During my time in the UAE, I realised that the Indians had superior math skills. I just thought this as a trait of the race, but some argues that teaching by rote was how they became so good. Ram Charan would probably argue that the Indians have superior street skills. One evening, when venturing into the alleys of Mina bazaar, I got chatting to a trader who gave me the low down, when I inquired on his mastery of math. "Well, it was drummed into me." "Aha, rote! But then he ventured further. "I also know Trachtenburg." I felt as if I was missing something. "Trachtenburg taught me some secret rules, so I could do some very difficult sums quickly". Who was Trachtenburg and why didn't he tell me of these secret rules? Why didn't my school teach me this way?
I recently started looking into "The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics" and was stunned at some very simple tricks that one can do to compute some large sums pretty damn quickly.
I'll give you a basic example:
To multiply by 11
e.g. 635 X 11
take the last digit as the right hand number (5)
each successive number is added to the number on the right (3+5), (6+3)
And the first digit becomes the left most digit(6).
so you get: 6985
OK, so you can multiply 6350 by 19 and add 635, but this is the most basic example.
For example, for multiplying by 12, you just double each number in turn and add the neighbour. So 413 (or 0412) becomes 4944. Can you see? And it goes on, for long multiplication, long division, squaring, square roots etc. etc.
Forget timetables, this would have helped me huge. With my mind as it is, I don't think I could get to a level to compete with the Mina bazaar shop keeper. Where's my calculator gone?
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:24 PM
Take the example of the UAE. While there are a small number of regular bloggers who discuss the various issues in the country, there is probabably a thirst to try and understand what is really going on in the Emirates. There are obviously a lot more bloggers in other countries, but the voice of the UAE bloggers now have a reputation for sane view of the news, and general goings on.
To realise the extent of how far this has got, I was particularly impressed that the Financial Times had reference to the online voice of the UAE. The story of how Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's ruler, ordered an end to work on the Umm Suqeim beach and the online petition was featured in yesterday's FT. The fact that the FT referenced this as a voice of reason and not of power says oodles about the leadership of the UAE can use alternative forms of information separate from the normal channels.
Further more there was specific reference to SD, which deserves a huge pat on the back:
"The decision had looked arrogant and greedy - let's grab the last land while we can," says the author of Dubai's best-known expatriate blog, Secret Dubai Diary.
The authorities should take note. By inhibiting the public and the world to minimal amount of information in the free information day and age, sources of information have begun to be sourced elsewhere. The more you close down the channels, the more other channels open up. The more you close them down, the more UAE will be seen as closed. This example is a victory of free speech, not just for the UAE, but for all over the world.
FT article: Dubai's ruler turns tide on development of public beach
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:15 PM
“I’m a horseman, so I know what horses can and cannot do,” he says. “Hunting taught me patience. And to enjoy it while you are waiting.”
The Sheik Who Would Be King of Horse Racing
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:36 PM
The first e-ink watch
Seiko designed a bracelet style watch using the high contrast e-ink technology. If the futuristic watch is set to its 'efficiency' mode, the display is informative and easy to read. If, however, the watch is set to its 'mystery' mode, the panel expresses the time in a more imaginative, evocative style.
Philips/Swarovski crystal-clad USB drives
Partnering with Swarovski, the duo is loosing the Active Crystals collection of 1GB USB drives (and sparklin' headphones, too) onto the fashion-conscience set
These are certainly niche, and probably target Vertu lovers and those who have aspire to pre-order their car at the factory rather than the showroom.
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:36 PM
But the question at this stage in the technology is whether it would work in Dubai or Abu Dhabi? An interesting thought. It is no secret that the concept of mobile is more status in the Gulf Arab states than in some places in the world. (Aside, on one occasion I was with someone who had 4 mobiles with him - Why he just didn't just divert the calls to one, I don't know) I wondered whether the concept of mobile is just to do with receiving calls and looking important or is it really about being in the know. I haven't quite come to a conclusion. Is being in the know what it is all about or does one need to know the gossip? These are two different ideas but depending on the use of this "service", could be covered by twitter.
There are all sorts of hurdles before twitter would be available as mass microblogging in the UAE. But the ability to inform people real time of your status or thoughts is probably something too scarey for the TRA to consider. That said, would it work anywhere where there is censorship? Twitter would become twatter, not in real time and the very essence of why it is so appealing to the technerd crowd at present would be lost in its formal application by the duopoly powers of etisalat and du. In any case, this is all some time off, as markets collide and twitter looks to devise a business model that can be applied to markets where you pay to receive and pay to send sms.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:55 PM
Special Coverage of Abu Dhabi in the FT
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:14 AM
There are similarities to be drawn with Dubai. Jest with them as you see fit. But those of you with a creative bone within you and can conceptualize life elsewhere, consider putting some money in a land in second life. I have a feeling it is about to go big time.
Second Life: Real Money in a Virtual World
Making a Living in Second Life
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:06 PM
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