Labyrinthes and Mazes

In the stories told by the ancient Greeks, the labyrinth was a large tunnel built by Daedalus, a great inventor, in ancient Crete. It was built for the Minotaur, a fierce and cruel monster with a bull’s head and a human body, whose favorite food was young men and girls. The labyrinth was a long path with so many twists and turns that no one who entered it could ever find his way out again.

The Greek hero Theseus was sent to Crete to kill the Minotaur. He persuaded Ariadne, the daughter of the king of Crete, to give him a long thread. He tied one end to the entrance of the labyrinth and then


The Glorious Abacus

The abacus is the earliest “adding machine” known to history. It has been used for thousands of years, especially in oriental countries, and it is still much used in China, Japan, and other countries. The colored beads strung on wires on the side of a baby’s play pen are an abacus, and nearly everyone has seen one though very few know what it is.

There are several forms of abacus. The one shown in the picture is a Chinese abacus, which they call a swan-pan or reckoning board. The beads above the middle bar are called quints and count 5 each when pushed down to the bar; the beads below count 1 each