You're A Mathematical Genius, You Know!

Written by Murdo Macleod


You're A Mathematical Genius, You Know!

(c) Copyright 2003 by Murdo Macleod


This may come as a surprise to you.

Butrepparttar truth is, you really are good at mathematics.

You see, every day you solve complex problems by breaking them down into tiny little "baby steps".

And just likerepparttar 109406 world's most powerful computer orrepparttar 109407 greatest ever mathematical prodigy, it's this step-by-step process that enables you to do practically anything.

Let's see this process in action with a couple of examples:

* * * Example 1 - Calculatingrepparttar 109408 Dreaded Sales Tax

The sales tax rate varies aroundrepparttar 109409 world, but here inrepparttar 109410 UK it's 17.5%. Urgh! What kind of figure is that?

Let's look at it again and see how we can tamerepparttar 109411 beast by breaking it down.


It consists of 10, plus 5 plus 2.5, doesn't it?

And those numbers form a distinct sequence. In other words... "10, plus half, plus half again".

Now that we know this, we can do something really clever...

Suppose you want to calculate 17.5% of 40 UK pounds. How would you work this out? (Stop! Don't even think of reaching for that calculator!)

Start withrepparttar 109412 10. 10% of 40 is 4. Add half (2) and half again (1) and you get 7.

So you proudly announce to your colleagues... "So by adding 17.5% sales tax to our £40 product,repparttar 109413 total retail price will be... £47."

They look on amazed.

Let's take another example and show how simple math really is...

* * * Example 2 - Help your daughter with her homework.

You arrive home and your daughter needs some help with her math assignment. It's those darn fractions again.

Of Art and Cunning. What's the diff?

Written by William Kelly


Pablo Picasso hadn't much to say about anything but found a thousand different ways to say it. He ended his days frantically sketching female wrestlers from his television set. He was adamantly a realist. He was a demon-possessed little man who evidently thought that creative freedom was to be in a permanent state of demon-possession. They also say that he suffered from satyriasis although none of his wives ever referred to his medical condition. One simply called him ďa dirty old manĒ. Oddly, for a Spaniard, he was an atheist which, of course, allowed him to treat women abominably. Atheism, as Josef Stalin and his likes discovered, comes with a lot of perks. If Pablo's output had been less prodigious we would be looking at him quite differently. Together with Georges Braque he founded Cubism. Just who contributed what to this style is still something of a mystery as Georges wasn't a great talker. If a writer is an eejit it will manifest in his diatribes. Not so with painters because it is harder to tellrepparttar good guys fromrepparttar 109405 bad guys by looking at a blue square. Paul Klee, for example, brutally beat his son on a regular basis as good Germans were taught to do. But, who could tell from his child-like fantasies? Those delicate lines and elfin figures fairly tug atrepparttar 109406 heart-strings. Even Hitler's water-colours have a certain charm. The Fuhrerís dad incidentally was not one to sparerepparttar 109407 rod and spoilrepparttar 109408 child as millions of Jews discovered. Art is sacred after all, isn't it? That's why you had an entire art movement dedicated to takingrepparttar 109409 piss out of it called Dadaism. Afterrepparttar 109410 1st World War people figured that if neither they nor their children were sacred, nor life itself for that matter, whererepparttar 109411 hell did art come in? I mean, did anybody clamber overrepparttar 109412 muck of Flanders on his way to certain death with The Louvre uppermost in his mind? That is why Duchamp who had lost friends inrepparttar 109413 great fiasco painted a moustache onrepparttar 109414 Mona Lisa. Duchamp would be famous for that alone. I doubt if he wasrepparttar 109415 first either. Every schoolkid in France must have had crack at that one. But, what Duchamp is really famous for is this; he tookrepparttar 109416 piss out of art while carefully refraining from takingrepparttar 109417 piss out of his own. We doff our caps. Cunning was greatly admired byrepparttar 109418 ancient Greeks. In politics, law firms, accountancy offices, Jesuit colleges and poker games everywhere it is still revered as a virtue. The global corridors of power resonate minutely withrepparttar 109419 lemming cacophony of black humour afforded by cunning. Art establishments too fromrepparttar 109420 Venice Biennale torepparttar 109421 Turner Prize worship at its shrine. Artists themselves are exemplars inrepparttar 109422 field. You really wouldn't want to be lost at sea in an open boat with low supplies and an artist for company now, would you? Your first and last mistake would be to try and get some sleep. Best to throw yourself overboard and die with dignity.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use