujan) comes from deep considerations in number theory.

    > No matter how small y is, there are INFINITE
    > transendental numbers between these two. And yet, there
    > are very few transendental numbers that we can define. > IMHO this is even more facinating than prime numbers.

    Why transcendental numbers in particular? You could say the same thing about just the irrationals. Moreover, you can define lots of transcendental numbers trivially given a single one.

    [ Parent ]
    IANAM (none / 0) (#43)
    by Hillgiant on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 06:41:18 PM EST

    (I Am Not A Mathmatician) I got as far as differential equations and paniced. =]

    Sorry, I ment the post to be sarcastic. A point on how if you obfuscate enough, mathmatics can be quite mystical.

    On the transendental thing..... I find them interesting because as an engineer, I like exact numbers. Irrationals, intergers, and fractions can all be expressed exactly using decimals however an transendental number cannot. Call me odd, but i find that really facinating.

    "It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
    [ Parent ]

    My Significant Number (4.50 / 2) (#33)
    by Number9 on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:08:15 PM EST

    In my life, I have a very significant number - as evidenced by my nick - and that number is the number 9. And it has haunted me ever since I realized how much it followed me.

    It all began when, on Feb. 9, 1999, I was at a party. I was sitting on the couch, beer in hand, and looked at the clock - 9:09 PM. And at this moment I caught an earful of the music coming from the stereo - "Revolution 9" by The Beatles. Then I counted up the number of people at the party - at that moment, 9 people were in that house. And since that fateful day, the number 9 has followed me (and my friends) around constantly. Examples:

    - I currently live in an apartment building. The apartment number is 108. 1 + 0 + 8 = 9.

    - In the recent Canadian federal election ( my first vote ever) I was on the list at the local poll as voter #243. 2 + 4 + 3 = 9.

    - When the batteries died in my analog wall clock, the time was exactly 9:00.

    - I decided to watch the MTV Movie Awards in 1999. The broadcast date? 9/9/99. And I live in Atlantic Canada, so I'm in the AST time zone. The movie awards were broadcast at 8:00 PM, but that's 9:00 PM in my time zone.

    - Similarly, I bought a Sega Dreamcast, which was released in North America on 9/9/99.

    - It is 100.1 kilometres between my apartment and my parents' house. 1001 == 9 in binary.

    I could go on, but you get the picture - maybe I'm just being paranoid, but this number 9 thing really freaks me out. =)


    Ah-ha! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Number9 on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:12:07 PM EST

    ... and now I'm replying to my own comment. My previous comment was #33. 3 x 3 = 9. Go figure. =P


    [ Parent ]
    Interesting... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Chakotay on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:56:50 PM EST

    But have you ever considered all the other numbers you encounter every day? I bet that for every 9 you notice, you don't notice one of each other numbers. Probably, on that one fateful day, chance was twisted a little to throw lots of 9s at you at that very moment, and from that moment you started noticing other 9s that you encountered.

    I notice the same sort of sensory selection in lots of other things. After I got my first tattoo I started noticing many more tattoos around me. After buying new glasses of a specific model, I started noticing people with those kinds of glasses. My parents have always had Volvos, which makes Volvos always stand out to me, but more specifically, when they bought a 960, I suddenly noticed many more 960s on the road than before.

    Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

    [ Parent ]

    ROFL!!! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Chakotay on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:58:32 PM EST

    The comment ID of the above posting is 36, which obviously adds up to 9. Figures.

    The Gods have a sense of humour,
    So be sure you don't lose yours.

    Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry to be a goon about this... (4.00 / 1) (#41)
    by lucius on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 12:05:34 AM EST

    It seems to me that you're doing a mapping from all the integers to {1,2,...,9}. So you have an eleven percent chance of turning *any* number into 9 in some way or another.

    Perhaps you should do the same thing for *every* number you see during one day and get some stats going.

    I'll bet on an even distribution

    [ Parent ]
    If you had actually read my first reply ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Chakotay on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 10:30:00 AM EST

    ... you would have seen that that is exactly what I said too.

    Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

    [ Parent ]
    6 (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Girf on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 08:26:29 PM EST

    Ok, while the rest of you are busy making comparisions between Bill Gates and the devil using the number 666. I would like to make comparisoions between Bill Gates and the devil using the number 6. Actually this doesn't have anything to do with Bill Gates...

    I'm one of those prime number freaks. I have a tarball of 60megs of primes on a CD somewhere.. I took the first couple thousand primes and a bunch of hacked together perl scripts and came up with this [recipe for 6].

    • Take a list of prime numbers, disregard the first few (2,3,5)
    • Now from each prime subtract the one before it.. This will give you the distances between the primes.
    • Now with a calculator (or perl) start adding the these distances. Every time you get to 2, record the total and start over again.
    • You now have a list of numbers, examine the list, and you find they are all divisable by 6, every last out of them.

    Freaky? yes. This also works with, instead of 2, using 4, 8, 10, 14, 16, etc. All the numbers except the multiples of 6.

    I have no idea what this means, but I feel it is significant, since it is a pattern in the primes.

    That is my 'magic' number. 6.

    -James deBoer

    Well, yeah... (2.00 / 2) (#49)
    by pb on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 02:16:22 PM EST

    I think that has something to do with 2 and 3, since 2*3=6...

    For an encore, you can notice which decimal numbers terminate, and why. (I think it has something to do with 2 and 5...)
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
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    [ Parent ]
    1 is the largest positive integer (2.66 / 3) (#45)
    by TuxNugget on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 03:37:18 PM EST


    Let N be the largest positive integer.

    Since by assumption N is the largest positive integer, squaring it can not make it bigger.
    We immediately have

    N*N <= N

    But if we divide both sides of this inequality by N, then we have

    N <= 1

    and since N is positive, N=1.

    Thus, 1 is the largest positive integer.

    This would seem to suggest that you people who are talking about pi, 666, 9, 23, 47, and other supposedly "larger" numbers are talking about numbers that don't exist.

    Please tell me how (none / 0) (#46)
    by mystic on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 07:36:57 PM EST

    you get this step, the relationship between N*N and N!

    >>Since by assumption N is the largest positive integer, squaring it can not make it bigger.
    >>We immediately have
    >>N*N <= N

    [ Parent ]
    It gets worse (none / 0) (#48)
    by TuxNugget on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 12:55:37 PM EST

    If N is the largest positive integer, multipying it by 2 can not make it bigger.

    Thus, 2*N <= N.

    But by dividing each side by N, we have 2 <= 1.

    This should give you some idea of what is happening...

    [ Parent ]
    Not to mention that... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Khedak on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 04:14:30 PM EST

    This would seem to suggest that you people who are talking about pi, 666, 9, 23, 47, and other supposedly "larger" numbers are talking about numbers that don't exist.

    Yeah, and pi isn't even an integer, so those people are doubly stupid for saying that pi exists, since everyone knows 1 is the largest positive integer. But, what's the largest *negative* integer? Well, let's say N is the largest negative integer. Since N is the largest negative integer, we can't add 2 to it. We immediately have N+2 <= N. If we subtract N from both sides of this equation, then 2 <= 0. Since 1 < 2, then 1 < 2 <= 0. Now, since 1 is less than zero it is definitely negative, while 2 may be equal to zero and neither positive nor negative. Also, since as everyone knows the next integer after -1 is 0, one may be lead to believe that -1 is the largest negative integer. But since as I just have shown 1 is also negative, and -1 < 1, then 1 must be the largest negative integer. Therefore 1 is both the largest positive and the largest negative integer! A truly amazing number indeed.

    [ Parent ]
    Plain STUPID! (3.50 / 2) (#47)
    by Nickus on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 04:13:12 AM EST

    This is the same thing as dreams that come trues. You dream about something and the next day it comes true. You are really amazed and tell your friends and they tell their friends about that guy who dreams true dreams. But how many dreams come true? A male in Finland lives on average 72 years = 26280. If you have 10 true dreams in your life that is (given that you dream only one dream per night which isn't true) 0.03%. Which means your dreams has a failure rate of 99.97%. Go figure.

    Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
    Strange numbers in our life | 52 comments (48 topical, 4 editorial, 1 hidden)
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