Odd parallels

Yesterday I talked about the odd parallel between the seven days of the week and the seven notes of the diatonic musical scale. I wonder how many other such odd parallels there are in our cultural consciousness.

One that comes to mind is around the cards in a deck of playing cards and the weeks in a year. I especially like the way each of the four suits maps into the four seasons of the year.

Other parallels seem a little more iffy. For example, we could map, one-to-one, the difference in temperature, on the Fahrenheit scale, between freezing and boiling water and the angle between the Earth’s South Pole and North Pole. Both are 180 degrees, intriguingly enough.

Can you think of any others?

3 thoughts on “Odd parallels”

  1. Many years ago, I read a short story based on the similar values between freeway speeds (in MPH), years (of the late 20th century) and temperature (in F).

    The gimmick of the story was it using a phrase like “it was almost 75” and you weren’t quite sure which of the three parameters the author was referring to.

    Alas, I remember neither the title nor author of the story

  2. J. Peterson’s comment reminds me of the television public service announcements in the 1970s to teach Americans about the metric system. They used several examples, but the one I remember was that the 55 mile per hour speed limit being equivalent to 88 kilometers per hour. I’ve always wondered whether the 88 mile per hour threshold for the time machine in Back to the Future was inspired by those.

  3. Could be.

    More likely it was inspired by Agent 99 going 88mph from 77 Sunset Strip on Route 66 in her Ol’ 55 to meet Agent 44.


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