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In another thread, Scott Cram kindly mentioned the Be a Genius website which has all sorts of great stuff on it. One of the things it teaches you to do is to memorize pi to 400 decimals. Well, after three days of not too intensive work, I've got 200 decimals down.

Here's what I do with this: I printed up business cards with pi to 200 decimals on it, along with my name and contact info. I now hand them out and ask people to help me in an experiment--I explain that pi is what mathematicians call an irrational, transcendental number: that is, there is no pattern to it at all-there's no way to predict what the next decimal is going to be. With that intro, I tell them that I am prepared to call out whatever number digit they choose. Thus, if they want the 137th digit of pi, I can tell them it's a 3. After a few repetitions, their jaws are hanging down. Every person I've showed this to has asked me if they could keep the card!

Thought you might be able to use this.

Jack Shalom
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Jack, you are a genius.

Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Patrick Redford
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An excellent idea.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Kindest Regards,

George Tait
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I agree, brilliant!

Another twist, possible to do if you are good at calculations:

If the sum of the 200 figures become 9 (maybe you could add some more decimals to make it end up a nine), then you could give them the card, ask them to overcross one of them, then he tells you all other numbers. You then reveal which of the figures he has left out by adding them after the original idea of Harry Loryane.

Or, you should be able to do that just by following the the numbers that the spectator calls out, and you will automatically know wich he has left out!

That would maybe even add effect to it, since you wont know the position of the number, making it a mental effect. If presented that way, saying, this is a totally random number, and of course, that is impossible to learn (not).

Just a thought,

I think we need more of theese ideas to get the business cards out!

/Hĺkan - Sweden
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This might sound odd--but let's say they call out the 137th digit of pi. What do you do to fill whilst they count to the 137th position? Or do you have each position numbered to assist?

Also--can you re-post the link to memorizing pi?

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The "Be A Genius" site can be found at:


I printed the card so that the decimals of pi are in groups of four (that's the way you memorize them) and there are 32 digits in one line in 12 point type. Thus, 6 lines of 32 and another line of 8 makes 200 digits.

I ask them to count the places to one of the digits, pointing out that the first line ends at the 32nd place, the next line at the 64th place, third line at the 96th place and so on. In other words, I ask them to figure out the place of the digit they are focusing on from the beginning. Then, once they are clear about the digit and its place number, the focus is now on me. I take a few moments, sweat a little, and then retrieve the right answer.

One woman insisted that I must be using some sort of gimmick to pull this off--there's no way you memorized all those numbers says she.

Ah, if only that were so.

If you can memorize a card stack, you can do it too. See the website.

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If the goal is getting business cards out (which of course none of us would do by just handing them out, that would be gauche), then it might be worthwhile to have them printed with a trick the spectator can himself perform.

A good example might be Becker's "Mensamental," in which a paragraph, which will fit on the back of a business card, is not only a curiosity in and of itself (it's missing the letter "n" or "e" or some such), but provides the basis for a progressive anagram as well.

The spectator may, MAY, show the paragraph to others, or want to, and will in either case be more likely to remember your card and yourself.

My professional business card has, on its back, language based on Miranda rights. A client who carries the card and gets stopped by law enorcement can pull it out and flash the back, instantly asserting his Miranda and search & seizure rights. No client has yet had to use it, but they carry I around just the same.

I did, by the way, consider doing a trick with my card itself, by having a word on it chosen, then proving I'd predicted the selection with my trusty Lee Earle design SG. I'm just not sure I want to use such grim language in a trick. It would work well with Larry Becker's trick.

Also, I also scanned in ESP symbols and created my own version of Acidus Novus printable on the back of a business card. the problem is the card gets bent up and can't be given away (close examination might reveal the secret).

Last thing, I toyed briefly with giving away business cards prepared á la Ben Harris's "Zoom," and finish by teaching the trick so the spectator could try it, and further expose the card. Thankfully I decided against it.

Just the same, preparing a card for "Zoom" is pretty easy & quick (use Superglue gel) and the card can be given out without worrying, too much, about the gimmick being discovered.

Just a thought,

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