Monday, March 19, 2007

:: Twenty-Eight ::

In honor of turning 28 this week, I thought I'd provide you with a few little facts.

Honestly, I wasn't sure 28 could live up to 27, which I really liked because it was 3 cubed. But apparently those more mathematically-savvy than I am know that 28 is also special, numerically speaking. That's because 28 is a perfect number, the second of only two perfect numbers I will ever "be" in my whole life. In math, a perfect number is an integer which is the sum of its positive divisors (that is, excluding the number itself). The divisors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14, which add up to 28. Neat, huh? The other perfect number within the human life span is 6 (with divisors 1, 2, and 3). After 28, the next perfect number is 496!

Here are some more fun facts:

  • 28 is also the sum of the first five prime numbers.

  • It is the atomic number of nickel.

  • The number of Earth years it takes Saturn to revolve around the sun.

  • The number of days in the shortest month (February).

  • Also the number of letters in the Danish and Swedish alphabets.

  • Years normally follow a 28-year cycle, since there are seven days in a week and leap year occurs every four years; a calendar from 28 years ago is the same as this year's (a year like 1900, non-leap though divisible by four, breaks the pattern).

  • The number of normal human teeth, not including wisdom teeth. (I, however, only have 26 because I had two permanent molars removed as a kid.)

  • The number of sports on the program at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

  • The number of dominoes in a standard domino set.

  • The age I'll be when I have my first kid.

  • The number of free throws made (28 of 32) by Wilt Chamberlain, a notoriously bad free throw shooter, in his 100-point game.

  • One year older than my mom was when she had me.

  • The name of several bands whose music I've never heard.

  • The number of times baby has kicked me in the last five minutes. I swear.

I looked to see what famous athletes have worn the number 28, but I couldn't find anyone. Sure, there are people on each team who wear the number, but apparently it's not like some of those other numbers like 31 about which people debate endlessly who was the best person ever to wear the number.

Finally, of course, 28 is the age I am about to be. So that in and of itself should count for something. Maybe I should make 28 the number of days I celebrate. The number of cakes I bake in honor of the big day? Maybe it will be the number of presents I get? : )