Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the birthday of a lifetime

yesterday, i celebrated my birthday. it was mostly a restful sabbath day, but did include a couple of games of four-person scrabble (my family was kind enough to comply with my insistence that i be allowed to win, since we were celebrating my birthday!) and dinner with a few friends at amante, our new favorite spot for calzones. a good time was had by all.

but the real story of this birthday is that it was my 47th -- a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. the sharper among you are thinking, "yeah, like every other birthday," and of course, there is some truth in your shallow logic. but 47 is special. aside from the obvious fact that 4 + 7 = 11, 7 + 11 = 18, 11 + 18 = 29, and 18 + 29 = 47 (coincidence? i think not), legend has it that pomona college math professor donald bentley once produced a convincing proof that all numbers are equal to 47; since no one seems to be able to reproduce the proof, one has to think it might be the new 'fermat's last theorem' (especially since that one was finally proven). but consider these facts:
  • according to legend, a 16th century official named wan hu attempted a flight to the moon by using two kites fastened to a sedan chair on which he had strapped 47 black powder rockets. 47 servants simultaneously lit the fuses and wan hu disappeared in a burst of flame and smoke. a crater on the far side of the moon is named in his honor.
  • in monsters inc., the scream factory had enjoyed 47 accident-free days at the start of the movie.
well, i could go on (you can find many other astounding examples here), but it should be clear by now that this one was something special. and yes, i'm already working on what makes 48 extraordinary!

4 comments:

Bora said...

What?! No "47" facts about Ron Paul? Then is he really all that?

Happy Birtday!

Bora said...

typing was never my strong suit:

Happy BirtHday.

gr8god said...

i think ron paul might have gotten 47 votes in the november 2008 presidential election, including mine.

Bevy said...

YOU ARE AMAZING - see I thot it was only me who thot like this. I have a whole entry on numbers and my Dad's life and my late hubby's life. Haven't typed it up - but it's right here on a sticky note. ;)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - ON my FAVE day of the year. Well apart from all those July dates. ;)
God bless you!