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47
September 29, 2011 2:47 AM   Subscribe

47 is a magical number. It has appeared more than a few times on Star Trek, Alias, and in many films.
The 47 society is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon that is 47.
posted by finite (84 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
47.
posted by Cerulean at 3:17 AM on September 29, 2011


True. I never go outdoors on any Friday the 47th.
posted by three blind mice at 3:19 AM on September 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Y'all jus' a bunch of 23 hatas.
posted by pla at 3:22 AM on September 29, 2011 [17 favorites]


I predict this thread will be closed at exactly 47 comments.
posted by public at 3:25 AM on September 29, 2011


42 to go.
posted by run"monty at 3:26 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse hadn't died at 27, there would have been a 47% chance they would have made it to 47 years.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:28 AM on September 29, 2011


My theory is that "47" sounds like a really random number. Try it yourself, pick another one... doesn't feel as random, eh?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:40 AM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you rot13 "47", you get 47. Uncanny.
posted by quoz at 3:42 AM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was always hoping they were going somewhere with 47 on Trek. It doesn't seem like they ever did, though.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:50 AM on September 29, 2011


When asked to choose a random number, people tend to pick an odd number. If you ask people to pick a random number between 1 and 20, the most likely pick will be 17. If you ask people to pick a random number between 1 and 100, the most likely pick will be 37.

47 never comes up.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:51 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well played on the timing of this post, by the way.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:52 AM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


So, 47 is the new 42?
posted by TrinsicWS at 4:00 AM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is comment number 47! Oh, hang on....
posted by JtJ at 4:01 AM on September 29, 2011


47 is just disinformation propagated by 42 and 5.

fnord
posted by HFSH at 4:09 AM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


"posted by finite at 5:47 AM"
Stop screwing WITH MY MIND!
posted by klarck at 4:14 AM on September 29, 2011


  • 47 Ronin
  • Many of the Creationists sites include the find of a 47 inch femur from Turkey as proof that human giants did exist.
  • 47% of Households Owe No Taxes.
  • Andy Warhol's Factory was on 47th Street
  • Title 47 of the United States Code defines the role and structure of the Federal Communications Commission
  • 47,XYY syndrome is characterized by an extra copy of the Y chromosome in each of a male's cells
  • Bristol Palin was taunted by a 47-year-old man

    Really, these can't all be coincidences. Think about it, sheeple.

  • posted by twoleftfeet at 4:18 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


    4+7=11, the start of the Fibonacci sequence. Coincidence? If you replace the "inneapoli" in Minneapolis with "ose," you get Moses. Coincidence? There is a fist hidden in pacifist! Coincidence!?!
    posted by GenjiandProust at 4:24 AM on September 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


    Wow the 47 society has their webpage archived back to 95.
    posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:24 AM on September 29, 2011


    47 is just 27 for normals.*
    posted by designbot at 4:41 AM on September 29, 2011


    I predict this thread will be closed at exactly 47 comments.

    And will be marked as a favorite by 47 users.
    posted by TedW at 4:59 AM on September 29, 2011


    JtJ: No but it was comment 3946847
    posted by public at 4:59 AM on September 29, 2011


    It's the number of trees possible on 9 unlabeled vertices, but perhaps that goes without saying.
    posted by Wolfdog at 5:04 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I went to Pomona, and we love 47 and propagate it everywhere. I can guarantee that anyone who went there uses it as their go to random number. Which of course makes it not especially random and means 47 is seeded everywhere by alumni.
    posted by amj at 5:07 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I am currently 47 years old, and there are exactly 23 comments in this thread.
    posted by localroger at 5:18 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


    are were 23 comments.
    posted by localroger at 5:18 AM on September 29, 2011


    I am 47 and my boyfriend is 47 today - twilight zone tune
    posted by dprs75 at 5:26 AM on September 29, 2011


    And this http://www.474towin.blogspot.com/
    posted by dprs75 at 5:27 AM on September 29, 2011


    My brain used to mondegreen Steely Dan's Bhodisattva as "47".

    So ever since, I have dedicated my life to bringing the true enlightenment of 47 to the world.
     
    posted by Herodios at 5:38 AM on September 29, 2011


    Go ahead, count them.
    posted by Wolfdog at 5:41 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    "posted by finite at 5:47 AM"

    Note also that this is finite's 47th FPP (and that he has posted 477 comments to the blue).

    I would not be too surprised to learn it's posting also triggered 47 simultaneous asplosions around the globe.
    posted by misteraitch at 5:54 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I used to be 47. This is weird.
    posted by Raymond Marble at 5:58 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Not to brag, but my IQ is 47.
    posted by maxwelton at 6:00 AM on September 29, 2011 [21 favorites]


    Fellow 47-year-olds! Our time has come!

    well, actually, it will come later this hour, and every hour thereafter
    posted by Halloween Jack at 6:09 AM on September 29, 2011


    I just watched the Voyager episode "Non Sequitur" (S2E3) the other day, and I thought it hilarious that alternate Harry Kim both lives in apartment 4-G and works in subsection 47. My wife was mostly annoyed when I pointed this out to her and wrote it off as coincidence.
    posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:18 AM on September 29, 2011


    You know who else's favourite number was 47...?
    posted by arcticseal at 6:20 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    lives in apartment 4-G

    Hmmmm. If 4 stands for D and 7 stands for G, then 47 is D-G or the reversal of G-D! Those of you who are all so fond of this are just a bunch of Satanists!
    posted by GenjiandProust at 6:37 AM on September 29, 2011


    Does acceptance into this club mean one is eventually trepanned?
    posted by clvrmnky at 6:44 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


    27 is important to Weird Al
    37 is Kevin Smith's thing.
    posted by inturnaround at 7:11 AM on September 29, 2011


    714
    posted by caddis at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2011


    True confession: about fifteen years ago the number 47 popped into my mind, I can't remember the circumstance, it might have been a dream. Ever since then I see the number everywhere. Cars pull in front of me, their license plate contains a 47. A kid in a football jersey walks by, 47 again. It's become a minor obsession, one that I've never told anyone about until now. I did wonder if something major would happen in my life when I was 47, but that year passed with no significant change. Now I'll just have to wait and see if I got it backward and 74 is the truly momentous year.
    posted by mareli at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Chirp chirp.
    posted by thewittyname at 7:50 AM on September 29, 2011


    Three is a magic number

    The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5

    And finally, what about the magical number seven? What about the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas, the seven deadly sins, the seven daughters of Atlas in the Pleiades, the seven ages of man, the seven levels of hell, the seven primary colors, the seven notes of the musical scale, and the seven days of the week? What about the seven-point rating scale, the seven categories for absolute judgment, the seven objects in the span of attention, and the seven digits in the span of immediate memory? For the present I propose to withhold judgment. Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all these sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it.

    The number eight is considered to be a lucky number in Chinese and other Asian cultures.

    Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning "3", kai meaning "and", deka meaning "10" and phobia meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is fear of the number 13; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.

    Some years ago I heard a fascinating talk by the magician and pseudoscience debunker James Randi, in which he spoke of many interesting things ranging from ESP and UFOs to medical quackery. One thing he talked about was a strange phenomenon involving, of all things, the number 17.

    The 23 enigma refers to the belief that most incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23, some modification of the number 23, or a number related to the number 23.

    One of the most frequent symbolic numbers found in ancient cultures across the globe is undoubtedly number 37.

    The curse of 39 refers to the belief in some parts of Afghanistan that the number 39 is cursed or a badge of shame as it is purportedly linked with prostitution.

    answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything = 42
    posted by Rhaomi at 7:52 AM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


    ...the belief in some parts of Afghanistan that the number 39 is cursed or a badge of shame as it is purportedly linked with prostitution.

    39 afghani, same as in town?
    posted by TedW at 7:56 AM on September 29, 2011


    If this isn't closed at 47 comments, the system is breaking down.
    posted by timsteil at 7:58 AM on September 29, 2011


    The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5

    The 23 enigma refers to the belief that most incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23, some modification of the number 23, or a number related to the number 23.

    The 23 enigma is a corollary to the law of fives, since 2+3=5
    posted by empath at 8:13 AM on September 29, 2011


    Okay, fine, I'll set it up.
    posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 8:22 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I have the 47th comment.
    posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:24 AM on September 29, 2011


    4+7=11
    7+11=18
    11+18=29
    18+29=47

    I believe 47 is self aware.
    posted by hooha at 8:24 AM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


    If you got to the end of the TNG compilation of 47s, you would have seen the sole credit:

    "Compiled by Joshinator12"

    Turncoat!
    posted by bicyclefish at 8:24 AM on September 29, 2011


    I'd just like to point out in respect of my previous post that I made the 47th comment entirely casually -- I just happened to read this post when there were 46 comments.

    I wasn't waiting -- what kind of guy would do that, right?! Ahahahahah hahahaa hhhaa haa ha... anyway...
    posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2011


    OMG it's 11:47 RIGHT NOW.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Or not.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I was 47 3 years ago...7-4 = 3...scary
    posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:11 AM on September 29, 2011


    Jer Thorp does some analysis of random numbers selected by people, and he finds that we really like numbers that end in 7. This is the tutorial of how to do this yourself in Processing but if you scroll to the bottom, you can see his results.
    posted by amj at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    4+7=11, the start of the Fibonacci sequence

    That's not THE fibonacci sequence, that's the fibonacci sequence starting with 4 and 7. That's also not significant at all, you could say that about any number with ascending digits.

    What is significant (sort of) is that 47 is one of the few Keith Numbers.
    posted by aesacus at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2011


    A quick google search, and I got the very helpful:
    We Found Keith Numbers
    www.peoplesmart.com
    Get Keith Numbers's Phone, Email,
    Address, Public Records & More Now!
    posted by Wolfdog at 9:35 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    ...but 73 is the best number.
    posted by howling fantods at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2011


    the real concern, of course, is with 49. Area 49 to be specific.
    posted by philip-random at 10:15 AM on September 29, 2011


    47 was also featured in Inland Empire. It was, I believe, the name of the original (cursed) Polish script, and it was also the number of the room where the Polish girl was trapped.
    posted by treepour at 10:24 AM on September 29, 2011


    That's not THE fibonacci sequence, that's the fibonacci sequence starting with 4 and 7. That's also not significant at all, you could say that about any number with ascending digits.

    You will not get anywhere in the world of tenuously-supported conspiracy-peddling with an attitude like that. If you want facts, logic, and sense, you have come to the wrong intellectual foxhole of humanity, my friend.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 10:24 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Oh! One more thing from Inland Empire: Pamona (or "bus to Pamona") figured heavily into one of the climactic ending sequences!
    posted by treepour at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2011


    47 - 5 = 42.

    (therefore corresponding to the Law of Fives AND the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything)

    Silly mortals. Don't upset the Illuminati or the dolphins.
    posted by rich at 10:37 AM on September 29, 2011


    Yeah, but it's no non-McNugget number.
    posted by not_on_display at 10:49 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    According to The Book of the Subgenius: "You may have noticed that two completely unrelated persons may have the same Primal Stench. This is because there are only 47 basic Nental Ife 'types,' all dating back to Creation."
    posted by katherant at 10:52 AM on September 29, 2011


    The "start of the fibbonacci sequence" is two 1s, hence the joke. Everybody calm down.
    posted by Navelgazer at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


    CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP GO SAGEHENS

    I've always wondered how many other institutions have "mascot numbers." Is it more common in other cultures where numerology is more influential?

    Jer Thorp does some analysis of random numbers selected by people, and he finds that we really like numbers that end in 7.

    Perhaps this is due to the early influence of the seven times table leading us to believe that 7s are just more mysterious and irregular than other, more tractable numbers.
    posted by fermion at 11:15 AM on September 29, 2011


    I walked 47 miles of barbed wire, I use a cobra snake for a necktie.
    posted by beagle at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    47 + 74 = (4+7)(7+4).
    posted by stebulus at 11:28 AM on September 29, 2011


    Caddis: 714

    Joe Friday's badge number?
    Babe Ruth's home run record?
    Orange County's area code?

    Or are you perhaps alluding to something else?
     
    posted by Herodios at 11:31 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


    47??

    Pffft.

    58 is where it's at. Anytime I need a random number to exemplify the absurdity of a situation, 58 is the go to number for me.

    For example: "Fuck dude, I called you like 58 times. Where the fuck my smokables at?!"


    See. That's how you do it.

    58 ALWAYS WORKS!


    Shiiii-iiiiite.



    Your favorite number is teh suxxors. /wink
    posted by Skygazer at 1:27 PM on September 29, 2011


    It's MAGIC.
    posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:27 PM on September 29, 2011


    According to bon (unbeknownst to many), the number one number is 43. In Tibet, and in other places, it is the largest natural number that is not an (original) McNugget number. It got its magic 4 integers before 47. And, unlike poor 47, it is a Heegner number. And how can this be so? For it is the Kwisatz Haderach!
    posted by gorgor_balabala at 1:45 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I must note that Kevin Smith isn't the only fan of 37. Bob Barker made a big deal of that number too. And I've seen ads on MeFi for 37 Signals.

    And if 42 + 5 = 47, then 42 - 5 = 37.

    Most of the numbers ending in 7 are interesting. Heinz 57 Sauce. 77 Sunset Strip. (sadly) The Forever 27s.

    And President Obama's most famous gaffe was when he said "57 states" while meaning 47. So he must NOT be a fan of 47. Another strike against him.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 2:47 PM on September 29, 2011


    There are 47 strings on a harp. David played the harp for King Saul. Jesus is a decedent of David. Duh.
    posted by watermelongunn at 2:53 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


    27 is important to Weird Al
    37 is Kevin Smith's thing.


    And 27 and 37 are the Moleeds
    posted by briank at 2:55 PM on September 29, 2011


    Read as far as this comment and looked at the clock. 11:47. No shit.
    posted by motty at 3:50 PM on September 29, 2011


    This is bullshit and this thread is worthless. I'm gonna go and play me some Hitman.

    ...where you play a character named #47.

    Holy shit! IT *IS* EVERYWHERE!!!
    posted by enamon at 3:55 PM on September 29, 2011


    The Wikipedia entry on 47 (number) reveals the in-joke that began at Pomona College and influenced popular culture from there.
    posted by Brian B. at 4:09 PM on September 29, 2011


    Pynchon's original working title was "The Crying of Lot 47".

    In the US, 47 is the only number under 100 that has never been used for a US Route or an Interstate Route.

    In Mandarin Chinese, the digits of "47" are homophones for "Death Energy".

    47 times 17 is almost exactly 800.
    posted by kurumi at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2011


    So I guess 41 doesn't get any more love now?
    posted by Gilbert at 11:01 PM on September 29, 2011


    As a Pomona alum, I am legally obligated to say something in this thread, so here is what I will say: one time I had lunch with my old adviser and the bill came out to exactly $47. I kid you not. Actually, there might have been some change. I can't remember. But I think there wasn't. I kid you not about that also. The lesson I took away from this possibly incredibly mind-blowing coincidence is that you should always order dessert, even if you didn't finish whatever else you were supposed to be eating. I had the flan, but you could probably get something else.
    posted by Adventurer at 12:09 AM on September 30, 2011


    You guys you guys you guys, that was my 47th comment on the blue, it's all true
    posted by Adventurer at 12:17 AM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


    According to the book of numbers (all kneel...), 47 is "the largest number of cubes that cannot tile a cube".

    I never heard that. Hmmm. After a little consideration, I just decided not to try a proof. In fact, I'm going to forget all about ... what was that number? Is that my momma calling me?
    posted by Twang at 2:50 AM on September 30, 2011


    And 27 and 37 are the Moleeds

    Holy crap! I have been trying to remember who did that bit for years. I remember seeing it on an old HBO Young Comedians special and thought it was hilarious (especially the bit about "...the Father, the Son, and the Holy Moleed"). But for some reason I thought the comedian was Hispanic, possibly Puerto Rican. Perhaps I was conflating the Moleeds guy with one of the other actors/characters from Welcome Back Kotter. I also want to spell it "Molides", so Google failed me there.

    MeFi comes through in the most unexpected way once again!
    posted by TedW at 8:03 AM on September 30, 2011


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