Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Krypton Wedding Anniversary

Entry to 18 August 2009:

Last week, the day before we left California, was our 36th wedding anniversary. It's been a good run and worth celebrating, which we did. I think it would a very good idea to use elements to mark anniversaries. Thirty-six is the atomic number of Krypton, one of the more obscure noble gases, named the “hidden element” because it is such a rare component of the Earth’s atmosphere and is therefore relatively difficult to collect. Although it does not form bonds easily with other elements, it does do so, which I will take as a good sign. It is not to be confused with kryptonite, Superman’s nemesis.

It's also always worth looking at the significance of the number of the anniversary (or birthday). This is certainly a tradition in my family. From a numerical point of view, thirty-six is very agreeable, with no less than 8 factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, indicating that a lot can go into it and that it can be derived in many different ways. There are different ways to get there; I think my favorite is 2 X 2 X 3 X 3 = 36. It is a number that is both simple and complicated, just like a relationship.


Kenneth said...

You missed 36. If you're counting 1 as a factor of 36, then 36 is too. There are an odd number of factors if and only if the given number is a perfect square, which 36 is.

Robert Elliott said...

That's why I said "no less than 8 factors", because I couldn't remember whether a number is a factor of itself, which as you say, it is. Thanks! Isn't it wonderful to have children who can correct us when we say silly things!?