teddys
teddys
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July 21st, 2010 at 12:25:41 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

it's about as high a number as people grasp.


LOL!
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Wizard
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Wizard
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July 21st, 2010 at 12:35:54 PM permalink
Quote: thecesspit


5 and 23 are also significant numbers... if you are a Discordian. 5 is the number of human, and it's the sum of the first two primes. 23 or the Enigma of 23 is the 'theory' that 23 turns up far more often than it should. And it does, as soon as you start looking for it.



Interesting! I was born on May 23, at 5:23 PM.
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Doc
Doc
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July 21st, 2010 at 12:45:50 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Interesting! I was born on May 23, at 5:23 PM.

So is that evidence that the 5 shows up more than it should or the 23? Guess it depends on which random number you are looking for.
Nareed
Nareed
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July 21st, 2010 at 1:27:50 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Interesting! I was born on May 23, at 5:23 PM.



You should have waited two days to post that information ;)
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thecesspit
thecesspit
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July 21st, 2010 at 2:44:07 PM permalink
The houses of the zodiac are just the signs. The astrological houses divided the elliptical into 12 even sections. Astronomers don't do any of that, and some of the constellations that cross the elliptical cover more of it than others. Virgo covers 5 times more space in the elliptical than Scorpio, meaning that for astronomers, 'Jupiter can been seen in Virgo' will happen more often than 'Jupiter can be seen in Scorpio'.

Also Orion, Perseus and Auriga (the Charioteer) also cover a little bit of the ellipitical (Jupiter off the shoulder of Orion...). Cancer, the Crab is a really dull looking constellation, whereas Leo really does look a bit like a Lion.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
boymimbo
boymimbo
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July 22nd, 2010 at 10:02:43 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I believe Sirius outshines Venus. It is brighter than all the other planets on the list for certain. But it stays put against the background stars (actually it has a small parallax because it's very close, but that's hard to notice). It does not move noticeably from day to day as the planets do.



The Sun, the Moon, Venus (-4.7), Mars (-2.9), Jupiter (-2.8), and Mercury (-1.9) all outshine Sirius (magnitude -1.4). Saturn, at magnitude -0.5, is the only one of the "seven heavenly bodies" that do not outshine Sirius. The magnitudes of the "heavenly" bodies change of course depending on their position in the sky.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
pacomartin
pacomartin
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July 22nd, 2010 at 1:14:12 PM permalink
The Metonic Cycle discovered in the 5th century BCE states that 19 solar years equals almost exactly 235 lunar months. The easiest way to get this correlation is on a calendar is with 12 years with 12 lunar months (12*12=144 months), and 7 years with 13 lunar months (7*13=91 months) (as in a Jewish calendar or Islamic calendar). You will then get 12+7=19 solar years equal to 144+91=235 lunar months.

These extra month numbered 13 was seen as portentious, and gave rise to the idea of 13 as a lucky number. The idea of friday the 13th being very unlucky is not in written history until the 19th century, but the superstition could be a lot older.
Doc
Doc
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July 22nd, 2010 at 2:14:58 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The idea of friday the 13th being very unlucky is ....


Just can't pass on the chance to post this slightly-related puzzle:

The story goes that some people believed that Friday the 13th was unlucky because it seemed the 13th of the month occurred more often on Friday than on any other day of the week. Does the 13th really occur on Friday most often or not? For whichever answer you choose, prove that it is the correct one.

I first heard that puzzle in 1968, I think. I thought I knew which was correct, but I couldn't prove it. Finally in about 1984 or 1985 I figured out a method. Once I did, I found that I had been wrong all those years! Can you folks come up with both a correct answer and proof?
Nareed
Nareed
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July 22nd, 2010 at 3:14:26 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

The Sun, the Moon, Venus (-4.7), Mars (-2.9), Jupiter (-2.8), and Mercury (-1.9) all outshine Sirius (magnitude -1.4). Saturn, at magnitude -0.5, is the only one of the "seven heavenly bodies" that do not outshine Sirius. The magnitudes of the "heavenly" bodies change of course depending on their position in the sky.



My bad.

I must have been thinking that Sirius outshines all other stars, except the Sun.

BTW, a common trick to trip someone up regarding stars is to ask "What is the second star closest to the Earth?" Make sure you stress the word "second." The answer most people, who know some basic astronomy, will give is Barnard's Star. The rigth answer is Proxima Centauri.

Discuss.
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teddys
teddys
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July 23rd, 2010 at 6:40:56 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed


BTW, a common trick to trip someone up regarding stars is to ask "What is the second star closest to the Earth?" Make sure you stress the word "second." The answer most people, who know some basic astronomy, will give is Barnard's Star. The rigth answer is Proxima Centauri.
Discuss.



You could trip up the tripper! According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), Alpha Centauri is two stars that together appear as one. And what about the Sun? That's technically a star, so Alpha Centauri could be right again.

I think the percentage of people who know Alpha Centauri is the closest non-Sun star to Earth is minuscule. I've never even heard of Barnard's Star. Actually, I would like to see the Wizard use that as his next cocktail waitress trivia question.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4

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