"Magic" in Numbers
Have you ever wanted to impress your muggle friends with magic tricks that you are actually allowed to perform in front of them? If so, then this is the article for you. We are going to be talking about the “magic” in numbers.
Numbers are used for so many things such as counting, sizes, money, health, and speed amongst others. Did you ever realize that they can also be used in magic? The truth is, they can. Numbers are quite magical all on their own if you know how to use them correctly.
Not only do we use numbers in Arithmancy to learn more about ourselves and what the future may hold for us, but numbers can be used in the branch of magic we simply call mathematical tricks and mentalism. Let me show you a few.
Magic Trick #1
The first trick is one you may have seen before. While it can be predicted incorrectly based on who the person is that is choosing, the usual result seen is the one I will show you now. First, I want you to pick a number from 2-9. Now take the number you picked and multiply it by 9. You should now have a two digit number.
Take those two digits and add them together. For example, if you had the number 43, you would add 4+3 to get 7. Now subtract 5 from that number. Take that number and correspond it to the correct letter in the alphabet. For example, A=1, B=2, C=3 and so forth. Now take that letter and think of a country that corresponds with it. A might make you think of Argentina while B might make you think of Brazil.
Now take the second letter in the name of the country you picked and think of an animal that starts with that letter. For example, the second letter in Brazil is R so I might think of a rabbit. You should now have a country and an animal.
Are you thinking of Elephants in Denmark?
How does this work? It’s mathematical using formulas and probability. Picking any number between 2 and 9 and multiplying it by 9 will give you a multiple of 9. All multiples of 9, when adding the two digits together will equal 9. Try it for yourself starting with 2x9=18. See how the 1 and 8 added together would equal 9? Subtracting 5 from 9 gives 4 which means the person will always come up with the letter D for the country.
This is where probability comes in. The likelihood of someone picking a country besides Denmark is slim as it is one of the more well known countries that start with D. Therefore, the second letter will almost always be E. Most people will think of an elephant as it is a common animal that everyone knows.
Magic Trick #2:
This trick uses a clock with a face. Digital clocks will not work for this. Go ahead and open up the clock on your computer or use one near you. Pick a number from 1-12. Now start at the number 12 on the clock and spell the number you chose clockwise. For example, if I chose seven, I would start at the 12 and moving clockwise spell out S-E-V-E-N and this would land me at the number 5.
Now I want you to spell out the new number you got. For example, I would spell out F-I-V-E since I landed on the number 5. One more time, go ahead and spell out the newest number that you got just like you did the previous two times.
Now to make my prediction. I bet you landed on the number 1. Was I right?
How does this trick work? This one is straightforward. There is no luck involved or use of probability. No matter which number you would have chosen, you would have always landed on 1. This is due to the spellings of the numbers when they are spelled out and how they are arranged on the face of the clock.
Magic Trick #3:
It is time to guess your birthday, and I bet I can get it right. First, get a calculator or open it up on your computer. I need you to do a little maths.
Go ahead and enter the number 7 then multiply that by the month you were born. For example, I was born in August, so I would multiply it by 8. Now subtract 1. Multiply that number by 13. Take the new number and add the day of your birth. For example, I was born on the 31st, so I would add 31. Now add 3.
Take that new number and multiply it by 11 then subtract the month of your birth. Take that total and subtract the day of your birth.
You should now have the date of your birth. Did it work?
Did I get it right? Once again, this is nothing but maths.
Magic Trick #4
For this last trick, you will need a deck of muggle playing cards. Take out 21 of those cards then set the others aside. We only need 21 cards for this to work. Have a friend pick out a card then place the card back into the deck without telling you what it is. They can place it wherever they like. Now you will deal the cards out into three rows, face up. Make sure you work row to row instead of column to column. When you are through, you should have three columns of 7 cards each.
Let your friend tell you which column their card is in. Now you are going to pile the cards back up by column and making sure the column in which your friend pointed out is the second column you pick up. You are going to repeat the steps you just did two more times meaning that you dealt the cards out three times total.
Begin to lay the cards out in front of you one by one. If the trick is done correctly, your friend’s card should be the eleventh card you lie out.
Once again, this trick is done by using a mathematical formula which you can look up on this thing Muggles call Google if you are interested in the calculations behind it.
Scientifics are slightly geeky additions that have been with us since the eagle has known how to fly. Okay, not that long, but it's a nifty category that separates it from the usual ramble of articles.