NEW BLOG LOCATIONS

I've moved to another two blogs, one on writing, and one on general stuff like this one. Please come visit! MY NEW BLOGS:

http://amydeardon1.blogspot.com

http://thestorytemplate.blogspot.com


Friday, August 28, 2009

Mathemagics

When our kids were little, I bought them a large abacus to play with, and while they napped had great fun figuring out how to multiply and divide on the darn thing. Later, when my dad gave me his old slide rule, I loved sliding the center bar to calculate numbers. Both these tools use some brain power and attention in order to work, whereas a calculator is often too easy and thus the answer is often wrong if you're just punching buttons.

My 13 year old son has recently become interested in learning mental math, using a book by Arthur Benjamin that I had in the basement. We have races now to see who can square a two-digit number faster -- I'm still winning, but like chess where he's edged me out over the past year, suspect I won't be reigning champion for long. This stuff is so fun, in a geeky sort of way.

Just so you can see how amazing a true human calculator can be, here is a fun video of Arthur Benjamin doing his numbers "magic" show. This guy is incredible!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

That's so impressive. I've always scored really low in math and I can't imagine being able to do it in my head. Wow.