Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Binions' Neon Dice Blunder ?

Driving a cab gives a guy a lot of opportunity to notice unusual things along the streets of Las Vegas. Being a photographer, I'm a fairly observant person. One night I was looking at the neon signage on the back (northward) side of Binion's from my cab seat. You see the back neon when you exit the freeway and turn onto Casino Center Blvd.

There's a lot of neon and a bunch of tumbling dice that appear in animated, blinking sequences. Plus different strips of neon flash on and off and move horizontally to fill the sign with a red and blue background.

This photo shows the colored, neon strips fully lit and a few pairs of dice cubes blinking. The dice then start moving and you then see from four dice to twelve dice going thru their animated sequences.

This photo is an example to show the consistent pattern of numbering that is stamped on all dice cubes. The opposite ends of every dice cube (front and back faces) always follow the same pattern. The numbers aren't set randomly like many people think they are. The six faces of a dice cube are stamped in an ordered fashion. The face of one cube is stamped with a 6 and its opposite end is stamped with a 1. The opposite end of a 5 is always a 2. The opposite end of a 4 is always a 3. The opposite ends must (and always do) add up to seven.

What stuck me as being odd one night, while I looked up at Binions' neon sign, was that one of Binions' neon dice cubes (shown above) has the number four on one end and a number three on its side, instead of at its opposite end.

This is NOT the way dice are actually stamped. A 3 is ALWAYS on the opposite end of a 4. The neon designer obviously didn't check his design for accuracy. Or else he intentionally was presenting the winning number of seven (on a single dice cube) for subliminal advertising reasons. Still. It's an inaccuracy.

Now, this incorrect cube of neon dice is no big deal and no one has probably ever noticed this anyway in all the many years this neon animation has been flashing and moving atop Binions' north entry.

Yet, I felt like taking this photo and pointing out the inaccuracy, if only for the sake of posterity, truth in advertising and humor. It's fun for me to see that even casinos can be wrong at times - since they themselves set such strict standards towards numerical accuracy on their casino floors.

I don't think its wrong for me to likewise point out their own glaring, 14 year mistake that's set right out in public for all to see. Is it? It is kinda funny when you think about it.

This photo shows the neon animated sequence of patterns where the other dice start appearing. You can see that the other dice cubes' neon is now glowing and that the pips of one of those cubes is showing the number four - glowing thru the specific dice cube I'm talking about here. The cube just left of the Letter B in Binions' sign.

This one specific cube continues to show its numbers as being three and four, side-by-side, which isn't possible with real dice cubes.

When the other dice stop their tumbling sequence, you can easily and plainly see (in photo above) that the incorrect layout of a 3 & 4 are plainly countable and viewable as being set side-by side, instead of at opposite ends as they should be and are in normal life.

This fact might seem trivial and not worth mentioning. Still it defies the logical and proper depiction of a dice cube and is just plain wrong. If I'm mistaken I'll gladly eat my chocolate hat.

A Fun Dice Trick

Okay. This is not actually a trick. Nor is it magic, though it can appear to others like it is. It's just a way of using quick addition to make your friends think your are psychic or something. The trick can be done using a glass of water, though that's not usually worth the effort since you can do the trick on any plain counter-top.

But, just for fun's sake, imagine having a friend shake a pair of dice and then have him drop the two cubes into a glass of water. Then tell him you can guess the total number of the dice cubes that appears on the under-side (bottom) of the drinking glass.

What you have to do is simply look at the tops of the dice in the water. Your friend won't even notice you seeing the dice tops nor will he even think that could help you in any way to know the numbers under the glass' bottom.

You just need to quickly add the total number of the top of the dice cubes in your head. If you see that the number is a three and a six you know the total value adds up to nine.

Whatever the numbers on the top of the dice read out as - simply (and accurately) subtract that total from the number 14.

If you were to see the total number is nine (like it is above) you would subtract nine from fourteen. The number (in this case) would be five.
Tell your friend the numbers under the glass are five....then have him lift up the glass and take a look underneath.

Your friend will see that you are correct and wonder how you knew that. First he'll be amazed. Then he'll figure that you know some sort of trick involving seeing the numbers on the top of the dice. It's okay to let him know that, because he'll still wonder how you are arriving at the correct total.

Just remember the number to use is 14. Most people are not aware of the fact that dice faces have a logical pattern to them. Most people imagine that the dice faces are stamped randomly. But if you take the time to actually read the opposite ends of any single cube of dice - you can see that the opposite side of a 6 is a 1, opposite 5 is a 2, opposite 4 is a 3 (then vice versa with 3, 2, 1).

Remember. Never tell anyone about this number 14. Keep it a lifelong secret as all true magicians learn to do. Just practice adding and subtracting any two dice until you can do it within a split-second. If you get too cocky you can easily fumble the math.

Anyway. This can be a fun trick to show a seven year old kid or a bored bartender. Just remember the magic number 14 and be sure to practice your addition and subtraction.