Blinkers on! here we go….
East Kent Artists’ Open Houses open in three weekends, and I need to shut myself away in the studio and draw and stitch and create.
I am House No.27 this year. A rather good sounding number, which has led me to the spectacularly time wasting pursuit of Googling; a terrific displacement activity for such a busy time.
It is indeed a satisfying number, and is a perfect cube. According to Wikipedia, “there are exactly 27 straight lines on a smooth cubic surface, which give a basis of the fundamental representation of the E6 Lie algebra, being 33 = 3 × 3 × 3. 27 is also 23 (see tetration). 27 is also a decagonal number. ”
I did look up decagonal number, but my brain caved in, and has gone off chasing dragons.
Back to the loveliness of 27. It is the first composite number not divisible by any of its digits, and is the only positive integer that is 3 times the sum of its digits. 27 contains the decimal digits 2 and 7, and is the result of adding together the integers from 2 to 7 (2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 27). See, how satisfying is that? and did you know that? Bet you didn’t.
The next chunk of Wikipedia’s bullet points are strangely attractive to look at, with all sorts of wonderful words, of which I have achieved no useful understanding.
“In a prime reciprocal magic square of the multiples of 1/7, the magic constant is 27. In the Collatz conjecture (aka the “3n + 1 conjecture”) a starting value of 27 requires 111 steps to reach 1, many more than any lower number. The unique simple formally real Jordan algebra, the exceptional Jordan algebra of self-adjoint 3 by 3 matrices of quaternions, is 27-dimensional. In base 10, it is a Smith number and a Harshad number. It is the twenty-eighth (and twenty-ninth) digit in π. (3.141592653589793238462643383279…). If you start counting with 0 it is one of few known self-locating strings in pi. There are 27 sporadic groups, if the Tits group is included.”
I rather like the sound of the quaternions, which from a very swift superficial glance, appear to be quite naughty and not play by the rules. I wonder if the Fairy GM has an army of quaternions to do her bidding.
Alice, I like to think, would have very much enjoyed testing out all these words and numbers while tumbling down the rabbit hole. I can hear her in my head repeating them aloud, and changing them as she falls, whilst Dina, (her cat, surely you knew that?) puts her paws over her ears in disbelief at such random disrespect for learning.
However, Alice may not have been quite so amused as I am by the existence of the Tits Group. Being the co-founder of the Profanity Embroidery Group I am very happy to see tits in algebra, even if it is the name of a mathematician.
We must of course not ignore the Stupid Club. All those wonderful musicians who messily end their careers aged 27. So my listening shall be made up mostly of Gram Parsons, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. There will be some Nirvana thrown in (it was after all Kurt Cobain’s mum who said ‘he’s gone and joined the stupid club’ on hearing of his fate). What else? well, Sex Pistols for Sid, the Stones for Brian Jones, even some Hole for Kristen Pfaff, topped off with Amy Winehouse. I shall be watched whilst doing so with my collection of Stupid Club prints by Sadie Hennessy. Editions of 27, for £27, obvs.
A blue phase will colour my work these next few weeks – cobalt blue – which has the atomic number of, you guessed, 27.
Best fact of all: 27% of the Universe is thought to be made up of Dark Matter.
And now I have to go, because it turns out I do not have 27 days until Open House. And that is rather worrying. Wonder if the Dark Matter will help.
East Kent Open Houses takes place on 20th and 21st October, 27th and 28th October, and 3rd and 4th November 2018. Houses open 11am to 5pm.