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: the only subject that counts. - Unknown

Pure mathematics is the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein

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

I've won at every level, except college and pro. - Shaquille O'Neal

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

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

Those who go to college and never get out are called professors. - George Givot

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

Walking has been ridiculous in college basketball the past 15 years. - Bobby Knight

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

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. - Theodore Roosevelt

Perhaps the most surprising thing about mathematics is that it is so surprising. - E.C. Titchmarsh

Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music. - Frank Capra

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

Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit. - Alfred Whitehead

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards. - Mark Twain

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

It's not uncommon to see kids on the school bus reading books and doing homework on the bus. - Anthony Amero

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

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

For the execution of the voyage to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. - Christopher Columbus

Graduate School: The place where a young scholar goes off his Dad's payroll - and on to his wife's - Daffynitions

Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. - Abe Lemons

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

You can go your whole life and not need math or physics for a minute, but the ability to tell a joke is always handy. - Garrison Keillor

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

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

Mathematics is indeed dangerous in that it absorbs students to such a degree that it dulls their senses to everything else. - Prinz zu Hohlenlohe-Ingelfingen Kraft

It is the studying you do after your school days that really counts. Otherwise, you know only that which everyone else knows. - Henry L. Doherty

Probably no symbol in mathematics has evoked as much mystery, romanticism, misconception and human interest as the number pi. - William L Schaaf

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

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 love to play hide and seek with my kid, but some days my goal is to find a hiding place where he can't find me until after high school. - Unknown

I was named the Class Clown in the high school yearbook, so I was always turning to comedy and laughter to heal and to get me through things. - Guillermo Diaz

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