Wednesday, December 27, 2006

37

As far as numbers go, 37 doesn't sound anywhere as exciting as 36. But first looks can be a little deceptive.

There are so many different ways to factor 36. That's part of its appeal. But there's only one way to factor 37.

But 37 is also a prime number, and that makes it special in its own right.

According to the Wikipedia, 37 is the first irregular prime, the third unique prime, and the fifth lucky prime.

37 is thus far the only number I know of that has a web site dedicated to it. Tom Magliery put up thirty-seven.org to list down all things related to 37.

According to Tom:
It does seem that 37 occurs a lot. You hear it a lot in conversation: people choose it as an "arbitrary" number of something. It turns up in writing, such as in columns by Dave Barry and Joe Bob Briggs. It appears in comic strips quite a bit. It has appeared in many movies, both accidentally and on purpose. It turns up on lots of personalized license plates.

It may be that 37 gets used a lot because it somehow "feels random". I imagine psychologists pondering theories and performing experiments on destitute grad students, to figure out why people might choose this number over a less random-sounding number like 36.


I'd list down some of the factoids but it's better if you visit his site. Oh, but do take some things with a grain of salt.

Pictured above is Open Cluster M37, also known as Messier Object 37. It is the richest open cluster in the Auriga constellation. It was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654. With an average telescope about 150 stars can be identified in it.

And 37 is how old I am today.

16 comments:

  1. Well then..if you have turned 37 today, a "Happy Birthday" is in order. Happy Birthday! And I hope this year is a wonderful one for you.

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  2. hay you, happy birthday! do you still have gifts to open? ;)

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  3. Ha ha. I get gifts the whole year round. But thanks for asking.

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  4. may you live to be at least cxxxvii

    :-)

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  5. Happy Birthday Dominique! = )

    Love and wisdom NOT years are the best measure of age or maturity.

    You must be very old than your age today!


    Claire

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  6. Ei! Interesting bit of trivia there on 37. Heheh I was just about to comment that 37 is also the age where they realize they are close to becoming 40. hehehe.

    Happy Holidays!

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  7. Awww, thanks all.

    Ferdz: In three years time, it'll all be over. I suppose I'll be counting from 40 from then on. Gadzooks!

    Himy: I'll be happy with lxxxvii. Still, cxxxvii sounds interesting.

    Claire: can I still enjoy my comics and action figures? =))

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  8. Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday!
    Happy Birthday!
    Happy Birthday to you!

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  9. Only if you let me borrow them from you! Hah. Of course, we should keep our toys of old memories that issue forth child-like wonder :)

    Culling from the Ethics of Elfland for emphathy:

    "The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.

    It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. "

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  10. Happy Birthday, Dom!
    Many more to come!

    -Hrbs and Krisette

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  11. It appears that I've read this much later than anyone else. Happy Birthday, Dominique. :)

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  12. Hey, Dominique!

    Belated Happy Birthday! Yeah, I think 37 is a nice number. ;)

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  13. Late birthday greetings, Dom!!! *huggles!*

    Sean: I read this much later apparently *blushes in embarrassment*

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  14. Belated happy birthday to you, Dominique.

    You've had a festive week, haven't you? ;)

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