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PostPosted: 03-05-2006 20:46    Post subject: Numerology Reply with quote

We have a couple of threads on specific numbers (666, 911) but not a general numerology thread, as far as I can see.

So a gentle one for starters:
The perfect time
By John Hand
BBC News

For those working through the night or just staying up late, it promises to be a time when clockwatching should be positively encouraged.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, the clock ticks past a time which is sure to appeal to the statistically-minded or just those who like a little bit of order in their lives.

For just a second - naturally - the time will be exactly 01:02:03 on 04/05/06.

Or at least it will be in the UK and the majority of countries which list dates in day and month order. In the US, the same phenomenon was observed on 5 April.

And, boy, was it observed. Hundreds of American bloggers took the opportunity to pay their own tribute to this segment of time, with many aiming to upload updates at the precise second it occurred.

The blogs also prompted plenty of debate as to how often such times come about.


£22,880 is earned
£22,800 is spent
174 credit and debit card transactions
One in 44 chance someone will be born
Six people start plane journeys, 69 catch a train and 145 hop on a bus
Britons travel an average 4.2cm
£150 donated to charity
One in 102 chance of a wedding taking place
£881.53 spent on alcohol and cigarettes
(Based on Office of National Statistics annual figures)

For fans of "sequential times" - the Oxford English Dictionary has no official term but this is the most common tag - the grandest of all came in 1989, when clock-watchers enjoyed the spectacle of 01:23:45 on 6/7/89.

That was hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience - although quite a few people got excited 13 months later when 12:34:56 on 7/8/90 ticked by.

And at the start of the new millennium, when many ushered in a new era with loved ones or savoured the hyperextended licensing hours, clock-watchers held out an extra two minutes to welcome the start of a whole plethora of palindromes.

First there was 00:02:11 on 1/1/2000, which was itself overshadowed 10 days later at 00:02:10 on 11/01/2000, the first fully palindromic time (with all units written in full) of the 21st Century.

In fact there have been so many palindromic times since then, that there must surely be a young Bob, Eve, Elle or Hannah out there who can claim to have had a truly symmetrical birth.

Recurring patterns in our times and dates are also occurring more frequently in this decade. Labour seized the opportunity to seek a third electoral success on 05/05/05, although the fact there were no polling booths open at 05:05:05 must have spoiled many a voter's plans.

And with the onset on 06:06:06 on 06/06/06 this summer, there are tabloid reports of mothers-to-be seeking to induce their labour before that time - if only to avoid constant cracks about "the number of the beast" from relatives.

But now that no-one seriously expects the world's computers to go into Millennium Bug-style meltdown when confronted with such sequences, do such times hold any significance?

Even at the UK's home of time - the Greenwich Royal Observatory - staff are divided on how much attention they should give to tonight's notable run of numbers.

Senior astronomer Dr Robert Massey is definitely in the enthusiastic camp: "This reflects the beauty of mathematics. If I'm awake and I remember, I'll diligently watch that second tick by. We'll have an overnight team here and we'll make sure to tell them to watch the clock.

"It's a bit of fun but it's also a reflection that in this digital age we can all measure time a lot more accurately than we could have when this kind of sequence happened in previous centuries."

However, the man responsible for ensuring all the clocks at Greenwich are accurate - Jonathan Betts, the curator of horology - is less easily impressed.

"I'm a bit too practical about such things. This kind of thing is quite an artificial concept - you can spin these numbers so many ways - so it doesn't mean too much to me. There won't be too many of us getting misty eyed at the passing of that particular second."

One man who could be relied on to show some enthusiasm and to point the way to some equally significant times to come in the long-term future is that hero of thirtysomething maths geeks everywhere, Johnny Ball.

The former host of BBC One's Think Of A Number series says of the 01:02:03 04/05/06 time: "That really is a beautiful time. Being a mathematician, I am of course happier when we have a true sequence with the units also ascending from smallest to largest so I'll be celebrating at 03:02:01 as well.

"In fact, your readers may like to mark the occasion by working how much time will elapse between 01:02:03 and 03:02:01 - they should be quite pleased when they discover the answer." (Answer at the bottom of this page if you're still scratching your head.)


Listeners of Janice Long's Radio 2 show suggested these songs:

5-4-3-2-1 - Manfred Mann
Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads
Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley
The Timewarp - Rocky Horror Cast
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Living Numbers - New Musik
Any song by The Magic Numbers

"Being a mathematician, I remember being quite struck when my son was born on 19/8/76. He wasn't born at 5:43:21 but I did make sure I went to the pub five minutes and 43 seconds after his arrival.

"These numbers are always fascinating. I was at Butlins in 1961 when I was just starting out in showbusiness and I made a special sign marking the year which you could flip upside down to show it was a reverse palindrome.

"I had to take my chance then because it was a long time to the next one. 2005 just about works but only in this digital age (ie if you're looking at it on a calculator rather than writing it down). If you don't count twos and fives, then the next date you can turn upside down without changing it is 8008, although 6009 is quite exciting as it's a revolving palindrome."

For those in Britain who want to mark the occasion, BBC Radio 2's night-time DJ Janice Long says her listeners would not want such an esteemed second to slip by unnoticed and have been e-mailing with suggestions of suitable records to play immediately after the 1am news bulletin.

Answer: one hour, 59 minutes, 58 seconds

Long said: "It's quite a unique moment and quite a special moment when you think about it because at that time of night, more people are actually listening rather than having the radio on as background. So there'll be plenty of people celebrating with us when the time comes."
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PostPosted: 07-04-2008 19:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, a couple of years later, let's try again! Cool

Just what on earth is numerology?
By Ruth Alexander
BBC Radio 4, More or Less

An otherwise entirely rational person might confess to having a lucky number or two, but why do some people base important decisions on the right numbers?

Most of us see maths as a science, but to some, numbers have hidden meanings that can be used to make decisions in matters as serious as recruiting staff.

When Samantha Roddick, the daughter of Bodyshop founder Anita Roddick, launched her business, she crunched numbers with her bank manager, her accountant - and her numerologist.

"When I pulled the whole team together, I just got everybody's numerology done," she says, describing how she used numbers to organise her new staff into efficient working groups.

"And then you just look at the overall numbers and how they interact. Ones are very ambitious, hard-working, career-centric, money-driven, Threes are very creative, as are Sixes. Fives, they're very apt to a lot of change."

Numerologists believe the numbers one to nine each have a mystical meaning, and that if you add together the digits in a person's date of birth, the end result is a number which influences the path that person will take in life. They also believe the letters in the alphabet have corresponding numbers, so a person's name can be added up to produce a number with meaning as well.

Product launches

But how far can you take this?

"The reality is it should never affect your decision-making process that much," says Samantha Roddick.

"It is there just to inform you, not to direct you, because you don't really want to hire and fire based on someone's numerology - that would be ridiculous," she laughs.

But possibly not unheard of.

The numerologist Samantha Roddick consulted is Sonia Ducie. She claims companies big and small contact her for help with product launches, rebranding and recruitment decisions.

"Somebody came to me last week for a new company name," Ducie says. "The product it was selling was something fun, so we had to look at the number three. It was also something very practical, so you've got the number four.

"And then we looked at the launch date, because you might have the best product but the timing is out," she says.

"So for example, take the date 26 May 2008. You look at the day number - two and a six is an eight - and eight is good for business. Then you add up the whole date, and get 41. Four plus one is five. Five is good for sales, PR and marketing." [Gosh! Shocked ]

Dead heat

People have even chosen their own names according to auspicious numbers. Model Agyness Deyn is believed to have chosen the unusual spelling of her name in conjunction with her mother using numerological principles.

Ducie claims she has helped a large publishing house recruit a new group managing director.

"They were down to the last two CVs. They'd interviewed both people three times, and they just couldn't make up their mind."

She said she drew up numerology charts for the two candidates and was asked lots of questions about their potential based on this information.

"And then of course the most important thing is timing because everything goes in nine-year cycles. We looked at when these two people were looking to join the company. People who tend to join in say the 7th, 8th or 9th years of a nine-year cycle might be inclined to change jobs again in another few years."

Did the publishers come to a decision?

"Oh yes," she says. "They really knew by the end of the conversation who they felt was the best choice."

One might ask why businesses normally concerned only with the hard numbers of profit and loss would go down this mystical course.

Marcus du Sautoy, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, says numerology is a dirty word to mathematicians - as astrology is to astronomers.

Evolutionary programming

"But," he says, "in some sense it does capture a lot of what mathematics is about, which is trying to spot patterns and connections.

"I think humans are almost evolutionarily programmed to try to look for these patterns because that's how we navigate the world around us. So in the jungle if you see something with symmetry then it's likely to be an animal that either you can eat, or it's going to eat you."

And modern numerology does have its roots in the thinking of someone you'll remember from your geometry classes.

"Pythagoras certainly imbued certain numbers with a lot of mystical significance," Marcus du Sautoy says. "He thought 10, for example, was a very special number because of the way you can arrange 10 stones into a beautiful sort of equilateral triangle - one, two, three, four stones in each row."

But as an alternative way of making sense of a complicated world through numbers, numerology is ultimately flawed by that very complexity. People living in different cultures around the world attribute different meanings to numbers.

The number four, according to Western numerology, is associated with the four corners of the earth, home, stability. To the Chinese, it means death.

Personality number: Add up the numbers from the day you were born - used to determine what you need
Life path number: Add up whole of date of birth - what you need to do in life
Soul number: Adding up numbers derived from vowels in full name - used to find "gifts within soul"
Expression number: Adding up all numbers from all letters in name - sum of gifts and experiences to date
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PostPosted: 11-12-2013 10:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Numerologists are probably enjoying today's date - 11.12.13

Dates formed with consecutive numbers naturally pop up from time to time in the calendar, but today will be the last one until the 22nd Century!

(This is because there are only 12 months in the year, so the 'month' number can be no bigger than 12. But from next year till the end of the century, the 'year' figure will be 14 or more, breaking any potential consecutive sequences.)

The next consecutive sequence date will be the 1st of February, 2103 - 01.02.03. (I won't be around for that one, unless someone invents a time machine pretty soon...)

So, enjoy today, it's a special one! Cool
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PostPosted: 25-12-2013 22:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always wonder why numerology is relatively simplistic while nowadays we can say wonderful things about numbers that even experts cannot understand anymore. It would be more fun if numerologists studied more number theory Smile

This is fun:
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PostPosted: 26-12-2013 08:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

uair01 wrote:
This is fun:

Now I'm really confused...

...but at a much higher level!
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