® Horoscopes Unlimited 1994
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Large Upright: Imaginative, independent, enterprising. Possibly extravagant or generous. Small Upright: Delicate nature. Keeps thoughts to self. Is often proved right. Possibly has missed chances in life. Large Sloping: Sensitive, generous, ambitious. Benefits by seeking advice of others when in difficulty. Small Sloping: Modest, careful, thoughtful for others. A good planner and organizer.
Large Backhand: Patient, sociable. Could have hidden talents; possibly better at hobbies than work. Small Backhand: Dual personality type with strong imagination, but not extrovert. Could make good actor. Very Bold: Strength of will and purpose. Integrity. Good leader. Has confidence in self and others. Small Weak: Active mind but reserved personality. Is able to appreciate advice of others at its true worth.
This number effect is performed using a good size art pad, approximately 14" x 17." Also required are a bold marking pen, a security envelope and a 3" x 5" white, unlined file card. On the file card, write the following four 5-Digit numbers, one under the other.
68,628 13,751 28,732 37,593
For your information, the top three numbers (68,628+13,751+28,732) all add up to 111,111.
You can use any set of three numbers as long as they total, 111,111. The final 5-digit number, 37,593 is a bogus number. I tell you all this so you know how to change your prediction card whenever you wish, i.e., for repeat shows, etc. In fact, you can have 5 different prediction cards to cover your 5 shows a day during a trade show. The prediction card is sealed in a security style envelope. I usually put a gold notary seal on same. It makes it look as if it was notarized. If you want you can buy one of those circular book plate embossers available from a better stationary store. At a distance of 3 feet, they'll never be able to see what it says. That's all the advance preparation. If your five envelopes are set up for the day, it doesn't make a particle bit of difference which is used for which show. Prior to your show (or just after you start) one sealed envelope is remanded to the custody of someone in the audience (someone who you know will still be there later in the show). That's it.
To begin, you ask the person in the audience to hold up the sealed envelope that you remanded to their custody earlier so everyone can see it. Now, pick up the pad and pen and holding the pad so the audience can see the first sheet, state that you are about to have several members of the audience to create one number in a million. As you say the, "one number in a million", write the number "1" at the upper left hand corner of the pad. Quickly point to a second spectator and state, "call out any number over "1" but under "10!" What ever number he calls out, for example "4", write it to the right of the number "1" at the top of the pad. The wording there is very important, it forces the spectator call out a 2 or higher. (Incidentally, "zero" is not considered a number should a spectator inadvertently call out "0" at any time!).
Point to a second spectator and repeat the task, "Sir, call out any number over "1" but under "10." For example, he replies, "3." Write the "3" to the right of the 14. Now you've written 143. Insert a comma and point to a third spectator. Ask this person to call aloud any number under 10. For our example, he calls out "6." Record the 6 next to the 143. Now you've got 1436. Ask a fourth spectator to call out any single digit. For example, he calls out "5" which you record after the 6. Now you've got 14365. A fifth and final spectator is also asked to call out any single digit number. For example, he calls out, "9." Record it next to the 9. You now have a six digit number. Repeat it out loud as "143 thousand", put the comma between the 3 and the 6," 6 hundred and 59. One number in a million!!! Quickly draw a line beneath the number just created at random by members of the audience
(143, 659) You can at this point ask the spectators if there has been and prearrangement or collusion, etc. etc.
Now, invite the spectator holding the envelope to bring it on stage. When he does so, have him confirm that the sealed envelope has not left his possession for a second since you gave it to him. Have him open the envelope and remove the contents. Quickly ask him to confirm that the card contains four 5-digit numbers. When he says yes, quickly hand him the pad and then the marking pen. Since he only has two hands, you take the card from him so he can hold the pad and the pen. Position the spectator so that he is facing the audience, with the pad facing him. You can quickly flash the card towards the audience for a second as you state, "I have no idea why I wrote these particular numbers, but as I put pen to card over 3 hours ago, they just happened."
Hold the card with the four 5-digit numbers facing you. Hold the card in your left hand. Your left thumb should be covering a majority of the bottom 5-digit number. Show the card to the spectator and as you point to the top 5-digit number, ask him to write the first 5 digit number below the line near the top of the page. As he looks at the number and begins to write 68,628...you help him by calling out each digit just before he writes it on the pad. What's happening here is as follows: the spectator is copying your four 5-digit number on the large pad, so everyone in the audience will able to see them. As soon as he finishes the first number, point at the second 5-digit number (13,751) and holding the card so that he can see it, you again call out the digits to enable him to write them beneath the first 5-digit number. Point to the second 5-digit number and ask, "Is that correct?"
He nod yes. As he begins to copy the third 5-digit number (28,732), stop him after the first 2 digits and state, "Please! Keep the numbers in straight columns - you're going to have to total this puppy when you're done!" This will really shake him up. It almost always does. Now, he's beginning to worry about the arithmetic involved. Begin to hurry him, gently. repeat, "28, thousand, 7 hundred and 32. Point to the third number as you hold the card up. "Is that correct?"
Now, here comes the whole enchilada. You're going to bluff call the final number. Again, caution him to keep the columns straight. Step away as if you're checking to see that the columns are straight. As you call out the fourth and final digit , glance at the 6 digit number at the top of the page. In your mind, subtract "1" from the second digit, "4" and call "3" as the first digit in the fourth and final number the spectator is recording. As he writes the number "3," move slightly farther away as you look at the card, and simultaneously mentally subtract "1" from the third digit in the six digit number at the top of the page (3-1=2) so you miscall the second digit as a "2". Now you're really moving as you mentally subtract "1" from the fourth digit in the 6-digit number (6-1=5) and call the number "5" for the spectator to record next.
Now, subtract "1" from the fifth digit in the 6-digit number (5-1=4) and miscall "4" as the next to last digit. Finally, in your mind, subtract "1" from the final digit in the 6-digit number (9-1=8) and call out "8" as the final digit for the spectator to record. The fourth number which you have miscalled as 32, 548 is now in place. Ditch the file card in your pocket as you retrieve the pad and marker from the spectator. Call for a round of applause for the on stage spectator. Turn the pad towards the audience and smiling, say that you were just kidding about having him do the addition. But, you say to the spectator, please check my addition to make sure I don't make a mistake. Now, you proceed to total the four 5-digit numbers which the audience thinks were written on the file card the spectator removed from the sealed envelope. At no time have you given him a clear view of the fourth or bottom 5-digit number. Begin to quickly total the four 5-digit numbers (you don't have to be a genius to do this, because the sum total will match the 6 digit, one in a million number at the top of the pad, randomly created by the audience.
68,628 13,751 28,732 32,548
To make sure everyone "gets it" draw a circle around the total 143, 659 and draw an arrow up to the 6 digit number at the top of the page. Thank the spectator and take a bow.
Usually the audience will audibly gasp when they realize that your numbers are adding up to an exact match with the 6-digit number randomly created by the audience. This is the real work. First time I've ever explained it in writing.
Incidentally, you could have a second card with the same three 5-digit numbers as on the card the spectator removes from the envelope. This card could be in your partner's possession, if you have one. After the spectator has recorded the numbers on the pad, you hand the card to your partner as you proceed with the addition part of the effect. She switches the card you hand her for the card she has...and she nail writes the fourth 5-digit number. That way if anyone wants to see the card later, it actually adds up to the number created by the audience.
Naturally, the numbers on the card your assistant switches in should be written by the assistant prior to the performance using a nail writer to match the other numbers.
One day I received an e-mail puzzle from good friend, and fellow mentalist, Christopher Caldwell. The puzzle was the paragraph printed following these instructions. I studied the paragraph for about 20 seconds and solved the puzzle. When I quickly e-mailed the solution to friend Chris, he replied that it had taken him a lttle longer to work it out. I filed away the paragraph in case I found a use for it some day. Soon after, another friend asked me for an idea how she could capture the attention of her peers during a company sales meeting. I immediately thought of the "unusual paragraph" and suggested that she have it printed on a number of file cards, which she could hand out at the beginning of the meeting.
I further suggested that she use a stopwatch and give the audience 60 seconds to try and solve the problem. The chances were few, if any, that people would crack the secret in such a short time. If anyone does, I suggested that she flatter them by stating that the world record for this feat is 20 seconds. Therefore, whoever solves it in less than 20 seconds is entitled to join Larry Becker's Mensa Society of America...an elite organization of geniuses (Just kidding folks. I really am quite humble about it). The idea, of course, was to underscore a sales approach of "Don't judge a book by its cover" or other similar themes.
A few days after that, my very dear friend and fellow genius, Ted Lesley phoned and asked if I would contribute an item for his wonderful Wonder Workshop publication. It was then that the following brainstorm occurred.
Display the unusual paragraph on a large board (Have a printer blow it up and mount it on a sheet of fomcor). Removing a stop watch, ask the audience to read the paragraph and then try and solve the puzzle in :60 seconds or less. State that the world record for solving the perplexing puzzle is 20 seconds. Anyone who can solve it in 20 seconds or less is an absolute genius and entitled to immediate membership in the Mensa Society of America (or wherever). As the audience begins to try and solve the puzzle, the performer (that's you) begins to count aloud the seconds as he peers at his stop watch. When 60 seconds have elapsed, the performer calls "stop." Continuing, the performer asks if anyone has the solution? Chances are that no one will, however, the performer proceeds to reveal the secret. What's the secret to the puzzle. It contains every vowel (A-I-O-U) except the letter "E." There are no "E's" used in the paragraph.
The performer then selects a member of the audience to participate in a second test. (If anyone did solve the puzzle, the performer should select that individual). The spectator is asked to think of any word in the paragraph. And to make it more even more challenging, the spectator is encouraged to think of a longer, more difficult word...one that contains at least 6 or more letters. While the spectator concentrates, the performer states that while numbers are somewhat easier, trying to perceive a single word that someone is merely thinking of is extremely difficult. To prove the point, the performer challenges the audience to try and perceive even a single letter. Turning to the spectator who's thinking of a word, the performer asks that he concentrate on just the first letter in his word and to try and project it to the entire audience. The performer picks up the jumbo card containing the paragraph and turning it over, jots something down on the blank side of the board. After a moment of concentration, the performer asks the spectator to reveal the one letter he is thinking of, for example he replies, "T." The performer asks the audience, "Besides me, how many of you perceived the letter "T" - please raise your hand. Few if anyone will raise their hand. The performer continues, "That should give you some idea of just how difficult this is." The performer asks the spectator to now concentrate on the entire word he's thinking of, and to picture that word in his mind. The performer again writes something on the board. Placing the marking pen aside, the performer asks that the spectator call out his mentally selected word. For example, the spectator replies, "Through." Without hesitation the performer shows what he wrote on the reverse side of the card. It is the letter "T" and right below it, the word "through."
Using your computer print the paragraph on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. Take it to a quickie printer, such as Alphagraphics. Have them blow up the paragraph to at least 11" wide x 17" deep and mount it on a lightweight sheet of Fomcor. On the blank side, affix a sheet of adhesive backed laminating film to the center of the board. This will enable you to write on the film using a bold point Sharpie brand " Overhead Projector Pen." The writing can later be erased with a damp paper towel, permitting you to use the board over and over. That's it. To perform, just follow the description of the effect. When you write on the board prior to the spectator revealing the letter he's concentrating upon, you don't actually write anything. Just pretend to write a letter.
Now, be sure to use the exact wording following the spectator's revelation of the letter he's thinking of. "Besides me, how many of you perceived the letter_, please raise your hand." This intimates that you successfully read the spectator's mind. But, without showing what you wrote, you immediately continue the routine as described. (Credit the bluff to NY's mental braintrust, the "13".) When you write the spectator's word on the board, you simply begin by writing the first letter of the word and then under it, the complete word. When you later turn the board towards the audience, they'll think that you wrote the letter prior to the spectator picturing the entire word. Now, how do you know which word the spectator is thinking of?
There are only 9 words in the 90 word paragraph that are spelled with more than 6 letters. They are COACHING, FIGURING, NOTHING, ORDINARY, PARAGRAPH, QUICKLY, THOUGH, UNUSUAL and WITHOUT. The first letter of each word is different from one another. Simply memorize the 9 words and as soon as you know the first letter, you know the entire word. If you can't remember 9 words, print them small on a piece of paper and glue it around the barrel of the marking pen. Or glue it to the side of a thumb tip or any of the myriad prompting methods that mentalists have at their disposal. Oh by the way, with only nine possibilities, you could also do this as a prediction with three envelopes in each of three pockets.
This is a most unusual paragraph. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It truly looks so ordinary, you'd think nothing was wrong with it and in fact, nothing is wrong with it. It is unusual though, why? Study it. Think about it and you may find out. Try to do it without coaching. If you work at it for a bit, it will dawn on you. So jump to it! Try your skill at figuring it out, if you can. Good luck-- and don't blow your cool!
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