the eighth page of

Septology abounds

 

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540

John Wesley (1703-1791) claimed that every seven years he burnt all his old sermons - on the basis that "it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago".

541

The heptagon, or seven-sided polygon (plane geometrical figure), is the polygon with the least number of sides which cannot be constructed in the classical geometric fashion - that is, by the use of straight-edge and compasses alone.

542

There are seven vowels in the Greek alphabet.

543

In the UK pubs are often called The Seven Stars. The seven stars in question are the seven bright stars of the Plough (part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear), and not the Pleiades, as one might expect.
In popular superstition - and indeed in Revelation - this subconstellation is associated with the Virgin Mary. Like many other pub names, therefore; this one is of religious origin.

544

Adolf Hitler was convinced that his lucky number was seven. His preference for ordering army assaults on the seventh day of months was a contributory factor to his downfall.

545

The worst recorded accident in the history of motor-racing occurred in 1955 at Le Mans, when the Mercedes of Pierre Levegh went out of control, hit a wall and exploded, killing 77 people (including Levegh himself). Unimpressed by all this carnage, the racing authorities insisted that the race continue.

546

The element of atomic number 77 is iridium (Ir), a hard white metal of interest in that it is the element most resistant to corrosion at room temperature. It was discovered in 1803 by the British chemist Smithson Tennant, who gave it its name because its compounds seemed to display a whole spectrum of colours.

547

The sequence of the Genesis story of the week of creation may be summarised as follows:

  • The first day, God created the heavens and the Earth, light, and the succession of day and night.

  • The second day, He created the vault of Heaven, separating the waters of the skies from the waters of the Earth.

  • The third day, He drew the seas together so that dry land emerged from them, and he populated the land with seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees.

  • The fourth day, He created the sun, moon and stars.

  • The fifth day, He created the fish, sea-monsters and birds.

  • The sixth day, He created the animals, reptiles and finally, in His own image, man.

  • The seventh (or Sabbath) day, he rested.

(The word 'day', in this context, means simply 'period of time').

548

On 12th September, 2004, I received a picture of seven dogs by e-mail.

7 dogs

549

It is sometimes stated that Leviathan, the monster of the biblical Old Testament & Apocrypha, had seven heads.

550

There are seven people in the film Cube, who find themselves trapped inside a labyrinth made up of cubic rooms. I don’t know anything else about it, because I recorded it off TV on my video recorder the other night, and I’ve not watched it yet.

551

The façade of Louis Tussauds Waxworks on the seafront at Blackpool, England has seven yellow stars surrounding the red name.

552

Matthew 18:21: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”

553

There were terrorist bombings in London, England on 7th July, 2005:

  • The digits 2+0+0+5 =7, so the date was 7/7/7 (or 7X3)

  • The serial number of the Tavistock Square bus was 17758, the digits of which add up to 28 (or 7X4)

  • The train bombings were executed at 8:51 - the digits of which add up to 14 (or 7X2)

  • The time between the train and bus bombings was 56 minutes (or 7X8)

  • (Al Qaeda has 7 letters)

554

The astonishing case of the ‘Drip-Die Man’ was reported in the Medical and Physical Journal of London on 25th February 1885. A 77-year-old man, of previously good health, began to sweat profusely for no apparent reason, and continued to do so until he died of exhaustion after three months of continual perspiration.

555

In the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, seven snakes make up the lock of the door that Harry opens with his wand inside the Chamber of Secrets.

556

In the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is player number seven in his house Quidditch team.
(
see also fact #207)

557

And in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, there was a fact about the number seven which leapt out at me and which I forgot to write down. If I watch the film again I'll try and remember to.

558

The legend of the Flood, as described in Genesis, has many references to the number seven. From vii 1-10: "Yahweh said to Noah, 'Go aboard the ark, you and all your household, for you alone among this generation do I see as a good man in my judgement. Of all the clean animals [those deemed fit for sacrifice or consumption] you must take seven of each kind, both male and female; of the unclean [some suggest that only herbivores were selected] animals you must take two, a male and its female (and of the birds of heaven also, seven of each kind, both male and female), to propagate their kind over the whole earth. For in seven days' time I mean to make it rain on the earth for forty days and nights, and I will rid the earth of every living thing that I made.' Seven days later the waters of the Flood appeared on the earth . . ."
A curious thing is that, in the same part of Genesis, we find that Noah took on board the Ark only two of each kind of creature, even the "clean" ones - although he did take seven human beings with him (his wife, his three sons, their three wives).
More sevens appear in the Flood story. Noah's three releases of the dove occurred at seven-day intervals. The Flood started on the 17th day of a month and ended on the 27th day of a month. The highest mountains on earth were said to be submerged under floodwater to a depth of about seven metres. And at the end of the Flood Noah's son Shem was aged 98, which is a multiple of seven (seven x fourteen). 

559

On 16th September, 2004, I received a picture of seven stages of evolution by e-mail.

Evolu7ion

560

In the Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave, Wendolene’s wool shop has a motorised sheep in the window juggling seven balls of wool.

561

An Egyptian decorated chest from the trove of Tutankhamen depicts the Pharaoh hunting a lion whilst seven other lions lay dead.

562

Ed Gein, cannibalistic Psycho-inspiring serial killer, died in Mendota Mental Health Institute geriatric ward in 1984, aged seventy-seven.

563

The demon Asmodeus understandably became known as the 'Demon of Matrimonial Unhappiness' after he fell in love with Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, and caused the deaths of her first seven husbands on their wedding nights. Tobias, son of Tobit, was her eighth husband, and was made of sterner stuff. On the advice of the angel Raphael he concocted a charm from the heart and liver of a fish, which he placed upon burning incense. The demon fled, choking and spitting, from the noxious stench, to be captured and enshackled by Raphael in Egypt. The lucky Tobias lived happily to the age of 117.

564

A US one-time Park Ranger called Roy Sullivan has been seven times struck by lightning - in 1942, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1976 and 1977 - and still lives to tell the tale. He admits to no mortal sins, and cannot understand why he should be the target for so many thunderbolts.

565

The seventh state of the Union was Maryland, which ratified the US Constitution on 28th April, 1788.

566

Findchu, a legendary Irish ascetic, believed so much in the power of seven that he made seven smiths construct seven sickles with which he flogged himself for seven years. In so doing, he won a new place in Heaven.

567

In an early Chinese Creation myth, Tao (God) created a hairy dwarf called P'an Ku; from his eyes shone light and from his mouth came forth the winds. P'an Ku created the Sun and planets by saying their names seven times.
When P'an Ku died his feet formed the mountains of the west, his arms those of the north and south, and his head the mountains of the east. His coursing blood became the rivers, his hair the plants; and the insect pests on his skin evolved to become the animals, including Man.

568

The Seven Sages of Ancient Greece and Asia Minor were: (1) Thales of Miletus (early 6th century BC), Bias of Priene (6th century BC), Cleobulus of Lindus in Rhodes (6th century BC), Periander of Corinth (c625-c585BC), Solon of Athens (c639-559BC), Pittacus of Mitylene (c650-c570BC) and Chilon of Sparta (fl560BC).

569

There are seven holy angels: Abdiel, Gabriel, Michael, Raguel, Raphael, Simiel and Uriel.

570

The Endless Peace Treaty, signed in AD533 between Persia and the Holy Roman Empire, kept the peace for seven years.

571

Apparently the Jewish custom of slaughtering animals involves the cutting of the animal’s throat in seven places.

572

Timothy Leary recorded and released an album with the Ashra Temple titled Seven Up.

573

The seven proofs of God’s existence is one of the themes to be found in the Russian novel The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

574

The human knee joint has seven muscles.

575

On Friday 11th August, 2oo6, I saw seven concrete construction slabs on a pavement in Berlin at 3.47pm.

7 concrete construction slabs

576

In areas where they thrive, there can be an estimated seven million earthworms in a single hectare of soil.

577

One in seven road deaths are caused by drink drivers.

578

The largest known single robbery of gold occurred from Unit Seven of the Brinks Mat warehouse in 1983.

579

The Sound of Music, an evidently popular musical film, features the Von Trapp family which includes seven children:

  • Leisl, age 16

  • Freidrich, age 14

  • Louisa, age 13

  • Kurt, age 11

  • Brigitta, age 10

  • Marta, age 6 (7 on Tuesday)

  • Gretl, age 5

580

According to the Theosophical Society, mankind will have in its history a total of seven root races, of which we are the fifth - the third root race was the Lemurians and the fourth lived on Atlantis. Each root race has produced / will produce in turn seven subraces: so far our root race has had five subraces, although the sixth is at the moment making its appearance in California.

581

For some reason, one-eyed people have often been considered sinister, and it is probably from this fallacy that the emotive expression "you dirty, no-good seven-sided sonuvabitch" was born, in the 19th century. The seven sides of a one-eyed person are:
the frontside, the backside, the left-side, the right-side, the inside, the outside and the blindside.
582 The seventh president of the United States was Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), a hero of the War of 1812 known as 'Old Hickory'. In the elections of 1824 Jackson received most electoral votes, but failed to get an overall majority; the House of Representatives chose the runner-up, John Quincy Adams, instead of him - a decision which Jackson resented. However, on 4th August, 1829, he became the country's 1st Democrat president; he served until 3rd March, 1837. In an attempt to root out bureaucratic corruption, he introduced the potentially even more corrupt "spoils system", whereby the winning political party after an election places its supporters in all the key administrative positions.
583

“Rain before seven, fine before eleven.”

584 In mystic thinking there seems to be some sort of "aura of trial" about the number seven
The Ark of the Covenant was in the land of the Philistines for seven months.
Some astrologers held that the soul descended to Earth via the seven planetary spheres, in due course to return by the same route to reach the eighth Heaven (mentioned by Dante), the sphere of the fixed stars.
Jacob worked for Laban for seven years in order to earn the hand of Rachel, but at the end of that time he was tricked by Laban into sleeping with Rachel's elder sister, the rather unmarriageable Leah. So he worked for Laban for a further seven years in order to be allowed to marry Rachel for real; he then worked a further seven years for Laban. Leah bore Jacob seven children in all, the last a daughter. When Jacob fled with his by now four wives from Laban, the latter pursued him for seven days.
585 Whilst in Berlin in August 2oo6 I also saw (and photographed) an advertising poster for a washing machine at a great price.

177.77

586

In the film AI David was imprinted upon his mommy by her speaking of a sequence of seven words: “cirrus, Socrates, particle, decibel, hurricane, dolphin, tulip”.
(see also fact #5)

587

On 19th November, 2002, the twenty-six year old vessel Le Prestige ran aground off the West Coast of Spain, spilling 77, 000 metric tons of fuel oil into the sea.

588

The Ancient Egyptians used a system of measurement in which seven palms made one cubit.

589

The Seven Churches of Asia, founded by the apostles, were at Ephesus, Laodicea, Pergamum, Philadelphia (in Turkey), Sardis, Smyrna, and Thyatira. It is to these Seven Churches that The Book of Revelation is addressed and it is tempting to think that the many recurrences of sets of seven in Revelation are a result of the attempt to symbolize these churches. At a guess, such a supposition is oversimplistic. Revelation is a mystic work, and it is clear that its author(s) were steeped in numerological lore: they would have been fully aware of the significance of seven.

Here is a list of seven-ish things in Revelation (references are in the main to first appearances only):
The Seven Churches of Asia (i 4); the seven spirits before God's throne (i 4); the seven golden lampstands (i 12); .the seven stars (i 16); the seven flaming lamps burning (iv 5); the scroll sealed with seven seals (v 1); the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes (v 6); the seven angels who stand in the presence of the Lord and the seven trumpets they blow (viii 2 to x 19 passim); the seven words like thunderclaps which the seer must not record (x 3-4); the seven thousands who shall die by the wrath of God (xi 13); the seven-headed dragon (xii 3); the seven-headed beast who appears in xiii; the seven angels who bring the seven last plagues (xv 1), who are given seven bowls of God's wrath (xv seven) which they spill upon the Earth (xvi); yet another seven-headed beast (xvii 3ff).
Astride this last beast there rides a whore (the "Whore of Babylon"). An angel explains to the seer (xvii 9) that its seven heads represent the seven hills astride which sits a whore (clearly Rome); also that the seven heads represent, in addition, seven emperors.

590

Seven black cats live on Oxford Road Station in Manchester, UK. There is a sign in the window of the guard’s office informing everyone of this. (I have not yet received photographic proof, however).

591

The Greek legend of the Seven Against Thebes is rooted in the disputes between Oedipus' twin sons, Polyneices and Eteocles, whom he had cursed before his death. They were unable to agree as to which of them was to occupy the throne of Thebes following their father's death, and so decided that each would reign in alternate years. However, at the end of Eteocles' first year he refused to let his brother Polyneices take over. King Adrastus of Argos, Polyneices' brand-new father-in-law, took up arms against Eteocles, the seven generals of his army being (according to Aeschylus' version) Amphiaraus, Capaneus, Eteoclus, Hippomedon, Parthenopaeus, Polyneices and Tydeus (another of Adrastus' sons-in-law). In the ensuing war, Polyneices and Eteocles killed each other - thereby fulfilling Oedipus' curse.
The Thebans won the war, though. A generation later Adrastus returned to the attack, aided by the sons of the great seven, the Epigoni. This time he was successful, but unfortunately died on his way back home to Argos.

592

Male millipedes do not have a penis – instead, one of the legs on the seventh segment is a modified sperm-delivering organ.

593

Here’s a picture of seven men sporting large fake penises, pushing them along in wheelbarrows.

7 penises

594

45rpm records are 7" circles.

595

The Amazon is the world’s biggest river in terms of the size of its basin, which covers almost seven million square kilometres of land belonging to seven different countries.

596

The seventh day after the Full Moon is believed to be the ideal time for a couple to meet and fall in love. This seems to be curiously linked with another time of inflamed passions: statistical research published in 1968 showed that the seventh day after the New Moon is the most popular day for arsonists (generally male, and generally teenagers) to strike.

597

The association of the number seven with the image of the dove is a profound one in Christian symbolism. In particular, the dove may represent the Holy Ghost, which is why in Church art you often see a dove with seven rays issuing from it (especially in stained glass windows) or a flight of seven doves. Here the seven represents the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost: counsel, fear of the Lord, fortitude, knowledge, piety, understanding and wisdom.

598

Until very recently in the UK the 'period of initiation into adulthood' was a multiple of seven - 21 years.

599

In the early 16th century there were reported from the southwest of North America seven golden cities, the 'Seven Cities of Cibola', and the tales drew many fortune-seeking expeditions, among them that led in 1540 by Coronado, 1300 men strong. The 'golden cities' were never found, and it seems likely that the reports were corrupted accounts of a group of pueblos.

600

For the universe to exist it requires that hydrogen be converted to helium in a precise manner that enables 0.07% of its mass to energy.

601

In 1948, scientist Clair Patterson embarked on a seven-year long experiment to try and determine the age of the Earth – 4550 million years give or take 70 million years, according to the results of the experiment.

602

In 1688 the Seven Bishops - Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishops Ken (of Bath and Wells), Lake (of Chichester), Lloyd (of St Asaph's), Trelawny (of Bristol), Turner (of Ely) and White (of Peterborough) - signed a petition urging that the clergy should not be obliged to read out in church James II's Declaration of Indulgence, which sought to grant religious freedom to Dissenters and Catholics. The Seven Bishops were brought to trial on a charge of seditious libel, but were acquitted.

603

The highest recorded TV audience in Holland was in 1972, when 77% of the public was watching. The broadcast concerned wasn't of any importance, not the Apollo 16 or Apollo 17 landings on the Moon for example: it was a quiz show.

604

On Wednesday, December 27, 2006, at 6.30pm, a helicopter out of Blackpool Airport (a twenty-year-old Eurocopter AS365N) crashed close to an oilrig 24-miles off-shore, killing seven people.
The dead were: pilots Stephen Potton, from Blackpool and Simon Foddering, from Preston; Passengers Robert Warburton, from Heysham, Leslie Ahmed, from South Shields, John Shaw, from Kirkcaldy, Alfred Neasham, from Durham and Keith Smith from Stockton-on-Tees. 

605

According to Thomas Nash (1567-1601) there are seven stages of drunkenness, each having a different bestial characteristic. The seven are: ape-drunk, lion-drunk, swine-drunk, sheep-drunk, Martin-drunk, goat-drunk and fox-drunk.
(To explain Martin-drunk: Nash violently opposed Puritanism, especially as enshrined in the satirical pamphlets written in 1588-89 by "Martin Marprelate". The three authors of these (the three original Martinists), Penry, Throckmorton and Udall (not the author of Ralph Roister Doister and headmaster of Eton) were brought to trial for dissent.
Penry was executed, Udall died in prison, and Throckmorton perjured himself in order to obtain release).

606

When Phil Smith went on holiday in the autumn of 2oo6, he brought me back a photograph of an incredibly impressive fountain / water jet in Switzerland called Jet D'Eau, on Lake Geneva, that he'd visited. I was more impressed by the fact that there are seven flowerbeds making up a garden design in the background of the picture, maybe representing the design above the door of number 10 Downing Street, London, UK.
(See also fact #6)

7 flowerbeds

607

There are seven Pontin’s holiday camps in the UK.

608

It has been estimated that, through the habits of mankind, the volume of carbon released into the atmosphere of Earth increases by seven billion tonnes each year.

609

The seven Spirits of God are the spirits of counsel, divine awfulness, knowledge, power, righteousness, understanding and wisdom.

610

It has been the invariable habit of number-symbologists to refer the number seven to the seven classical 'planets' known to the ancients, each of which is associated with one of the gods of the Roman pantheon. These are the sun and the moon plus the five 'naked-eye' planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The alchemists associated each of seven metals with the planetary gods:

  • Sun - Gold

  • Moon - Silver

  • Mercury - Quicksilver (now generally called Mercury)

  • Venus - Copper

  • Mars - Iron

  • Jupiter - Tin

  • Saturn - Lead

611

Seventy seven million pirate CDs are sold in the UK each year.

612

To the ancients, there seemed to be rather a lot of sets of seven around. Most important of these sets was the week of seven days, especially once it began to be believed that the Lord had created the Universe in seven days.
The reason for the week being seven days long is probably because it was deemed important to have a week-length which could be divided into the length of the lunar month, about 28 days. Seven was the obvious number of days to opt for, since the week then corresponded to one of the phases of the Moon: where we might say "I'll see you on Tuesday the 31st of June" our ancestors probably said something like "I'll see you two days after the next full Moon".

The seven days of the week also relate to the planets:

  • Sunday to the Sun

  • Monday to the Moon

  • Tuesday to Mars

  • Wednesday to Mercury

  • Thursday to Jupiter

  • Friday to Venus

  • Saturday to Saturn

(See also fact #4)

613

In the film Tron, Jeff Bridges’ character Flynn fights 'one of his own kind' for the first time on a platform made up of seven concentric circles.

614

The siege on Tyre by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great lasted for seven months.

615

The Seven Deadly Sins are avarice, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, rage and sloth. It is an interesting comment on humanity that there are, by contrast, only four Cardinal Virtues: fortitude, justice, prudence and temperance. Sometimes faith, hope and charity are added to redress the balance.
(See also fact #1, which this fact disagrees with!)

616

Here’s a picture of seven puppies (all together, now: "Aaaaaaah!").

7 puppies

 

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