The Return of Talking Time

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  #271  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:00 PM
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Yeah, I ranked 42 at the top mostly because of ol' DNA. What can I say, I grew up with him. His style was the basis of my humor all through gradeschool, which was probably pretty insufferable so it's fortunate that I've mellowed out since then. And yeah, like a lot of nerd cult classics he ended up woefully over-played, but he got to that point by coming up with a lot of pretty damn inspired stuff for the time. Also though I never got to meet him in person (he was supposed to give a commencement speech at my alma mater the year he tragically died all too young), he was by all accounts a great guy. In addition to snarky SF comedy, he was also a fantastic tech writer and conservation evangelist; check some of his other stuff out if you haven't.

Anyway, in addition to all that, I'm pretty much constantly gobsmacked to find that it's also my age at the moment. How the hell did that happen?
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  #272  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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Oh, and looking back at my list apparently I didn't actually vote for e for some reason, but man Euler's identity is always mind-blowing. Just... what the hell to those constants even have to do with each other and what business do they have all cancelling each other out like that? The universe is a weird place.
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  #273  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:21 PM
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If you've got half an hour to spare, this is a really good video that explains what Euler's identity represents and why it makes sense. Spoilers for a couple other numbers that are likely going to show up on this list.

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  #274  
Old 02-07-2019, 03:05 PM
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As a terrible nerd, I always get annoyed at 42 stuff that treats the number as if it means anything in itself. It’s not the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it’s the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Without knowing what the question is it’s just a number.

I haven’t read the books since I was a teenager, so I don’t know if everyone else is missing the point or if I am.
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  #275  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:20 AM
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As a college student associate to a high school math team I once got an entire room of math professors to flinch, over and over, by convincing them to take the name Euler's rulers.
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  #276  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:32 AM
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8.




i
(aka “the square root of -1”, aka aka “the imaginary unit”)



Points: 303
Mentions: 11

First Round Rank: 8
First Round Points: 224
Movement between rounds: 0



Really Wanted to Force Me to do a Precalc Lesson:
Karzac, muteKi Ranked at #4


Binary Representation: N/A
Roman Numeral Representation: N/A
ASCII Symbol: N/A
Divisors: N/A
Other Notables: N/A

The imaginary unit, or the square root of -1, usually comes up toward the tail end of working with quadratic equations. It’s the core of “imaginary numbers” i satisfies one root of the quadratic equation i^2 + 1 = 0.

As you may remember from algebra, quadratic equations (Remember ax^2 + bx + c = 0?) all have two solutions, or roots (since x^2 means x could be a positive or negative number with the same absolute value), but only some of those roots are “real” in the sense that they’re real numbers. The question is how many times that graphed equation (a parabola) crosses the x-axis. A parabola can cross a given axis 0 times (being completely above or below it), 1 time (when the vertex of the parabola touches the axis), or 2 times (as each reflective side of the parabola crosses the axis).

Any time the parabola crosses the x-axis less than 2 times, the equation has at least one imaginary root, typically expressed as the square root of a negative number. By pulling the imaginary unit out of that root, it’s sometimes possible to further reduce the number (for example the square root of -4 can be reduced to 2i). It gets really fun when you find ways to multiply equations by i, thus getting an i^2(or 1) and being able to take imaginary numbers back into the realm of real numbers! You can also get numbers that can’t be reduced any farther, like “4i+3”, which are called “complex” numbers.

Because these numbers are often introduced conceptually and are called “imaginary” i and it’s imaginary and complex relatives can seem like completely theoretical gobbledygook at first glance. However, they’re really useful and have practical applications in fields as divers as circuit board design, computer graphics, shock absorber engineering, fluid dynamics, stress testing of both real products like steel beams and digital ones like weather prediction computer models, number theory, and more. Basically anywhere a vector can be useful, so can i. If you’ve used any of these things to enhance your daily life, you can thank i for helping to make them safe and reliable. Even though they don’t “exist” in the realm of real numbers, imaginary numbers have an undeniably practical value, and our acceptance of them is fundamental to our modern lives.

Just for fun, in electrical engineering, the imaginary unit is written as j because i is typically reserved to measure current. So just to make it easy on the rest of us, they switched it up by a letter. This gets even more fun when you get into coding, where i and j are frequently signifiers of loop variables (that is, a holding cell for a number that tracks how many times you’ve run the loop).

Basically what I’m saying is never code about imaginary numbers in an Electrical Engineering context. Nobody will understand you.

Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 67299.80428
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.43902E+29
i is not included in the average
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  #277  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:37 AM
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7.




2


Points: 339
Mentions: 12

First Round Rank: 6
First Round Points: 339
Movement between rounds: -1



Seeing Double, Four Krustys:
Daikaiju, Johnny Unusual, muteKi Ranked at #1


Binary Representation: 10
Roman Numeral Representation: II
ASCII Symbol: ”Start of Text”
Divisors: Prime
Other Notables: Can be expressed as 1^2 + 1^2, the smallest prime number, the only even prime number, Fibonacci number.

For being so tiny, 2 is huge in that it formally defines both even and odd numbers. Even numbers are perfectly divisible by 2, where as odd numbers are not perfectly divisible by 2. It’s also so common to take the square root of a number that the root sign does not need a number in the space for the exponent (it’s just understood you’re taking the square root). The square root of 2 itself also creates the first known irrational number.

Also, with apologies for reinforcing the dominant worldview of binary coupling as the norm, 2 is a pretty big number in romance and human-making, and thus something that’s regularly commented on in film, song, poetry, and pretty much any other form of art and entertainment you can find. There’s a huge amount of social pressure to “find your other half” or “that special someone” or “insert your favorite euphemism for a significant other here.” It’s particularly hard at this time of year, and a major source of stress in the lives of countless people. All of this despite the pretty rational argument that true love is not as unique as society would have us believe, but what I’m saying is that you don’t have to wait for someone else to buy you a Whitman’s Sampler, just go out and buy that sampler yourself. You may be surprised to find it’s not worth all the hoopla (Seriously though See’s Nuts and Chews is where it’s at, trust me on this one).

But wait, there’s more about 2!
  • I know this will shock people who have been following this list, but 2 is the basis of the binary number system, which is KIND OF IMPORTANT in the world of electronics and computing. For this reason, powers of two are also quite important, as we’ve seen many times so far on this list.
  • 2 is the atomic number of Helium, a noble gas that really shouldn’t be used for blowing up balloons because it's one of the best coolants in existence.
  • 2 is associated both with the idea of twins or identical parallels and oppositional duality, two major forces which find their way into almost every philosophical system humanity has created.
  • In Judaism, 2 candles are lit each Shabbat as a reminder of the two times Shabbat is referenced in the Ten Commandments. 2 witnesses are also required to provide testimony over major events such as marriage, divorce, and serious crimes.
  • a standard basket or “field goal” is worth 2 points in Basketball.
  • There are a few significant pairs of twins out there. Fictional detectives also tend to work in teams, and mythological lovers and twins are a pretty common theme as well.

And here are some of the hundreds of songs that feature 2 (Who would have thought couples would be a good song topic?):
























Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 65480.97592
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.38095E+29
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  #278  
Old 02-08-2019, 10:10 AM
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God, pop music is such a fuckin' minefield after a breakup.

Sorry, what? Right, numbers. Didn't vote for two. But I did vote for i. Imagination is magic! And complex numbers are dang useful.
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  #279  
Old 02-09-2019, 02:01 PM
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Time for our last weekend of interesting numbers that didn't make it!
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  #280  
Old 02-09-2019, 02:04 PM
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234.



666666666666666666666666
and
-0.0909090909090909



Points: 12
Mentions: 1 each

First Round Rank: 241
First Round Points:12
Movement between rounds: +7



People Who Just Want to Watch the System Burn:
Galadrome and WildcatJF Ranked at #24


It is remarkably easy to find patterns in numbers. Arguably, this is one of the primary reasons we invented and study mathematics. Some people on this list took that….really literally. Both WildcatJF and Galadrome submitted lists completely filled with ever-escalating number patterns, each in their own separate logic. The end result were numbers that were totally sensible in the context of their patterns, but something that nobody else would vote for in a million years. Except like one or two numbers each for them, which have made the list. Here’s to our players who didn’t care what anyone else thought!
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  #281  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:47 PM
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lol There was a theme to my choices but I'll refrain from sharing until the list is over.
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  #282  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:05 PM
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82.




18,446,744,073,709,500,000


Points: 35
Mentions: 1

First Round Rank: 78
First Round Points: 35
Movement between rounds: -4



Set For Life in the Commodity Trade:
Bulgakov Ranked at #1



So far we’ve had a number of powers of 2 pop up on this list, mainly related to computer science. This is one of my favorite visualizations of exponential growth. The “Chessboard Rice/Wheat” Fable” has several variants, but the basic pattern is that a king agrees to give a servant a reward (often for inventing chess) where he gets one grain of wheat for the first square of the chessboard, two for the second, four for the third, and so on. The fancy summation way to write this is:


The king laughs at the meager reward, then discovers the final result is huge. Almost 18.5 quintillion grains of rice, well over 1000 times the annual production of wheat in the world today. Personally, I love this fable as a reminder to do the math before you agree to a deal, and as a fun way to explain the power of exponential growth!

Last edited by Bulgakov; 02-11-2019 at 06:48 AM.
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  #283  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
18,446,744,073,709,500,000

Almost 18.5 quindecillion
I think you have had the wrong name there.

Last edited by Torzelbaum; 02-10-2019 at 03:28 PM. Reason: It was fixed
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  #284  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:12 PM
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A similar parable always delighted me as a kid, about whether you'd rather get 1 million dollars, or 1 penny doubled every day for a month. I remember obsessively trying to count how much more you would earn by taking the second option, and absolutely thrilling in how big the numbers got.
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  #285  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
I think you have the wrong name there.
Pardon the error. Corrected!
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  #286  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:53 PM
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6.




3


Points: 351
Mentions: 13

First Round Rank: 3
First Round Points: 351
Movement between rounds: -3



Know That Five is Right Out:
Dracula, Yimothy Ranked at #1


Binary Representation: 11
Roman Numeral Representation: III
ASCII Symbol: ”End of Text”
Divisors: Prime
Other Notables: Fibonacci number

As the second prime and the first number larger than a pair, 3 really does seem to have a magic quality for humans. Triples, trinities, trichotomies, triads, however you want to group them, 3s permeate the human consciousness countless ways. Here are a few of the most obvious:
  • 3 is typically the smallest number to be considered a “few” or “several” in counting; two is most often referred to as a “couple” instead.
  • Generally speaking, humans are considered to inhabit 3-dimensional space. Don’t @ me about time being a dimension, I’m staying simple here!
  • 3 is the atomic number of Lithium, a soft metal used today in glass and ceramics, lubricants, steel and aluminium production, and lithium ion batteries.
  • It’s common to begin a task as a group “on the count of 3” or by counting backwards from 3.
  • In Euclidean Geometry, three points are required to define a plane in space.
  • A natural number is divisible by 3 if the sum of its digits add up to a multiple of 3.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Sora can activate the "Trinity" ability while standing on a Trinity Mark while Donald and Goofy are in the party. This will cause the trio to perform an action respective to the mark's color, which usually results in opening a new path or revealing a rare treasure. (You're welcome Dr. Nerd and Loki)
  • Oh-so-many world religions have triple deities or major concepts that involve threes, including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, religious Daoism, Christianity, Wicca, and more. The fates (past, present and future) also represent a triple goddess in Celtic, Greek, Roman, and Norse traditions.
  • There are 3 primary colors in both pigment (red/blue/yellow) and light (red/blue/green).
  • The so-called “rule of threes” is a cornerstone of modern comedy.
  • In Chinese culture, 3 is considered a lucky number because it sounds similar to the word “alive.”
  • A “3-pointer” is a difficult shot in Basketball made behind the field goal line.
  • 3 is the only prime number which is one less than a perfect square.
  • European alchemy had 3 primes: salt, sulfur, and mercury.
  • Being the integer closest to both, 3 can be used as a rough approximation of both Pi and e for quick estimations and solution-checking.
  • There are 3 strikes in an out, and 3 outs per side of an inning in Baseball.

And of course, the obligatory Youtube song list:








Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 63757.88194
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.32558E+29

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  #287  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:54 PM
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5.




8


Points: 362
Mentions: 15

First Round Rank: 7
First Round Points: 337
Movement between rounds: +2



Much Larger Fan of Octo than Octo Himself:
Clarice Ranked at #1


Binary Representation: 1000
Roman Numeral Representation: VIII
ASCII Symbol: Backspace
Divisors: 1,2,4
Other Notables: Perfect cube of 2, can be expressed as 2^2 + 2^2, Fibonacci

Apparently 8 oozes class. Many of the 15(!) voters for 8 remarked on its elegance, its smoothness, and the quality of the numeral being a mirror image of itself. Several people also noted its relationship to the infinity symbol, and if there’s one thing that classes up the place, it’s infinity. 8 also has associations with video games thanks to the 8-bit era and series that last as long as Final Fantasy. Let’s see where else 8 makes a difference in the world:
  • 8 and 9 are one of only two pairs of perfect numbers adjacent to one another (2^3 and 3^2). The other pair is 0 and 1.
  • A cube has 8 vertices.
  • Our solar system has 8 planets (sorry Pluto).
  • 8 is the atomic number of Oxygen, a gas central to the moment-to-moment life of almost every living thing on our planet.
  • Almost all arachnids (spiders, scorpions, and ticks) have 8 legs.
  • 8 is about the only number on this list that you can tie into a legitimate knot.
  • ”an eighth” is slang for a measurement of marijuana and many other drugs. An eighth of cocaine is specifically referred to as an “8-ball.”
  • 8 is another big number in music. There are 8 notes in a full octave scale, an 8th-note (taking up 1/8th of a 4/4 measure) is a common division of time, and time signatures often use an eighth-note base as a result.
  • In Mario Kart 8 there is an item called the ”Crazy Eight.” If you feel like this was a legitimate fact to list here, you may want to reexamine your standards.
  • Chess takes place on an 8x8 grid with 8 pawns and 8 pieces for each side.
  • In Judaism, religious circumcision is held on a baby boy’s 8th day of life. As well, Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday.
  • 8mm film (such as Super-8) is an iconic format for cinema.
  • 8-track cartridges were a popular format for music in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
  • Any number whose last 3 digits are divisible by 8 are also divisible by 8.
  • In Buddhism, an 8-spoked wheel (the Dharmacakra) represents the branches of the Eightfold Path.
  • 8 is the basis of an LED “7-segment display,” and is the only numeral to use all 7 segments.
  • The 8-ball is a key element of many pool games, and its pocketing either wins or loses most games. It also gave rise to the phrase “behind the 8-ball” as an indicator of preparedness.
  • Adult humans have 32 teeth (including wisdom teeth) divided into four quadrants of 8 teeth each.
  • In the US, where we refuse to use the metric system, there are 8 fluid ounces in a cup, 8 pints in a gallon, and 8 furlongs in a mile.
  • In Islam, heaven has 8 gates.
  • 8-sided dice are the next step up from the traditional d6, and are frequently used as damage dice for starting equipment in D&D.

And of course the music!














Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 62123.18381
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.27273E+29
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  #288  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:39 PM
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I voted for 8 because of Dragon Quest VIII and Final Fantasy VIII and because of center midfielders (which usually wear the 8 t-shirt). I forgot Eight Miles High and The Eightfold Way (the classification of hadrons). It had my top spot anyway!!

(I sure wish i knew about the other eightfold way.)
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  #289  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:05 PM
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I had ranked 3 at #7 and 8 at #itself in both rounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
It’s common to begin a task as a group “on the count of 3” or by counting backwards from 3.
An interesting thing I learned is that you can't do this with less than three numbers (no matter what numbers you use). Going from the first to the second number is required to establish the timing between numbers and get everyone focusing together and then you can go in sync on the third / final number.

(Of course, if you prefer you could do it with words instead - "ready, set, go". But you still need three of them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
In Euclidean Geometry, three points are required to define a plane in space.
If I'm remembering correctly I think three points is also the minimum required for defining a sphere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
The 8-ball is a key element of many pool games, and its pocketing either wins or loses most games. It also gave rise to the phrase “behind the 8-ball” as an indicator of preparedness.
I thought that phrase meant something different.
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  #290  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:41 PM
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Wow, I'm legitimately surprised that 8 placed so high.
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  #291  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
If I'm remembering correctly I think three points is also the minimum required for defining a sphere.
Shouldn't you still only need two points to define a sphere? For any two points A and B in 3d space, there's only one sphere that has A as its center and B on its surface. Right? Or am I missing something?
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  #292  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
Shouldn't you still only need two points to define a sphere? For any two points A and B in 3d space, there's only one sphere that has A as its center and B on its surface. Right? Or am I missing something?
I'm not sure - as I said I might not be remembering that correctly.
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  #293  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:06 PM
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An 8 is basically a Cool S
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  #294  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:14 PM
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  #295  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
Shouldn't you still only need two points to define a sphere? For any two points A and B in 3d space, there's only one sphere that has A as its center and B on its surface. Right? Or am I missing something?
If one of the points is the center, then yes, I believe that's right, so you *can* define a sphere with two points (or alternately, a center and a radius). But if you specify the two points are both on the *surface*, then that can be a whole range of spheres with different centers and radii (it's easy to imagine a small sphere with the two points on opposite sides, or a much bigger sphere with the two points nearby on one side), so then you'd need a third surface point to narrow it down to a particular sphere.
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  #296  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:20 AM
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Yeah that's true, three points would make a triangle tangent to a unique sphere. Good point!

Still surprised at how high 8 placed. Higher than 2 and 3! That's ridiculous.
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  #297  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
I thought that phrase meant something different.
Yeah, it means being in an unfavorable position.
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  #298  
Old 02-12-2019, 11:24 AM
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4.




7


Points: 370
Mentions: 14

First Round Rank: 4
First Round Points: 344
Movement between rounds: 0



Loves Numerology and the Luck It Manifests:
Loki Ranked at #2


Binary Representation: 111
Roman Numeral Representation: VII
ASCII Symbol: “Bell”
Divisors: Prime

Closing in on our top three, 7 is the prototypical “lucky number.” Seven is the fourth prime number, and the most likely number to come up when you roll two dice, making it a key number in Craps, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, and a number of other dice-based games. There are also Seven days in a week, seven colors in the rainbow, Seven Wonders in the ancient world, and 7 unique notes in a standard major scale. Lots of people drank 7-Up back when it was considered appropriate to drink that much sugar in a day,
  • 7 is the smallest number that cannot be represented as the sum of the squares of three integers.
  • James bond is agent 007.
  • Se7ebn or Seven is a great David Fincher movie that I struggle to still enjoy now that I know about Kevin Spacey (maybe it was just prescient?). Some other great films with 7 in the title include The Magnificent Seven, The Seven-Year Itch, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Seven Samurai, and Seven Chances.
  • Boeing Airlines begins all of its passenger air jet models with the number 7.
  • Interestingly, 999999/7 = 142857. This becomes interesting when looking at 7ths as decimals, as n 7ths will create a repeating 7-number sequence starting at the nth digit of 142857.
  • Seven is a big number in antiquities, including the 7 deadly sins, 7 planets (They hadn’t discovered Uranus and discovered-then-demoted Pluto at that point), and more.
  • Apparently highly effective people have 7 habits, which makes for a catchy book title.
  • In Mario Kart 7 there is an item called “Lucky 7.” Again, this is not a real fact, stop believing in it.
  • Remember Graham's Number? 7 is the last digit of Graham’s number. Don’t ask me how they know.
  • 7 was considered a divine number in ancient Egypt. The pharaoh often ordered things in multiples of 7, and the number 7 was not written down in some circumstances.
  • 7 of 9 is what you name your fictional character when you want to make sure that everyone knows SHE WAS A MACHINE until you put her on a starship with the crew’s directive to make her more human.
  • At least one major psychological study suggests that we are most easily able to remember 7 digit numbers in our short-term memory.
  • There are 7 books in the Harry Potter series, and now that J K Rowling has seen this list, she’s tweeted that Minerva Mcgonagall actually only has 7 toes, but uses her shapeshifting Animagus powers to hide her disability in an abelist wizard society.
  • 7-Eleven is a major chain of convenience stores in the US.
  • The 7th Guest Was a breakthrough full-motion video computer game with a horror theme.
  • There are 7 eponymous Dragon Balls in Dragon Ball Z.

And of course a few songs involving 7.














Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 60570.21434
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.22222E+29
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  #299  
Old 02-12-2019, 11:26 AM
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Bulgakov Bulgakov is offline
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3.



Special thanks to Jbear and Jonny Unusual for braving a cold Canadian night in service of my lame joke idea!

3.1415926535...
(aka “pi”)



Points: 375
Mentions: 13

First Round Rank: 4
First Round Points: 344
Movement between rounds: +1



Actually Super Impressed With Jbear’s Dedication:
Falselogic Ranked at #3


Binary Representation: N/A
Roman Numeral Representation: N/A
ASCII Symbol: N/A
Divisors: N/A
Other Notables: Transcendental.

And here we are. If not the single most important constant outright, pi is probably the single most recognizable constant that’s not a natural number. Even most elementary school kids have been introduced to the concept of pi before they’re 10, they’ve learned that it’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (which is not actually the only definition of pi, but it’s the original one), and probably eaten a slice of a delicious baked dessert while doing it.

Pi is a number that was incredibly important throughout civilization. It’s all over geometric, and therefore architectural, equations, and shows up pretty much whenever you need to measure a circular or elliptical curve. It’s also a major feature in trigonometry, and therefore calculus when applied to trigonometric functions. After that we get into Fourier transformations and even more high-end math things that I don’t understand myself, but pi is useful for determining surface areas and much much more when you get to that point.

The earliest known approximations for pi originate around 250 BCE in Greece and in the 400s in China. Today, we can calculate pi to trillions of digits, but realistically we only need about a few hundred for even the most delicate of scientific equations. The only reason people keep going is to see how far we can push it (although maybe if we need to make a planet from scratch someday or something it’ll matter a bit more). So while Jbear’s memorization may come in handy if he gets into high-end surface area calculations, it’s probably not much better than 3.14159 if you need to get quick and dirty about a circle.

Notably, at slightly more than 3.1, pi is the closest number we’ve had so far to ranking the same as its actual value!


Of course there are no songs featuring...oh wait...







And here’s a couple about circles for good measure:










Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 60570.21434
Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.22222E+29
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  #300  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:35 PM
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Loki Loki is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulgakov View Post
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I hope people are watching these.
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