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© Copyright 1999, Jim Loy Ladies and gentlemen, or girls and gentleboys, I am about to do an amazing feat of calculation (using my highly tuned brain) right before your very eyes and ears. Now, how many of you know what a fifth power is? OK, for those of you who don't, you take a number, let's say it is 2. And you multiply it times itself five times, 2x2x2x2x2. That is 2 to the fifth power, also known as 2 to the fifth. Now, does anyone have a calculator which shows ten or more digits? OK, Susan is our official calculator operator. What is 2 to the fifth? 32. That is right. My highly tuned brain already knew that. [I write down 2 and 32, on the chalk board.] How about 3 to the fifth? 243 [write down 3 and 243]. We might as well write down a few more, just for the practice. What is 4 to the fifth? [We go up to 9 to the fifth, and we now have this table on the board:]

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 243 1024 3125 7776 16807 32768 59049

You see, my highly tuned brain already knew all of that. Pretty good, huh? Now William, I want you to come up to the chalk board, and write down any two digit number. I will turn my back so I don't see it. OK, my back is turned. Now after everyone has seen the two digit number, erase it so I won't be able to read it. Are you done with that? Good. Now Susan, you've got the calculator. Take William's number and multiply it times itself five times. Got that? OK, now Susan, tell me your answer. [I write her answer: 656356768.] Hm, kind of big. [As I say that, I write 58, which is William's original number. The audience is amazed.] How did I do that? Well, I knew that the last digit of the answer was 8 because the last digit of 656356768 was 8. That is how it works with fifth powers, the last digit is the same. Then I mentally crossed out the rightmost five digits, and looked at what was left: 6563. Then without making it obvious, I looked at the above table. 6563 is between 3125 and 7776, and so 5 is the left digit of the answer. The answer is 58. That is all there is to it. It would have been more amazing if I had memorized the above table. But, I keep forgetting it. If no one had a calculator that could handle ten digits, then someone in the audience would have had to do the last step by hand: 58x58x58x58 (which is eight or fewer digits) on the calculator, and then x58 by hand. I had Susan do the simpler calculations, just to make sure that she got the routine down, and would do the same with William's two digit number. You can do something similar with cubes and cube roots. This takes a little more memorization. In this case the table is:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 8 27 64 125 216 343 512 729

If the rightmost digit of the cube is 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, or 9, then the rightmost digit of the answer is the same. If the rightmost digit of the cube is 2, 3, 7, or 8, then the right-most digit of the answer is 8, 7, 3, or 2 (in that order). We mentally cross out the rightmost three digits, and compare our remaining digits with the table, to find the leftmost digit of the answer.

NUMBER MAGIC

Believe it or not, numbers can be fun. Here are a few examples Sum of Human Knowledge (contributed by Eric Bishop) If you multiply the number 142,857 by anything between 1 and 6 the answer contains the same digits. e.g. 142857 x 3 = 428571 and 142857 x 6 = 857142 If you multiply the same figure by 7 the answer is 999,999. Challenge 1 Add up the following numbers out loud, starting at the top and, adding on each number as you go -

**1000 40 1000 10 1000 40 1000 10
**

If you made the answer 5,000 (as 99% of people do) then try again! Challenge 2 A game to find out a person's age and how many coins they are carrying. • • • •

•

Ask someone to double their age (either mentally or on paper) but, obviously, they must not tell you. Then to add 5 and multiply by 50. Finally, they must add the number of coins they have on them. If they do not have any, nothing is added. They then tell you the final answer. Now all you have to do is take away 250. The first two digits of the answer you are left with are the persons age and the last two the number of coins in their possession.

This works unless they are carrying over 100 loose coins. Example - 25 x 2 = 50 + 5 = 55 x 50 = 2750 + 6 = 2756 2756 - 250 = 2506 Challenge 3 Take any three digit number in which the first and last number differ by more than one i.e. 335 would be O.K. but not 333, or 332.

Reverse this number Subtract the smaller number from the larger. Add this answer to the same number reversed and the answer is ALWAYS 1089. Example 1:335 Reversed = 533 533 - 335 = 198 198 + 891(198 reversed) = 1089 Example 2: 932 reversed = 239 932 - 239 = 693 693 +396 = 1089 Challenge 4 Get a friend to throw a dice three times and you will be able to tell them which numbers came up and in which order. This is what they have to do • • •

•

Throw dice Multiply number by 2 Add 5 Multiply by 5 (Remember this total) Throw dice second time Add this second number to the previous total. Multiply by 10 (Remember total) Throw the dice for the third time and add the number to the last total.

• •

• •

Ask for the final total. Subtract 250 and you will be left with three figures. These figures represent the numbers thrown and the in which they appeared. Example: First throw = 4 4x2=8 8 + 5 = 13 13 x 5 = 65 Second throw = 2 65 + 2 = 67 67 x 10 = 670 Third throw = 6 670 + 6 = 676 676 - 250 = 426 = 4 2 6

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