Number 10

Oh the joys of being in the early part of a millenium!  I’ve been able to celebrate 6/6/67/7/78/8/8 and the incredible 12:34:56 7/8/99/9/9 and now 10/10/101!  Only two more years of this – I should probably have a number themed party on 12/12/12!

Now – a few fun facts about the number 10:

  • It represented by the Roman numeral X, which apparently is meant to look like two Vs – which, of course, is the Roman numeral for 5.
  • It is the basis for the decimal numeral system that we all know and love.
  • It is the atomic number of neon.
  • It is “the smallest noncototient, a number that cannot be expressed as the difference between any integer and the total number of coprimes below it.” (Thanks, Wikipedia, for that fact, which I’m sure we’ll all be using on a day to day basis!
  • The word “decimate” literally means to reduce something by 1/10th. Like, if you killed 1 in every 10 soliders in a battle, you would say you “decimated” the opposition.  Or if you at 1 of 10 slices of a cake, you could say you “decimated” that cake. Which is really odd, as I always thought that “decimate” meant to *completely* destroy (and it seems from my extensive research on the subject2, most people do use the latter meaning. This is awesome, as it gives me one more snooty way to correct people on their word usage! w00t!
  • The 10th astrological sign is Capricorn. That’s *my* sign!  Clearly, this means I am a perfect 10.

Image Credit: Posted by yoppy on Flickr.

  1. how sad that I didn’t have a blog until halfway through 2005, so I missed out on the fun of celebrating these numberlicious days from 1/1/1 through 5/5/5/ []
  2. i.e., checking dictionary.com in addition to Wikipedia []

2 Replies to “10/10/10”

  1. Roman history and the Latin language are subjects I’ve studied extensively. Yet somehow I never knew that X was derived from a V + V sort of notion. However, I did know that the original decimation happened after, not during, battles. When a Roman military unit, sometimes as large as an entire legion, suffered defeat or was engaged in a severe breach of military discipline, the most extreme punishment they were likely to face was decimation.

    Forming a single file line, the unit would be scrutinized by officers who would summarily execute every 10th man in that line. (Alternatively, some accounts tell of groups of ten forming up and drawing lots to determine who would suffer the worst of this punishment.) Any unit that endured this discipline would be sure not to engage in unauthorized retreats or other major breaches of discipline for years after the event. Because the psychological impact on survivors was so severe, over time the concept mutated from “executing 10% of an allied force” to “destroying the bulk of a population or other entity.”

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