Friday, November 11, 2011

Three is a Famous Number

Isaac Asimov penned the Three Laws of Robotics.
A recurring theme in Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series is the observation that "the Ramans do everything in threes."
In War of the Worlds, the Martians traveled in three-legged death machines. They had three eyes. Three was important to them.
Alexandre Dumas didn’t really have three musketeers in his novel The Three Musketeers but that is what he called it. Maybe D’Artagnan didn’t count.
William Shakespeare's Macbeth has three witches.
There are three wise Monkeys that depict No-See, No-Hear and No-Speak.
There are Three Blind Mice, The Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs in children's literature.
Most Fairy Tales give you three wishes. Cinderella was robbed, I suppose.
In many Fairy and Folk Tales the hero faces three conflicts before triumphing. Failing at any of them fails the entire task (The Three Little Pigs, for example, where the wolf fails).
Three is the first odd prime number. That's enough for me to like the number without anything else.
A natural number is divisible by three if the sum of its digits in base 10 is divisible by 3
A triangle (three sides) is the only figure which will never change its shape unless the sides are bent.
Humans perceive white light as the mixture of the three additive primary hues: red, green, and blue.
Earth is the third planet in its local Solar System.
Three is the atomic number of lithium. That should be significant. We should study lithium more, I think.
Atoms consist of three constituents: protons, neutrons, and electrons. A Neutron walked into a bar and drank a beer. How much? he asks the bartender. For you, no charge.
Of the three main Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the first two have the three Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Besides the Christian Holy Trinity, many world religions contain triple deities, such as the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone (sometimes called the three fates).
Though we cannot prove that bad luck come in threes, we look for it and it sure seems that way.
The number three is often used to replace the letter “E” in sentences, especially when creating passwords. That doesn’t mean anything, though, since people often use the number eight to replace the “ATE” sound.
Baseball has three strikes to an out, and three outs to each side of an inning.
Football has three points for a successful field goal.
A triathlon consists of three events: swimming, bicycling, and running.
The game rock-paper-scissors involves three hand shapes: Rock, paper, and scissors. Easy to keep track of who wins what.
Everyone back to work now… one, two, three!

Postscript:
There are three dimensions that we can perceive (unless time is the fourth, I suppose).

Cerberus, the mythical dog guarding Hades, is often depicted with three heads. 

There's Three Dog Night and Three's Company, when, in fact, Three is often a crowd, though three of a kind beats a pair. Ménage à trois is something else entirely.

Three parts to a good presentation (tell them what you'll tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them).
Three licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop (TM).
Three acts in a three-act play.
Three words in "woe is me" or "Alas, poor Yorick."
A third eye is a mystical thing.
And I made pickled jalapenos, which hasn't anything to do with three.

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