Lightning Picnic

longlivevanderjesus asked: Why do tampons come in packs of 96? Why not 100?


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.


Brandon and I somehow got to talking about those old Food Pyramid nutrition guidelines from our childhoods in the 80’s and 90’s - which naturally led to our drawing our own personal versions.

I have to say, I thought these would turn out highly exaggerated, but they’re actually more or less exact. If I’m really splitting hairs, my pyramid should have a tiny slice between fruits and coffee, representing cheese and meat and incidental vegetables: in short, sandwich contents. Also, Brandon doesn’t actually eat brains (that I know of).

If you keep your eye on depression
and then back away
spacing yourself farther and farther
all the while watching depression shrink in the growing distance
when that tiny speck of sadness vanishes from sight completely
it is at that precise moment
your periphery will catch hands reaching up from behind you to cover your eyes
and you will hear a small voice whisper
guess who

Circle - by Shane Koyczan (via the-full-grohac)


August 28th 1955: Emmett Till murdered

On this day in 1955, the 14-year-old African-American boy Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. While visiting family in the state, Till allegedly flirted with the young white shopkeeper Carolyn Bryant while buying candy. Bryant told her husband and a few nights later he and his half-brother abducted Till and brutally tortured and murdered him. His mutilated body was found three days later in the Tallahatchie river; Till’s face was unrecognisable, but he was identified by the ring he wore engraved with his father’s initials that his mother gave him before he left for Mississppi. The viciousness of this unprovoked, racially-motivated crime sent shockwaves throughout the nation. The case drew attention to the oppression of African-Americans throughout the nation and provided a name and a face to the threat of lynching. Till’s mother Mamie, a highly educated woman who went on to become a devoted fighter for African-American equality, insisted on an open-casket funeral in order to show the world what was done to her young son. Thousands attended the funeral and thousands more saw the horrific images of Till’s body. Due to the fierce reactions the murder had engendered it was a particularly painful, but sadly expected, outcome when the all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Till’s killers, despite Till’s great-uncle openly identifying them in court. A few months later the killers, now protected by double jeopardy laws, sold their story to Look magazine and openly confessed to the murder in chilling detail. Taking place a year after the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, the outrage over the murder galvanised the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. 100 days after Emmett Till’s murder Rosa Parks, on her way back from a rally for Till hosted by the then-unknown Martin Luther King Jr., refused to give up her seat for a white man on an Alabama bus. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, thus beginning the movement that would result in the dismantling of the system of Jim Crow segregation and win successes in promoting African-American social and political equality.

I hate that I made it through school without knowing this. 

(via the-full-grohac)