April 11th 2021

Today, on my 343rd day of running 5k every day, here’s a list of reasons why 343 is my favourite number.

Fair warning, none of this is going to be interesting to anyone other than me, so feel free to skip this post and check back tomorrow.

  1. 343 is the only 3-digit cubic palindrome.
  2. This 5k every day thing, has me running 7 days a week, for 3 miles a day. 73 = 343.
  3. 343 is a nice Friedman number, meaning it can be expressed in an equation using all its own digits in order, in combination with the standard mathematical operators: (3+4)3
  4. 343 was the number in the registration of my first car. An X-reg Peugeot 206. 343 was already my favourite number long before I could drive, and when we went to view the Peugeot, I took the registration plate as a sign. I replaced the 206 with a 16 plate Ford Fiesta, in which I have been crashed into the back of three times. The 343 Peugeot went unscratched in my 5 years driving it.
  5. The prime factorisation of 343 is 7x7x7. 7, 7, 7 is the jackpot on a slot machine.
  6. In western culture, 7 is often considered a lucky number. 3 is described as a magic number. 343 = 73, which is luck to the power of magic.
  7. Alternatively, my two favourite Arsenal players, Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney, wear 7 and 3 respectively. Honorary mention for Granit Xhaka, who wears 34.
  8. On the topic of Arsenal, the only factors of 343 are 1, 7, 49, and 343. 49 was the amount of Premier League games Arsenal went unbeaten before, during, and after the Invincibles season.
  9. Manipulation of the individual digits in 343 leads coincidentally to some other important numbers in mathematics:
    • The sum of 3+4+3 is 10. Humans have built around base 10 since they woke up and realised how many fingers they had.
    • The product of 3x4x3 is 36, which is equal to 62, which isn’t really important to mathematics, but is one order of magnitude lower than 73 which is kinda cool.
    • Taking it one step further, the product of those two numbers, 10 x 36 = 360, is the number of degrees in a circle, which is a founding principle around much of mathematics. 360 is also a cool number because of how composite it is. In fact, it is divisible by all but one of the numbers 1-10. The only number it isn’t divisible by is 7.
  10. This last one is mainly just to serve to prove the point that humans like to do things in base 10. It would have been weird if I stopped at 9, don’t you agree?

Until tomorrow, yes, my brain is that weird.


2 thoughts on “Cubic

    1. The story goes that “they” originally decided on 365 degrees because it lined up with the number of days in a year — and it was assumed that the earth’s orbit was a circle back then — but then changed it to 360 because it was so easily divisible.


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