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Thursday, 19 June 2008


What's in a number? Well ...

In numerical terms, 180 (spoken as one hundred eighty in American English, but one hundred and eighty in British English) it is the natural number following 179 and preceding 181. It is the sum of six consecutive primes (19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41) as well as the sum of eight consecutive primes (11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37). The sum of Euler’s quotient function over the first twenty-four integers is 180. 180 is a refractorable number because it is divisible by the total number of its divisors. 180 degrees is called a straight angle, makes a semicircle and, in normal space, is the sum of the interior angles of a triangle. 180 is a Harshad number in base 10, CLXXX in Roman numerals, 10110100 in binary, 130 in duodecimal, B4 in hexidecimal and 90 in vigesimal. On the Fahrenheit scale, 180 degrees is the spread (or difference) between the freezing and boiling points of water.

A ton 80 or "180" (as announced with the "and" in exuberant style by every UK television darts commentator) is the highest score possible when all three of a player’s darts land in the triple 20 on the board. It’s also the highest possible score on the British Law School Application Test (LSAT). The Unicorn 180 Club "is open to all darts players, men and women, who score the magical 180 for a pub, club or representative team in a recognised darts match", but not, one assumes, to law school students who achieve 180 on their LSATs. 180 (note the italics) is a darts video game released in 1986 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit and MSX computers.

In many extreme sports, 180 is where a rider rotates through half a turn and lands rolling backwards. Whereas, in pounds sterling, it’s currently the amount required to purchase the necessary equipment for the Freesat service offered by the BBC and ITV in the UK, which is intended as a free-to-air alternative to Sky's digital satellite platform.

180 Amsterdam is an international agency based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, is the website of Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper (pictured together here), who, in May 2006 at the age of 19, became the youngest Britons ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2007, they went on to break a world record by travelling pole to pole using only human or natural power and, according to Wikipedia, 180 is also the only nonalcoholic energy drink to be produced by a beer company, Anheuser-Busch of Missouri!

In 180 BC, in Greece, Perseus persuaded his father, King Philip V of Macedon, to have his younger brother Demetrius executed. Rome completed its subjugation of all of Italy, deported 40,000 Ligurians to other parts of the Republic and colonised Lucca. In Egypt, aged just six years old, Ptolemy VI became ruler as co-regent with his mother Cleopatra I, and, following the death of Aristophanes of Byzantium, Aristarchus of Samothrace became librarian at Alexandria. Meanwhile, in Bactria, Demetrius I started his invasion of north-western India, and Apollodotus I became king of the western and southern parts of the Indo-Greek kingdom.

In China, Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty ascends to the Chinese throne after quelling the clans of Empress Dowager Lü. The Greek scholar and grammarian Apollodorus of Athens and the Lusitanian chieftan and general Viriathus were both born in 180 BC, while the Roman statesman, consul and censor Lucius Valerius Flaccus, the Greek scholar, critic and grammarian, Aristophanes of Byzantium, the de-facto ruler of the Chinese Han Dynasty (and wife of Emperor Gao), Empress Dowager Lü, and the fourth emporor of the Chinese Han Dynasty, Liu Hong, all died.

In AD 180, the praetorian prefect of the Roman Empire Tarutenius Paternus achieved a decisive victory against the Quadi, while, in Europe, the Goths reached the banks of the Black Sea. In Oceana, Lake Taupo erupted, forming ash clouds as far as China and Europe. In Methodus Medendo, Greek physician Galen describes the connection between paralysis and the severing of the spinal cord, and his popular work on hygiene was published. Elsewhere, twelve Christian inhabitants of Scillium in Numidia (who later became known as the Scillitan Martyrs) were executed in Carthage for refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Emperor. And Commodus created an official cult of the Zoroastrian god Mithra!

Sima Fu, the Chinese strategist, general and politician was born in AD 180, and the "philosopher-king", Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, died. His son, Commodus, became emperor, heralding a period of political instability. During the concluding part of the Hellenistic period and shortly afterwards, Christianity grew rapidly throughout the Roman Empire, culminating in the Emperor’s conversion to Christianity.

The following quote can be found in post 180 in "Is condemning homosexual sex homophobic?", which is being discussed in the Interfaith Issues folder on The Religion Forum:

As one who suffered rejection growing up, I always had a tendency to care for those who were rejected by others. My theological beliefs has nothing to do with how i perceive a person in love. Also Old Testament laws from Leviticus would not apply to New Testament Christians. The law that Jesus proclaimed was one of love your neighbor as yourself. Loving someone and caring for someone deeply, doesn't mean acceptance or approval of specific acyivity necessarily though.

Usual disingenuous bollocks there, then.

In astronomy, when two planets are 180 degrees apart, they are said to be in opposition, an aspect that is considered to be negative in influence in astrology!

"Celebrating 180 years of deafness" was a report published in the Guardian on 31 May 2008. "The Smith family have inherited deafness for eight generations. But many of the difficulties faced by their forebears no longer apply, thanks mainly to technology. They tell Rebecca Atkinson why they are proud of their unusual legacy."

The Web-based currency converter boasts "The 'full' version of the Universal Currency Converter ® contains every known world currency. That’s over 180 currencies in over 250 geographical locations!", the Zune 180 is Microsoft’s attempt to capture the iPod Nano and cellphone market in one go, whereas the Olympus C-180 is a digital camera from . . . er . . . Olympus.

On Page 180 of From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe by Alexander Koyré, we're told that Richard Bentley accepts, without any criticism, Bruno's concept of the universe as "an infinite space with an immense number of star-suns". In Santa Cruz in 1997, the seventeenth annual Dickens Universe was attended by 180 conference-goers. Meanwhile, in the Whoniverse, issue 180 of Doctor Who the Magazine was published on 27 November 1991, while episode 180 of Doctor Who the Series, The Age of Steel by Russell T Davies, was first broadcast on BBC 1 on 20 May 2006.

Which is all just a fun way of saying in exuberant style that, with this post, the Pink Triangle blog has just scored 180!

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