The July Magazine: Semi Quaternary Special Edition

“Calling out around the world. Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin in the streets”
With a thank you to Martha and the Vandellas. ,

Welcome to July, the seventh month, named after Julius Caesar himself. Here’s to the number seven! Lucky seven.
Seven is an odd number. A prime. And talking of prime, let us hope that Marina Kanavaki is cooking up something good for the seven and the month of July.

Meanwhile, let’s take another walk through the numbers. That’s right, we’ll deal today with the seven. Lucky Seven.


Mathematically, the seven doesn’t seem very promising.  After all, a regular heptagon or septagon is hard to draw, doesn’t tesselate, and doesn’t appear to be particularly useful. Nonetheless the seven is a prime number, and somehow it’s very significant to our psyches. It pops up incessantly in our language. To wit:

Seven Seas, Seven Samurai, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the Seven Fates, Seven Furies, The Dance of the Seven Veils (OK, we’ll drop it there). The 7-Eleven Convenience Store comes to mind (and I wish it  wouldn’t). And then the  7-Up logo. I always liked 7-Up, although ginger ale is better. And then those sevens on a slot machine – 777 – a sight, I must add on a sorry note, that I’ve seen on rare occasions only, mostly vicariously at that.

The seven is holy in the Jewish tradition as well as in other traditions, as it combines the wordly 4 with the divine 3.  The seven is also 6 (the perfect number) plus one (unity). The Shabbat, of course, comes on the seventh day. There are seven days in a week. Seven years in a Shabbaton or Sabbatical, which is cool if you’re a professor. Even the fields get a Shabbaton, a rest, every seven years. Which might be where some of those professors hang out.

Rolling the dice, seven comes up 1/6 of the time. You can either bet on the seven or “crap out”.

Movie titles seem obsessed with the number seven.

There’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as mentioned. There’s the Magificent Seven. There’s The Seven Year Itch (one of my all-time favorites!), There’s Seven Days in May (Burt Lancaster’s in that one if I remember correctly), as well as a movie called Seven (a dud as I remember it). There’s Seven Years in Tibet, The Seventh Seal,  Seven Pounds, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Seven Samurai, and there’s even one called Seven Psychopaths, which I assume is probably not a musical. Did I mention Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?

And did I mention the Seven Deadly Sins? I didn’t? OK, I’ll enumerate. There’s Lust, Sloth, Avarice, Pride, Gluttony, Wrath, and Envy. Enough to keep a guy busy seven days a week! It was the clerics of the Dark Ages who came up with this elegant seven-fold conception of morality. You can only imagine how some of those guys were spending their week. Anyhow, when it comes to sins, why only seven? What is it about the number seven?

There were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. There are seven notes in the scale, Seven Chakras.

Mickey Mantle wore Number 7. Then there’s 007…..Bond, James Bond.

And wasn’t James Bond one lucky son of a gun to be in all those James Bond movies?

Lucky 7, that’s what it is.

Tags: lucky number.,Seven
Categories: The Numbers Game Is Here: Mathematics for Dummies, Magazine Section