References to 47
There exists a humorous 47 society at Pomona College, California, USA which propagates the (joking) belief that the number forty-seven occurs in nature with noticeably higher frequency than other natural numbers. The origin of 47 lore at Pomona appears to be a math proof, written in 1964 by Professor Donald Bentley, which supposedly demonstrated that all numbers are equal to 47.
Following on from this inside joke, Joe Menosky, who graduated from Pomona College in 1979 and went on to become one of the story writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "infected" other Star Trek writers with it, and as a result the number occurs in a subtle hidden way in almost every episode of this program and its spin-offs Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. The number might be mentioned in the dialogue, it might appear on a computer screen a character is looking at, and it might be a substring of a larger number. The number also appears on some of the DVD menu screens for the episodes.
According to a (joking) statement by Rick Berman (the co-creator and executive producer of several Star Trek series), "47 is 42, corrected for inflation". The number 47 is referenced often in the television series Alias.
In 1998, Japanese electronic musician Takako Minekawa released the album Cloudy Cloud Calculator, which featured a song about the number 47 entitled Kangaroo Pocket Calculator. The song repeatedly states that "47 is a magical number. 47 plus 2 equals 49. 47 times 2 equals 94. 49 and 94. 94 and 49. Relationship between 47 and 2, is magic" and eventually concludes "Isn't it a coincidence?"
Forty-seven is also:
- the atomic number of silver.
- the number of miracles performed by Jesus listed in the New Testament
- the code for international direct dial phone calls to Norway.
- the model number of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt WWII fighter bomber
- the number of the French department Lot-et-Garonne.
- the number of mountains in "the 47" peaks of the Adirondacks.
- the number of samurai involved the famous historical Ako vendetta; sometimes referred to as the 47 Ronin.
- the number of bullets that killed Pancho Villa in 1923.
- the year AD 47, 47 BC, and 1947.
- "Frequently Asked Questions about 47 and The 47 Society"
- "Pomona College's Star Trek Connection"
- "The Mystique of 47" — trivia about the number 47, also part of the Pomona College website
- "The 47s Community" — LiveJournal community to post photos and stories about the number
- List of 47 References at Memory Alpha — article listing occurrences of the number in episodes and movies of Star Trek, and its context within the plot
- TV Tome Thread Number 47 — article listing occurrences of the number on the television show Alias