Terry Fox & Times Tables

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, class had just started, but I was sent on some sort of errand by a teacher. As I found myself walking down the now-empty hallway, this girl in my grade randomly walked up to me. The exchange went something like this:

Girl: Nine times six.

Author: Uhhh….what??

Girl: Nine times six.

Author: Ummm….

Girl: The teacher says you have to practice your times tables all of the time.

Author: Uhh…forty something?

Girl: Fifty-four.

Author: Yeah…so…I have to go the office to pick up something for this afternoon. (Maybe I’ll buy a calculator at the nurse’s office. ) I gotta go.

Basically, that unidentified girl is normally how I feel about “The Google Doodle.” You know, that random picture you see when you’re actually Googling something. However, there are exceptions. Today, said doodle is about a guy named Terry Fox.

Unlike many of the other doodles, I think Terry Fox is noteworthy. The short version is he had one of his legs amputated following a cancer diagnosis and this dude ran across six of his native-Canada’s provinces. He racked up like 26 miles per day for several months before the cancer put a halt to it. I’m speaking in generalities, but there is more info here:


I could try to tell you more about where he started and was forced to finish, but I’m even worse geography than I am at math. (As an American, I’m lucky to be able to identify forty or more of the states. One time, when tested, I identified the entire state of Louisiana as “New Orleans” or “Baton Rouge”. I digress, but I will also say one of my buddies and fellow native Missourians asked if some of the puny East Coast areas should even count as states. “They’re too small. That doesn’t count.”)

Getting back to Terry Fox, this dude was tenacious. Prior to his cancer diagnosis, he was involved in numerous sports and he didn’t let cancer slow him down a bit. Apparently, he planned to become a P.E. teacher. He raised a lot of money for cancer research before and after his death by raising awareness. He also inspired Ian Thomas to write the song “Runner.”

The song was popularized by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

I had completely forgotten about this song prior to researching Terry Fox today. In conclusion, I’m grateful to the Google Doodle for today’s entry. I also give them credit for the interactive World Cup soccer game from a few years ago. Unfortunately, I can’t cloud my mind with a lot of their other things….who created the first vaccine for this or that, who was the first cartoonist of this sort, etc. To me, it’s just times tables and New Orleans.

Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!