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.