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The Age of Responsibility

Number Sixteen has a special connotation in Mathematics, Law and a host of other aspects in human life.

Mathematicians would say that 16 is the Natural Number following 15 and preceding 17, that it is a Composite Number and a square number (42 = 4 × 4).

Sixteen is also the smallest number with exactly five divisors, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4 and 8.

Sixteen is the fourth power of two. It was therefore used in weighing light objects in several cultures. The British used to have 16 ounces in one pound; the Chinese used to have 16 liangs in one jin.

In old days, weighing was done with a beam balance to make equal splits.

It would be easier to split a heap of grains into sixteen equal parts through successive divisions than to split into ten parts.

Chinese Taoists did finger computation on the trigrams and hexagrams by counting the fingertips and joints of the fingers with the tip of the thumb. Each hand can count up to 16 in such manner.

The Chinese abacus uses two upper beads to represent the 5’s and 5 lower beads to represent the 1’s, the 7 beads can represent from a hexadecimal digit from 0 to 15 in each column.

Following are a few other interesting facts:

Sixteen is the age at which most responsibilities in life begin

Sixteen is the minimum age for official Beginner’s Driving License with parental consent in many countries

Sixteen is the minimum age for getting an adult job in most parts of the world

Sixteen is the age of consent for many jurisdictions

Sixteen is the minimum age to get married with parental consent in many countries and without parental consent in Scotland

Sixteen is the Minimum age at which one can buy, rent, purchase, buy tickets to, or view a 16+ rated movie in some countries

‘Sweet Sixteen’ denotes celebration of Birthdays of favourites like Radio Tarana

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