Ethiopian Math

Halved or Doubled - the answer is always right!

Ethiopian tribesmen can only double or halve numbers - by using pebbles as counters. By halving and doubling, they take any two numbers, multiply them and come out with the right answer.

For example, if a tribesman wants to buy 13 sheep at 15 Ethiopian dollars each, here's how he works it out...

Put 13 in a left column, and 15 in a right column. Halve the left figure - you get 6 1/2... ignore the 1/2 (Ethiopians don't know anything about fractions). Double the right-hand figure. Keep this up until the left-hand figure is 1. You should now have:

     13     15
      6      30
      3      60
      1    120

Even numbers in the left column are evil to the superstitious tribesmen, and must be destroyed - together with their guilty partners. So scratch out 6 and its partner 30. Now add the right-hand column and you have the correct answer: 195. Try this with any two numbers - it doesn't matter which side is halved or doubled - the answer is always right! The Ethiopian's primitive mind simply cannot grasp how our system works. Of course you see at once how this joe-k works... Or do you?

Revolutions never occur in mathematics. - Michael Crowe

Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries. - David Hilbert

Most every dental school has discount dental services. - Matthew Lesko

Pure mathematics, may it never be of any use to anyone. - Henry Smith

I am an expert in Higher Level Math: You + God = Enough - Zig Ziglar

Math, it's a puzzle to me. I love figuring out puzzles. - Maya Lin

Dear Math: I'm not a therapist. Solve your own problems. - Unknown

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. - Mark Twain

A college education shows a man how little other people know. - T.C. Hailburton

Math is like love - a simple idea but it can get complicated. - R. Drabek

"Obvious" is the most dangerous word in mathematics. - Eric T. Bell

If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. - Francis Bacon

God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board. - Mark Twain

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I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. - Woody Allen

When I was in high school, I earned the pimple award and every other gross-out award. - Jack Nicholson

Show me a Jewish boy who doesn't go to medical school and I'll show you a lawyer. - Milton Berle

Mathematics is the cheapest science. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and a paper. - George Polya

There are 3 kinds of people in this world: those who are good at math, and those who aren't. - Unknown

If a young person has any idealism at all, it's strongest about the time he finishes college. - Sargent Shriver

Anyone who has been to an English public school will always feel comparatively at home in prison. - Unknown

I must study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. - John Adams

I had a feeling once about mathematics – that I saw it all... but it was after dinner and I let it go. - Winston Churchill

Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years. - George Burns

What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life? - Lynette Mather

I played basketball in high school, and I love watching sports - I'll watch everything except maybe hockey. - Andy Roddick

Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. - Bertrand Russell

The chief reason for going to school is to get the impression fixed for life that there is a book side for everything. - Robert Frost

There are advantages to being President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret. - Ronald Reagan

Mathematics is like checkers in being suitable for the young, not too difficult, amusing, and without peril to the state. - Plato

In my last year of school, I was voted Class Optimist and Class Pessimist. Looking back, I realize I was only half right. - Jack Nicholson

I went to a Catholic boys' school for a year, but that was to play hockey. Religion class was quite contentious for me. - Keanu Reeves

A formal manipulator in mathematics often experiences the discomforting feeling that his pencil surpasses him in intelligence. - Howard Eves

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. - Rene Descartes

Doctors are saying that each piece of bacon you eat takes 9 minutes off of your life. Based on that math, I should have died in 1732. - Unknown

Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform. - Bertrand Russell

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. - Theodore Roosevelt

When I finished school, I took one of those career-aptitude tests, and based on my verbal ability score, they suggested I become a mime. - Tim Cavanagh

I tell them that if they will occupy themselves with the study of mathematics they will find it the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh. - Thomas Mann

Mathematics began to seem too much like puzzle solving. Physics is puzzle solving, too, but of puzzles created by nature, not by the mind of man. - Maria G. Mayer

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