"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, April 30, 2010

How to Look Like a Genius

Yesterday, I saw footage of some autistic "idiot savants" (I hate that term) - and one fake. There are prodigies, mostly musical prodigies, but there are also people being passed off as something they aren't. The fake was a common one: give him a date and he can tell you what day of the week it fell on. That's a parlor trick. I can do it and you can learn how to do it in an hour or so. Here's how to do it for any date since 1900, using today as an example.

Casting out 28's

There being seven days a week and a leap year every four years, calendars repeat every 28 years. So, take the year and subtract 28 until you get as close to 1900 as you can. Then keep the last two digits.

Example: 2010-28=1982-28=1954-28=1926. Running total: 26.

Add leap years

There's a leap year every 4 years, so divide the number above by 4 and add the whole number.

Example: 26/4=6 (ignoring remainder). Running total: 26+6=32.

"Thirty days hath September..."

This part takes rote memorization. There's a number to add for specific months:
Add 0 for January or October.
Add 1 for May
Add 2 for August
Add 3 for February, March or November
Add 4 for June
Add 5 for September or December
Add 6 for April or July

Example: April=6. Running total: 32+6=38.

Add the date

Example: Today's the 30th. Running total: 38+30=68.

Correction for leap year

Years evenly divisible by 4 are leap years. In those years, you have to add 1 for all months except January or February.

Example: Running total: still 68.

Cast out 7's.

There being seven days per week, it's time to simplify.

Example: 68-7=61-7=54-7=47-7=40-7=33-7=26-7=19-7=12-7=5.

Count that many days from Sunday.

Example: Sunday + 5 days = Friday.

So... today must be Friday. But then you already knew that! You must be a genius!!!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

That's a parlor trick. I can do it and you can learn how to do it in an hour or so.

Okay, Mr. Smarty Pants. Define "you" in the statement above in such a way that it still includes me in its collective grasp (or else risk hurting my feelings) but also doesn't include me in the number of people who could learn this "parlor trick" in an hour ... or ever, for that matter.

You can't do it, can you?

Hahahahaha! I stumped you!

I'm a f*cking SUPER genius!

Wile. E. Heisenberg, that's me!

ShutUpandRun said...

You can do it. I can't. Just reading your explanation made me reach for vodka. It is Friday after all.

Debra Horn said...

Hi Steve,

Off topic, but responding to your question on my Blog about the NC24. I think the website covers the course pretty accurately. It is quite flat, a few very slight ups and downs. The surface is excellent, nothing slanted. It is right by Lake Erie so there is potential for windy weather but we had good weather last year. I think it is rather pretty location and at night, since the park is very close to downtown Cleveland, the city lights are neat to see as well. Let me know if you have any specific questions. You should come and run it!!

sea legs girl said...

I'm just wondering if your next post will be about how to look like an idiot, because I definitely need some help there ;).

SteveQ said...

Darn. I was waiting for someone (SeaLegsGirl, most likely) to point out that it's "idiots savant", not "idiot savants."