28 is the Second Perfect Number

12:36 am PHT

And 6 is the first. Perfect numbers are positive integers that are equivalent to the sum of their proper divisors—that is, when you list down all the factors of a perfect number (except itself) and add them all up, you will get the number itself. The proper divisors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14 and their sum is 28. Neat eh? Incidentally, I expanded the Wikipedia article on perfect numbers in 2003 based on a tutorial I wrote back in 1998.

So why am I pontificating about 28 and perfect numbers? Well, I don’t feel perfect at all now that I have reached that age today. (Yeah, it’s my birthday.) Will I ever reach perfection? I don’t think so. We can turn to Buddhism and note the fact that because I’m still alive, I’m not yet in nirvana. And if we’re to consult the Bible, Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

So, while 28 is considered a perfect number, it shouldn’t matter if you yourself don’t feel perfect at that age. If life is already perfect, what’s the point of living then?

Going back to math geekery, here are some more “interesting” properties about the number 28. And you might want to revisit my blog entries for 27, 26, 25, and 24.  :-D

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