Liberal Arts Blog — The Magic Number Seven — Classical Planets, the Arabic Digit, Psalm 119:164
Liberal Arts Blog — Monday is the Joy of Math, Statistics, Shapes, and Numbers Day
Today’s Topic: The Magic Number Seven — Classical Planets, the Arabic Digit, Psalm 119:164
This morning I decided to learn something new about the number seven. Today, a few notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE SEVEN MOVING CELESTIAL BODIES VISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE ARE WHERE OUR NAMES FOR THE DAYS OF THE WEEK COME FROM
1. Have you experienced the sublime joy of each of these wonders?
2. Have you experienced the compound joy of several of them in syzygy?
3. In particular, have you marveled at the stunning splendor of Venus?
NB: “Starting around December 8, 2022, you can see all 5 bright planets in the early evening sky. But you’ll need a clear horizon from the southwest to the east. Start looking about 30 minutes after sunset. Mercury and Venus are very low on the horizon but will rise higher later in the month. Once you catch Mercury and Venus, then scan the southern and eastern sky for Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. In fact, if you look on December 8, you can catch the full moon rising as well, spanning about 177 degrees from Venus to the moon. Amazing!” (see third link below for details)
THE EVOLUTION OF THE ARABIC DIGIT
1. “In the beginning, Indians wrote 7 more or less in one stroke as a curve that looks like n uppercase J vertically inverted.”
2. “The western Ghubar Arabs’ main conribution was to make the longer line diagonal rather than straight.”
3. “Most people in Continental Europe, and some in Britain and Ireland as well as Latin America, write 7 with a line in the middle (“7”), sometimes with the top line crooked. The line through the middle is useful to clearly differentiate the digit from the digit one, as the two can appear similar when written in certain styles of handwriting. This form is used in official handwriting rules for primary school in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, other Slavic countries, France, Italy, Belgium, Finland,Romania, Germany, Greece, and Hungary.”
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO STEP BACK AND ASK IF YOUR BEHAVIOR IS ALIGNED WITH YOUR VALUES? IS SEVEN THE RIGHT NUMBER? (Psalm 119:164)
1. “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.” (Psalm 119:164). Oriental Orthodox Christians (Copts, Armenians, Syriacs, Indians) take this quite seriously and have “breviaries” (liturgical books) for praying seven times per day.
2. Traditional Jewish law requires praying three times per day, Islamic law five times per day.
3. Originally Benedictine monks prayed eight times per day, but, apparently the current practice is more like four times per day.
NB: My best idea: seven is the right number, grouped as follows: wake up/bedtime; before work/after work; mid-morning, mid-day, mid-afternoon (think two coffee breaks and lunch).
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“You’ve got to continue to grow, or you’re just like last night’s corn bread — stale and dry.” - Loretta Lynn
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Last four years of posts organized thematically:
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to math, statistics, or numbers in general. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to math.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.