A number by any other name

Today is the 18th of June. Of course, it’s just a number like any other but to various people, the number eighteen means different things.
To the mathematician it is a composite number, a semi-perfect number, a heptagonal number, a pentagonal pyramid number and a Harshad number in base 10. To the scientist it is the atomic number of argon and to the Astronomer it is a magnitude 8.0 open cluster in the constellation Sagittarius (M18) and a double star in the constellation Pegasus (NGC 18).

To the Hebrew it is a lucky number, a symbol for long-life and a multiple to give monetary gifts by as an expression of blessing for long life. To a Vaishnavite it is the number of chapters, armies and days a war was fought, in The Bhagavad Gita. To the Chinese traditionalist it is a number that means one is going to prosper and the reason why an 18th floor apartment is expensive.

To lots of (disappointed) young people it is the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and alcohol, the minimum voting age and the Age of Majority.

To the Beethoven lover it is Opus 18, Beethoven’s first set of string quartets containing six. To the Moby fan it is the title of his 7th album and to the Alice Cooper fan it is: “I’m eighteen”, a song off the album Love It To Death. To the Red Hot Chili Peppers fan it is “she’s only eighteen” and
to the Skid Row fan it is “18 and life”.

To the Neo-Nazi it is a code-word for Adolf Hitler. To devil worshipers it is the number of the devil (6+6+6), the verse in chapter 13 of the book of revelations, in which the book talks about the number 666 and the number of letters in the words six-hundred and sixty-six.

But to me, it’s just my birthday.

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