Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

The Richmond Round Church that I wrote about in one of my recent posts has 16 sides to it, one built by each of the original settlement families. 16 turns out to be quite an interesting number when you stop to think about it.

We have all been, or will be, sweet 16 at some point and Tennessee Ernie Ford and Johnny Cash both sang about "16 Tons". It's a square number and was the 16 Gun Salute at the Jubliee celebrations in York, UK.  It's also the number of ounces in a pound which must be quite mystifying to anyone brought up with the metric system, and it's the number of pieces on a chess team, black or white. It's also the almost incomprehensible:
        The 16-cell beta_4 is the finite regular four-dimensional cross polytope with Schläfli symbol {3,3,4}.
         It is also known as the hyperoctahedron (Buekenhout and Parker 1998) or hexadecachoron, and
         its composed of 16 tetrahedra, with 4 to an edge. It has 8 vertices, 24 edges, and 32 faces. It is
         one of the six regular polychora.

Sixteen is the age at which you can drive a car on the highway in most States and, under British Law, the age at which you can do all sorts of wonderful things as outlined on this really neat  web-site at Today's Date.

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