Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The horsemen of the APPocalypse

I don’t need to tell you about the supernatural significance of the number 3. But have you noticed that there seems to be more magic in the air, lately? There has been a lot of buzz around 4G, the new Play Station 4 and of course the Samsung Galaxy S4. I couldn’t help but wonder about the meaning of the number 4…

The first thing that comes to mind is the four-leaf clover. This rare herb brings good luck when you find one. Traditionally, the first leave stands for faith, the second for hope, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

The number four has a rich cultural background. The ancient Egyptians, for example, thought the world was made of four elements: earth, water, air and fire. That’s not exactly how modern science would put it. These days, the experts say that matter always is in one of four states: solid, liquid, gas or plasma.

Other academic insights in the number 4:
* It’s the first non-primary
* It’s actually 100 in binary
* Our DNA is spelled in an alphabet of just 4 bases
* Every square number is either divisible by 4 or gives remainder 1 when divided by 4.

This number even seems to be the answer to what the ideal size is for a team. Yes, the A-team had strong characters, but they needed each other to be awesome. And didn’t Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and Thing decide to stick together because as a team… they’re the Fantastic Four? But it’s not just superheroes that feel stronger when they form a team of four. Just look at some of the greatest bands in history: The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, ABBA and even The Black Eyed Peas work together like the four wheels of a car.

The more I think about it, the more bewitching the number 4 becomes. On a calculator, it is depicted with 4 light bars and both in English and in Dutch, it is the only number whose number of letters is equal to its value. Even guinea pigs – the chosen rodents – have 4 toes on their front paws. It's magic!

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