22 March 2013
THE NUMERACY OF THIS DAY
Today is my 66th birthday. I was born on 22 March 1947. 66 divided by 22 equals 3. 3 is the 2nd prime number. Each 2 in my birthdate is the 1st prime number. I am finely prime.
When I was about 6 years old (66 divided by 6 equals 11, the fifth prime number), the world seemed a much broader and taller place, and time seemed to stretch forever. Math told me that if I wished to live to see the year 2000 ( a mystical number, that), I would have to survive for 53 years. Back then, anyone that old seemed Pleistocene old, Methuselah ancient. I wasn't sure I'd live that long. Now, 53 seems like distant history, and I have to laugh. Oh, to be 53 again! 53 seems a long way back in my rearview mirror. Ah, youth.
53 is the 16th prime number. 16 is the square of 4 (4 times itself), and 4 is the square of 2, and we're back to that pair of 2s again. There's something suspicious going on ~ perhaps an interconnected spider's web of numbers. Spiders have 8 legs and 8 eyes. 8 is the cube of 2 (2 times itself, times itself again).
The year 1947 is often abbreviated as '47. 47 is the 15th prime number. 15 is the product of 3 and 5, also prime numbers. 5 minus 3 yields .... 2.
Seen above (click to enlarge) is M-66, or Messier 66, or NGC 3627, the 66th celestial body catalogued by French astronomer Charles Messier (pronounced messy-AIR, not MESSier).
The old U.S. Route 66, the Mother Road, traveled through 8 states. 8 is the cube of .... never mind, we already did that. They even wrote a hip song about the highway. "Get your kicks on Route 66."
66 written in Roman Numerals is LXVI, the only value to employ all of the lowest four Roman numerical characters. Written as 66, it has these associations.
22 March is an interesting day in history ~ assorted massacres, expulsions, treaties, and near approaches by comets. I share my birth date with an array of statesmen, emperors, actors, writers, athletes, explorers, physicists, musicians, and other vagabonds.
Longevity (a friend tells me) is 30 percent genetics, and 70 percent lifestyle. Going by genetics and my family history, I can expect to live for another 20 to 30 years. What if I set my sights a bit further, say to the year 2047? A ripe, even 100 years old. Attention to diet, exercise, and happiness/fulfillment vectors might get me there. It seems as far away as 53 did to my young self.
What will life be like then? So much has changed just within the past 67 years ~ I grew up listening to the radio, reading, and playing outdoors for entertainment. No TV, no satellites, no cell phones, no Internet or home computers, no DVDs or CDs, no GPS, no Tea Party. Simpler times. Check out these images from 1947. As the pace of change continues to accelerate, what will we take for granted in 34 years that does not yet even exist in the year 2013?