Cool Maths Trick For Kids
The At your local bookstore, you spot an attractive somebody carrying the exact same book as you; because it's the only book they sell (it's a bad bookstore). He or she seems a little skeptical when you say this means you must be soul mates, so you offer to prove it with a magical gesture worthy of a John Cusack rom-com.
- Pick a starting page, and each of you secretly choose any word from the first line.
- Silently spell it out and move one word forward for each letter.
- So if you start with the word "throbbing," move nine words forward; if you land on "moaned," move six words.
- Do that until you reach the end of the page.
In the end, announce the word you landed on: "explodegasm." Amazingly, even though you didn't know which word the other person started from, your journeys ended on a mutual explodegasm. It must be destiny!
Or, you know, just simple arithmetic. The secret is based on the Kruskal count, which isn't the name of a magic-wielding vampire, but of a mathematical parlor trick discovered by physicist Martin Kruskal. Essentially, no matter which word you started from, if the text on the page is long enough (don't do this with a Dr. Seuss book), you'll both hit the same word at some point, and from then on the paths will be the same.
Magicians use this all the time. Here's the Kruskal method illustrated with cards –
Yellow and blue start separately but inevitably meet up on the four of clubs:
So really, your amazing connection was based less on some mystical love voodoo and more on cold, mathematical certainty. Go on and flaunt this Maths Trick.
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