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by Asa Butcher
2008-08-08 09:27:59
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Eight, huit, acht, kahdeksan, ocho, or simply a number 8. Less simply, it is 2x2x2, VIII, smaller than nine, larger than seven, lucky for the Chinese, inspiration for an article for me… the number eight - where would the world be without that little natural number? Today is not only August 8th 2008 and the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, but also a chance to get excited over the fact it is 08/08/08, even in America where they write the date backwards.

What comes to your mind when you think of the number 8? Don't say 'nothing' because the number 8 is everywhere, well almost. As I look out of my window I see four parked cars with an eight on the number plate, there's an eight on my Apple iPod, there's three on my computer keyboard, there's a few in the phone numbers advertised on the side of the many ballpoint pens scattered across the desk and there's already been about 20 mentions of it so far.

This isn't the first 08/08/08 in calendar history, although it is the first in 36,525 days. Did you know that on the last 08/08/08 (Aug 8 1908) Wilbur Wright made his first public flight and the late Arthur Goldberg, a former U.S. Supreme Court justice, was born? I wonder what person of future significance will be born today… my second child perhaps - the child wouldn't be a Scorpio though, which is coincidentally the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac.

The reason the Chinese believe '8' is a lucky number is because it sounds like the word "prosper" or "wealth" and this maybe the reason that 888 Holdings plc, a company that runs several gambling websites including 888.com, chose this name. Number 8 may signify luck in China, but many faiths also hold the digit to be sacred. The Buddhist Dharmachakra symbol has eight spokes, Muslims believe that eight Angels carry the Holy Throne of Allah, the Hindu and Christians believe it is the number of Beatitudes.

While on the subject of 'beatitudes, the band's eighth studio album was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and "Eight Days a Week" was a #1 single for them - Ringo's latest album is also entitled Liverpool 8. Since the musical scale is founded on eight notes, let's stay with the rhythm and move on to the redundant 8-track cartridge, "Eight maids a-milking", eight musicians in an octet and the exact length of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is eight-minutes.

Let's take a breath… of oxygen, whose atomic number is 8, before I go that extra mile, of which 8 furlongs equals, and reveal that the eighth James Bond film was Live and Let Die, while the number 8 has been popular for film titles, such as 8MM, Fellini's , Jennifer Eight, 8 Seconds, Butterfield 8 and, of course, 8 Mile (a.k.a. 64 Furlongs). Before you begin to contemplate that a "Section 8" may be in order for this writer, be sure to consulate your Magic 8 Ball for a definitive answer.

Question: Why is Eight ball billiards played with 15 balls? Question: Why is the number eight symbolic for lesbian sexual relations? Question: How in the world do parents of octuplets cope? Question: Why does an Eighth make you so hungry? Question: Why does my digital clock read 88:88? Question: Who decided 888 brings up subtitles on TV programmes? Question: Who wants to buy me a Ducati 888? Question: What did the number zero say to the number eight? Nice belt! LOL M8!

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Chris2008-08-08 16:43:49
I eight the whole thing!

Clint2008-08-09 11:01:20
See you managed to slip ol' James Bond in there Ace. 8 for me is my wife's birthday if I miss it - oh boy!

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