Ever since I was, well, Eight years old, I've had an affinity for the number 8. I could not think of a better occasion to take a closer look at the number...

...At 8 minutes after 8:AM on the eighth day of the eighth month of the year, 2008, I bring you several interesting pieces of information and a few personal reflections on *eight*, which, as you will see, range from educational to frighteningly fascinating...

Before sharing my unique experience with 8, I'll begin with some interesting things I discovered simply by doing a little research for this post:

**Mathematics & Numerology:**

- 8 is the base of the octal number system, which is mostly used with computers. In octal, one digit represents 3 bits. In modern computers, a byte is a grouping of eight bits, also called an octet.
- The number 8 is generally considered to be an auspicious number by numerologists. The square of any odd number, less one, is always a multiple of 8 (for example, 9 - 1 = 8, 25 - 1 = 8 x 3, 49 - 1 = 8 x 6), a fact that can be proved mathematically.
- A fallen or lying down 8, in mathematics, is used to represent infinity (
*an 8-letter word that has always fascinated me*). This interpretation of 8 may be related to the representation of the caduceus (where two snakes form several figure eights) as stability or balance of opposing forces.

**Chinese Significance:**

- The word for 8 in Chinese sounds similar to their word for "prosper" or "wealth."
- An estimated 9,000 couples in China will wed on 08/08/08.
- The Summer Olympics (
*an 8-letter word*), in Beijing China, are scheduled to begin at 8/8/08 at 08:08PM. - In China , just as the number 7 determines the life of a woman, 8 determines that of a man (
*more of this on my personal life further in the post*): A boy gets his milk teeth at 8 months, loses them at 8 years, reaches puberty at 2 x 8 = 16, and loses sexual virility at 8 x 8 = 64. - The
*I Ching*, which describes a system of divination using yarrow stalks, involves 64 = 8 x 8 configurations.

**Personal Experience (Life Cycles of 8):**

- I was born on 4/16: 4 is a factor of 8 and is half of 8; 16 is a multiple of 8 and is twice that of 8.
- My first fascination with 8 began when I was 8-years old.
- I started playing baseball (
*an 8-letter word and my first passion*) when I was 8: I randomly chose 8 as my jersey number, which remained the same throughout my baseball-playing life, which lasted for 8 years to age 16. Oh yeah, I played many different positions, all but one (1st base), which means I played 8 positions at least once during those 8 years. - At 16, I started my next passion, which was music. I played bass guitar, which is a 4-string instrument (
*a factor of 8*) in various rock bands for, you guessed it, 8 years. - At 24, I met the beautiful and electric woman who was to become my wife. 8 years later, our first child was born.
- Here's where it gets
*frighteningly fascinating*, at least for me: While doing the research for this post I thought to myself; The current 8-year cycle of my life will end next year, when I turn 40. How many months and days will pass from today, 08/08/08, to my birthday next year on 04/16?

8 months and 8 days...