Better Living Through Mathematics, Claims This Book

Squeezed February 21, 2007

I found myself browsing in Barnes and Noble during lunch and a book caught my eye: a book that tapped into a primal vein and took me back to childhood.

You see, I was raised around numbers. My father was the business manager at a decorative supply store, which means, basically, that he kept the books. Whenever we had inventory, our living room would be filled with inventory slips that we would compile by hand.

Needless to say, math was always my best subject in school. Algebra, geometry, trig, calculus…then differential equations, linear algebra, and onward.

I left that behind to an extent when I left teaching; I no longer felt the need to crunch numbers for breakfast. Until I saw this book.

It’s called Geek Logik: 50 Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life by Garth Sundem, which humorously, and with tongue firmly in cheek, tries to reduce agonizing decisions down to algebraic equations that you plug and chug. It even comes equipped with a solar calculator.

For instance, if you’re wondering whether you should wake up five minutes earlier in the morning:

(Sa/Su)(IT/100L – Snooze/2) = W

Where: Sa = hours of sleep you’ll get tonight; Su = hours of sleep you need regularly “to remain civil with telemarketers”, I = importance of those extra 5 minutes (from 1-10), L = how much light is in your bedroom when you wake up (1-10), T = temperature of your bedroom in degrees Fahrenheit, and Snooze = how many times you hit the snooze button. If W > 1, you should wake up earlier, says Sundem.

It turns out Sundem has a blog. And if you want to find out who won the Oscar fashion contest? Here’s how.

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