Thursday, February 28, 2013


The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Don't you hate it when you are waiting on line, and whoever is being served just stands there like a moron, trying to decide what they want to order?  And the clerk just stands there waiting for them??  I saw this sign at a food counter in Talkeetna.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


739397 is a prime number.  If you get rid of any number of digits from either the right side or the left side (but not both) the number you are left with is a prime (as long as you don't remove all the digits and are left with nothing.  This is the largest number that has this property.

This is called a "two sided prime".  A "left truncatable prime" is a prime where you can cut off any number of digits from the left and still get a prime.  A "right truncatable prime" is a prime where you can get rid of any number of digits from the right and still have a prime.  A "two sided prime" is both.

The 15 numbers that are considered two sided primes include 1 digit prime numbers that don't have anything you can take away.

2, 3, 5, 7, 23, 37, 53, 73, 313, 317, 373, 797, 3137, 3797, 739397

Monday, February 25, 2013


When you divide 7 into any number that is not a multiple of 7, the repeat of digits will be 6 units long.  The number of digits in the repeat must be less than the denominator.  7 is the lowest denominator where the repeats are all the maximum length.

1/7 = 0.142857 (repeating)

2/7 = 0.285714 (repeating)

3/7 = 0.428571 (repeating)

4/7 = 0.571428 (repeating)

5/7 = 0.714285 (repeating)

6/7 = 0.857142 (repeating)

Notice that all of these are the SAME CYCLE of numbers, in the same order, they just start in a different place.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


On the back of a dollar bill, there are 13 steps on the pyramid. The motto above the pyramid has 13 letters (annuit coeptis). E pluribus unum, written on the ribbon in the eagle's beak, has 13 letters. 13 stars appear over the eagle's head. 13 stripes are on the shield. 13 war arrows are in the eagle's left talon. The olive branch in the eagle's right talon has 13 leaves.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


In a survey that asked people for "best number" someone wrote:

For a long time I thought 32 was the best number. 32 is 2 to the fifth - so it has a lot of power. Mostly it was the number of some of my favorite athletes - Koufax, Carlton, Jim Brown, Magic. And then OJ came along and ... I had to look for a new best number.

Friday, February 22, 2013

- 3 million

Average time, in millions of years, between mass extinctions on Earth: 62

Millions of years since Earth's last mass extinction: 65

Thursday, February 21, 2013


1/37 = 0.027027027027027027....

1/27 = 0.037037037037037037....

(I couldn't decide whether it should be listed under 1/27 or 1/37, so I took the average.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013



By my estimation, the speed hair grows (in miles per hour).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


According to the song by Paul Simon, there are "50 ways to leave your lover".  However, he only lists a few:

1. You just slip out the back, Jack
2. Make a new plan, Stan
3. You don't need to be coy, Roy / Just get yourself free (though this isn't really a way)
4. Hop on the bus, Gus / You don't need to discuss much.
5. Just drop off the key, Lee / And get yourself free.

Monday, February 18, 2013


5, 17, and 23 are the sacred numbers of Eris, Goddess of Discord.  (I listed this under 45 because it is the sum.)

For more information:  Eris

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013


A meteor exploded over Siberia today.  This is not the meteor that I mentioned coming near Earth in yesterday's post.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Today an asteroid will come within 17,200 miles from the earth at 2:24 pm Eastern Standard Time.  The asteroid is approximately 150 feet across.

for more information:  asteroid-pass-close-earth-friday

Thursday, February 14, 2013


What is the "7" in 7UP? We'll never know for sure. The soft drink's creator, Charles Leiper Grigg, went to the grave without ever revealing where he got the name. But there several interesting rumors regarding its origin.

When Grigg introduced his drink in October 1929, it had neither a "7" nor an "UP" in its name. He called it "Bib-label Lithiated Lemon-lime Soda." Imagine trying to order that bad boy from a Taco Bell drive-through! Bib-label Lithiated Lemon-lime Soda is perhaps the single worst name for a soft drink in soda history. How did he come up with this extraordinarily crummy name?

"Bib-label" referred to the use of paper labels that were placed on plain bottles. The "Lithiated" related to the mind-altering drug lithium. No kidding.

Besides having a very bizarre name, Grigg's concoction hit stores just two weeks before the 1929 stock market crash. It also faced competition from about 600 other lemon-lime sodas. Despite all of these daunting factors, the new drink actually sold pretty well. Chalk it up to the cool, refreshing taste of lithium.
But even with its success, Griggs soon realized that Bib-label Lithiated Lemon-lime Soda was a little tricky to remember (you think?) or maybe he just got sick of saying it himself. Griggs changed the name of his drink to "7UP."

Here's the most persuasive (and logical) explanation for the name: The "7" refers to the drink's seven ingredients, and the "UP" has to do with the soda's rising bubbles. This version is supported by an early 7UP tagline: "Seven natural flavors blended into a savory, flavory drink with a real wallop."

The seven ingredients were carbonated water, sugar citric acid, lithium citrate, sodium citrate, and essences of lemon and lime oils (technically two ingredients).

Of course, it's entirely possible that as executives devised the ingredients angle to fit the name rather than vice-versa. There are other possible origins, but these theories range from the unlikely to the preposterous. These include:

* Griggs saw a cattle brand that looked like 7UP.

* Griggs was rooting for a seven in a game of craps he was playing in .

* The original 7UP bottle held seven ounces.

* "Seven Up" contains seven letters.

b It's quite possible that the "7" refers to nothing at all -Griggs may have simply devised the name to stir up people's interest. In any case, the new name seemed to work okay.

But 1940, 7UP had become the third most popular and best-selling drink in the world. And even when the delicious lithium was dropped from the recipe in 1950, the drink remained a hit.

Is 7UP an aphrodisiac? Remember Wilt Chamberlain, the great basketball player who claimed he had made love to 20,000 women in his lifetime? Well, Wilt the Stilt's favorite drink was 7UP. According to Wilt, "I used to drink the stuff all the time."


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Four and Twenty

Several poems include the phrasde "Four and Twenty". For example:

Four and twenty weavers went out to kill a snail,
The bravest man among them trod upon his tail;
The snail turned round with horns like a cow -
`God bless us', said the weavers, `We're dead men now.'


Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish, to set before the king?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Originally McDonald's sold chicken McNuggets in packages of 6, 9, or 20.  If you wanted 12 McNuggets, you could buy 2 packages of 6.  If you wanted 35, you could buy a package of 20, a package of 6, and a package of 20.  But if you had a craving for 8, there was no way to buy 8.  There was no way to buy 25.

What is the largest number of McNuggets that would be impossible to buy?  43.

Monday, February 11, 2013


A new law in Israel bans models with BMI below 18.5 (which is still pretty damn skinny).  As a point of reference, Kate Moss has a BMI of 16.4.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013


1729 is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two positive cubes in 2 different ways.

1729 = 1^3 + 12^3

1729 = 9^3 + 10^3

A famous anecdote of the British mathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a visit to the hospital to see the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In Hardy's words:
I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

Ever since then, the lowesat number that can be expressed as the sum of 2 positive cubes in n different ways is called a "taxicab number"  1729 is Taxicab(2) because n is 2.

This property of the number is discussed in the play and in the movie "Proof".

The 2007 play A Disappearing Number by the Théâtre de Complicité company references the number. One of the main characters, Ruth, is a mathematician and 1729 are the last four digits of her phone number, paying homage to two of her heroes: Ramanujan and Hardy.

In the Futurerama movie, "Bender's Big Score", the number of the taxi cab Fry takes home in the past (87539319) is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in three different ways.

Friday, February 8, 2013


2 is the only number to appear only once in Pascal's triangle.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

i x pi

What is ln(-1)?

Euler's Equation states that

ei(pi) + 1 = 0

Thus   ei(pi) = -1

So   i(pi) = ln(-1)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013


24 is the smallest number to have eight different factors. (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24)

24 is the largest number divisible by all whole numbers less than its square root. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The cost of a commercials during the Super Bowl vary (for example, the fist commercial break is more expensive than the ones later in the show) but they begin at about $3,700,000 for a 30-second spot.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The average speed of the Australian dragonfly (the fastest insect) is 24 mph. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


26 is the only positive number to be directly between a square and a cube.  

(25 is 5 squared.  27 is 3 cubed.)