2016-01-19 Tue

Calculation-Shock

I am in Calculation-Shock.

Calculation-Shock. Affects elderly mathematicians who walk into a local glass-cutting store to order a piece of 2mm-thick glass for a picture frame which he picked up out of a recycling bin.

This is not the first time that the mathematician has picked up a picture frame from a recycling bin.

This is not the first time that the mathematician has walked into the store and ordered glass.

This is not the first time that the mathematician has heard the clerk call out to the manager “Hilda! How much is a twenty-inch by sixteen-inch piece of two millimetre glass?”. Nor is it the first time that the mathematician has heard Hilda reply “Ten Dollars!” without even turning her head.

This is, however, the first time that the mathematician has watched this particular clerk put down the docket pad and the ball-point pen and pick up the desktop solar-powered calculator with two hands and key in all the necessary data to be told what 13% of ten dollars is.

The mathematician was educated in pounds, shillings and pence, roods, acres, chains, and hundred-weights, pounds and ounces.

The mathematician was told that the introduction of decimal-everything would make it easy for people to calculate.

Why wasn’t the thirty-fiveish clerk in the local glass store told that?

Second Use For Everything (SUFE)

Continuing the series based on Toronto City Council’s new release of its ecology calendar, which has so many holes that it should be renamed the ecology colander

Here’s something else I don’t understand.

Why have we not been issued with little draw-string bags that can accommodate Batteries, Cell Phones, Calculators and the like – basically hand-size or smaller?

The little draw-string bags can be made of plastic in a recognizable colour – let’s say bright purple.

You pop your stuff in the purple bag, pull the draw-string tight, and drop the little draw-string bags in your Recycle Bin.

At the processing plant, the Magnetic Tag woven into the little draw-string bags is recognized by a scanner and the little draw-string bags are easily extracted from the stream and dumped into the bin for batteries, cell phones, calculators and the like.

We have the technology.