June 09, 2006


A-word-a-day writes about the number 12:

Twelve is a magical number. It's divisible by two, three, four and six.

There are twelve months in a year, twelve hours on a clock, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve tones in the musical scale, and twelve in a dozen, twelve inches in a foot, twelve Knights of the Round Table, twelve members in a jury (usually), twelve labors of Hercules... twelve must have something going for it.

We use the decimal system because there are ten fingers on our hands. But we might as well have used a duodecimal system: there are twelve phalanges on our four fingers (thumb used as an indicator). In fact, some cultures do use duodecimal systems. One can find a Dozenal Society that advocates use of duodecimal system in the US and in other countries.

ADDENDUM: One thing I like about this idea is that, in base-12, I'm 48 years old.

Posted by jackhodgson at June 9, 2006 06:00 PM