Today, Kish and I celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.  On April 3, 1982, on a cold, snowy, blustery day in Vermilion, Ohio, we exchanged our vows, walked down the aisle, and began our married life together.

36-birthday-istockAt first blush, 36 doesn’t seem like a special enough number for such a special day.  After all, it’s just one of those even numbers that you zip right past if you are counting up to 100.  But if you delve into it, 36 is a pretty interesting number.  It’s the product of two prime numbers multiplied together (2 x 2 x 3 x 3), and it’s the sum of two prime numbers, too (17+19).  It’s a perfect square number, with a square root of 6.  It’s also a triangular number, which refers to the number of dots you need to form a triangle with six dots to a side, and a circular number, which refers to a square number whose last digit corresponds to the square (i.e., 6 x 6 = 36).  So, if you were a hopeless math geek, you’d celebrate 36 as a special number that is a square, a triangle, and a circle, all at the same time.

But the specialness of 36 doesn’t stop there.  A perfect score on the ACT is 36.  There are 36 inches in a yard.  The atomic weight of krypton is 36.  In Judaism, Maori legend, and Shaivism, the number 36 crops up as a number of significance.  And 36 also is important in games of chance.  The number of different possible outcomes if you roll two dice is 36, and 36 is the highest number on a roulette wheel.

So 36 is, in fact, a number with a lot to recommend it.  When you think about it, it’s a pretty apt number to commemorate the day when Kish took a gamble on getting married to a guy like me.