Friday, July 13, 2012

A Magic Moment


A lot of people don't like magic because it makes them feel stupid, but in reality getting fooled by magic tricks says little about your intelligence. I do in fact possess psychic powers and to prove it to you I'm going to predict the exact difference in the amount of pocket change we are both carrying.

All I need you to do is remove some change from your purse or your pocket -- not more than a couple of bucks, to keep this short -- and hold it in your fist. Shake it around a bit so I can feel the vibrations. Excellent.

I am definitely getting a reading now, more than I had hoped for in fact.

My sixth sense is telling me three things: that
I have as much change as you do,
plus two extra quarters,
and enough left over to bring your total up to $2.35.

You look skeptical. Lay your change on the table and count it. Great. Now since we are doing this remotely, you'll have to be my stunt double.

Reaching in my pocket it appears I have ten quarters, two dimes, a pair of nickels, and five pennies -- totaling $2.85. (I was going to do laundry later.)

I want you to pretend my pile of change is on the table next to yours -- or even better, procure this array of coins for yourself and do it for real.

Now I predicted my pile would contain exactly as much as yours plus two quarters,
so please remove from my pile the exact amount you were carrying in your pocket,
plus an additional two quarters, and set this amount aside.

I also predicted that what remained in my pile would be exactly enough to bring your total up to $2.35, so push the rest of my coins into your pile, merging the two, and add them all up. Was I right? I told you I was psychic!

If you were fooled by this trick you're in good company, because so was Albert Einstein, when British mentalist Al Koran (real name: Edward Doe) performed it for him at a dinner club.

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