New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part IV)

Published on Thursday, April 16, 2009 in , , , , , ,

BrainNote: If you like the idea of the Memory Binder, I discuss other ideas for it in Memory Feat Props, Memory Feat Props II and in New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part I, Part II, Part III).

Now that we've covered poems, magic effects with the poems, and assorted lists, what else can we put in the Memory Binder?

Actual props for memory feats can also be put in your binder, as well. The simplest example I can give would be Doug Canning's Mental Shopper. The included PDF is set up for business cards, but there's no reason you couldn't create 5 large binder pages instead of the 5 business cards, as long as they all have the same items and prices.

One nice presentational touch, for things like Mental Shopper, the alphabet feat and the 400 Digits of Pi chart, is to use a horizontal presentational binder that is facing away from you, so that you obviously cannot see information you're going to recall. In the case of Mental Shopper, where there are multiple pages you're not supposed to see during the presentation, you may wish to add opaque dividers on either side of each page, to help keep the pages hidden when they're flipped (as you could be looking at the other side.

Now, Mental Shopper is both a memory feat and a math feat, so to verify your answer, you'll need a calculator, too. You could carry one separately, but why not have the calculator in your binder, instead? Not only does this keep all the props for Mental Shopper in one place, but you're now also prepared to other math feats such as squaring 2-digit numbers, root extractions or exponential expressions! Between the perpetual calendar in the binder and the calculator, you're also well equipped to handle any of the presentations I discussed for guessing someone's age.

Another feat to consider is the magazine memory feat. If you're working for a smaller audience, you could carry the magazine (or even a few copies of the same issue) inside the binder using magazine/catalog binder strips. If you're working for a larger audience, and will passing out loose pages, you could number and tear apart the pages before the presentation, and carry them in multi-page sheet protectors.

Even if you're memorizing DVDs instead of magazines, you could carry the DVDs themselves in the Memory Binder! No, I haven't found a DVD player that would fit in the binder, but we're definitely getting closer (You might laugh at the idea, but in the 1960s, anyone would've laughed at the concept of an inexpensive digital pocket calculator that could fit in a binder).

You wouldn't think something like the Knight's Tour could possibly fit into a binder, especially with 3-dimensional pieces, but with magnetic travel chess sets available like the Chessmate Travelmate (see larger picture here), it is conceivable. When closed, that board is only 7" by 9", smaller than most of the 8.5" by 11" pieces of paper, and is thin enough to hold in the binder via the aforementioned magazine/catalog binder strips. What about the bulk of the pieces? All you really need is 1 chess knight or, if you do the version where you let an audience member choose the starting and ending squares, 2 chess knights. I use 1 black knight and 1 white knight for this version, telling them to put the black knight on any black square, and the white knight on any white square. The piece(s) could be stored in a storage pouch along with some small magnetic pieces to mark the spaces to which you've been. If you do Chris Wasshuber's version of the Knight's Tour, you could also keep your blindfold in the pouch, as well.

As you can see, there are many possibilities to put together a whole show of mental feats in one binder. There are many more ideas I didn't have the time or space to discuss in these 4 Memory Binder posts. If you want to pursue this idea further, start by looking at what feats you already perform and, if they weren't covered in these posts, think how they might be adapted. Also, look through the Mental Gym, my list of memory effects and past posts on this site, including the ones on math, memory, memory feats and Martin Gardner.

If you have any ideas of your own about the Memory Binder, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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