Seven Wonders comment

For those of you who didn’t see the comments on my Seven Wonders and 100 books column, GeoRoMancer gave the following illuminating explanation:

There are plenty of numbers in the world of logic, but often little logic in choosing a particular number over others.

Why seven wonders? Maybe because it’s also a prime number? Ten is very popular nowadays amongst management gurus (10-point lists, 10-item action plans etc.). I wonder whether that’s because those guys like to count on their fingers?

Another common “chosen number” is twelve, which at least has the advantage of having quite a lot of factors (6, 4, 3, 2), so it was popular with English carpenters. I hear 60 was much loved by the Babylonians, who used it as the base for their number system, perhaps for the same reason.

And – what a coincidence – today is Friday the 13th! Because many Western countries believe 13 to be an unlucky number, that may be the reason that, although there are actually 13 zodiacal constellations (constellations that contain the Sun during the course of the year), Ophiuchus is the only one not counted as an astrological sign (source: ). Its symbol is a man battling a snake (quite a noble deed, really) but Ophiuchus was presumably axed to stop it being a “Devil’s Dozen”.

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Categories: Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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