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Archive for June 24th, 2014

World Cup Diary 6

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 24, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

Clutching at mathematical straws

One of the most widespread phobias suffered in Ghana is arithmophobia – the fear of numbers and arithmetic. There are some people who like me have been terrorized by maths since their primary school days when each school day started with “mental”, a quick-fire round of questions in arithmetic. In our case, our primary Class Six teacher, a tall gangly man used the “mental” as the pretext to beat us every morning. His trick was not to allow you time to think before bringing his long cane down on the poor pupil. Instead of producing a class full of enlightened kids the effect of this brutality was a class full of wailing children, many gnashing their teeth as well.

I mention this because suddenly even my arithmophobic friends, and there are a few, have all become ardent mathematicians. At the drop of a coin, or scoring of a goal, they can do the math and tell you how many points Ghana needs at every step in order to escape from the hermetic embrace of the Group of Death into the open spaces of World Cup football. Read the rest of this entry »

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