**Reply:** 1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1

**From:** Sim' Hampel

I always found that counting by hand was difficult, as you needed to use one of them to do the counting on the other. When you swapped hands over to go above 5, it got confusing.

Counting on the toes is certainly a good step. It also helps if you have enough flexibility to use your nose to do the actually counting, leaving all 20 fingers and toes available to keep count.

If you get tricky, you can count up to 1048575 using just your fingers and toes in binary form (hold digit up for '1' and down for '0'). If you are one of the lucky people to be born with 11 toes, then you can get to 2097151 !

Multiplication and division become relatively easy, as it's just "bit shifting". Helps if you can deal with round numbers though, as decimals can get painful. Who cares about a few cents anyway, hey ?

If this sounds too hard, perhaps you could take to wearing beads, and use them like an abacus ?

And if you want to get fancy, you can make your own spreadsheet by getting your staff (or customers !) to stand in various squares on the lino floor in the kitchen (or bathroom if need be) of your office.

So many ways to do it.

Here's one we can try at the pub crawl. I'll find someone who can bring along a game of "twister", and we will map various positions and colours to numbers. So when we want to do some calculations for working out how to split the bill during the night, we just need to get people to perform certain routines on the mat ! Never knew such a game could be fun, sexy AND useful at the same time did you ?

Here's another idea, we use beer glasses emptied to different levels to make sounds of different frequencies when struck by a swizzle stick. We assign a different value to each of the frequencies and then play a tune to do our calculations ! People like See_Change can help with transcribing the melody to keep a record of the transactions. Would make tax time easier too... no more paper based forms... we just call the ATO on the phone and sing the "tune" to them !

Wait, one more ! Hmm... nah... you wouldn't understand. Let's just say that it involves a hamster, a tub of tiling-grout, and a cricket bat. It gets kind of messy, but it allows you to calculate the solution to some funky multi-degree polynomial equations. As you often find yourself with the need to do. Always happens to me in the supermarket actually... and do you think I can find a cricket bat when I need one ? Sheesh.