Search Results for “Mnemonic”

September 11, 2020


Elaborative encoding

mnemonic [ni-mon-ik] (the first ‘m’ is not pronounced) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory.

Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding (connecting concepts you want to remember to preexisting knowledge visually, spatially, semantically or acoustically) and other retrieval cues as tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval. Mnemonics aid original information in becoming associated with something more accessible or meaningful—which, in turn, provides better retention of the information.

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January 25, 2020

Stand-up Comedy


Stand-up comedy is a comic style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, comedian, comedienne, stand-up comedian, or simply a stand-up.

Comedians give the illusion that they are dialoguing, but in actuality, they are monologuing a grouping of humorous stories, jokes and one-liners, typically called a ‘shtick,’ ‘routine,’ ‘act,’ or ‘set.’ Some stand-up comedians use props, music, or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is stated to be the ‘freest form of comedy writing’ that is regarded as a fictionalized ‘extension of’ the person performing.

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April 30, 2018


El Paquete

Sneakernet is an informal term for the transfer of electronic information by physically moving media such as magnetic tape, floppy disks, compact discs, USB flash drives or external hard drives from one computer to another; rather than transmitting the information over a computer network. The term, a tongue-in-cheek play on net(work) as in Internet or Ethernet, refers to walking in sneakers as the transport mechanism for the data.

Also known as trainnets or pigeonets, these types of physically mediated networks are in use throughout the world. Sneakernets are used when data transfer is impractical due to bandwidth limitations or other reasons such as data security. This form of data transfer is also used for peer-to-peer (or friend-to-friend) file sharing and has grown in popularity in metropolitan areas and college communities. The ease of this system has been facilitated by the availability of USB external hard drives, USB flash drives and portable music players.

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August 24, 2013

Syd Mead

blade runner by syd mead

Syd Mead (b. 1933), is a ‘visual futurist’ and concept artist. He is best known for his designs for science-fiction films such as ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Aliens,’ and ‘Tron.’ Of his work, Mead was once moved to comment: ‘I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.” Sydney Jay Mead was born in Saint Paul Minnesota, but spent only a few years there before moving to what would be the second of many homes throughout the western United States prior to graduating from high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1951.

After serving a three-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, Syd Mead continued on to the Art Center School in Los Angeles, (now the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena) where he graduated in 1959. He was recruited by the Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling Studio under the management of Elwood Engel. Mead left the studio after two years to accept a variety of assignments to illustrate books and catalogues for large corporate entities such as United States Steel, Celanese, Allis Chalmers and Atlas Cement.

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March 27, 2013

Rick Berry

Rick Berry (b. 1952) is a contemporary American expressionistic figurative artist based in the Boston area. Berry creates art for galleries, illustration, and paintings for theatrical performances. Berry’s work has appeared in many science fiction, fantasy and comic books, including Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman,’ ‘Magic: The Gathering’ cards, and Stephen King novels. In 1985, Berry created the first digitally painted book cover worldwide for William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer.’

Berry was born in San Bernardino, California. His father, an air force fighter pilot, was frequently stationed in China. Berry’s childhood home was populated with Asian art which fascinated Berry and later found its way into his works.

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January 16, 2013

Common Misconceptions

Common misconceptions are widely held, erroneous ideas and beliefs about notable topics which have been reported by reliable sources. Each has been discussed in published literature, as has its topic area and the facts concerning it. For example, in ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a ‘vomitorium’ was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals. Vomiting was not a regular part of Roman dining customs.

Also, Nero did not ‘fiddle’ during the Great Fire of Rome (violins had not yet been invented, nor was he playing the lyre). In fact, according to Roman historian Tacitus, upon hearing news of the fire, Nero rushed back to Rome to organize a relief effort, which he paid for from his own funds, and he also opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, arranging for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. Finally, he made a new urban development plan that attempted to make it more difficult for fires to spread.

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January 10, 2013


Piphilology [pahy-fi-lol-uh-jee] comprises the creation and use of mnemonic techniques to remember a span of digits of the mathematical constant π. The word is a play on the word ‘pi’ itself and of the linguistic field of philology (the study of written language).

There are many ways to memorize π, including the use of piems (a portmanteau, formed by combining pi and poem), which are poems that represent π in a way such that the length of each word (in letters) represents a digit.

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January 10, 2013

Memory Sport

world memory championships

memory palace

Memory sport, sometimes referred to as competitive memory or the mind sport of memory, is a competition in which participants attempt to memorize the most information that they can then present back, under certain guidelines. The sport has been formally developed since 1991, and features regional and international championships.

One common type of competition involves memorizing the order of randomized cards in as little time as possible, after which the competitor is required to arrange new decks of cards in the same order. Mnemonic techniques are generally considered to be a necessary part of competition, and are improved through extensive practice. These can include the method of loci (referred to as the journey method, which uses visualization to aid recall), the use of mnemonic linking and chunking, or other techniques for storage and retrieval of information.

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January 10, 2013

Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything’ is a nonfiction book by Joshua Foer, first published in 2011. Foer describes his book as participatory journalism in the world of competitive memorization and attempts to delineate the capacity of the human mind. He sets out to investigate the underpinnings of those with enhanced memory, soon finding himself at the 2005 U.S. Memory Championship.

He covers the scientific basis of memory creation and historical attitudes towards memory, including its negative reputation in the Western educational system, a perception which Foer is largely opposed to. He explores common mnemonic tools for improving memory: the techniques of Roman rhetoricians and the tannaim (‘reciters’) of Sri Lanka, the Major System and the PAO System for memorizing numbers and cards, and Mind Mapping, a note-taking technique developed by educational consultant Tony Buzan. These methods are all a form of the method of loci, in which data is stored in a sequence of memorable images that are decomposable into their original form.

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January 10, 2013

Method of Loci

The method of loci [loh-sahy] (plural of Latin ‘locus’ for ‘place’ or ‘location’), also called the ‘memory palace,’ is a mnemonic device introduced in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises. The items to be remembered in this mnemonic system are mentally associated with specific physical locations. It relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect memorial content.

The method of loci is also commonly referred to as the journey method. In basic terms, it is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualization to organize and recall information. Many memory contest champions claim to use this technique in order to recall faces, digits, and lists of words. These champions’ successes have little to do with brain structure or intelligence, but more to do with their technique of using regions of their brain that have to do with spatial learning. Those parts of the brain that contribute most significantly to this technique include the medial parietal cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and the right posterior hippocampus.

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January 9, 2013



Neuromancer‘ is a 1984 novel by William Gibson, a seminal work in the cyberpunk genre and winner of the science-fiction ‘triple crown’ — the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award. It was Gibson’s first novel and the beginning of the ‘Sprawl’ trilogy (which takes place in a near-future world dominated by corporations and ubiquitous technology, after a limited World War III).

The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on a dangerous hack. ‘Neuromancer’ is considered the archetypal cyberpunk work. Gibson himself coined the term ‘cyberspace’ in his novelette ‘Burning Chrome,’ published in 1982 by ‘Omni’ magazine.

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October 28, 2012

The Gutenberg Galaxy

the medium is the message

The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man’ is a book by Marshall McLuhan, in which he analyzes the effects of mass media, especially the printing press, on European culture and human consciousness.

It popularized the term ‘global village,’ which refers to the idea that mass communication allows a village-like mindset to apply to the entire world; and ‘Gutenberg Galaxy,’ which we may regard today to refer to the accumulated body of recorded works of human art and knowledge, especially books. McLuhan studies the emergence of what he calls ‘Gutenberg Man,’ the subject produced by the change of consciousness wrought by the advent of the printed book.

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