Let’s have fun with your Phone Number

Want to pull off a great trick that will make you the toast of the cocktail party circuit?  A trick so fiendishly clever that men will envy you, and women want to flirt with  you?  Well, this probably isn’t that trick.  But it’s pretty good, and it involves the concept of numerical congruence dreamed up by a famous German mathematician named Carl Friedrich Gauss.  Now, I know you.. you want me to get right into it, you little scamp, so here it is:

A) Write down your phone number on a piece of paper.  Area Code too.

B) Using those same digits in your phone number, randomize that phone number any which way you want, to create a Dummy Number.  Use cards, or (like me) put slips of paper with the numbers on them in a cup and draw them out in a row for dramatic effect.. reciting pertinent facts from the life of Carl Friedrich Gauss.

C) Subtract the smaller number from the larger number.   It doesn’t matter if the real phone number (yours, presumably) is larger or smaller than the Dummy Number.

D) Add up all the digits created by the difference between the larger phone number and the smaller phone number.  This will likely create a two digit number.

To give you a handy visual, I’ve encapsulated steps A-D in this handy graphic lifted from Excel, and using the made up phone number of 212-555-2379.  I randomized them with pieces of paper being pulled out of a salad bowl.  See the highlighted line for the Dummy Number.  Important!  use YOUR OWN number, not this made up number.

Observe THIS table of secret cannibalistic symbols, taken from ancient scrolls of forbidden wisdom:

Starting with the Pentagram up top (As number one) move clockwise, with the triangle as number two, etc. Go around the circle as many times as your number from Step D.

What symbol did you land on?  I have a guess, here it is.  What’s more, here’s the trick: It will land on that symbol EVERY, SINGLE TIME.  Every one!

Now, isn’t that handy?  Men will mutter and women will swoon.  At the very least, you’ll get a free drink out of it if you play your cards right.

Psssst.. it’s a mathematics thing, not magic, but you know that already. To understand it, you might have to read up on mathematical congruence.  If two numbers have the same remainder when divided by a number k, they are congruent to the number k.  The number K is called a “modulus”.  Example– 16 and 23 buth have a remainder of 2 when divided by 7 and therefore are congruent modulo 7.  Since 9 is the largest digit in the decimal number system, the sum of the digits of any number will ALWAYS be congruent modulo 9 to the original number.  Note that there are 9 digits in a telephone number.  Scrambling the digits can’t change the digital root of a number, so basically you end up with multiples of 9 + the digital root subtracting multiples of 9 + the same digital root, equaling a multiple of 9 +0.  For our “cabalistic symbol counting” purposes, it will always give you one result.  Nifty, eh?  Remember that cool “mind reading” t-shirt from a previous post?  It works on exactly the same principle, just different numbers.




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