# The Eye of Sauron

The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.

That’s a quote from The Fellowship of the Ring, but this image is actually a star. Fomalhaut, 25 light-years away, is one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

# DCLXVI

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is fear of the number 666, which is linked to Satan and the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation.

Unfortunately, it’s rather hard to avoid. 666 is the sum of the squares of the first seven primes:

666 = 22 + 32 + 52 + 72 + 112 + 132 + 172

Also:

666 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 567 + 89

= 123 + 456 + 78 + 9

= 9 + 87 + 6 + 543 + 21

= 13 + 23 + 33 + 43 + 53 + 63 + 53 + 43 + 33 + 23 + 13

In 1989, after his second term as president, Ronald and Nancy Reagan moved to a new home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. They had the address, 666 St. Cloud Road, changed to 668 St. Cloud Road.

# Math Notes

102 + 112 + 122 = 132 + 142

# More Magic

If this magic square worked upside down, this one works when reversed, “mirrorwise”:

 96 64 37 45 39 43 98 62 84 76 25 57 23 59 82 78
 54 73 46 69 26 89 34 93 75 52 67 48 87 28 95 32

# Fancy That

31415926535897932384626433832795028841 is a prime number.

It’s also the first 38 digits of pi.

# “Self-Locating” Strings

In the decimal expansion for pi, the digits 16470 appear in position 16,470.

And the digits 44899 appear in position 44,899.

# Math Notes

37 = 32 + 72 – 3 × 7 = (33 + 73)/(3 + 7)

# Cosmic Irony

In 1961, astronaut Gus Grissom nearly drowned after a splashdown when his Mercury capsule opened prematurely. He recommended making the hatch more secure.

Eight years later he died when Apollo 1 caught fire. The hatch had prevented his escape.

# Juvenile Chemistry

This compound, C4H5As, is known as arsole.

When it’s fused to a benzene ring, it’s called benzarsole.

No, I’m not above pointing that out.

# Math Notes

371 = 33 + 73 + 13