7 x 7 things you need to know about 7
  1. Seven is the optimum number of hours of sleep for humans, according to a US scientific study.
  2. There are seven oceans in the world.
  3. Christians belive the world was created in seven days.
  4. Seven is seen as a lucky number in many cultures. Japanese mythology talks of Shichifukujin (The Seven Gods of Fortune).
  5. The seven deadly sins, or cardinal sins, were refined by Pope Gregory I in the 6th century. They are pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.
  6. The seven virtues are humility, liberality, chastity, kindness, abstinence, patience, and diligence.
  7. At a ceremony in Lisbon on 07/07/07, presumably at 7:07, the results of a global vote for the New Seven Wonders of the World will be announced. The 21 finalists include Stonehenge, the Kremlin and Timbuktu.
  8. The superstitious believe that to break a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. The cure: to bury the pieces, or run them in a stream.
  9. The average person's digit span (the number of digits they can recall in sequence) is seven.
  10. The common ladybird has seven spots.
  11. n Vedic Hindu tradition, the human body features seven basic chakras, or "wheels of energy".
  12. Bushido or "way of the warrior" is a Japanese code of conduct comprising seven virtues.
  13. The seventh son of a seventh son has magic powers, according to Irish folklore, but is a vampire in Romanian legend.
  14. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was the seventh studio album released by heavy metal band Iron Maiden in 1988.
  15. According to many faiths, there are seven heavens, corresponding to the seven heavenly bodies (earth, the sun and the five "naked eye" planets). In Judaism, the seventh heaven is called Araboth and is home to the Throne of Glory, which is attended by the Seven Archangels.
  16. Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen.
  17. The city of Rome was built on seven hills. They were Palatine, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine. Early Rome was ruled by a line of seven kings.
  18. Seven days of blessings (Sheva Brachot) follow a traditional Jewish wedding.
  19. Shakespeare's "seven ages of man" soliloquy begins "All the world's a stage..." and is delivered by Jacques in Act II, scene seven of As You Like It.
  20. In both the Challenger and Columbia Nasa space shuttle disasters, seven astronauts were killed.
  21. The seven of clubs in a deck of Tarot cards represents initiative, ambition, drive and desire.
  22. According to Buddhist legend, after his birth the Buddha rose to his feet and took seven steps.
  23. In the vision of the apocalypse described in the Biblical book of Revelations there are seven churches of Asia, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven trumpets, seven spirits before the throne of God, seven horns, seven vials, seven plagues, a seven-headed monster, and the lamb with seven eyes.
  24. Seven is "neutral" on the pH scale. Pure water has a pH of seven.
  25. Roy Sullivan, a park ranger from Virginia, US, is the only person known to have survived seven lightning strikes. He shot himself dead in 1983.
  26. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea nymph Pleione. They had affairs with several Olympian gods, including Zeus, Poseidon and Ares.
  27. The Seven Sisters is a series of chalk cliffs on the East Sussex coast, a set of waterfalls in Norway, and a group of Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscow.
  28. The phrase "seven-year itch" was first recorded in 1899. It characterises a man's urge to roam after seven years of marriage, the theme of Marilyn Monroe's 1955 film, The Seven Year Itch, right.
  29. In Arabic and Urdu script, seven takes the shape of a large "V". In Telugu, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script, it is written as a backwards "S" and in Gujarat it resembles a "9" with an extended tail.
  30. Seven is the fourth prime number, after two, three and five.
  31. Seven Dials in London's Covent Garden stands at the intersection of seven roads. Now part of a shopping area, it was a notorious slum in the 19th century, and hosted seven pubs on each of its apexes.
  32. Ancient astronomers believed there were seven planets in the solar system - those celestial objects they could see with the naked eye (the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn). In most languages the seven days of the week take their names from these "planets".
  33. The opposite faces of a dice add up to seven.
  34. Seven is the largest number of sticks or any other cylindrical object that can be tied into a bundle such that the shape of the bundle remains fixed.
  35. In 1849 the writer John Ruskin published The Seven Lamps of Architecture, which set out seven leading principles. They were sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life memory and obedience.
  36. Both Elizabeth Taylor and the late Lana Turner have had seven husbands (and eight marriages). American broadcaster Larry King has had seven marriages (but only six wives).
  37. The Seven Champions of Christendom are St George, the Apostle Andrew, St Patrick, St Denis, St James Boanerges, St Anthony the Lesser, and St David. They are patron saints of, respectively, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, and Wales.
  38. Seven segments make up each digit on the simplest electronic clock or calculator displays.
  39. Famous footballers to have worn the No 7 shirt include David Beckham, George Best and Eric Cantona.
  40. A series of seven works of art is called a heptalogy.
  41. The Seven Years' War (1756-63) involved all major world powers and was described by Winston Churchill as the real first world war.
  42. Seventh Day Adventists believe the second advent of Jesus Christ is imminent.
  43. Seven-league boots first featured in the French fairytale Le Petit Poucet by Charles Perrault. They enabled the wearer to reach seven leagues (about 24 miles) at a stride.
  44. The Seven Summits is the name given to the highest mountains on each continent. The oldest man to have climbed them all is Ramon Blanco of Spain, who completed the feat at the age of 70.
  45. In Dante's 14th century work, The Divine Comedy, the seventh circle of hell is guarded by the Minotaur and receives, among others, the violent, blasphemers and Sodomites.
  46. Wool is the gift traditionally associated with a seventh wedding anniversary.
  47. The heptagram, or seven-pointed star is a traditional symbol for warding off evil. Most American sheriff's badges are heptagrams.
  48. When asked to think of a number between one and 10, most people pick seven.
  49. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has sold over 5 million copies in 38 languages since 1989. The seven habits are: be proactive; begin with the end; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergise and; sharpen the saw.
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