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December 8 is The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, mother of Jesus, who was free of original sin from the moment she was conceived. The date is nine months before her birth on September 8. The Annunciation, the Incarnation of Christ, is celebrated on March 25, nine months before Christmas. And you thought other religions were confusing.

Eight is 2 cubed. Or 4 two times. It’s a nice, round number, literally as well as numerically. (Seven was so spiky). Rotated 90 degrees, it’s the symbol for infinity.

A byte is 8 bits. Historic computer architecture.

A Fibonacci number (3+5) and the number of sides of an octagon (well…duh!) and the number of players in an octet.

Skaters demonstrate their mastery of their sport by creating a figure 8 on the ice.

Arachnids and Octopi have 8 appendages.

8 is the atomic number of oxygen, an element dear to us all. If you read the description of oxygen in the periodic table, there is the terse comment, “supports life.” Terse verse.

The Bris is conducted on the baby boy’s 8th day, bringing him into the covenant between God and the People of Israel. Hanukkah (usually in December) has 8 days; it is the festival of the re-dedication of the Temple after the desecration by Antiochus IV.

There are eight Beatitudes and blessed are those who can recite them all.

8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture because the Chinese word for eight sounds like the word for prosperity or wealth; in English, it might be just the opposite, with eight sounding like hate.

Do you remember “Eight Days a Week?"Nice example of hyperbole.

A Section 8 discharge from military duty is given for the mentally unfit; Section 8 housing is granted for those in financial need.

The Dharmachakra, the Wheel of Doctrine (or Law), has 8 spokes, representing the Eight-Fold Path. It is a very ancient symbol, now found on the flag of India. It is a world-wide symbol of Buddhism (the Buddha was a Hindu prince). Gandhi’s use of the spinning wheel as the symbol of the Indian nationalist movement evoked emotional reactions buried deep in the Hindu psyche (but not the Muslim), something that eventually actualized as Partition in 1947.

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