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:
- in star trek, there are 47 sub-orders of the prime directive.
- matisse's "le bateau" hung upside-down for 47 days in the museum of modern art (in b's beloved nyc) in 1961, and not a single person noticed it was upside down.
- 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.
- the king james version of the bible was translated by 47 scholars.
- supposedly, there are 47 recorded miracles attributed to jesus (i haven't actually counted these).