I Did Not Know That....
I offered my opinion that it was for the same reason that many cultures use a base twelve system -- 12 signs in the Zodiac, 12 inches to the foot, two x 12 hours in a day, five x 12 seconds in a minute, same number of minutes in an hour, so on and so forth -- twelve is the highest number that can be counted to using one hand, and 144 is the highest number that can be counted to using both hands.
The blank look on his face was complete, total and final.
As was the look on my face as I read this. "Twelve? Is he out of his mind? How many thumbs does this dude have?" Half-suspecting a joke, I kept reading, and what he explained is so obvious that I'm kind of embarrassed. (Except for the fact that counting by twelve really doesn't seem very useful in my everyday life, so I guess I'm not really too worked up over it.)