A Birthday Card Trick!

Today is my birthday, and not by chance, this website is also one year older.
So here are a few thoughts for the day…

A guy named Ezekiel once wrote about something he saw:
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Here is a picture of an old clock that hangs in my hallway:

Clock

I’ve opened the side door so you can see inside.
It has a lot of wheels that turn wheels.

A long time ago, Arthur Corwin showed me a card trick:

000Stack589

Take four cards, and put them face up in a pile.
Pick up the top card, remember it, and put it on the bottom of the pile.
Now, pick up the current top card, and put it on the bottom of the pile.
Now, pick up the current top card, and put it on the bottom of the pile.
Once more, pick up the current top card, and put it on the bottom of the pile.
Now, the original top card is again on the top of the pile.

You’ve just made a wheel, and you’ve made it rotate one revolution.

Now, take four other cards and put them in a pile next to the original pile of four.
Pick up the top card from the original pile, remember it, and put it on the bottom of the original pile.
Now, pick up the current top card from the original pile, and put it on the bottom of the original pile.
Now, pick up the current top card from the original pile, and put it on the bottom of the original pile.
Once more, pick up the current top card from the original pile, and put it on the bottom of the original pile.
Now, the original top card is again on the top of the pile. Pick it up, and put it on the bottom of the original pile, and then also pick up the top card of the second pile, remember it, and put it on the bottom of the second pile.
Start turning cards on the first pile again, and every time you see the original top card of the original pile, also turn the next card of the second pile.
Keep doing this until the first top card of the second pile reappears.

Now, you have two wheels that form a gear train, with a ratio of 4:1.

000Fortune

From here, by using various other piles of cards, you can build all sorts of mathematical counting machines.
You can make one to count the days as they go by.
And so forth.

A very long time ago, today would have been the start of a new year.
Today is the Spring Equinox.

000Spring4Seasons

Happy Spring!

 

 

 

 

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