Blog: Pure maths

Simon Warburton | 4 August 2010

From the esteemed halls of car maker Nissan comes a new range of clothing to, well, "celebrate the power, heritage and style" of its sports car collection.

The official blurb says the T-shirts "echo the performance and passion of Nissan's muscle-bound 370Z and flagship GT-R models plus its historic motorsport pedigree."

Well, up to a point Lord Copper. I'm not sure how much the lady in the picture would appreciate being associated with "muscle-bound" but I suppose she is sporting the "Performance" logo. And the "We are traitors" barrel logo is interesting.

And it turns out Nissan - unlike so many clothing manufacturers - hasn't just needlessly sprayed a load of numbers on its T-shirts for any old reason.
Indeed not. The number 23 is apparently the Japanese pronunciation for two and three - 'Ni' and 'San' which the company also has on the sides of its motorsport cars.

But are there deeper forces at work? The number 23 was the number worn by David Beckham - replete with yet another ludicrous hairstyle - during his time with Real Madrid - as well as being Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls number.

And it turns out squadrons of mathematicians - a breed I studiously avoid normally given my almost complete ineptitude at the subject - have been avidly poring over the number 23 and why Beckham, Jordan and indeed Nissan have plumped for it.

Well, 2 and 3 are prime numbers, which even given my amoeba-like grasp of maths, means they can only be divided by one or themselves.

One hall of maths buffs in India - the mind boggles - recently pondered the 23 phenomenon and noted the aforementioned Real Madrid also had 7, 11 and 13 as shirt prime numbers - but didn't appear to come to any conclusion.

A maths Professors present - who had the good grace to acknowledge most people shied away in horror when told his profession - could only guess Real Madrid had a fascination with prime numbers - who knew footballers were so cerebral?

So Professor, why did Nissan or '2, 3,' start off being called that at all?


BLOG

US retailers stock up amid tariff threat

Apparel imports into the US took a tumble in March, with double-digit declines from three of the top ten supplier countries. While the results reflect Lunar New Year factory shutdowns in Asia, China –...

BLOG

Uncertain times should spur innovation

The uncertainty of potential tariffs affecting the clothing and textile sector – and a Trump administration that appears poised to levy more of them – continue to loom large over the apparel and footw...

BLOG

How Bangladesh has moved from "basket case" to bellwether

The fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh dominated coverage on just-style last week....

BLOG

Bangladesh safety gaps still remain

As the apparel industry prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory building tragedy, a new report estimates it could cost US$1.2bn to complete remediation across Bangladesh's rea...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?