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First dated printed arithmetic bookIn 1478, the anonymous Arte dell'Abbaco(“The Art of the Abacus”), printed in Treviso, Italy had this publication date. It is the first dated printed book on arithmetic. The unknown author was likely a priest, and it was dedicated to some of his young friends who kept asking for it. The printer was probably Geradus de Lisa, dé Flandria. The 124-page text dealt with commercial applications of arithmetic, so the language was the local vernacular Venetian dialect, not the scholarly Latin used for the abstract studies of universities. The book teaches the four main operations, with numerous examples, and the concept of fractions (but not the as yet unknown decimals). He shows how to calculate the date of the new Moon. Although some pamphlets on Algorithmus are possibly older than this book, they are undated.«[Image: detail of a calculation shown in the book.]
Baseball In Heaven
Abe turns to Sol and says, "Do you think there's baseball in heaven?"
Sol thinks about it for a minute and replies, "I dunno. But let's make a deal: if I die first, I'll come back and tell you if there's baseball in heaven, and if you die first, you do the same."
They shake on it and sadly, a few months later, poor Abe passes on.
One day soon afterward, Sol is sitting there feeding the pigeons by himself when he hears a voice whisper, "Sol... Sol..."
Sol responds, "Abe! Is that you?"
"Yes it is, Sol," whispers Abe's ghost.
Sol, still amazed, asks, "So, is there baseball in heaven?"
"Well," says Abe, "I've got good news and bad news."
"Gimme the good news first," says Sol.
Abe says, "Well... there is baseball in heaven."
Sol says, "That's great! What news could be bad enough to ruin that!?"
Abe sighs and whispers, "You're pitching on Friday."