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

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

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

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

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

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

Texas is now a cornerstone of the electoral college for Republicans. - Ed Gillespie

Mathematics consists of proving the most obvious thing in the least obvious way. - George Polya

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

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

The college graduate is presented with a sheepskin to cover his intellectual nakedness. - Robert M. Hutchins

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

When I got outta High School I was driving a truck. I was just a poor boy from Memphis. - Elvis Presley

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

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

Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper. - David Hilbert

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

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

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

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

In school, every period ends with a bell. Every sentence ends with a period. Every crime ends with a sentence. - Steven Wright

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

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

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

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

Understand the key factors in the math behind viral marketing, and use those to figure out what it takes to get viral growth. - David Skok

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

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

The Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower. They're monumental. They're straight out of Page 52 in your school history book. - Billy Crystal

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

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

Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness where the explorers often get lost. - W.S. Anglin

I was thrown out of college during my freshman year, for cheating on my metaphysics final - I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me. - Woody Allen

If it's green, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it has numbers, it's math. If it doesn't work, it's technology. - Unknown

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