Posted on 16 August 2021 by Jeff Fuge  |  Reading time 4 mins

At school, I loved maths. I grew up at a time when calculators were becoming commonplace, affordable and ever-more sophisticated. You were even allowed to use them in exams. But we still had to learn to do basic arithmetic in our heads. Kids would often ask the teacher why we had do this now that we had calculators. One brilliant response stuck with me: “So you know if the calculator’s answer feels right.”

Boy with an oversize calculator
1970s Sharp LED calculator
A 1970s LED calculator similar to the one my dad used.
Delivery note from Tesco
Six pittas for 45p. That’s about 7.5p each, by my reckoning.
Delivery note from Tesco
Five pittas for 45p. That’s 9p each. Thought you said I won’t pay more?!

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