July 17th is National Yellow Pig Day

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What’s National Yellow Pig Day?

Today is a very exciting day in the world of science and mathematics. Did you know that you should be celebrating National Yellow Pig Day today? Take the day off from work and marvel at the miracle of the number 17! 

The first question that you may be asking yourself is, “what does this have to do with a yellow pig?” The answer is, of course, nothing! The day was invented by Princeton mathematics students David Kelly and Michael Spivak. They were intrigued by the number 17 and worked on a project about the properties of the number 17. 

Legend has it that the day was named after David Kelly’s collection of yellow pigs. The yellow mascot pig has 17 toes, eyelashes, and teeth.  

17 as a prime number in mathematics holds some significance. When you add up the sum of the first four prime numbers (2, 3, 5 and 7), you will land on 17, which represents a prime number itself. Studies also show that when people are asked to pick a number between 1-20, they will choose 17.  

If you are from Italy, you are not a fan of the number 17. As many of us fear the number 13, 17 is looked upon in the same disregard in Italy. But, if you are from Ireland, you love the number 17, as March 17th is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! 

Many people find the number unlucky. When you write it as an anagram “VIXI,” it means “I have lived” in Latin. Of course, this is in past tense, which means you are no longer living. “VIXI” can be found on many tombstones dating back to Ancient Rome. 

Heptadecaphobia is a fear of the number 17. The 17th President of the United States was Andrew Johnson, who took over after the 16th President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. President Johnson later went on to become the first President impeached by Congress. 

The flood that took place in the Bible started on the 17th day.  

But, on a more positive note, one of the most beautiful forms of poetry connects to the number 17. A Haiku is a Japanese poem that uses only a total of 17 syllables and typically has to do with nature.  

And, lastly, you need to use 17 muscles to make you smile. Hopefully this unusual day gave you the opportunity to take advantage of those 17 muscles. 

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