Thursday, February 28, 2019


My wife and I both share 28 as our birthdate, 5 months apart. She also shares the same day and month (today) with my long-time colleague James, an old friend Julie, the son of the school cook Eddie and the singer Ysaye Barnwell. Our wedding anniversaty is on the 28th. My two daughters natal dates are the 26thand 30th, so average them together and you get—28. 

28 is a perfect number, which means it is equal to the sum of its proper divisors—1 +2+4+7+14= 28. (It shares this quality with the number 6, 496 and 8,128, just in case you were wondering.).

I never heard of the Angel Number 28, but apparently its meaning is to encourage you to use all your intelligence to accomplish all your desires in life. And wealth, prosperity and abundance will manifest soon. Well, okay. 

According to Wikipedia, 28 is also a harmonic divisor number, a happy number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number and a centered nonagonal number. It’s also a Stormer number and a Keith number. Of course, you knew all that. 

But it may have slipped your mind that 28 is the 3rdpositive integer with a prime factorization of the form 22q where q is an odd prime. Just to remind you.

Most important of all every school child knows that “there are 28 oriented diffeomorphism classes of manifolds homeomorphic to the 7-sphere.” I think about this daily, don’t you? And may I suggest that when conversation flags in your first on-line date, that you throw that sentence into the mix? Definitely a crowd-pleaser.

I always thought that 28 was the completion of the Saturn cycle, meaning that Saturn returned to the same place in its orbit as when you were born. And therefore, a threshold of great transition, a new life announcing itself. Also the 4thtime your cells have completely regenerated, which (I think) happens every 7 years. But Wiki says the Saturn cycle is when you reach 29. Well, close enough. 

As for me, 28 was indeed a prophetic year. I turned 28 on July 28thon the last day of an extraordinary year-long trip around the world. I celebrated my birthday with a cupcake in a park in Tokyo, Japan, flew home crossing the International Dateline and had my birthday again in San Francisco. And then proceeded to return to my teaching job at school for another 40 years, get married, get pregnant (well, technically, my wife) and became a father soon after my 29thbirthday. The beginning of a new cycle indeed. 

It would be ideal if this was the 28thpost in my February blog, but you can’t have it all.
And now I have 28 minutes to get ready for a birthday dinner with my wife and daughter. 
Happy end of February!

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