Special Numbers

Down the bottom of any page of my blog you will find a little section called “Thoughts on When”.  This is a milestone widget and when I logged on this morning it showed me a special number.  A very special number indeed.

There are all sorts of special numbers.  The number seven for example is the world’s lucky number and (apparently) the number of wizards – ok, it’s the number of one particular wizard. (Hi Harry!)

Some numbers have application in astronomy like the astronomical unit which is 149,597,870,700 metres – the measurement from the Earth-to-Sun (almost 150 million km, or 93 million miles).

Other numbers have scientific and mathematical purposes that go beyond my thought capability.  A Googol for example (10 to the power of 100) and a Googolplex (10 to the power of – a Googol).  Neither of which should be confused with a particular internet search engine or its corporate headquarters.

But if any of these numbers are perplexing, then Graham’s Number is (for me) incomprehensible.  It is so huge it was listed in the Guinness book of records in the 1980’s as the most massive finite number ever used in a serious mathematical proof.  All I can say is “Phew!”
(You can read more about really big numbers here.)

My special number is not so impressive on an astronomical, scientific, mathematical or even magical wizardry scale, but …  it is the loveliest number all the same.

My Special number is equal to:

The number of days the Moon waxes before we observe it big, beautiful and full;
The age at which we can commence paid employment (with parental consent);
The number of the Moonlight Sonata, by Ludwig van Beethoven;
The number of the day we celebrate romance and love;
The total number of lines in a sonnet, and
The number of days in a fortnight.

Yes that’s correct – 14.  That special, wonderful, magical number displayed on my milestone widget this morning triggering the final leg of our countdown.

When

How many days left to tie up loose ends and finish our business in Brisbane?

F O U R T E E N

How many calendar days does Dean has left to work?

F O U R T E E N

How many sleeps before hitting the road?

F O U R T E E N

How many days to go?

F O U R T E E N

Not that anyone’s counting :).

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