Ian Williams explainer on why August 8th, 2008, was a propitious date for the Chinese to open their Olympics should really have been the newscast's lighthearted closer. NBC treated the fluff with far too much seriousness by inserting it into the fourth slot of its lineup, before the first commercial. "Eight means prosperity," Williams stated, although he did not explain why. More than 16,000 engaged couples chose the date to tie the knot in Beijing alone…maternity hospitals saw a surge in births…and postage stamps and jewelry and license plates are all selling. Has eight really meant luck in 2008? The Year of the Rat snowstorms that paralyzed the nation were on January 25th (1/25 is 1+2+5 is eight) and the earthquake in Sichuan was on May 12th (5/12 is 5+1+2 is eight). "It is the most significant number but sometimes it will be positive and negative," a numerologist helpfully explained.
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