(Round Two MAPLE VIII) One golden day

Wow, I am really appreciative of my readers, friends, and family for yesterday’s post.  Today’s post is certainly not on the same level, but profundity sometimes comes when you least expect it!

Today is 5/8/13 in common American shorthand for the date.  This is F_5, F_6, and F_7: that is, the fifth, sixth, and seventh Fibonacci numbers.  The Fibonacci sequence has a lot of interesting implications in number theory, and also in art.  For example, many ancient Roman buildings can be seen to have the golden ratio, which is the limiting ratio of successive Fibonacci numbers.  This number is exactly equal to (1+sqrt(5))/2 and approximately equal to 1.61.  The movie “Donald Duck in Mathmagicland” touched significantly on use of the golden ratio in music, architecture, and other things too.  So many things in the natural world follow it.

There is another ratio that is approximately 1.61: the ratio of kilometers to miles.  Therefore, if the mileage is close to a Fibonacci number, the kilometrage is close to the next Fibonacci number.  Today, I happened to ride a little over 13 miles, which is great news, because the next Fibonacci number is 21… ahem, עשרים ואחת!  Additionally, using the approximation of kilometers to miles with this ratio, that means that since there are 8 Chicago blocks to a mile, there are 5 Chicago blocks to a kilometer.  That’s even more convenient, as I think it’s much easier to work with multiples of 5 than multiples of 8.

An interesting idea comes up as well, linking Fibonacci numbers in some roundabout way to a key tenet in Judaism.  In this last week’s reading, one of the foci was the jubilee year.  In the commentary from Hertz, it mentions the importance of the number seven, including seven days of the week, seven years in an agricultural cycle, seven sets of agricultural cycles until the jubilee year, seven weeks between Passover and שבועות [Shavuot], etc.  Well, the SEVENTH Fibonacci number, as previously mentioned, is 13.  Where else does 13 appear in Judaism?  The Thirteen Attributes, the age of בני-מצוה (bar/bat mitzvah), Maimonides’ principles of faith (in יגדל: Yigdal), and many other occurrences too.

Going off topic with the numbers, however, there is one other interesting thing.  The name of this post is somewhat reminiscent of what happened eight (GEEZ LOUISE!) years ago (although it was actually on the 7th).  It was “One Golden Knight,” the prom for Southeast High School during my senior year.  The title was due to the 50th anniversary of the school, and it was a really fun day.  (I guess that I was awake for the follow-up to One Golden Knight on 5/8/05 since I went to the post-prom party.  Ah, good times!)

In conclusion, sometimes the “pattern” days are obvious (e.g. 07/07/07), and sometimes they are a little bit more stealthy (like today’s 05/08/13).  Any way you slice it, it can be interesting!

Oh, and there were plenty of drops of golden sun today.  The weather was impeccable!

–BACKMATTER–

Today is the eighth day of MAPLE, for one week and one day of posts.

היום שלושה וארבעים יום, שהם ששה שבועות ויום אחד לעמר. (אני לא שכחתי לספור את העמר אתמול).

The lines are still open for donations: www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/chicago/noah121

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