Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ultimate Top Ten List

You might think Top Ten lists are just a way to take one page of lame content and stretch it into ten pages, each carrying a new set of banner ads. You might be right.  But we here at Foolish Doings accept no advertising dollars. We are kind of like the Consumer Reports of blogs. We would never accept $50 or a nice dinner or a pair of cowboy boots from anyone wanting favorable treatment. We put our Top Ten all on one page, with no ads at all, so you can read them without feeling like a chump afterwards.

Without further ado: the Top Ten Numbers!

10. Ten

Sure, it's the base of our decimal number system, but what else has it done? Just because a number happens to equal the number of digits on the human hands doesn't mean there's anything special about it.

9. Nine

It's a perfect square. It's the number of lives a cat has. You've heard of divisors? Well, nine is divisive: according to Wikipedia, it's considered a good number by the Chinese but a bad number by the Japanese. It would be interesting if those two nations somehow came into serious conflict over the number 9.

8. Eight

It's the smallest nontrivial cube of an integer.

7. Seven

Lucky seven.

6. Six

Six is the smallest number with two distinct divisors (2 and 3).

5. Five

It's the largest integer that appears in the simplest form of the Golden Ratio.

4. Four

It's the smallest nontrivial square.

3. Three

Three is a magic number, according to Schoolhouse Rock.

2. Two

The Pythagoreans discovered that its square root is irrational and it nearly drove them insane.

1. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty-Nine

Do I even need to say it? This is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two positive cubes in two different ways: 1^3 + 12 ^3 = 9^3 + 10^3 = 1729.

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