Tuesday, September 11, 2007

496 days, 13 hours, 48 minutes, 21 seconds

Set the clock ahead. Please set the clock ahead. George Bush is no longer president. Soldiers are still being killed in Iraq, but that no longer interests him. Medicare no longer interests him. Very little interests him. He no longer goes to church. He stands in front of a mom and pop drugstore, one of the few ones left in a small Texas town, trying to guess at the number of jellybeans in a huge jar.

496 days, 20 hours, 59 minutes, 51 seconds

On www.whitehousekids.gov she finds The White House issued a math challenge for kids in elementary school:

How many Marbles?

* What is the smallest number of marbles when: grouping the marbles by fours leaves 2 extra marbles, grouping by fives leaves 1 extra, and there are more than 10 marbles in the collection?

Contest problems and answers are provided by David Rock at Columbus State College and Doug Brumbaugh at the University of Central Florida.

496 days, 21 hours, 8 minutes, 9.2 seconds

Doling out the pills once a week. She thought it would be like playing with marbles: you go here, you go here, you go here. All the different colors. But now there are too many pills to count. They all seem to look alike. A bottle falls from her hand. A tray tips. She has a mini seizure. None of the pills are working. She's down on her hands and knees on the patterned tiles of the kitchen floor, trying to salvage what she can, figure out what's missing. Might as well stay here.