Just as we say goodbye to 2016, we usher in and say hello to 2017. Of course, it’s an odd year, but there is some interesting trivia about the number 17:

Heptadecaphobia or heptakaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 17.

Haiku poems comprise 17 syllables over three lines (divided 5-7-5).

In Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange a band named Heaven Seventeenth has a hit song titled “Inside.”

The average person laughs 17 times each day.

There are 17 muscles that are used to form a smile.

If done perfectly, any Rubik’s Cube combination can be solved in just 17 turns.

The song “It Was A Very Good Year” written by Ervin Drake in 1961 and originally recorded by the The Kingston Trio focuses on the a teenager who is 17 years old. The song begins with the following lyrics: “When I was seventeen, it was a very good year / It was a very good year for small town girls / And soft summer nights / We’d hide from the lights / On the village green / When I was seventeen.” The song, inspired by Drake’s wife, has been covered by many artists, but the most famous version is the one sung by Frank Sinatra. In 1966 Sinatra won the Grammy Award for Best (Male) Vocal Performance for his version.

In international law, 17 is the maximum age at which individuals are judged as minors.

17 is the seventh prime number (a number that is greater than one and has only two positive divisors, 1 and the number itself; 3 is only visible by 1 and 3). The first 10 prime numbers are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29.

17 is the sum of the first four prime numbers (2+3+5+7).

17 is the average of the first two perfect numbers (6+28/2=17). A perfect number is a number that is equal to the sum of all its positive divisors, excluding itself; AND the sum of all its positive divisors, including itself; eg, the divisors of 6 are 1, 2, and 3 which add up to 6 AND 6 is also equal to half the sum of its divisors (1+2+3+6)/2=6.) The first four perfect numbers are: 6, 28, 496, 8128.

For further reading: Book of Numbers: A Bizarre and Hilarious Journey From 1 to 100 by Adam Spencer (2004)
The Book of Numbers: From Zero to Infinity by Tim Glynne-Jones (2015)
Numberland: The World in Numbers by Mitchell Symons (2013)

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