[Rescued from my old blog.]

Teen dd looks up from her Geometry book. “Hey, Mom, guess what? I finally figured out how palm reading works.”

Now there’s a career choice I really want to encourage, right?

With some tredpidation, I ask, “Um… How?”

“When you look at your hand,” she explains, “and it’s all covered with scars, then you know it’s time to declaw the cat!”

Don’t miss any of *“Let’s Play Math!”*: Subscribe in a reader, or get updates by Email.

## Have more fun on *Let’s Play Math!* blog:

We learned how telephone psychics work in geography class…that was a fun exercise in statistics! Given an area code and birth date, you can come up with all sorts of interesting demographic information. If you know that 20% of people in a certain demographic engage in a specific behavior, you can make an educated guess at what your caller is involved in. 80% may laugh and hang up, but 20% will become loyal callers.

And given that the answers start vague, you can sometimes rule out a bit or get some help from the caller.

I thought it was rather fascinating just how predictable people can be.

Hmmm… I was always very good at figuring out what the teacher wanted to hear and BSing my way through essay tests. Does that mean I have a future as a phone psychic?