Ask Professor Picanumba, a master of riddles who carries dozens of surefire tricks up his sleeve. He'll show you how to astonish your friends and family by predicting the answers to 88 word and number challenges. These tricks require only simple props—a deck of cards or a couple of pairs of dice, a calculator, and a pencil and paper. With or without an audience, these foolproof feats of mental magic offer hours of amusement. Solutions appear at the end, with 64 illustrations in between.
Author Martin Gardner has written more than 70 books on subjects from science and math to poetry and religion. Well known for the mathematical games that appeared in Scientific American for decades and for his "Trick of the Month" column in Physics Teacher magazine, Gardner has had a lifelong passion for magic tricks and puzzles.
Gardner takes readers from his childhood in Oklahoma to his varied and wide-ranging professional pursuits. He shares colorful anecdotes about the many fascinating people he met and mentored, and voices strong opinions on the subjects that matter to him most, from his love of mathematics to his uncompromising stance against pseudoscience. For Gardner, our mathematically structured universe is undiluted hocus-pocus—a marvelous enigma, in other words.
Undiluted Hocus-Pocus offers a rare, intimate look at Gardner’s life and work, and the experiences that shaped both.