Facts about the number 23

1. 23 is one of the most commonly cited prime numbers – a number that can only be divided by itself and one. Twenty three is the lowest prime that consists of consecutive digits. Primes have been described as the “atoms ” of mathematics – the building blocks of the world of numbers. An American businessman has put up a US$1m (£500,000) prize for the first mathematician to find a pattern in primes – a problem known as the Riemann hypothesis.

2. Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859 – 1+8+5+9 = 23. Two divided by three makes 0.666 recurring (allegedly – actually it makes 0.6666666667). The Hiroshima bomb was dropped at 8.15am – 8+15= 23.

3. 23rdians are a group of people who subscribe to the mystical power of 23 and see it in multiple combinations throughout daily life.

4. The Ancient Chinese believed numbers conveyed sexuality – evens for feminine and odds for masculine. They considered prime numbers to be the most masculine, conferring special status on 23 which is made up of two consecutive prime numbers and the only even prime number – two.

5. The terrorist attacks on America on 11 September 2001 have been held up as one of the most portentous examples of the disturbing power of 23. The figures in the date (9+11+2+0+0+1) add up to 23. The independent US commission which investigated the attacks found the date had been chosen randomly by the hijackers and had originally been planned for later in the year.

6. “W” is the 23rd letter of the Latin alphabet. It has two points down and three points up. White supremacists use 23 to represent ” W” as a mark of racial superiority.

7. The Birthday Paradox states that a group of 23 randomly-selected people is the smallest number where there will be a probability higher than 50 per cent that two people will share the same birthday.

8. The Knights Templar, the order of soldier monks who eventually fell foul of the Vatican and have been the subject of conspiracy theories about the Holy Grail, had 23 Grand Masters.

9. The first morse code transmission – “What hath God wrought?” – was from the Bible passage Numbers 23:23. In telegraphers code 23 means ” break the line”.

10. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford Upon Avon on 23 April 1564. He died 52 years later on his birthday, 23 April 1616. Kurt Cobain, the god of grunge, was born in 1967 and died in 1994 – 1+9+6+7= 23, 1+9+9+4 = 23.

11. Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the start of human life. The nuclei of cells in human bodies have 46 chromosomes made out of 23 pairs. Egg and sperm cells in humans have 23 chromosomes which fuse and divide to create an embryo.

12. The Bible does not let 23 pass without conferring upon it some significance, at least to students of the Book. Although the Old Testament is unspecific, it is widely held that Adam and Eve had 23 daughters. The 23rd verse of the first chapter of Genesis brings the act of creation to a close while the 23rd chapter of the book of Genesis deals entirely with death, namely that of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. The most famous and most quoted of the Psalms is number 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

13. The author William Burroughs was obsessed with 23. While living in Tangiers, he met a Captain Clark who ran a ferry between Spain and Morocco. One day, Clark told Burroughs that he had been doing the route for 23 years without incident. Later that day, the ferry sank, killing the captain. While Burroughs was thinking about the incident, a radio bulletin announced the crash of a Flight 23 on the New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark. The events prompted an obsession which saw Burroughs record every occurrence of the number 23 for the rest of his life.

14. The average human physical biorhythm is 23 days.

15. Humans have 23 vertebra running down their main bit.

16. Blood circulates the body on average every 23 seconds.

17. The number has been the subject of not one but two films: the 1998 German movie, 23, and The Number 23, starring Jim Carrey. Each has a main character obsessed with the number.

18. John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the subject of the film, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe, was obsessed with 23. It featured prominently in his battle with mental illness. His breakdown began when he claimed that a photograph of Pope John XXIII on the cover of Life magazine was in fact him, the proof being that 23 was his favourite number. Nash published 23 scientific articles.

19. The most detailed account of the assassination of Julius Caesar, written by Nicolaus of Damascus, claims numerous enemies stabbed the Roman emperor 23 times. The wounds ranged from superficial to mortal.

20. Duotriophobia – Fear of the number 23

21. This is post number 184, which is 23 * 8.

22. 23/08 is the 23rd day of August 😛

23. I turn 23 years old on 23/08!

-crossposted from my Internal Blog