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Explaining a Fascinating Flash Game


Bayi sent me a crystal ball that uses a mathematical trick.
You may want to try it and then revert to the explanation I have why it works.

here's the link: http://trunks.secondfoundation.org/files/psychic.swf

Warning: Spoiler! Do not read further if you don't want the trick revealed just yet. I suggest you try the link first before you read on.

If you'll notice all the "constant" answers are multiples of 9 =)
with the exception of 0 which the table will use as the starting point.

what i think makes this happen is that all symbols assigned to each multiple of 9 changes everytime, but the results will always end up being those numbers.
this is a mathematical trick which is really cool =)
by 'reducing' a number and adding the tens and ones unit, we actually lose their actual values without noticing it.

To illustrate, we have in base 10:

let Ab^1+Bb^0 = regular 2 digit base 10 number,
where A=the first digit, B=the second digit, b=the base, which'10'

e.g. for #88 = (8x10^1)+(8x10^0)
= (8x10)+(8x1)
= (80)+8
= 88
this should be the same for all the other numbers (for hundreds, use b^2, or 10^2 =100 (which is why we call it hundreds))

In effect what we are doing by reducing the number is the following:

for number: Ab^1+Bb^0 (88)

Ab^1+Bb^0 -------- we take the value 80 as 8
Ab^0+Bb^0 -------- 8+8 = 16, since b^0=1, we solve it as:
A+B -------- we subtract this from the original number
(Ab^1+Bb^0) - (A+B) ------ Substituing, we get
A(10) + B - A - B -------- which results to
(10)A - A
= 9(A)

With (A) being any number. Hence the multiples of 9.
I haven't checked other patterns but I surmise this is the only one used. I would guess that the other patterns or symbols used in the other non-multiple of 9 numbers are used to confuse the participant so that the pattern cannot be easily noticeable.

Interestingly, the multiples of 9 can further be reduced:

0 ~ 0+9 = 9
18 ~ 1+8 = 9
27 ~ 2+7 = 9
36 ~ 3+6 = 9 and so on...

It's a numbers game and a very interesting one at that. I hope now that the mathematics of the magic is revealed we do not see it as a bad trick - instead let's celebrate the guy who made the trick and the flash game... YOu can say knows his math very very well.

posted by Jdavies @ 5/02/2006,


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The Author


Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.

About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.


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