Sunday, June 17, 2012


I originally started the number memorization because I figured I could use it as a 'training tool' if you will to get my brain practiced at learning the journey method. I assumed going over numerous number combinations over and over would be quite easy and I would be able to practice a lot and get my times down on numbers quite easily. However, there was one big problem with this - IT'S SOOO BORING. I know practice is the tedious part of learning something new that everyone hates, but I knew there had to be a better, easier way to practice.

Introducing cards, a revolutionary breakthrough in speed and training...that is fortunately based on Dominic's number the only thing I had to do was to memorize 12 new people and actions and acquaint card and suit to celebrities I had already memorized. Here is how it works:

Take the 2 of clubs. The number/letter of the card (2) is the same as the numbering system (1-a, 2-b, 3-c etc.) and the suit is the first letter. So, the 2 of clubs is BC, which is also 23 in the number system. It just so happens that Ace-10 of each suit already has an association to a person, the only thing you have to memorize is Jack, Queen and Ace of each of the four suits. So simple! Then, flip over three cards and make one image using person action person and place that in a single loci location (17 total images + 1...I just incorporate three people and one action in the final image) It took me about an hour get 12 new people and actions and become 'semi-acquainted' with the cards and their corresponding characters. I went ahead and did a trial run of cards Ace-10 and it took about 11 minutes with two mistakes. He says it takes 20-30 minutes the first couple of times..and anything sub 3 minutes you should consider joining a memory championship! My goal - sub 3 minutes

I've also noticed how difficult it is going to be to practice cards because I have a few random journeys here and there, but I had nothing mapped out, organized, characterized. Therefore, I stopped doing cards the rest of the day and wrote down about 15 buildings on my college campus that I am pretty familiar with and designed one huge journey from building to building and in the buildings. The entire journey is going to have roughly 400 loci locations, but its going to be separated into 19 different 19 different sets of numbers, 19 decks of cards, 19 lists etc that I could use it for...or use it to memorize a list of 400ish things.

Ed Cooke told Joshua Foer when he was training for the world memory championship that to begin he would need about 12 journeys to keep up with his I feel like 19 will do me just fine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remember, Remember

Almost six months after I last posted. This past semester (I now have my BS!) was very trying and didn't give me time to do any memory training, let alone blogging. I just started again now that I have much more free time...and the results are exciting!

I began reading a book called Remember, Remember written by Ed Cooke, Joshua Foer's memory trainer, about easy ways to remember the US presidents, British Monarchs, and countries of Europe. A fascinating book - I have finish the first half and I can say I have successfully memorized all of the Monarchs and presidents. What is cool about the book is that there is a 'first over' and 'second over'. The first over consists simply of the list of items to memorize and the second is where details are added to the image like dates and specific important facts. This is nice because at the same time you add more information to the are also reviewing the order of the images as well and reinforcing them so you can remember them longer.

As for my numbers memorization...I unfortunately don't remember most of the people I used for numbers, so I have to re-memorize all of them. I've also created a list of things that I think would be very cool to memorize:
all countries/capitals
all states/capitals
famous celebrities
sports teams - hockey, baseball, football, soccer
species of mamals/reptiles/birds/fish
roman/greek gods
all fruit and vegetables
cuts of meat
disney/pixar movies and dates

and the list goes on and on. I think knowing a lot of this stuff would help make conversations flow and allow me not to have a dead stare when someone says "Oh you watch Game of Thrones? You must love the actor Peter Dinklage." (He plays the midget Tyrion btw)

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Book

With finals coming to a close I finally have time to focus more on learning about memory. In addition to reviewing my Dominic list, that I'm ashamed to say I do not fully remember, I am beginning a new book entitled "Your Memory How it Works and How to Improve it." Not on any list that I've seen as good memory books but it seems really interesting and covers some mental math topics. Plus, it is the only thing I can get my hands on on such short notice.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Dominic System

I decided several weeks ago(sometime around my last post) that to continue using my time the most efficiently I would need to actually develop a number system that I described in an earlier post. A lot of the posts after that one discuss additional uses for a Dominic System, such as a mental calendar. The thing is that all of these systems are based on his numbering system. Therefore, I put my reading to a halt and developed my own system of people from 00-99 (I don't have 0-9 done yet). The hardest part by far was coming up with people that I was already familiar with to account for all of the 100 initials. It took a solid four to five hours of research to come up with this list...and I'm damn proud of it! I have memorized it fairly well, not to the point of instant recognition, but enough that I have been able to memorize 48 digits with two mistakes in a little under five minutes. I've posted my list below in case anyone wants to develop a Dominic System and doesn't want to spend the ridiculous amount of time researching (although it definitely takes along time to rote memorize all 100 people!).

00 Ozzy Osbourne Stomping his glasses
01 OprAh Curling her hair
02 Orlando Bloom Fighting with a sword
03 OsCar the Grouch Jumping  out of trash can
04 private
05 Omar Epps Flipping someone off
06 Oj Simpson Stabbing a woman
07 James Bond Combing his hair
08 Meg Ryan(Orgasm scene) Getting fingered
09 Oliver North Raising right hand
10 Ashley Olsen Flashing
11 private
12 Alton Brown Chopping vegetables
13 Jennifer Morrison (Dr. Allison Cameron) Using a stethoscope
14 Anne Dudek Letting someone spank her
15 Albert Einstein Writing on chalkboard
16 Adam Sandler Golfing with a hockey stick
17 Ashley Green(alice twilight) Sucking air
18 Adolf Hitler Sig Heil!
19 Alfred Nobel Igniting dynamite
20 Barak Obama Taking a picture
21 Ben Affleck Breaking rocks with sledge hammer
22 Bugs Bunny Shaving a carrot
23 Bill Clinton Feeling up a secretary
24 BeeDrill Flying
25 Barbara Eden Wrestling animal
26 Britney Spears Cuting her hair
27 Bill Gates Operating a computer
28 private
29 Bill Nye Ties his bowtie
30 Conan O'Brien holding monkey
31 private
32 Cameron Bright twisting doll
33 Carlisle Cullen Bites someone
34 Cameron Diaz Blows up balloon
35 Clint Eastwood Falls on floor shot
36 Charlie Sheen Punts football
37 Casper the  Ghost Goes through wall
38 Pikachu Thunderbolting someone
39 Chuck Norris Round-house kicking
40 (Yaba daba do) Fred Flintstone Driving a car
41 Dianna Agron Cheering with pompoms
42 Drew Barrymore Having a baby
43 Drew Carey Playing chess
44 Eddie Murphy (Dr. Doolittle) Talking to animals
45 Dwight Eisenhower Crawling military style
46 David Schwimmer Crying
47 Danny Glover Giving thumbs down
48 Bruce Willis(die hard) Playing violin
49 David Niven Fishing
50 Mcdonald(EIEIO) juggling hamburgers
51 private
52 Elizabeth Banks Posing on a pile of beans
53 Eric Cartman Farting
54 Ellen Degeneres Dancing
55 Eeyore Playing pin the tail on the donkey
56 Emma Stone Weighing herself
57 Eva Green Putting on lipstick
58 Ethan Hawke Injecting drugs
59 Ed Norton Turning into Hulk
60 Shaquille O'Neal Shooting a basketball
61 Sam Adams Breaking a beer bottle
62 Sandra Bullock Dusting with feather duster
63 Sean Connery Riding his bike
64 Scooby Doo Smoking weed
65 Will Farrell (Santa's elf) Barfs
66 Sandslash Slashing someone's face
67 Sarah Michelle Gellar Drinking blood
68 Salma Hayek Pissing her pants
69 Sam Neil Running from T-rex
70 Gary Oldman(Serius black) Turning into dog
71 Gillian Anderson Examining data with magnifying glass
72 George Bush Spitting on the American Flag
73 George Clooney Dealing a deck of cards
74 Morgan Freeman Snapping his fingers and making a dildo appear
75 Thomas Edison Throwing lightbulbs like grenades
76 Gene Simmons Sticking his tongue out
77 Adrian Ricard(grandma from IRobot) Baking a pie
78 Hugh Laurie (Gregory House) Bouncing ball on a wall
79 Gena Lee Nolin (baywatch) Walking down beach
80 Tim Allen (Santa Clause) Wrapping a present
81 HAHA-Joker Burning money
82 private
83 private
84 Humpty Dumpty Falling off the wall
85 HE-Man Stabbing sword like excalibur
86 Homer Simpson Eating a donut
87 Hermione Granger Casting a spell  with wand
88 Hugh Hefner Kissing a woman
89 HaN Solo Shooting blaster ray
90 pinocchio(nose) Nose getting bigger
91 Neil Armstrong Placing flag on moon
92 Napoleon Bonaparte Loading a musket
93 Nicholas Cage Shitting on the toilet
94 Napoleon Dynamite Punching himself in the head
95 Noel Edmond Answering/talking on a phone
96 Nikki Six(Motley Cru) Playing the guitar
97 Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean) Shaking her boobs
98 Neil Patrick Harris Putting on a suit
99 M&M Guys Waving numchucks around crazily

As you can see, not all of the items in the list follow the rules. From reading several forums and other literature, the general idea is to use the most memorable or the first thing that comes to your mind for a particular number, which will make it easier to remember. For instance, there were several possibilities for the letters NN(99), but I didn't know a single one of them. So, I decided to use MM for the M&M guys that I had just seen on a commercial, much more memorable to me than some random person that I would have to memorize.

Using this system I have already memorized several bank account numbers and my social security number. There are many more things that I will be using this for in the future!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dominic - The "In-Tray"

The In-Tray is a great little creation of Dominic that can help you remember anything from chores that you want to do around the house that day to questions you want to ask during an interview. The In-Tray is a very simple 10-15 location journey that you can put information before hand in or information on the go. For instance, you can research ahead of an interview and put in questions you have about the company/position or you can add questions to the journey as the interview is going.

Another really cool thing you can do is break down your resume/cv into key points and place each point into a location in a journey, so if asked to recall a certain time in your life on your resume, you won't get stuck saying "ummm", "ahhh". The versatility of the In-Tray is basically endless and I'm sure you could come up with many more applications.

Dominic - The Mental Diary

Dominic finally discusses the first 'practical' application of the memory palace - the mental diary in the fifth chapter of his book. The method of procuring a mental diary is as easy as the name suggests. You simply make a mental journey consisting of 31 locations, one location for each day (in a month without 31 days just don't put anything on the 31st day).  He emphasizes that the journey should be one that brings a bit of 'happiness' because if you check your schedule each morning you do not want to depress yourself. To add another month, simply come up with another journey, preferably one that is connected. His journey started on a lookout tower that overlooked two pathways each leading to a different town. Standing on the tower, he could easily see what his schedule looked like for the next two months and he could easily tell at a glance if any part of the month got congested with things to do. Once you have your journey, you simply input images that will remind you of the event that you have going on on that day.

Including time into the diary is easy. Using the Dominic System, or person action person (previously discussed in one of my posts), and a 24hour clock, he simply applies the person and action representing the time of an appointment to the image that reminds him of what the appointment is. For instance, if he has a doctors appointment at 2pm on january 6th (the image is located at his willow tree), he imagines his doctor drilling a hole into the tooth of Arthur Askey (14).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dominic - Memorizing Numbers

To memorize numbers 0-9 they can easily be associated to things that the numbers look like. Thus,
 0 = football                                              5 = clothes hanger
1 = telephone pole(many others)               6 = elephant trunk
2 = swan                                                  7 = boomerang
3 = handcuffs                                            8 = snowman
4 = sailboat                                               9 = basketball hoop

Two digit numbers are memorized in a more complex way (very similar to the Major System)
0 = O            5 = E
1 = A            6 = S
2 = B            7 = G
3 = C            8 = H
4 = D            9 = N

Each two digit number 10-99 gets a number combination. A person, action and object is given to each two-digit number. The letter combination of each number should somehow remind you of the person, initials perhaps or any other way.

To memorize a two-digit number, imagine the person doing his/her action to a location where you want the number to be associated. For a three-digit number, do the same for the two-but incorporate the individual image and place them in a relevant location. For a complex system of numbers 4+ you simply alternate between person action person (Darth Vader playing chess with President Obama). This is really similar to the PAO system, except in the PAO system the six digits are represented by one person one action and one object. In the Dominic System, the six digits are represented by two people and one action.

According to Dominic, it is far easier to memorize a person than an object, so he says his system is far better.