This feeling when you walk into big art supply stores …
I wish I knew…and this is a bigger question than you think you’re asking. When we count we go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and then we start over again, just changing the second number, 11, 12, 13…etc. This is called “base 10”. The base is the number that you have to hit before moving a decimal place over. We use base ten, presumably, 100% because we have ten fingers.
However, 12 is possibly a better choice. Ten is only divisible by 1, 2, 5, and 10 while 12 is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12. So for a lot of applications, base 12 is easier to use. And we do use base 12, just not very often or very precisely. Every time you say “two dozen” you’re using base 12. Or, in the case of your pack of tampons, eight dozen.
Why we use dozens isn’t exactly clear…it may be just because it’s mathematically convenient…or it may be good for marketing reasons (96 might sound more impressive than 100.) Or maybe it’s because there are roughly 12 lunar cycles per year (which is where we get the 12 months.)
We don’t really know…but beer, soda, eggs, and tampons…all come in dozens…for reasons that stretch back, possibly, to the very beginning of counting. Which is REALLY COOL.
You made this interesting and I’m honestly so impressed.
MORE FUN NUMBER INFO
Multiples of 12 are often largely composite or highly composite numbers (i.e., they’re either more divisible or as divisible as any smaller number), so they’re super easy to evenly divide compared to other numbers. Some sweetheart on wikipedia made this fun chart demonstrating this:
Since 96 is the largest number that is both:
- largely composite (divides by a bunch of numbers)
- close to 100,
it’s an optimal choice for selling in bulk
"Some sweetheart." This post definitely got better.
I tried to shame him for eating all my shoes. I’m not sure what I expected
going back to school more like
This is the one time of year that I love wasps.
Not because the wasps themselves get any nicer. They’re horrid little creatures year round. No, it’s because I have a couple of big apple trees out back, and late August, early September is when the apples start ripening.
Now, if you don’t harvest your own fruit, there are two things you need to know about apples.
The first thing you need to know about apples is that, when apples get ripe, they tend to fall from the tree at the slightest breeze.
I often work late at the office; by the time I get home, there are piles of apples scattered everywhere - and sure enough, the wasps are out in force, gorging themselves on the fruit. When I go to clean up the windfallen apples, the wasps naturally do the “rawr, I’ma fuck you up!” routine for which wasps are known.
The second thing you need to know about apples is that they ferment very rapidly in the late August heat.
So: the wasps try to come at me, but they’re too drunk to fly. They get about an inch off the ground, then faceplant directly into the turf, flip over onto their backs, and lay there, legs twitching in the air as they try in vain to find something to sting.
Perhaps I’m a man of simple pleasures, but I bust up laughing every. single. time.
I tried to reblog this with a witty tag, but Tumblr took it as serious advice:
you’re brushing your teeth when suddenly your mint toothpaste tastes like eggs. do you
a) power through and continue brushing
b) wash your mouth out
c) go to your fridge and get out the eggs and bite one to see if it tastes minty
cybersyncing said: ok but hear me out: The Hobbit where everything is the same except Bilbo has the personality of Martin Freeman
I live in Osaka, Japan and often use the subway to go to work in the morning. One day while I was waiting for the train, I noticed a homeless man standing in the corner of the subway station muttering to himself as people passed by. He was holding out a cup and seemed to be begging for spare change.
An overweight woman passed by the homeless man and I distinctly heard him say, “Pig.”
Wow, this man is insulting people and he still expects them to give him money?
Then a tall businessman went by and the man muttered, “Human.”
Human? I can’t argue with that. Obviously, he was human.
The next day, I arrived early at the subway station and had some time to kill, so I decided to stand close to the homeless man and listen to his strange mutterings. A thin, haggard-looking man passed in front of him and I heard the homeless guy mutter, “Cow.” Cow? The man was much too skinny to be a cow. To me, he resembled a turkey or a chicken. A minute or so later, an obese man went by and the homeless man said, “Potato.” Potato? I was under the impression that he called all fat people “Pig”.
That day at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about the homeless man and his puzzling behavior. I kept trying to find some logic or pattern in what he as muttering. Perhaps he has some kind of psychic ability. In Japan many people believe in reincarnation, so maybe he knows what these people were during a previous life. I observed the man many times and began to think my theory was right. I often heard him calling people things like “Rabbit”, “Onion”, “Sheep”, or “Tomato”.
One day, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to ask him what was going on. As I walked up to him, he looked at me and said, “Bread.” I tossed some money into his cup and asked him if he had some kind of psychic ability. The man smiled and said, “Yes, indeed. It is an ability I obtained many years ago, but it’s not what you might expect. I can’t tell the future or read minds or anything like that.”
“Then what is your ability?” I asked eagerly.
“The ability is merely to know the last thing somebody ate,” he said.
I laughed because I realized he was right. He said, “Bread.” The last thing I had eaten for breakfast that day was toast. I walked away shaking my head. Of all the psychic abilities someone could have, that one must be the most useless.