Five-Minute Betterment: “I’ve been on swims where people have freaked out about sharks. You have to think about something else, otherwise it will absolutely paralyze you. I do math problems, anything.” – Lewis W. G. Pugh

I really got a kick out of this quote when I first read it.  I tend to do math problems in my head from time to time.  I used to do it more when I had less on my mind, but still find it kind of relaxing.  What I realize now, especially after re-reading this quote, is that now might be a good time to start it up again.  For, maybe, five minutes at a time?


Today’s #FMB assignment is to brush up on your math facts.  It may not seem like we need many of our basic math skills these days, with our fancy calculator watches

or whatever other gadget we may have, but math is the key to so many of our worldly processes that at the very least it wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra math facts rolling around in our heads.

I would like to share a game with you.  The very one, in fact, that I play in my head.  Here it goes:

Look at the clock.  What time is it where you are?

This post will go live at 3:32 so I’ll use that.

You’re going to take the numbers in the time and try to make equations for as many numbers as possible.  I like to start at zero and go in ascending order.  For instance, using 3, 3, and 2, I can do the following:

3 – 3 = 0

3 – 2 = 1 or 3 / 3 = 1

3 – (3 – 2) = 2

3 x (3 – 2) = 3

(3 + 3) – 2 = 4

3 + 2 = 5

3 x 2 = 6


You can make it harder by making yourself use all three or four numbers in each equation, or try to get higher each time.  Play it however you want, but play it regardless.  You might be surprised how much nerdy fun you might have.  And you might learn something along the way.


David Glass


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