|"According to legend, the great ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes died as a result of being deeply engrossed in a mathematical problem. As the story is usually told, Archimedes did not hear the Roman centurion who had entered his house and who ordered him to stop working and identify himself. In frustration, the soldier ran him through with his sword."
—From Keith Devlin's The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossip, p. 131. New York: Basic Books, 2000. First pub. in Great Britain, 2000.
"There was this well-known, fabulously rich financier who had made so much money that neither he nor his family nor his heirs would ever be able to spend it all. In spite of his immense wealth he continued to be active, aggressively making more and more millions; according to him this was 'the only way to escape from reality.'"
—Anecdote told by American mathematician Philip J. Davis, from Rudolf Taschner's Numbers at Work: A Cultural Perspective, p. 153. Wellesley, MA: A K Peters, 2007. Orig. pub. in German, 2005.
"The interesting number paradox is a semi-humorous paradox that arises from attempting to classify natural numbers as 'interesting' or 'dull.' The paradox states that all natural numbers are interesting. The 'proof' is by contradiction: If there were uninteresting numbers, there would be a smallest uninteresting number—but the smallest uninteresting number is itself interesting, producing a contradiction."
—From "Interesting Number Paradox," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
|Writing Rules for Numbers
From The Chicago Manual of Style, Copyright © 1982, 15th ed. 2003
1.a. (nontechnical) Numbers up to one hundred, round numbers into the millions, and numbers at the start
of a sentence are spelled out.
b. (alternative rule) Single-digit numbers (1-9) are spelled out. All other numbers are written with numerals.
2. Percentages are written with numerals, e.g., 50% or 50 percent.
3. Decimals where the quantity is less than 1.00 are written with a zero before the decimal point, e.g., 0.25.
4. Decades appear with the year followed by an "s," e.g., 1960s and '70s.
5. The full date is followed by a comma (,), e.g., June 5, 2009, was the company's fifth anniversary.
Mathematical Horoscope. (humor) Are you an Areas or a Torus?
Palindromes. A palindrome is a word or sentence that reads the same backward and forward, e.g., "Madam, I'm Adam." There are number palindromes as well.
What's Special About This Number? Mathematically, of course.
of the Year
|empty, null, void, vacuum,
zero hour for military operations,
at 0 degrees Celsius water freezes
Roman god of
gates, doors, &
|individual, unique, original, unit (of 1 or many), primordial unity, 1st place, 1st class, dominance, heaven ideogram (China)|
Norse god of
Feast of Puri-
|couple, friendship, partnership, opposition, binary, duality, double, twin, doppelgänger, 1/2, "Think twice," heaven-earth or yin-yang ideogram (China)|
• 3 primary colors (blue, red, yellow)
• three's a crowd, love triangle,
"Three strikes & you're out."
• Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
• Moerae/Parcae goddesses — The Fates (birth, life, death) of Greece & Rome
• Norns — Norse goddesses (Urdr, past; Verdandi, present; Skuld, future)
• heaven-earth-man ideogram (China)
Norse god of
|square foundation, routine,
4-leaf clover, 4 limbs, 4 seasons
• Gods of the 4 Directions (Tortoise, Dragon, Phoenix, Tiger) (China)
• homophone for "death" (Japan)
|5-pointed star, occult pentacle,
5 senses, body (4 limbs & head),
the Pentagon, center, middle
(metal, water, wood, fire, earth)
|6-pointed snowflake, 6th sense (ESP)
• smallest perfect* number (1 + 2 + 3 = 6) *First 4 perfect #'s: 6, 28, 496, 8128
• 666 (Antichrist; sum of 1-36)
• Magen David (Star of David) of Judaism
• In Chinese, 6 (liù) phonetically linked to prosperity (lù).
|7 days of the week
7 wonders of the world
7 apertures of head
7 Gods of Luck (Japan)
|octopus arms, spider legs,
8th chemical element oxygen,
symbol for infinity ∞, Magic 8 Ball
• Noble 8-Fold Path of Buddhism —
Wisdom: right understanding, thought, Conduct: right speech, action, livelihood, Concentration: right effort, awareness, contemplation)
• 8 directions of heaven; 8 trigrams
x 8 = 64 hexagrams of I-Ching (China)
was the 7th month
in early Rome.
|• 9 planets of the solar system
• 9 Muses — Greek goddesses
• "A cat has 9 lives."
• "S/he is on cloud 9."
• homophone for "pain" and
• The sum of the digits of multiples of 9 always equals nine. Examples: 2 x 9 = 18, 1 + 8 = 9, and 3 x 9 = 27, 2 + 7 = 9, and 4 x 9 = 36, 3 + 6 = 9.
was the 8th month.
|Wheel of Fortune
|decade, 10 fingers for counting,
base 10 decimal system
• 10 Commandments of Christianity
• cardinal-points-of-compass ideogram (China)
was the 9th month.
|11th hour (last chance),
master "2" vibration in numerology
was the 10th month
|dozen, 12 months of the year,
12 noon, stroke of midnight
|Friday the 13th, 13 at Last Supper,
baker's dozen, puberty,
original 13 U.S. colonies
|Valentine's Day (2/14),
14 Stations of the Cross of Christianity
|15 minutes of fame,
"Beware the Ides of March."
(Shakespeare's Julius Caesar)
|Seventeen teen magazine,
St. Patrick's Day (3/17)
|U.S. legal adult age in many states|
|Alpha-Omega (1-9) number,
19- x 19-line Go board game grid,
homophone for "repeated suffering" (Japan)
|vernal (spring) equinox (approx. 3/20), 20-dollar bill, 20 Questions game, 20 digits for counting (fingers & toes), base 20 Aztec system used for math|
|summer solstice (approx. 6/21),
winter solstice (approx. 12/21),
U.S. legal drinking age in many states
|autumnal equinox (approx. 9/22),
master builder "4" in numerology
|A prime number that is composed of 2 consecutive prime* numbers.
*Can't be divided without a remainder (excludes divisors +1, -1, & itself +/-).
|24 hours a day, 24/7|
|Xmas Day (12/25),
silver wedding anniversary
|XXVI||twenty-sixth||last letter of the alphabet
|50||L||fiftieth||50 U.S. states, golden wedding anniv.|
|100||C||hundredth||cent(i)-||100-dollar bill, century,
centenarian (100-year-old person),
at 100 degrees Celsius water boils
|500||D||five-hundredth||Indy 500 car race|
|103||M||thousandth||mill(i)-, kilo-||"A picture is worth a 1000 words."
1000 folded cranes for luck (Japan)
1000 x 1000 = 1 million
1000 x 1000 x 1000 = 1 billion