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No. 985: Garfield Times GARFIELD

Garfield Times GARFIELD

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Strip by: DaPatman

{A large number of Garfields fill the panels.}

The author writes:

Base thirty-six is a counting system which (surprise, surprise) has thirty-six digits. The digits for the numbers zero through nine are represented by the symbols 0 through 9 respectively, as you might expect. But what about the digits for the numbers ten through thirty-five? The answer, as it turns out, is to use capital letters, with A representing ten, B representing eleven, and so on up to Z representing thirty-five.*

The upshot of this is that if you take any word in the English language, write it in all caps, and strip out all the punctuation and accents, it becomes a base thirty-six number. The word GARFIELD, for example, is a base thirty-six number which is equal to the base ten number 1,277,253,088,609, which is the number of Garfields that would appear in today's strip if you could see them all.

*Technically speaking, it's not the only answer - you could come up with any set of thirty-six symbols and use them as a base thirty-six counting system, but if I'd done that, I wouldn't have been able to make this comic.

Original comic: 1989-05-02.