Brevity previously dealt with numerical trifectas here and here.
So, today is 08/08/08. NBC has been taking advantage of the figure eights to promote the Olympics for the past several months. But it doesn't really mean as much as the devilish 06/06/06 or the lucky 07/07/07, does it?
Maybe it does. You can learn about the number 8 if you like -- there are multiple cultural reasons why the Chinese consider it lucky -- but I thought I'd write about what happened the last time the calendar read 08/08/08.
Wikipedia tells us that the Wright Brothers had their first public demonstration of manned flight at a race course in Le Mans, France. Wilbur was at the controls.
His first flight lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them
Louis Bleriot. In the following days Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pilot pioneers.
See? Figure eights. Also, Arthur Goldberg was born, and Ty Cobb got married. So, banner day. Speaking of baseball, the Chicago Cubs played their 99th game of the season on August 8, 1908, and lost to the Giants (then of New York), 4-1. But don't feel too bad for them; they went on to win the World Series, repeating their 1907 feat. It was a talented roster -- note the famous infielders -- but little did they know their club would begin a title drought that has now tolled 99 years.
Something to keep in mind on August 8, 2008, a day in which the current MLB standings show the Chicago Cubs to have the second best record in baseball, with a 5-game lead in the NL Central.