Here are two slide rules. I don't know how they work. John, the Mayor of VocabularySpellingCity used a slide rule in high school physics and chemistry. He says, "I used to use it pretty well."
I visited The International Slide Rule Museum to find out what "using it well" would mean, but the answer was beyond my comprehension. I went to my personal library and perused The Young People's Science Encyclopedia from 1966. I thought, for sure, I'd get it since I am already an adult.
There, a slide rule is defined as:
"a mechanical instrument for doing mathematical problems more easily -- mostly multiplication and division. It consists of movable pieces of wood containing logarithmic scales and matching antilogarithms."
I was still lost. I can't remember what a logarithm is and the amount of energy I would need to spend in order to relearn it, could perhaps power a small village. The right side of my brain is limited compared to the left.
I'd be much obliged if someone could enlighten me just a smidge by completing the sentences below:
A slide rule is handy if an engineer needs to ________________.
An architect might use a slide rule to calculate ________________.
The easiest task you can do with a slide rule is ________________.
It was cool when we used the slide rule to figure _______________.
I asked John if he wore the slide rule in his front shirt pocket as a symbol of mathematical wizardry. I had fond visions of the stylish engineering geeks at my alma mater sporting pens and other pocket-size tools. He did not, but kept his in his book bag.