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Subject:  Re: Tales from the trenches Date:  3/6/2009  8:17 AM
Author:  billjam Number:  104977 of 127616

I was reminded of both how much things have changed and how much I've aged just the other day. I had to multiply something along the line of 176 x 16.9 without a calculator! It took me forever to find the brain cells where that process was stored in, I think, 4th grade.

Flashback to 1971, when I was the freshly spawned knuckledragging apple of Uncle Sam's eye. The first portable calculators were still in the future, and there we were computing (thank God 6% simple) interest to 9 decimal places by hand. Progress is a wonderful thing.

One thing I'm glad I've done over the years is force myself to do a fair amount of math in my head or with pencil and paper. I think it's a great way to keep my aging brain cells active. Don't get me wrong. I love calculators and computers. I have no desire to go back to those days in college when we used slide rules and logarithm tables in chemisitry and physics. But I wish kids today would learn the basics before they hand them a calculator of everything. Ever notice how many cashiers get that confused expression after the cash register tells them how much change to give and they have to figure for themselves how to count it out to you?
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