Old Paths, New Directions

Published on Thursday, March 17, 2005 in , , , , , ,

Working with the presentations of others, I often get inspired by them. Here are some of my own ideas that are currently turning gears in my head. I don't claim they're good, bad or indifferent, only that they are occupying my grey matter:

Psuedo-Phone Book Memorization
For those of you who perform Meir Yedid's Predict Perfect (scroll to the bottom of the page), here's a how to use it for a phone book memory feat.

Unlike the original presentation, you're not going to control the outcome (this will allow for a freer presentation). Have the cards mixed by an audience volunteer. Ask them to arrange the cards to make 3 three-digit numbers, and play up the fact that the cards can be arranged to make 362,880 different equations.

Have the equation totaled, and the total announced aloud. You are instantly able to give a name in the telephone book whose telephone number ends in those four digits!

While there really are 362,880 possible equations to be made, there are only 198 different possible totals (detailed in the Predict Perfect instructions). What you've done is used standard memory technique link the 198 different totals to their respective names in the phone book

The quickest way to find names and numbers that will work for this feat are:
1) Find the phone prefixes for your area
2) Use a reverse lookup site to find out who those numbers belong to (For the three-digit possibilities, use a 0 before the three digit number)
3) Double check to make sure that name and number are listed in the phone book

The best way to present this is as a "memorization in progress". You claim that you're working on memorizing the phone book, but not completed yet. Since you're closing in on 400,000 of the numbers (this should be done in an area with at least 750,000 people to make this feasible), you've come up with a way to demonstrate your progress, then proceed as above. The fact that 362,880 equations can be made helps sell the fact that you've memorized at least this many names and numbers in the phone book. The fact that you haven't completed memorizing the phone book helps you get out of the sticky situation that can arise when some local challenger asks you to give his phone number.

A few quick notes, here. First, Meir Yedid no longer has Predict Perfect in stock, but it can be found for sale by dealers with a quick internet search. Second, the Predict Perfect cards are also great visual aids when performing the Human Equation from Barrie Richardson's "Theater of the Mind".

New How-To for Deja Voodoo
For Bob Farmer's Deja Voodoo, my idea is simply an alternate version of the same effect. Prepare the dictionary as described in the instructions, but don't prepare the deck of cards. Instead, link each word to its card using standard memory techniques. You can even use Bob Farmer's own playing card mnemonics (see section 1.2.3) for the links!

That's all for now. Have these ideas inspired in you? Would you like to share some of your own ideas?

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