We’re expecting another 3 to 6 inches of snow to fall today and the weather report says thunder snow is possible. A rare thunder snowstorm. To that I say, Come on! Enough already!
In a previous post I mentioned that we’re all 8’s in my family — the number figures prominently in our births with three 8th day birthdays and a 24. That’s a multiple of eight. In numerology the number 8 works out for all four of us as well. I mentioned before that 8 was the family’s lucky number because we played 8’s once in the lottery and won $16. Come to think, if it were truly lucky, that would have been 16 million! Hmm…
Luck and 8’s It makes me think of a Magic 8 Ball. The first time I saw one, I was in grade school. Someone brought their gadget to class and we all took turns asking it questions. In case you don’t know, the Magic 8 Ball is fortune-telling toy circa 1950 that resembles the black billiard ball. Flat on one end that sports a small window, it’s filled with water that floats an icosahedron (20-sided sphere). How the toy tells your fortune depends upon what yes or no question you ask. You flip the ball over and look in the mysterious window and whatever is printed on one of the icosahedron’s twenty sides is your answer. There are ten yes answers, five no, and five that say try again, so you have twenty from which to gain your insight. I’ve read the probability of seeing them all takes something like 70+ turns.
That’s an example of a 5am pre-coffee mind cascade. lol
Back to the real topic today ~ numbers.
Wherever there is number, there is beauty. This, therefore, is Mathematics: She reminds you of the invisible forms of the soul; she gives life to her own discoveries; she awakens the mind and purifies the intellect; she brings to light our intrinsic ideas; she abolishes oblivion and ignorance which are ours by birth.
When you think about it, numbers are more than handy symbols for quantity, they’re an astoundingly profound symbol of philosophy. As a tallying device they’re remarkable. They take what we can relate to on our fingers and toes and run on infinitely. The reason we have digital numbers today is because we have digits! After you used up your twenty fingers and toes, you’d need other things to count with. The early Greeks and Romans were known to use tokens as in a one of these for one of those representation. The first tokens were pebbles of limestone called calculi. It’s clear where calculus gets its name.
The first place value numerical systems show up in Egypt and Mesopotamia more than 5000 years ago. People were starting to think of counting in abstract. Around the same time, the Sumerians dreamed up the abacus that implemented its own form of calculi except the pebbles were all on one place and where they were on the device corresponded to a numeric value. It’s said the ancient Babylonians might have toyed with this next idea, but India was first to formalize arithmetic operations with it. It was later taken up in the Arab world to become what we know today. The symbol I’m referring to that took numbers beyond the digits and pebbles is 0 — zero. Think about that. A symbolic representation for the concept of nothing.
Armed with the zero, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras took numbers to a whole new level. Not only did he give us his theorem ( in geometry, long story), he essentially made mathematics a religion. His followers were big on the idea that numbers were mystical. Attributed to the divine, they were as endless and as vast as the power held by any deity. And the Pythagoreans weren’t alone. Numbers are precision tools. Wielded by the right hands and by the right minds, they unlock the secrets of the universe.
I have another vet trip for my old puppy so I’ll leave you with this clip to capture your imagination. Notice the spirals. Spirals and math. If that isn’t the mind of the Universe, I don’t know what is.
Tomorrow ~ more!
Here’s one for today:
Affictitious (adjective 1656)
Over on the Exquisite Quills blog it’s a day dedicated to clothing. In 300 words or less taken from the pages of their novel, authors can describe what a character is wearing. Come join us today!
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Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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