As Barbie once famously said, “Math class is tough.” She stopped saying it pretty quickly because everybody worried she was propagating negative stereotypes about girls, but let’s face facts: it’s true. Like any academic subject, math that, for most of us, requires consistent practice... which, once we reach adulthood, most of us stop doing. Whoops.
There are plenty of brain-training apps that can help you improve your mental math skills, of course, but they’re really easy to ignore. You know what’s not easy to ignore, though? The Albert Clock, which is a physical device on your wall that refuses to let you know what time it is unless you can unravel its mathematical secrets. So according to this thing, it’s not 4:30 anymore, it’s (6-2):(10*3). God, why did I decide so early on in my life that I was gonna be a word nerd and not a numbers nerd?
The clock has multiple difficulty levels, so once you do start to get comfortable reading equations, you can opt to engage your brain in harder and cooler stuff. Also, you can program the clock to change equations every 10 seconds rather every minute, which I bet will really mess your head up.
Ostensibly the clock was designed for children to learn math in a fun and engaging way, but don’t let that stop you adults from getting enjoyment out of it yourself. It’s currently available in several colors on the Albert Clock website, and retails for 279 euros (about 299 USD). There are also special offers available for teachers who want a clock to display in their classroom. Just think—even when your students are bored as heck and staring at the time, they’ll still be learning!
Of course, if you don’t want to shell out for a clock for your home, there is the mobile app version that you can download for iPhone and Android. Just don’t blame us if you download it and it sits there dormant on your phone with the rest of the brain-boosting apps you never use.
Alas, there’s one other thing it can’t do: there’s no alarm button. That’s probably for the best. I’m all for brain power, but doing math equations to turn an alarm off first thing in the morning would be too much. Just let me feel dumb and sleep.
Would you ever want one of these clocks for yourself? Let us know in the comments!
Images: The Albert Clock
Onto more serious science! Could an anime-style nosebleed turn you into a rocket?