11 July 2013


  " Which is the greater danger; nuclear warfare or the population explosion?. . ."  ~ Isaac Asimov

Image Credit: Adam Taylor
It’s all about counting on the stroll today; counting ourselves, counting our gains and losses, and counting on me J because you know I’d always be here to bring a great episode of the stroll everyday on the UN calendar. My name is Ebenezar Wikina, welcome to the stroll, and happy population day!!

It’s now socially acceptable to say you’re bad at maths. In fact people brag about it on TV and radio every day, and if like me you had a hard time memorizing your multiplication table, then you’d really appreciate my guest on the show today.

He’s popularly called the human calculator and currently holds the world record for adding the same number to itself more times in 15 seconds than a person can do using a calculator. (Yeah J awesome) He’s an author, educator, and global patron for World Maths Day. Also considering the fact that population has to do with census and census has to do with counting and counting needs calculators and maths, I decided to contact Mr. Scott for a stroll on today’s world population day.

We talked about the increasing birth and mortality rate, family planning, and he also shared some of his maths secrets with me too—for students having problems with maths, I think you’d like to see this one—so, for World Population day 2013, here is my stroll with Mr. Scott:

Ebenezar: Thank you Mr Scott, for ‘counting’ me worthy to stroll with. . .

Scott: Hahaha... Thank you for the opportunity.

Ebenezar: Okay, it's world population day, and on 31st October 2011 the global population reached 7 billion! Considering the fact that we were just 2.5 billion in 1950, it means (if my math is still in shape) we have increased over 4.5 billion in less than 70 years... Do you think this is a problem? Are we going to lose count of ourselves soon?

Scott: Yes. The world population has doubled in my life time (1963). This is a problem. We have never been better at counting humans, and now the numbers are getting bigger quicker. Machines can handle the counting, but can we handle all the humans?

Image Credit: worldeducationgames
Ebenezar: Another popular issue discussed today is birth control, and China has been heavily criticized in the past over her one-child policy. What do you think about this?

Scott: The China 1 child policy is a great idea mathematically, but socially might be a tough sell, especially outside China. Maybe we should make it mandatory to complete a course or two about parenting. That might scare off half of them right there.

Ebenezar: Hahaha :) now let's talk about you a bit. I gathered that you discovered your mental calculator abilities at 9. . .well, as a child I remember my teacher back then holding this very long cane, and forcing us to sing the multiplication tables (hahaha) Did you ever go through that sort of work too? Or the answers just came to you naturally?

Scott: Yes, I had to learn maths the same way as you, with a lot of memorization and drills. I started to find patterns in numbers that made it easier to figure out the answers. I would not enjoy maths much either, if I had to do it the old way.

Scott Flansburg interacting with fans during a maths tour
Image Credit: Scott Flansburg
Ebenezar: I'm asking this next question for all the high school/secondary school students out there that are struggling with their math tests&projects. . .is there any secret to being good at math? Maybe like a secret tablet one has to swallow or something? . . .(hehehe)

Scott: A secret tablet for maths? Great idea! Keep me posted if you come up with it. (hahaha)

Ebenezar: hahahahahahahaha. . .

Scott: There is a simple pattern in numbers that will help those high school/secondary school students struggling with maths. Let me give you the tip;

 Write down your age. Add those digits together. Subtract that sum from your age. Your answer will add up to 9. Try it with another number. It works from 10 to infinity.

Ebenezar: WOW! That's awesome, i'm surely trying it out after this stroll :). Let's talk a little about World Math Day. It's an online international mathematics competition powered by educational resource provider 3P learning, and in 2010 it created a world record for the largest online math competition. As an ambassador of this competition do you think it is achieving the purpose it was organized for? And so far have you discovered any 'calculating prodigies'?

Scott: Serving as the Ambassador of World Maths Day and the World Education Games has been a dream come true for me. 3P Learning has created an amazing event that inspires students around the world. I get to visit the winning schools and celebrate some of the top ‘mathletes’ on the planet.

Image Credit: worldeducationgames
Ebenezar: It is believed that as a person grows older, his/her mental reflexes get weaker. Have you experienced this too? Has your calculation speed reduced?

Scott: As I approach the age of 50, my mental maths skills are still as fast as ever. My world record is 36 answers in 15 seconds and I can still do it right now!

Ebenezar: Wow!. . .

Scott: Yeah, exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body.

Ebenezar: Great tip . . . Okay, one final thought. As regards family planning; what is your advice to that newly wedded couple about to go on their honey moon?

Scott: For the newlyweds, please try this simple experiment. Save at least 10%, give at least 10%, and invest at least 10%.

Image Credit: fox5
Ebenezar:  Great mathematical advice sir  J . Thank you so much for speaking with me sir; it has been a great experience counting my steps with you on this stroll.( hahah) I wish you success in all your projects.

Scott: Thank you for an awesome interview Ebenezar, all the best

 For more about Mr. Scott(@HumanCalculator) visit his website  here

I really hurt when I see parents having kids they can’t fend for. Why bring them into the world to suffer? Please to couples out there, Count your teeth so you don’t bite what you can’t chew J

For those people having problems with maths; I know it’s cliche to say this but, I want you to know that; whatever you put your heart to, you’d succeed. As far as you work hard on it, and I’d like to add ‘as far as it’s in line with your talents and area of gifting' (I hope you get the message)

Till my next stroll, be good. Jesus loves you.

By: Ebenezar Wikina(@poeticjazz)
All Rights Reserved


Join the campaign here

Verse Up!

Click here


  1. Hahaha... Now I concur on that advice to newlyweds! Rather than the 'unusual' Go Ye Into The World And Multiply...! God created us in his own image and likeness right? Let's apply a little Wisdom people! Nezar, great read once again keep breaking legs...you know what I mean! Hi5!

    1. hi5! mentor.. i'm learning fast i guess :) from the best mentor in the world :)

  2. Ah, Sir Ebenezar, this interview inspired me...this man makes mathematics look like some fun thing. It was a nightmare for me. I could only keep one topic in my head at a time...

    I wrote this:

    If you must reap, sow and till
    Riches come not as $1000 bill
    It often grows as coins in a till

    1. haha.. Sir KIS. Same here, thanks for reading. There are awesome people on this planet :)