edwardspoonhands

longlivevanderjesus asked:

Why do tampons come in packs of 96? Why not 100?

edwardspoonhands answered:

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.

Using dozens is actually a product of Sexagesimal number systems used in ancient Babylon, Sumeria, and Mesopotamia. This system was created for the same reason Hank described, because it made division much easier. This system was created to two reasons- first for commercial use (where the number 12 was more common), and second for use in astronomy.  

What is interesting is that we continue to use this system of counting despite having primarily adopted a base 10 system. And that we continue to use this system for what it was originally intended- note that our time counting is base 60 which has roots in astronomy. This is largely because we developed astronomy from these ancient cultures so we retained the system, and also due to the prevalence of these societies in trading, which meant that the dozens system has also remained. 

This by the way is what you learn when you are a law student who has to fulfill a science requirement and takes Ancient Science and Technology. Also why a well-rounded education is so important because it illustrates that there are connections between every subject. 

 

maureenjohnsonbooks

maureenjohnsonbooks:

Many of you already know about some of the recent events concerning various YouTube performers and allegations of sexual misconduct. When I read about this (and it seems to come and come right now), I thought, “I have nothing to add to this.” So I just watched. And was sad. And also heartened by…

"Those of us who have crashed on the rocks—well, we climbed the rocks and built a lighthouse. And we keep the lights on for you, and we will always be here, and the light will remain on no matter how great the storm. And when the storm is over, we will still be here." 

This is beautiful, this is important

I started with an article in which a Linguist analyzed the grammatical structures of doge. I somehow ended up in a weird spiral of article reading regarding internet linguistics from which I cannot escape.

I love it because it reminds me of how infinitely grateful I am for the internet. That I can spend the night learning about a subject prior to which I had not really considered is incredible. 

wilwheaton

jackekarashae:

*AGGRESSIVELY FORWARDS TO EVERY GUY I KNOW*

*TIME TRAVELS AND AGGRESSIVELY FORWARDS TO PAST SELF*

Brilliant!  I rejected a guy who I was really close with and felt like the worst person ever because I knew that if people knew I would be deemed  a terrible person for “friend zoning” someone who was so nice. And I did feel terrible because I never wanted to hurt him, and I really didn’t want to lose him as a friend. Basically the whole situation just sucks.  

But people don’t owe people affections. I’ve had feelings for a guy I was friends with that were never reciprocated, but I never felt like I was owed anything for being his friend. Why do guys feel like they’re owed something for friendship?

isnerdy
dbledblezero:

ermefinedining:

This map should be included in every history book.

Please!

Yes, this map should be included in history books, once the names of the various nations are corrected. The vast majority of these nations are listed by the names given to them by by those who colonized North America. If we are going to talk about major language groups then it would serve us well to incorporate correct LANGUAGE into the map.

dbledblezero:

ermefinedining:

This map should be included in every history book.

Please!

Yes, this map should be included in history books, once the names of the various nations are corrected. The vast majority of these nations are listed by the names given to them by by those who colonized North America. If we are going to talk about major language groups then it would serve us well to incorporate correct LANGUAGE into the map.