Base 13

Base-13, tridecimal, or tredecimal is a positional numeral system with thirteen as its base. It uses 13 different digits for representing numbers. Suitable digits for base 13 could be 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X, E, and T (similar to base 12) or 0-9, A, B, and C (similar to base 16).

Base 13 in fiction

In the end of "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" by Douglas Adams, a possible question to get the answer "forty-two" is presented: "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" Of course, the answer is deliberately wrong, creating a humorous effect – if the calculation is carried out in base 10. People who were trying to find a deeper meaning in the passage soon noticed that in base 13, 613 × 913 "is" actually 4213 (as 4 × 13 + 2 = 54). When confronted with this, the author stated that it was a mere coincidence, and that "Nobody writes jokes in base 13 [...] I may be a pretty sad person, but I don't make jokes in base 13." See also The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Also 4213 is read as "four two base thirteen" as the four is not in a "tens" column.

Base-13 based Calendar

The Maya calendar used a base 13 system (the "trecena"), with 13x20 days for the Tzolkin cycle.


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  • base — base·ball; base; base·less; base·lin·er; base·ly; base·man; base·ment; base·ness; de·base; de·base·ment; di·a·base; em·base; gnatho·base; gyno·base; im·base; iso·base; phal·lo·base; rheo·base; rim·base; scle·ro·base; sub·base; sur·base;… …   English syllables

  • base — base1 [bās] n. [ME < OFr bas < L basis,BASIS] 1. the thing or part on which something rests; lowest part or bottom; foundation 2. the fundamental or main part, as of a plan, organization, system, theory, etc. 3. the principal or essential… …   English World dictionary

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  • base — 1. a base de. Locución preposicional que, seguida de un sustantivo, expresa que lo denotado por este es el fundamento o componente principal: «Los [tallarines] verdes [...] están hechos a base de albahaca» (Cisneros Mestizaje [Perú 1995]).… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • base — (Del lat. basis, y este del gr. βάσις). 1. f. Fundamento o apoyo principal de algo. 2. Conjunto de personas representadas por un mandatario, delegado o portavoz suyo. U. m. en pl.) 3. Lugar donde se concentra personal y equipo, para, partiendo de …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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