18 September 2005

"Telepathy Experiment"

Found through another blog, check out this "Telepathy Experiment."

It worked for you right? Unless you fscked up your math. It's a parlor trick, it's inevitable you'd get that answer, and here's why.

* Think of a number between 2 and 9
What number you choose is irrelevant, but for completeness, most people pick 7. This step seems to give an element of free will.

* Multiply the number by 9
* Add the two digits together

Anything from 2 to 9 multiplied by 9 gives a 2-digit number, with digits adding to nine. (Any multiple of nine has its digits add to a multiple of nine. It's a result of our base-ten number system, just numbers divisible by two have their last digit divisible by two, and similar rules for divisibility 3, 5, and 10. Oh and 7 as well, though I don't know anyone who has that test memorized.)
The result of these steps is 9 for everyone, eliminating the apparently random effect of the first stage.

* Subtract 5 from the number you now have
9-5=4, unless you're doing New Math.

* Convert the number into a letter -
4 = D

* Think of a European Country starting with that letter
There is exactly one country in Europe whose English name starts with the letter D, Denmark.

* Now think of the second letter of that country

* Think of an animal that starts with that letter
(This must be an animal - not a bird - so if you are thinking of an eagle think again!)

Again, for the record birds ARE a type of animal. I believe the author meant "mammal" where he put "animal."
There are a limited number of animals whose English names start with an E, or at least few well known ones. The ones I could think of are Eagle, Elephant, Emu. Birds are ruled out, leaving elephant.

* What colour is your animal?

** Now concentrate carefully on your answers
** Check below to see if I have read your mind

You are thinking of a grey elephant that comes from Denmark.

Asides from the misspelling of "gray," yeap, that's all you could come up with. QED

I'm sure similar tricks exist for other languages. Feel free to leave a comment explaining one you know of.


Matt Jones said...

If only people knew how to do basic algebra! Or at the very least write out word problems into numbers and symbols. Oh well. People like to be amazed.

zandperl said...

Y'know, I should give this as something for my Math 090 (Basic Math Skills) students to prove. They're learning such things as multiplication and fractions, so it's entirely appropriate for them. Maybe as an extra credit assignment. :)

Tor said...

Hey Zandperl, you get around, too! :-)
One of my favorite internet card tricks has you concentrate on one card out of several that are on-screen. Then you hit a button, and =poof= the one you were looking at is gone! (There is one less card displayed.) The secret is that none of the cards originally shown are shown on the refresh. Since the average person is only looking at one card, they don't notice all of the cards disappeared, and the refresh has an entirely new set of cards with one less member!

Tor said...

Hi Zandperl,
It was so late last night, I didn't realize this was your blog till I saw the startup entry on Strange Musings! Great idea for a blog!