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Mind Tricks

14 15 memOry tricks learning how to learn One of the most useful tricks anyone can learn is the art of memory, and for centuries almost exactly the same kinds of mental devices have been used by memory professionals across the world. How do they all work By visualization and exaggeration. For example, a widely used trick was to imagine or invent for oneself a large and familiar house or theater in the Renaissance, and choose a standard route by which to visit the rooms. Do this for yourself, smelling each room, noticing furniture, windowledges and so on. Now put memory objects in each room, an airplane tickets, a white flood milk. Make them surreal, oversized, painted blue, bleeding, exploding, or boiling see opposite top. A great memorygame for four or more people in a car is the one where each person says, On holiday this year I packed in my suitcase ..., and then recites the list so far, adding one more item like some sticky goo, a frog, whatever. To win this game, use the trick shown opposite centre. Visualise each object interpenetrating the next in some way, making a mess or wrapping around. To memorise numbers or cards, you will need a lookup table lower opposite, that turns numbers into letters that can be related to objects starting with that letter. Then just use the system above. Dyslexia is sometimes caused by teaching children to read with a moving finger that later turns into moving words below left. Better to point to each word in turn below right. Above A number key. Use words starting with these letters to remember long numbers, or develop your own key. You will need to know your key very well to make the system fluid. Above A memory house with objects for a shopping list. Starting in the library left, a giant broken sploshing bottle reminds you to buy wine. A large dying fish flops wetly in the hall buy fishfood. A winged envelope flutters up and down the stairs envelopes. In the study a picture has fallen to the floor and is melting go to the pictureframers. Make the memory objects as vivid and surreal as possible. Now look away and see if you can remember all four Above A memory chain of twelve objects. Goo, Cup, Knife, Shoe, Peas, Book, Ink, Feather, Frog, Tennis Racket, String, Hammer. Start on the left and then add each object in turn. In your mind make the cup spill the goo, the knife saw through the bottom of the shoe, the ink spill on the frogs foot. The more the objects interpenetrate or strongly or shockingly relate the more easily the chain will be remembered. With a surprisingly small amount of practice, 100 objects can be remembered in order with ease. 0 C or D 1 L, J, or W 2 T 3 M 4 R, P 5 F or V 6 S 7 Y, G 8 B, H, K 9 N E.G., 3861 Mud on a Ballgown cut by Scissors attached to a Lamp. Or use doubles, so 3861 38 61 MiKe SaiL A microphone painted on a sail
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