Saturday 7 July 2007

Ode to Seven

So today is 07/07/07, and I thought we should mark the occasion with a special tribute to the number 7.

Seven is of course, a number of almost mystical sygnificance - we have the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Wonders of the World, the Seven Seas, the Secret Seven, the Seven Ages of Man and Seventh Heaven. There are seven days in a week.

Jesus told his followers to forgive one other seventy times seven and there are seven books in the Harry Potter series. Seven is the number symbolically associated with God, and is the number of letters in the name Jehovah.

Seven is what you get if you subtract the digits of my house number, and also appears twice in my phone number and three times in my mobile number; I was born in 1978 and if you add up all those occurrences it means that the number seven appears seven times in the story of my life.

Every day I get up at seven o'clock (ish) and drive seven miles to work. I have lived in my present house for seven years and one time I ate seven Weetabix for breakfast.

Seven is, of course, a prime number, but it is also, apart from the trivial case of 1, the first happy number (trust me, I have a PhD in this). It is also not only a prime but a Mersenne Prime, being, as it is, 2^3 - 1. It is also 2*3+1, which makes it the first, and possibly only, smile prime (which I just invented).

Beer is sold in packs of six, which is almost seven, as is 5.75%, which is the current interest rate in the UK (at least it was when I checked yesterday; at the present rate of increase it could be seventy times seven by now).

And so we see that seven is a number without which we would have one less deadly sin, one less wonder of the world, no smile primes, and we'd be done with Harry Potter by now.

So let us celebrate the number seven, on this, its special day.

No comments: