Quick Snippets

Published on Thursday, February 19, 2009 in , , , , , , ,

LinksIt's time to update some of my older columns, and share some new treasures with you in the process!

• In my 2007 post on unusual lists to memorize, I discussed a way of memorizing a famous birthday for each day of the year. Historical events could also be memorized with this technique. Where to find them? The Associated Press has posted a series of Today In History videos on their YouTube channel. The first section runs from Jan. 1st through the 26th. The second section runs from Jan. 14th through Apr. 30th. The third and final section runs from May 1st to Dec. 31st. Unfortunately, not every date in available in the list or as videos. However, for research into any particular day, Wikipedia's days of the year category is also a great resource.

• Also back in 2007, I discussed the memorization of poetry. Above and beyond the resources there, try looking for videos of your favorite poems. The more classic and better known they are, the more likely it is that there's a video out there of it. I've already begun a YouTube playlist of my favorite poems, most of which I've memorized. If you can't find a video of a particular poem you wish to memorize, figure out how to make one! Some, like this video of Rudyard Kipling's If, are done with little more than words. The process of making the video can help you memorize it, as well.

• Grey Matters reader Michael Frink has been practicing the playing card pair-memorization feat I teach over in the Mental Gym, and has been getting good reactions with his presentation of it. In his presentation, he presents the memorization of the cards as a blackjack skill. He also memorizes only 15 pairs of cards. Ordinarily, you would think more is better, but memorizing 30 cards with both value and suit is impressive, and can be done quickly enough to keep the audience's interest. The best part of his presentation, though, is his closer for the feat! He runs through the remaining cards in the deck, relating this to card counting, and names the ones he didn't see! How? He simply runs through the cards which weren't associated with silly images! Thank you for these great presentational tips, Michael, and also for your permission to post them on my blog!

• Richard Robinson has posted an interesting trick called And Then There Were Nine over at his All Magic Guide. It's a fairly simple mathematical card effect, but presented right, it can be quite puzzling.

• Over at Doug Dyment's Deceptionary, there are a few new goodies. If you go to the information page and click on the “... a variety of Zener (ESP) symbol graphics” link, and you'll get not just a simple JPEG of ESP symbol graphics, but TrueType fonts, as well as various printer font files. There's also a TrueType font based on the lettering in Bicycle decks, as well! If you're practicing doing readings, there's the TaroTutor, the CartoTutor, the RuneTutor, and the SymTutor. They give you not just random selection from which to do the readings, but also generate a random type of person for whom you must do the reading.

• Finally, we go all the way back to 2006, when I brought up the rather odd combination of knitting and mathematics. Apparently, it's not so odd that the University of Chicago's math department can't spare a page for some newer mathematical knitting projects. Even if you don't understand the math or have an interest in knitting, the resulting forms are fun to look at and ponder.

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2 Response to Quick Snippets

7:01 PM

Thanks for the great site, Scott.

Robert Loggins
6:52 PM

Just want to say this is one of my favorite sites on the internet. You do a great job and I appreciate all your effort