#271




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 overplayed, 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? 
#272




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 mindblowing. 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.

#273




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.

#274




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. 
#275




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.

#276




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 xaxis. 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 xaxis 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 
#277




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 humanmaking, 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!
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 
#278




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. 
#279




Time for our last weekend of interesting numbers that didn't make it!

#280




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 everescalating 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! 
#281




lol There was a theme to my choices but I'll refrain from sharing until the list is over.

#282




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; 02112019 at 06:48 AM. 
#283




I think you have had the wrong name there.
Last edited by Torzelbaum; 02102019 at 03:28 PM. Reason: It was fixed 
#284




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.

#285




Pardon the error. Corrected!

#286




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:
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 
#287




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 8bit era and series that last as long as Final Fantasy. Let’s see where else 8 makes a difference in the world:
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 
#288




I voted for 8 because of Dragon Quest VIII and Final Fantasy VIII and because of center midfielders (which usually wear the 8 tshirt). 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.) 
#289




I had ranked 3 at #7 and 8 at #itself in both rounds.
Quote:
(Of course, if you prefer you could do it with words instead  "ready, set, go". But you still need three of them.) Quote:
I thought that phrase meant something different. 
#290




Wow, I'm legitimately surprised that 8 placed so high.

#291




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?

#292




I'm not sure  as I said I might not be remembering that correctly.

#293




An 8 is basically a Cool S

#294





#295




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.

#296




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. 
#297




Yeah, it means being in an unfavorable position.

#298




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 dicebased 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 7Up back when it was considered appropriate to drink that much sugar in a day,
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 
#299




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 highend 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 highend 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...
Running average of all numbers under 10 Million: 60570.21434 Running average of all numbers It's reasonable to include: 2.22222E+29 
#300





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