This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, March 19, 2012


When our kids were little, I bought them a large abacus to play with, and while they napped I had great fun figuring out how to multiply and divide on the darn thing. Later, when my dad gave me his old slide rule, I loved sliding the center bar to calculate numbers. Both these tools use some brain power and attention in order to work, whereas a calculator is often too easy and thus the answer is often wrong if you're just punching buttons.

My 16 year old son loves mental math, using a book by Arthur Benjamin that I had in the basement. We have races now to see who can square a two-digit number faster -- I'm still winning, but like chess where he's edged me out over the past year, suspect I won't be reigning champion for long. This stuff is so fun, in a geeky sort of way.

Just so you can see how amazing a true human calculator can be, here is a fun video of Arthur Benjamin doing his numbers "magic" show. This guy is incredible!

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