Monday, October 24, 2011

The Story of 73 Continues

I have never really seen more than a few minutes of the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, because it airs when we are usually cleaning up the kitchen, finishing up homework, or hurrying boys off for baths. I am aware that one of the main characters, Sheldon, is described as a brilliant scientist, although socially awkward, extremely literal, and lacking empathy. Hmmm.

Two days after I wrote about David's affection for the number 73, my sister called me laughing. She and her husband had been watching The Big Bang Theory, and Sheldon was wearing a T-shirt with the number 73 in a circle printed on the front. They did a quick search and apparently Sheldon had worn this shirt on another episode of the show, at which time he had extolled the virtues of the number.

"What is the best number?" Sheldon asked on that episode. "By the way, there is only one correct answer. The best number is 73. You're probably wondering why. Seventy -three is the 21st prime number. It's mirror 37 is the 12th. Its mirror 21 is the product of multiplying (hang on to your hats) 7 and 3. Heh, heh, did I lie?"

"Okay, so we get it. 73 is the Chuck Norris of numbers," Sheldon's roommate Leonard, also an accomplished physicist, replied.

At this comment, Sheldon countered, "Chuck Norris wishes. In binary 73 is a palindrome, 1-0-0-1-0-0-1, which backwards is 1-0-0-1-0-0-1--exactly the same. All Chuck Norris backwards gets you is sirron kcuhc."

So, there is more to the number 73 than I had originally uncovered. And, there are people out there who know what a twin prime pair is, including not surprisingly, my brother- in-law, my new friend over at and, I am confident a college friend of mine who was a physics major (you know who you are), although she didn't say anything. So, David chose an interesting number and the same favorite number as a talented physicist, if even a fictional one.

Did you know that there is also a website, on which you can order the shirts that Sheldon has worn on the show? They even have the 73 shirts, and they are available in RED no less. I actually was considering ordering matching shirts for our whole family. Maybe, we would take our Christmas pictures in them as a nod to David, acknowledgement that there is a great deal happening in that mind of his that I still long to understand.

And then, before I could take my cart and click "proceed to checkout" I saw this repeated down the sidewalk.

953! 953? Although he has not completely abandoned 73, the number 953 appears to be David's new favorite number. Any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Set the dvr to save a few epidodes. First, its good for a wonderful laugh. Second, you will see a side of autism not seen in the media.even tho they never say it you will recognize it in Sheldon. Just a word of caution, it will make you laugh out loud. And..... its a little adult.