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The Mythology of Numbers
Do you avoid leaving the house on Friday the 13th? Is there a number you always include in your lottery ticket? We take a closer look at eight supposedly lucky, unlucky or otherwise special numbers. Why eight numbers? Read on ...
In Japanese, the pronunciation for the number four is "shi," very similar to that of the word for "death," giving this number unfortunate associations. For this reason, it is the custom not to give items in fours as gifts, and hotels and hospitals may not have floors or rooms numbered four.

Seven is an important number in Christianity and other religious traditions. The seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, the day on which God rested. There are also believed to be seven virtues and seven deadly sins, and in Japanese mythology, there are seven gods of good fortune.
It's no coincidence that the scheduled start time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was 8 o'clock on August 8 -- the eighth day of the eighth month -- of 2008. Eight is an auspicious number in China, its pronunciation being similar to that for "prosper." For this reason, license plates, bank accounts, addresses and telephone numbers featuring the number eight are highly popular.

It seems that whenever Friday the 13th creeps onto our calendars, people can't help but blame the date for everything that goes wrong on that day -- and not without reason. The number 13 is commonly associated with bad luck, and there is even a name for the fear of the number 13: triskaidekaphobia. The belief that 13 is unlucky can be linked to the Last Supper, attended by 13, including Judas.

In Italy, it is the number 17 that has unlucky connotations. This is a superstition with classical roots -- 17 spelled out in Roman numerals is XVII, which can be rearranged to spell "VIXI," Latin for "I have lived" and, consequently, I am now no longer living, or I am dead.

Fans of David Beckham and Michael Jordan have reason to be keen on the number 23, sported on the shirts of their heroes. However, they are probably unaware that followers of Discordianism, a self-styled religion that began in the 1950s, believe that the number 23 is holy. American writer William S. Burroughs became obsessed with the number, keeping a scrapbook of events connected to it, and it has spawned a number of books and films, including "The Number 23," starring Jim Carrey as a man fixated on the number.
Linked to triskaidekaphobia, in Australian cricket a score of 87 is seen as unlucky. Known as the devil's number -- and you thought that was 666 -- 87 is 13 runs short of a century and so deemed to be bad luck. And England did win the Ashes in 1987.

In English cricket a score of 111 is known as a "Nelson," in supposed but inaccurate reference to British naval commander Horatio Nelson's loss of an eye, an arm and a leg prior to his death. Three stumps relieved of their bails would look like the number 111 and the tradition of jumping off the ground to avoid bad luck when this score is reached has been carried on in style by umpire David Shepherd.

NEW RT BEAUTY OF THE MONTH AND STAR PLAYER OF RT "You must be the change you want to see in the world" -------------------------------------
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