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.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dominic - Remembering Names & Faces

Dominic developed four (five) systems that he uses simultaneously to memorizes names and faces.

1) When you see someone for the first time relate them to someone who is familiar (say an aunt)
2) Location - Picture a location associated with your familiar person (aunt's house)
3) Name - Relate the name to the location.

So, say you are talking to Martin Van Buren, who reminds you of your uncle. Picture a martian in a van that is burning in the driveway of your uncle's house. When you associate Martin with your uncle you will picture his house and from the house you will see the burning van.

1) If they do not look like anyone familiar, make a judgment about their "occupation" (lawyer, journalist etc)
2) Location - You meet a guy who reminds you of a car salesman, so picture a garage or a car show room
3) Name - Relate the name to the location

You can do this using the same example above using the location that they remind you of

1) If they do not have a look alike and no occupation comes to mind create an artificial link, such as a distinguishing mark on their body
2) Location - Their physique becomes the location
3) Name - Relate their name to their distinguishing mark.

You get introduced to a Mrs. White who has really albino colored white hair. Picture yourself pouring a bucket of white paint on their head. This strategy should not be used very often because it is not as powerful as the rest

1) Name - after hearing their name (Carol),(Jean),(George),(Cathy),(Leo) associate it with a location
2) Location - (Church),(Clothing store),(White House),(Mom's House!),(Titanic)
3) Last Name - Use the person's last name to create an image at that location with the person's face

If you are introduced to multiple people that have the same name, then you can easily combine the images together, or simply put them in different places at the location. This method is the strongest one.

Dominic - Journey Method

A much more powerful system is the journey method, which is the same thing as the memory palace. The first step is to develop a memory palace suited for the information that you want to memorize. If you want to memorize a list of ten items then you need ten loci in your journey. Loci are places like rooms, pillars etc. that can be easily grasped by memory that you place images at when you walk through the memory palace.

Once the memory palace is developed you take the item you want to memorize and exaggerate it or make it 'unrealistic' and you walk through your journey and place each image at each loci. Then, all you have to do is walk through the journey the same way you did when you placed the items and you will simply 'remember' the items on the list, assuming the images are memorable and strong enough.

If you are interested in putting this information in long term memory, Dominic suggests reviewing the information at least five times. First, 24hrs after you first memorize it. Second, one week after memorization. Third, one month later. Lastly, three to six months later.

By using this method, I memorized the ten largest oceans and seas in the world! The first bit of 'useful' information I have memorized.

On a side note, Dominic says that you can combine the link system and the journey system by creating an image that 'leads' into the next system. He also says that you can use a journey over again by simply replacing the images in the journey with different ones. 

Dominic - The Link Method

The link method connects a list using a story. The link method is a great system that allows you to memorize a relatively short list very easily. The following situation is a great example that easily allows you to memorize this list:


Imagine yourself on a sandy beach with the warm sand rubbing between your toes. As you begin to walk forward you see a white light getting bigger and bigger until you see a torch. You continue to walk and you see another white item that gets closer, until you recognize it is a bathtub. Inside the bathtub is a football that you pick up and punt into the air. You watch it land on a gnome. You walk up to the gnome and notice a rope is wrapped around its neck and you grasp the rope and pull it. A door gets pulled towards you, so you open the door and there stands a lion that gets frightened by your presence, so it jumps into a river. The lion flows down the river until it flows into the center of a target.

This system allows you to easily memorize 10-20 items at a fairly decent speed and after only re-emphasizing the images once I am still able to remember the story about six hours later.

Started New Book!

One of the e-books I downloaded is "How to Develop a Perfect Memory" - Dominic O'Brien. I started reading the book today and already I can tell it entirely focuses on developing and improving mnemonic techniques, unlike "A Walk to Remember."

In his book he begins by claiming that developing mnemonic skills can increase confidence, observation, creativity and imagination and decrease stress.

The three "Golden Keys" of memory techniques are: association, location and imagination. He emphasizes that when you think of an object you do not think about the dictionary definition, you think of its associations. For instance, key --> doors, Tiger Woods --> Golf. By making associations from words with your imagination and putting these images in locations, you can improve your memory greatly!

Brain Health

A couple days ago I listened to an ACS Webinar about memory by Todd Sacktor, a Scientist at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He mentioned a drug called choline, a precursor to a neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Supposedly taking choline can increase your focus amongst many other things. I decided to check it out so I bought a bottle from GNC. I am not sure if I am experiencing a placebo effect when I take it, but I truly think that it is helping me focus. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Books! + Scientific Mnemonic System Thoughts

I just acquired a slew of new books: "Ad Herrenium", "On the Composition of Images, Signs & Ideas" - Giordano Bruno, "The Medieval Craft of Memory" - Carruthers Ziolkowski, "Your Memory How it Works and How to Improve It" - Kenneth Higbee, "Art of Memory" - Frances Yates and "Giordano Bruno & the Hermetic Tradition" - Frances Yates.

I also downloaded a whole bunch of e-books: "Improve your Memory" - Ron Fry, "How to Develop a Super Power Memory" - Harry Lorayne and a whole bunch more.

I do not have the time to read any of them right now, but I cannot wait until I can! I have been thinking about a system I want to develop for synthesis memorization. I came up with a simple scene that could be used for this. Darth Vader (carbon) holding a green light saber (green = life = oxygen) being shot at by a cleaning lady (nitrogen) in a forest representing nucleophillic attack. The objects would have to be able to be built into a larger picture, for instance, a Darth Vader holding hands would be just about impossible to memorize, considering how versatile carbon is. I could also develop a PAO system for each element, but stereochemistry would be really difficult to include in this. This system is going to have to be very complex...

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I finished "Moonwalking with Einstein" today and I thought it was a fantastic book that is a must read for anyone interested in mnemonics. My next step is to get another book and begin reading it, preferably one that discusses more detail about the actual techniques used at one of these competitions. Josh's book mentioned multiple books that he had read in his journey to becoming a memory champion. Ed Cooke, his trainer, suggested reading all of the literature from when mnenonics were first recorded, such as The Ad Herennium. I also want to start developing about twelve memory palaces because that is how much Ed said you would need to begin practicing. Sometime in the future, after creating more memory palaces and learning how to memorize lists, I would like to develop a PAO system for numbers for myself. Josh's book mentioned mental math techniques as well as speed reading and that is definitely something I want to look into as well.
There are a lot of cool random bits of information that I would love to memorize - one of the most important being the periodic table. The motivation behind this is to be able to easily memorize the 100+ reactions that I will be required to memorize my following semester  for organic synthesis.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The OK Plateau

Josh realized that after awhile his scores were not improving. He attributed this to a phenomena called the OK plateau. Basically, the body gets to a certain skill level and says 'there is no reason to improve anymore beyond this level' and stops getting improving. A simple way around this is to focus on your technique, stay goal-oriented and get constant and immediate feedback on your performance. Focusing on these three things while you purposefully fail by putting yourself in a situation harder than you can perform is the best way to beat the OK plateau. An easy way to do this is if you are trying to memorize a deck of cards faster is to set up a metronome to click at the same speed that you are able to memorize a card. Then, increase the speed by 10-15% so you cannot memorize fast enough. This forces you to speed up. While it will be very difficult to not make any mistakes, eventually in a couple of days you will be able to achieve that speed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Memorizing numbers

Memorizing numbers is an entirely different story than memorizing a list of objects. The objects can easily be turned into an extremely creative imagine, but how do you turn a number into something interesting?
There is a system known as the Major System that assigns a letter to the numbers 0-9 and from this you can create an image for every number 00-99.

0 = S                     5 = L
1 = T or D             6 = Sh or Ch
2 = N                    7 =K or G
3 = M                    8 = F or V
4 = R                     9 = P or B

So for instance, the number 53 would be "LM". Your allowed to insert vowels in between the consonants, so the image for 53 could be "lime". This is done for the number range stated above and all of these 100 images are pre-memorized. The lettering system gives you a reference. That is, if you cannot remember what your lime image means then you refer back to the numbers. You can connect the images by placing them in your memory palace along a journey. Therefore, each number turns into an image that is much easier to remember and you only have to memorize half as much! (1 image = 2 numbers).

A more complex system than the Major System is the Person-Action-Object system. In this system, each number 00-99 gets a pre-memorized person action and object. For instance, one of Josh's cards was him  (person) moonwalking (action) with Einstein (object). Any six digits can then easily be turned into a single image. The number 16-72-84 each has a PAO. By taking the person from the first set of numbers, the action of the second set and apply it to the object of the third, a large amount of numbers can easily be memorized.

The PAO system can easily be used to memorize a deck of cards. Each individual card gets its own PAO, for a total of 52 PAO's. Any three cards becomes a single image creating 52/3 = 17 + 1(card) images that you have to remember, instead of 52


There are two types of recollection methods: memoria rerum - memorizing the "gist" of a piece of literature and memoria verborum - memorizing a text word for word. Cicero suggested when giving a speech that the speaker should create an image for each major topic in the speech and memorize them through a journey (rerum). Therefore, you hit the main points and it is far less information to memorize. He also said that the best way to memorize a piece of literature is to repeat a line two or three times before developing a series of images for it. For words that could not easily be turned into an image, like conjunctions "and", "or", and "the" he had pre-memorized images that he would insert into the journey he created. For unimaginable words he would visualize a similar sounding or punning word.

Memory Duration

I want to figure out how long my memory will keep one of these lists in my head. The problem is that I am so excited about easily memorizing these lists that I keep repeating the journey in my head and reinforcing all of the images (to this day I can still remember the seven-membered list of items that I memorized a month ago). I memorized a second list containing fifteen items. I reinforced them a couple times and three days later the list was still as clear as day.
I got the basic gist of the memory palace from reading the first six chapters of "Moonwalking with Einstein", so I decided to try it myself for real. I took a two minute test in which I took a list of 100 words and tried to memorize as many of them as I could. I was able to get through 18 words and after the very first attempt in repeating them, I only messed up once. On the second attempt I recalled all 18 correctly (and I could probably do it again right now).

I decided to take a five minute test to see the limit of this strategy without training. I was able to memorize 26 items (and I'm almost entirely sure that I could have memorized more given more time). Josh said that on your very first attempt you could usually memorize anywhere from 30 to 40 items in a list, but I didn't try this.

My main goal at this point, realizing that these memory strategies definitely DO work, is to practice them and get good enough to use these strategies in every day life.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Power Mnemonics

I watched a video of Josh Foer talking about a memory palace memorization techniques. Using the words "fox", "license", "soup", "hair", "gerbil", "ring", and "finger" he demonstrated how you could walk through your memory palace - an imaginary mind slate in which you can put objects to stimulate memory recall. The video was interactive, so I tried out this technique that I was totally skeptical about. The amazing thing is that it worked! The idea that he discussed was that images are very memorable, so by creating more memorable images and dropping them into your memory palace you could easily remember them.
This is extremely cool and excites me to try these techniques for myself. I want to see how far these techniques will actually be able to stretch the power of my memory. I have always been pretty bad about staying with things that I have quick ideas about - for instance I wanted to go to graduate school in Germany and learn German...that bombed out. This is something I want to stick with and test how it works very much.

Some things that are very promising with these techniques:
Ben Pridmore - memorized a deck of cards in 32 seconds and could memorize over 1000 digits in an hour.
Tony Buson - "one hour a day 6 days a week practicing and you would be able to join the world championship

The biggest problem with memory is that it is great at memorizing certain things and terrible at others. Our minds evolved through natural selection in an environment different from the one we live in now. People once depended solely on the ability to memorize information such as the location of food sources and how to get home. We now live in a world in which we have technology to answer all of these questions for us, therefore our ability to use these simple systems has diminished. New elaborate systems have been developed to cope with our changing surroundings. They allow us to memorize things that are important to us today - written language and numbers (things that did not exist when the original memory techniques were developed).

The way in which this is done is through elaborative encoding -taking kinds of memories our brains cannot remember easily and transforming them into memories our brains can remember easily like lists and numbers. Several books outline these strategies very well:

"The Retorica Ad Herennium", "Institutio Oratoria" - Quintillians, "De Oratore" - Cicero and many others. Each book discusses the memory palace in detail. The memory palace is a hard concept to explain. A memory palace is some structure, a building, a route to school, your office, even the seams on a baseball. The only important factor is the memory palace is known by heart, every intricate detail, that you can imagine walking through with your eyes closed without even being there. Once you have a memory palace that you can completely imagine, you walk through it and place memorable images throughout the memory palace. Once this is done, all you have to do is re-walk the route and the images you placed, if stimulating enough, will literally "pop" into your head. According to Josh, you need multiple memory palaces to memorize a multitude of different information.

I memorized seven objects over a month ago with this method and it works too well, I can't get the stupid images out of my head whenever I picture my house. Walking through a memory palace depositing these items is freaking awesome. The sensation of each item simply pops into your head as you walk through. The indistinguishable smell of picked garlic in front of my house is still stuck in my head.

The Origin of Memorization

The discovery of these memory techniques is accredited to a poet and theologian named Semonides. The story goes that the exact second he stepped out of a banquet hall to talk to some servants, the roof collapsed killing everyone inside. Being the only survivor, the loved ones of the mangled victims begged for his help. He realized that he could recall the location of everyone in the hall and directed the loved ones to the location in which they had been seated. This is how the art of memory was born. Semonides realized that if he replaced the images of people in the banquet hall with objects that he wanted to remember, he could easily memorize hundreds of items in a list with little work. Many people elaborated on this idea and these ideas have become what is known as mnemonics.

The Beginning

Today I read a fascinating article by a journalist, Joshua, Foer, about memory sports - the art of memorizing anything from random numbers to a poem. During his reporting, of the conpetitors continued to say that anyone could learn the techniques that they were using to improve their own memory. As a follow-up story for the magazine, he decided to spend a year learning the techniques everyone was describing to see whether they actually worked or not. A brilliant man, Ed Cooke, liked the idea of teaching an American mnemonic strategies, so he trained Josh over the next year.After his year of training, Josh competed in the very competition he set out to report on. And won.

Josh wrote a book, "Moonwalking with Einstein," that described his experiences over the year he was training. It discusses all of the baseline tests he went through and how much he improved. It also discusses the history of memory and a lot more extremely interesting information.

I was fascinated by his article, so I decided to read the book for the fun of it. It did not take long to become extremely interested in trying these techniques for myself, but I was extremely suspicious of the true power of these techniques. I decided to journal interesting facts from his book, as well as my own attempts at trying the strategies he discusses. The following blog entries are a summary of the notes that I took after reading his book and several of the most recent entries will discuss other books that I have read/are in the process of reading.

The purpose of this blog is as much to inform anyone interested that there are extremely powerful and simple techniques in improving your memory as it is to simply document my findings and improve my writing ability.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I used to say that I hated history with a passion. In high school it was by far my least favorite class and there is a mutual feeling amongst my family that "history repeats itself, mankind never learns, so why the hell does it matter what happened?" It's weird though because while some people turn on the History channel to fall asleep to, I actually enjoy turning it on to learn about the many things they talk about. I think I enjoy it as much as I do because first of all, you don't have to read a boring ass history text book, but also because sometimes the depictions of the actual events they film are so funny you can't help from watching.

I read part of a book about Alfred Nobel and the history behind how he invented dynamite and how he started the Nobel Peace Prize (which is just about the most ironic story on the face of the planet) and I found it very fascinating. Similar little stories like this one have occurred, so I came to the conclusion a year or so ago that I actually don't really hate history the subject, I hate they way it was presented to me in every history class - which totally ruined the subject until recently. Then, I found this bamf website http:///

The website is written by a middle aged, hilarious man named Ben Thompson who apparently works as a college administrator. The use of his language in all his biographies is flawless, some of it completely made up like "badassitude". The way he writes is super enthusiastic and makes you want to read more because he makes the topic so interesting. So, here's an excerpt from Nikola Tesla:

"First off, Nikola Tesla was brilliant.  And not just like Ken Jennings brilliant, either - I mean like, "holy crap my head just exploded (from all the awesome)" brilliant.  The Croatian-born engineer spoke eight languages, almost single-handedly developed technology that harnessed the power of electricity for household use, and invented things like electrical generators, FM radio, remote control, robots, spark plugs, fluorescent lights, and giant-ass machines that shoot enormous, brain-frying lightning bolts all over the place like crazy.  He had an unyielding, steel-trap photographic memory and an insane ability to visualize even the most complex pieces of machinery – the guy did advanced calculus and physics equations in his damn head, memorized entire books at a time, and successfully pulled off scientific experiments that modern-day technology STILL can't replicate.  For instance, in 2007 a group of lesser geniuses at MIT got all pumped up out of their minds because they wirelessly transmitted energy a distance seven feet through the air. Nikola Tesla once lit 200 lightbulbs from a power source 26 miles away, and he did it in 1899 with a machine he built from spare parts in the middle of the god-forsaken desert.  To this day, nobody can really figure out how the hell he pulled that shit off, because two-thirds of the schematics only existed in the darkest recesses of Tesla's all-powerful brain."