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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I've Got a Mega Memory

 A long time ago, our family invested in a series of audio cassettes called "Mega-Memory". I was enthralled with how the brain worked and how to improve what I had.

 Although I wasn't a very good student, I would almost ace every test that I was given. I did not enjoy homework at all. My belief was that if they wished me to be schooled on my time, they ought to come over to my house and make sure it got done. That never happenned, so I ended up failing some classes that graded heavily on homework. For that reason, we started the MM course.

 I'm not sure how that was going to help me do homework, but the subject matter was so interesting that I gladly sat at the dining room table, with pen and paper at the ready when Dad would play the tapes.

 The first lessons had to deal with 'pegs'. The narrator had likened them to wooden dowels, but once I heard the word 'pegs upon a wall', my wild imagination had put pirates on the other side with only their peg-legs sticking out from what we were seeing.

 These pegs were static of nature. Each number was given an image. They are as follows

 1. Tree
 2. Light Switch
 3 Stool
 4. Car
 5. Glove
 6. Revolver
 7. Dice
 8. Skate
 9. Cat
10. Bowling Pin
11. Field Goal posts
12. Carton of eggs
13. Cauldron
14. Golden ring
15. Paycheck
16. Cake
17. Magazine
18. Voting booth
19. Golf Club
20. Black Piano Keys

 The symbols for one through ten are what we were to use to remember strings of numbers, like phone numbers and addresses. The 11 through twenty I used when remembering long lists of objects or words. These pegs were so cool to me, that they've stuck in my mind from that first day of learning. A great gift, those memory tricks. Here's how I would remember the number 867-5309, if the song, "Jenny" had never come out.

 8-Skate. Now I would usually imagine someone skating, but that would not be memorable enough to recall from my databank, so I had to make it ludicrous. I would see an ice skate with eyeballs for eyelets and a lolling tongue, sliding around, looking for it's mate.

 6-Revolver. I would then see the skate find it's mate, only to view it's last moments at the end of a mean-faced revolver. The gun would laugh once the dead skate had fallen through the ice, taking it's mate with it to the afterlife.

 7-Dice. The revolver would then find money that belonged to the pair of skates and use it to play at a craps table. When throwing the dice the first time, one of the cubes would lodge into the barrel causing the revolver to stop up.

 5-Glove. The gun got so angry at the die sticking itself in it's snub-nose, that it tried firing. The bullet and dice would fly from the barrel, only to be caught by a disembodied white glove, and stuffed back into the revolver.

 3. Stool. The revolver would get very angry at the glove for stuffing back the bullet and die. It would be smoking to the point of making the metal all red. To calm down the gun would sit upon a three-legged stool. After cooling down for a moment, the revolver would then try to get up, only to find that the stool had been lined with adhesive, and stuck to this gun-butt.

 0. Bowling Pin. In a fit of rage, the gun grabbed the first thing available to knock the die and stool loose. You're right, it was a bowling pin that started eating his arms when he went to grab it.

 9. Cat. Morris the cat was in attendance at this particular cat table and proceeded to stop all the action with a very loud growl/hiss combo that sent all objects scattering. He would then clean himself and purr away.

 Not only did this course that my father had purchased help my memory, it was something that fostered my imagination as well.

 Now if I could only get past the first sentence of the speed reading course, I'd be able to read 1000 blogs a day!

34 comments:

  1. wow that's crazy! lucky you

    http://underthefluorescents.blogspot.com/

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  2. interesting post. Reminds me of my GRE days. Even before that I had huge craze for vocabulary. I had my own ways and algorthims to remember words. I used to create a own short story to link the tough words and their meaning together.

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  3. I am fortunate enough to speed read! I was reading at a college level in the third grade. A quirky and bad habit I have is when I am driving, I memorize the license plates as I pass them...it is my memory game with myself, I suppose.

    Now, onto reading a thousand blogs...

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  4. Lol I agree with your last comment I always feel bad when I dont read the entire post but some days I really just dont have the tiem!

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  5. Y'know, I've always wondered at the Mega Memory system, amongst other mental tricks to improve memory and brain function.

    Back in the mid-90's, y'know how there's those science fiction booklets? The ones that published short stories and novellas and stuff? Yeah, they constantly had those adverts for such things, including one that used virtual reality and stereophonic audio to induce sight, sounds, and even smells in order to trigger your brain's functions and improve them.

    Always wanted to get one of those, for purely personal reasons. Even as a teen I thought it'd be cool if an item really COULD augment and improve your calculatory and reasoning speed, as well as memory and other things.

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  6. That is interesting how it made your mind work and look a cat helped too..lol. Each have their own, I remember just about everything and can speed read pretty well, so the cat is good...haha

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  7. I've learned a similar memory trick - but yours is way crazier and more fun lol... thanks for the post!

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  8. Replies
    1. For two reasons. It makes it easier to remember the number because I can associate the person with the story to remember the number. Secondly, it helps me create different ways to create stories with the pegs. Taking the long way around is easier for me.

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  9. I've always been fascinated by those people with amazing memories who can remember the serial numbers on dollar bills in an instant.

    Although I wouldn't use it for that, I still would love to develop that kind of memory.

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    1. And you can through this one or another. I once found a system called "Memory Furst" that worked on a different algorithmic method.

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  10. That's quite fascinating. I love memory tricks like that.

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  11. I think these kinds of systems help, but it still it depends on the person which method works best.

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  12. That is pretty damn cool. I have a very very bad memory. God only knows how I remember to read blogs.

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  13. wow that is one hell of a system for remembering numbers...having said that I'm useless with numbers so maybe I should give this a try

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  14. I remember when I was really young I used to do those brain quest excercises

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  15. Maybe I should try something like this, my memory seems to be getting worse and worse as time passes - although I was more taken by the story you came up with :-)

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  16. innovative learning techniques never failed to impress me.
    remembering numbers was not one of my favourite things to do though.
    i would have been a better student if numbers were colours :p

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  17. That is possibly the oddest, and also the coolest way I have ever seen to be able to remember a number......

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  18. An arm chewing bowling pin?? That's noted for my next trip to the bowling alley! hahaha

    And speed reading would be a great thing in blogging land! haha I just pick my favorites to visit everyday and then leave it at that. :)

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  19. That's cool. I insist, different people learn different ways, I'm glad there was an alternative found for you!

    Now, for speed reading..

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  20. Speed reading just comes from reading a shit ton of books. It's MUCH harder to read on electronic screens. I wish I had an e-paper monitor.

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  21. Yup, that makes perfect sense to me. I used similar tricks to remember and I agree that it's a fun way to develop your imagination as well. Awesome post!

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  22. OMG, that's hilarious! You and I think the same way! I remember those memory and reading courses. School bored the stuffing out of me! Thank fuck I went to an art school and was able to complete a full art course after grade 9! I might not have made it otherwise! Snore fest!

    I won't lie, I'm a very visual person and if someone's blog is difficult to read (bad colour choices) or contains a huge WALL of text with no break, I'm less likely to want to read it. I get bored and distracted easily. God, I'm like 5 year old! It's a wonder I can function at all! :)

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  23. I'm fecking confused and need a lie down now.....

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  24. This is some good stuff, trying to learn a new language and it's so much easier when associating stuff with each other.

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  25. You just confused the Hell out of me. O.o

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  26. sounds interesting and dull all at the same time.

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  27. Wait what!? I didn't quite understand the connection between those numbers and words...

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  28. I never enjoyed doing homework either...in fact, I tended to do my history homework in Spanish class, my Spanish homework in English class, etc...

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  29. I have the Mega Memory tapes, having purchased them many years ago. But now they are in storage somewhere and I can't find them. I remember most of the pegs but some I have trouble with. So I asked Google if there was a copy of the peg list online and sure enough. The first link it sent me to (http://greglhamon.com/memorize-any-list-of-20-items-in-2-minutes-guaranteed/) seems to pretty much agree with my recollection of it. This one is slightly less so (for example, you have Black Piano Keys for 20 instead of a pack of cigarettes). But the main difference is the use of the first half of the peg list for numbers instead of the body list (toes for 1, knees for 2, etc.) which leads to the phonetic list (1=T, 2=N, etc.) and finally an image list for the numbers 1 to 100 (for example 25=nail because 2=N and 5=L). But thanks anyway.

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