Image by nyki_m, used under Creative Commons license.
This happened at one of the late night high school parties at someone's house. Everyone was electrified with love and drinks. I saw one of my friends calling home to explain why he wasn't there yet. And a minute later he was solving a math puzzle over the phone. I was questioning my state of sobriety and perception then, but he later explained that his mom was extremely concerned about drunk driving and was subjecting him to a math puzzle to verify his state of awareness. What an ingenious idea. A mom who does homework with her kids knows their capabilities very well!
The same creative idea of applying math to check the level of alertness is used in an interesting gadget from Google Labs. Remember how in delightful Allison Pearson's book "I Don't Know How She Does It" the main character Kate Reddy, who is a fund manager, a wife and the mother of two small children, accidentally sends a suggestive email to her work partner instead of her girlfriend? Each of us has had our own share of embarrassing mishaps while emailing half-awake late at night or too early in the morning. Mail Goggles application may save you from such accidents by forcing you to do some math before allowing your email to be sent. If you make a mistake - take a break and come back to revisit your email and your math.
Try it at home:
Can you test awareness level of your teenager remotely? Try using puzzles from our Family Puzzle Marathon.