A thought occurred to me a couple of days ago. I was thinking about a number, and how that number fit into the knowledge base that I have in my head. As I thought about it, I then thought how there were other numbers that also fit into my knowledge base somewhere, somehow. I wondered how many such numbers there were, or if I could list even a few of them. So, here goes a sort of experiment to list some of the numbers that are in, have been in, or somehow have encountered my life, either in thought or experience.
55: The national speed limit put into place during the oil crisis from 1974 to 1995.
66. The number of books in the Bible (Protestant version).
4’ 8 ½”. The distance between the rails of a standard gauge railroad.
26,800,000,000. The known breadth of the universe, in light years.
3. Number of “persons” in the Godhead Trinity.
1. The loneliest number, according to Three Dog Night.
100. Highest denomination of circulating U.S. currency, in dollars.
13. Baker’s dozen.
5. The pink money in a Monopoly game, in dollars.
96. The age of my paternal grand dad when he died in 1966
3.14159 The (approximate, since pi is an irrational number) value of pi.
180. The sum of the angles of any triangle, in degrees.
10. The height of a basketball goal, in feet.
365 ¼ Approximate number of days in a calendar year.
666 A number frightening to many, but holds no special meaning for me.
256 My EMS radio call number in Harper County.
2,000 Number of pounds avoirdupois in a short ton.
Member of the set of imaginary numbers
50 Number of sprinkler heads on our small farm irrigation system when I was a youngster.
16 ½ Length of a rod in feet.
320 Number of rods in a mile.
(274,207,281 1) The largest known prime number (as of the beginning of 2017). It has over 22 million digits in it.
6 The number of my siblings plus myself.
4. The width of overturned dirt, in feet, that a 3-bottom plow will make in a field. Plowing a quarter-section of land with one three-bottom plow is a daunting and humbling experience.
2 The number of tools used in Euclidian geometry construction (compass and straight-edge).
2.71828 The number whose natural logarithm is 1 (aka the constant “e”). e, like pi, is an irrational number, so this is an approximation.
24 My age when I married. Best thing (almost) that ever happened to me.
776 My EMS radio call number in Harper County after the reorganization.
300,000,000 The speed at which my text message travels from my phone to the cellular point, in meters per second.
As you can readily see, numbers that may mean something to me may have no meaning for you. You may not have thought about imaginary numbers recently, or the speed of light, or even a baker’s dozen. But you do have numbers in your life, and numbers do mean something to you.
Take a little time and think of some numbers that have meaning for you and why they mean what they mean to you. It’s a pleasant exercise, and one that is sure to get you thinking past what’s for dinner tonight.