Strange rounding problem

marshall marshall at spamhole.com
Mon Mar 17 05:08:00 CET 2003


Erik Max Francis <max at alcyone.com> wrote in message news:<3E739138.DF7E129E at alcyone.com>...
> Jp Calderone wrote:
> 
> >   15 is the next best base after 10, and 30 after that.  Of course, no
> > base
> > can exactly represent any fraction, and this doesn't even take into
> > consideration bases which are, themselves, fractional ;)
> 
> The traditional "next best" base after 10 will be 12.  That's why our
> clocks divide time into 12-hour chunks (well, two of them, so it's 24),
> etc.  Next after that is 60, for equally obvious reasons.

Actually the division of day and night into 12 hours dates back to the
Babylonians who had a base 60 system.  12 was probably chosen as a
factor of 60 and 12 was special becuase of the division of the year
into roughly 12 lunar months and the demarcation of the night by
twelve constellations.

Marshall




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