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"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be 'stepped down' or organized for you." - author: Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What's in a number?

Year in year out, the same sequence of events take place. It seems like the whole year, if not a whole life, is a routine and only the number changes. The year changes, one's age, Weight, salary, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, amount of things one owns etc... the list itself consists of numbers. In one way or the other everything changes in terms of a number. It's strange how numbers and maths are part of our daily life. It seems like a very close relationship, something we can't get away from no matter what we do, numbers pop up everywhere. We are invaded by numbers and that's scary. Numbers can be in your favour or against you depending on which side you are.

Anyways one interesting use of numbers and maths is a little card trick that I learned some time ago, though I can't remember when, from whom or where. The trick is simple but yet very puzzling. Since I probably got it for free I guess its best to share it. Knowledge is not new, it can only be shard across humanity. Therefore everything we learn is old. Even when we come across new knowledge, the moment we realise this, it is already old. Thought being source of knowledge, thought being an action of the past since by the time we react time has already elapsed, we are constantly living in the past. So be it.

Here goes the trick:

Take a complete pack of cards, which consists of 52 cards. In a pile, count out 26 cards with their face up to split the pack into 2. The trick is to memorise the 7th card only. Note: when performed in front of an audience, it is important to keep them distracted so that they don't notice the trick. To do this simply count with a loud voice. Now once done, place the pile face down aside. With the remaining 26 cards, draw one card and lay it face up. Each card bears their respective numeric value and cards with figures have a value of 10 and aces 1. The thing is to add cards on top of the card drawn to make it 10. For instance if the card drawn was 6 add 4 cards face down on top of it, if it is a card that has the value of 10 then no cards should be added. This process should be repeated 3 times such that in the end there should be 3 set of cards arranged down with the first card face up and the remaining cards face down.

Pile 1, Card drawn : 3, No of cards to add on top: 7
Pile 2, Card drawn : Ace, No of cards to add on top: 9
Pile 3, Card drawn : King, No of cards to add on top: 0

Once done, put the remaining cards on top of the 26 card pile that was put aside. From the arranged cards, calculate the sum of the cards that are face up. In the above example the sum should be: 3 + 1 + 10 = 14. From the pile of remaining cards draw a card face down until the sum calculated above is reached. If done properly, the last card counted should be the 7th card memorised at the start of the trick. Amazingly it is a mathematical logic that never fails. No matter which 3 cards are drawn, provided the number of cards drawn add up to 10, their sum would always point to the 7th card in the second pile. Isn't this magic!!!

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