Culled from the bowels of…

Here are a couple of links I found while trolling my company’s internal message board.

Pencil Carving: http://www.infofreako.com/jad/enpitsu-e.html
This one is just cool – very intricate woodcarving using pencils as the medium.

Flash Mind Reader: http://www.cyberglass.co.uk/assets/Flash/psychic.swf
Try it out, its pretty cool. More information, (including how it’s done) can be found in the spoilers. Visit the site before reading them. If you want to know how it’s done, come back and click the spoilers link.

[Spoilers]
Okay, so this is a pretty slick trick, and involves some interesting numerical relationships.
(Spam, somehow I think you’ve got it figured out already. Being a math-geek and all…)

The instructions tell you to pick any 2-digit number, add the digits together and then subtract that result from your original number. Then, you find the symbol which matches your result, and click the crystal ball. Amazingly, the symbol in the ball matches the one you picked. Go ahead, pick a different number and try again. The crystal ball knows.

Not really, take a look at this:

99 – 18 = 81
98 – 17 = 81
97 – 16 = 81
96 – 15 = 81
95 – 14 = 81
94 – 13 = 81
93 – 12 = 81
92 – 11 = 81
91 – 10 = 81
90 – 09 = 81

“Okay, they all equal 81, so what?”

Well, when you take a 2-digit number, add the digits together and then subtract the result from your original number, you end up with a multiple of 9. What’s more, for each group of ten 2-digit numbers, you get the same multiple of 9:

00 –> 09: 00
10 –> 19: 09
20 –> 29: 18
30 –> 39: 27
40 –> 49: 36
50 –> 59: 45
60 –> 69: 54
70 –> 79: 63
80 –> 89: 72
90 –> 99: 81

So all you have to do when setting this trick up is make sure that the symbols for 0, 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, and 81 are all the same, and you’ve got a “psychic” flash movie.

“But, but, the symbol wasn’t the same when I did the trick again.”

Well, no. But that’s because the table changed when you reloaded the movie. Do it a few more times and pay attention to the multiples of 9. They’re different each time you do the trick, but that group of symbols always matches. You don’t really notice it at first, because the symbols are repeated a few times on the chart, so swapping a couple (okay – 9) of the symbols around each time is probably going to go unnoticed.

In any case, it’s still a cool trick. I hope these spoilers didn’t, well, spoil it for you, or anything. 🙂
[/Spoilers]

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Robert

Robert Belknap has been writing online sporadically since 2001. See the colophon for more details.

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