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?

Mathematics has beauties of its own. - J.W.A. Young

Revolutions never occur in mathematics. - Michael Crowe

College is a refuge from hasty judgment. - Robert Frost

Mathematics: the only subject that counts. - Unknown

I go to school the youth to learn the future. - Robert Frost

Pedestrian: a man whose son is home from college. - Unknown

Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries. - David Hilbert

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

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

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

"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

I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school. - Adlai Stevenson

College is a place to keep warm between high school and an early marriage. - George Gobel

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them. - John von Neumann

Like the crest of a peacock, so is mathematics at the head of all knowledge. - Indian Proverb

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

For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics. - Roger Bacon

I can get motivated seeing a kid at my son's school overcome a learning disability. - Jason Alexander

I like to crack the jokes now and again, but it's only because I struggle with math. - Tina Fey

Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. - Albert Einstein

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

If I feel unhappy, I do mathematics to become happy. If I am happy, I do mathematics to keep happy. - Alfred Renyi

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

Mathematics is distinguished from all other sciences except only ethics, in standing in no need of ethics. - Charles Peirce

You learn how to be book smart in school, but you better not forget that you also need to be street smart. - Harvey Mackay

It used to take me all vacation to grow a new hide in place of the one they flogged off me during school term. - Mark Twain

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 most painful thing about mathematics is how far away you are from being able to use it after you have learned it. - James Newman

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

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

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

My son really has the spirit of Valentine's Day. When he was in college, he used to send his mother a heart-shaped box of laundry. - Milton Berle

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

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