Quick Snippets

Published on Sunday, September 16, 2012 in , , , , , , , ,

Luc Viatour's plasma lamp pictureIt's time for September's snippets!

In this edition of snippets, we're going to catch up with the latest news related to math and memory feats taught here on Grey Matters.

Google announced a new feature this week: The “Bacon number” search. You can now find out how close any actor is to having starred with Kevin Bacon in a movie. For example, to find out how close Will Smith is to Kevin Bacon by searching for the term Will Smith Bacon number, and you'll learn that Will Smith starred with Josh Brolin in Men In Black 3, and Josh Brolin appeared with Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man, so Will Smith's Bacon number would be 2.

Back in 2006, I created a memory feat based on the classic 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. In the memory feat, you have people pick 2 names from names written on slips of paper, and then you recall the shortest connection between them. Since you need connections between actors who aren't Kevin Bacon, The Oracle of Bacon is actually a better tool for this feat.

• Also in the news this week, people in the San Francisco Bay Area got treated to Pi in the Sky on Sept. 12. Five skywriting planes filled the skies with the first 1000 digits of Pi. If you've practiced memorizing 400 digits of Pi, you should be able to recognize some of the locations in Pi in videos such as the one in the Pi in the Sky link, as well as this video (below) and this video.

• If you like my text-memorization app Verbatim (tutorial video here), and are looking for some classic poems to memorize, YouTube user 0adam0ant0fan0 has posted a series titled Famous Poems that are well worth your consideration. At this writing, they include The Raven (below), The Road Not Taken, Jabberwocky, From Paradise Lost, and If.

Mental math fans will enjoy TheClickMyVideos' YouTube channel. TheClickMyVideos has reposted several mental math videos made by others, including many of the long lost totalbreeze videos I mentioned back in Feb. 2011. They could be removed, so view them while you have the chance!

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