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Travel Bug Dog Tag Faber Optimé - Count On Me

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Monday, February 25, 2008
North Island, New Zealand
Recently Spotted:
In Wild About History

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Current GOAL

This Travel Bug particularly enjoys geocaches that involve some maths / calculation / puzzle-solving to reach.

About This Item


About the Abacus

The first abacus was almost certainly based on a flat stone covered with sand or dust. Words and letters were drawn in the sand; eventually numbers were added and pebbles used to aid calculations.

The Babylonians used this dust abacus as early as 2400 BC. Though China played an essential part in the development and evolution of the abacus, the origin of the counter abacus with strings is obscure, but India, Mesopotamia or Egypt are seen as probable points of origin.

The use of the word abacus dates from before 1387, when a Middle English work borrowed the word from Latin to describe a sandboard abacus. The Latin word came from abakos, the Greek genitive form of abax ("calculating-table"). Because abax also had the sense of "table sprinkled with sand or dust, used for drawing geometric figures", some linguists speculate that the Greek word may be derived from a Semitic root (cf. Phoenician abak, "sand", Hebrew ābāq (pronounced "a-vak"), "dust").

This abacus has six rods, each divided into two sections, the smaller having a single bead (called “heaven bead(s)”) and the larger having four (called “earth beads”). The crossbar separates the two sections.

The earth beads represent a value of one each, the heaven bead represents a value of five. Beads touching the crossbar are counted, the others, not (corollary: zero is shown when no beads are touching the crossbar). Hence each rod can show a value of 0-9. This enables calculations of whole numbers up to 999,999 (or fractions to up to six decimal places in accuracy).

Using the Abacus

To begin, hold the frame vertically then return to the horizontal (moving all beads to the bottom of their respective sections – the abacus should now show 0).
To do an addition (e.g. 14+5), set the abacus to the first number (so rightmost rod has only 4x1 beads up and the 2nd to right rod has only 1x1 beads up – abacus now shows 14).

Then add the second number (one digit at a time starting with the least significant first). Just one heaven bead to be moved results in abacus showing 19.

There are many other, additional techniques that can be used to expedite math.

For the Log

Calculate and record the result of adding the longitude and latitude of the geocache where you found this Travel Bug.


Travel Bugs need maintenance from time to time (as do we all?!). If this one looks in need (or if you would like to know how to make your own capsule), please take a look at the Faber Optimé Travel Bug Maintenance Manual.

A PDF file of the custom stash note for this travel bug can be obtained here.

About Faber Optimé

Faber Optimé We aim to deliver excellence, in all of our activities - such as bringing to you curious, interesting and innovative geocaches and geocache items, like this one.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of the Faber Optimé Travel Bugs!

We're always happy to help fellow geocachers! :-) Please do feel free to get in touch with us on the following contact details.

GeoUser:  FaberOptimé
Mobile:  +64 21 184 6246
Faber Optimé defined.

Gallery Images related to Faber Optimé - Count On Me

View All 7 Gallery Images

Tracking History (18686.4mi) View Map

Dropped Off 8/7/2015 DDitter placed it in Wild About History New Jersey - 6.82 miles  Visit Log

Dropped this bug in the Wildwood Museum, which had a nice 11 question puzzle to solve. Long journeys!

Visited 8/6/2015 DDitter took it to The Rotary New Jersey - 3,873.66 miles  Visit Log
Grab It (Not from a Cache) 7/28/2015 DDitter grabbed it   Visit Log

Picked this up from the "The creek may have run through it" cache (GC39X1M) on 28 July. I will move it along to the Jersey shore for vacation.

Retrieve It from a Cache 7/24/2015 ak40swithers retrieved it from ROVA - Beatrix Farrand Garden New York   Visit Log

Found in an awesome spot. Let's keep it moving

Dropped Off 7/22/2015 ylracehcac placed it in ROVA - Beatrix Farrand Garden New York - 6.79 miles  Visit Log

Dropped in ROVA - Beatrix Farrand Garden

Retrieve It from a Cache 7/22/2015 ylracehcac retrieved it from Little Blue Box: The Doctor Who Series New York   Visit Log

Very nice

Dropped Off 6/14/2015 Cache-Knobis placed it in Little Blue Box: The Doctor Who Series New York - .17 miles  Visit Log

Well, not in a math puzzle cache, but nevertheless a puzzling one. Have a good rest here.

  • Abakus in the Little Blue Box
Visited 6/14/2015 Cache-Knobis took it to River Song: The Doctor Who Series New York - .19 miles  Visit Log
Visited 6/14/2015 Cache-Knobis took it to Captain Jack: The Doctor Who Series New York - .13 miles  Visit Log
Visited 6/14/2015 Cache-Knobis took it to Rose Tyler: The Doctor Who Series New York - .22 miles  Visit Log
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