History of Infinity Day: Why is it on August 8

life infinity pictogramHISTORY OF INFINITY DAY: AUGUST 8

Infinity Day is also known as Universal & International Infinity Day. It is a commemoration held on the 8th day of the 8th month of each year to celebrate and promote Philosophy and Philosophizing for the ordinary person.

 

Why 8 is significant, apart from Infinity Day

  • 8 planets in the Solar System — since Pluto got demoted.
  • 8 is the atomic number of Oxygen.
  • 8 is the maximum number of electrons that can occupy a valence shell in atomic physics.
  • 8 people were saved in the Flood at the time of Noah.
  • 8th day, Jesus was circumcised, as the brit mila is held for Jewish boys.
  • 8 is the number of legs a spider or octopus has.
  • 8 is 2 cubed.
  • 8 follows 7 but stops before 9 making it the only non-zero perfect power that is one less than another perfect power.
  • 8 is the basis of the octal system, each digit representing 3 bits. A byte is 8 bits.

And:

  • 8 displayed horizontally is the symbol of infinity

Wence the Infinity Symbol?

The “lazy eight,” used in livestock branding, is a mathematical symbol representing infinity. It is called a lemniscate, after the type of curves of a similar algebraic geometry shape.

lemniscate building 2

Lemniscate

It was first used mathematically by John Wallis in the 17th century. But it had other uses:

  • Mathematically: refers to an infinite process rather than an infinite value
  • Bookbinding: long-lasting paper.
  • Graphic design: corporate logos, like Fujitsu and the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
  • Mysticism: an alternative to the traditional circular form, the symbol represents the ouroboros, an ancient image of a snake eating its own tail.

 

History of Infinity Day

gnu jean pierre a. fenyo

Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo

 

Infinity Day was conceived and created by Jean-Pierre Ady Fenyo, a philosopher, poet, journalist, and science-fiction author. As a sidewalk philosopher, he became known in 1987 as “The Original New York City Free Advice Man” (see The New Yorker magazine’s August 17, 1987 issue.) He has since become known as a celebrity there.

Infinity Day began in 1987 and has been celebrated in the form of peaceful, non-violent, and lawful demonstrations for philosophical inquiry, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and ethics in society worldwide. After that, the founder took it to various US and European cities. He now lives in London.

What significant 8s do you know?

 

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
billpetro.com

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About billpetro

Bill Petro has been a technology sales enablement executive with extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Automation, Data Center, Information Storage, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile, and Social technologies.

8 Comments

  1. Rainbow Zomby on August 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    With this and yellow pig day (17 July ) I am all set.

  2. Carol Dorman on February 22, 2017 at 12:05 am

    10:04PM was the time on the Back to the Future clock tower when it was struck by lighting. Those two zeros can be viewed as an infinity….which is appropriate for time traveling. That leaves the 1 and 4 to make a 14. We find 14s all over the place in physical sciences. There are 1440 minutes in a day, the first two numbers in Pi after the decimal are 14, the generations of the ancestry of Jesus Christ from Abraham to David to the 2nd Temple to his birth are measured in 3 sets of 14 (see Gospel of Matthew), the moon has a 14 month orbit and a 14 degree variance, Carbon-14 Dating measures Nitrogen 14 and Carbon 14. The list goes on and on.

  3. Chuck Darst on August 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Bill, your list of interesting 8’s made me think of – Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 789.

    And my favorite date with respect to numbers is Pi Day – especially two years ago and even better in morning. 9:26:53 to be exact.

    Chuck

    • billpetro on August 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      789: I think there should be a history behind that.

      -Bill

      • ICCA on July 29, 2018 at 7:15 am

        Everything ends with Infinity

  4. John Elliott on August 8, 2023 at 10:52 am

    My Infiniti is 16 years old and will not die. Aptly named, I guess.

    • billpetro on August 8, 2023 at 10:55 am

      John,

      That is brilliant. I wondered why they named the car that way.

      What do you think would happen if they came out with a car named “Eterniti”?

      -Bill

      • John Elliott on August 14, 2023 at 9:28 pm

        That’s clever. Actually I think I have an Eterniti. Best car I ever had.

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