On this the bicentennial week of existence for the Friday Donut Club I was thinking about the strange fascination we seem to have with round numbers. Sure, when it comes to tracking time we buck the trend --days have 24 hours, weeks have 7 days, years 365 or 366 days. But once you get to the multiples of years, it's the round numbers we tend to pay particular attention to --and the more zeroes, the better. No one seems to be making a big deal about this being the Colorado's 132nd year of statehood, although I must say I'm surprised not to have heard much buzz surrounding this being the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of Denver's foundation by William Larimer -perhaps it's not round enough. Let's face it, we gravitate towards numbers that end in zeroes. Financial statements are presented in millions of dollars, music is grouped into the decade it was released... and even tips at restaurants tend to round-up to the next dollar (in other words, keep the change).
Perhaps our obsession with round numbers is derived from the fact we use the decimal system (and this from the fact we have ten fingers). Perhaps if we had eight fingers in each hand we would use the hexadecimal system and be obsessed by multiples of 16. I would argue, however, that this too would be because 16 is a round number (in hexadecimal, sixteen is expressed as "10", the number that comes after "F" -hexadecimal for fifteen). I think it is more fundamental than an arbitrary numbering system. We like round numbers because the circular shape (epitomized by the number zero) is synonymous with perfection and eternity. Without a beginning or an ending point, the circle is a comforting shape. No sharp angles to injure the psyche.
Another circular shape is the reason we celebrate today -and for that matter all Fridays. I am speaking, of course, of the donut.
Jen Artley graces the donut table with a delightful selection of LaMar's donuts. So, grab a round cup of hot java (or tea if that's your cup of... well, you get my meaning) and come on down, we're just a-round the corner.