Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

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coprolith
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Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby coprolith » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:36 am UTC

Using a combination of mnemonic techniques and a spaced repetition system (wikipedia is your friend) I have memorized, in the last year or so:
-the location, capital, currency and flag of every country in the world
-Teach Yourself Esperanto, and basic Esperanto vocab
-a book about French, and basic French vocab (I'm not fluent, but I've read about 1000 pages of French fiction)
-morse code to about 5wp
-a book about perl
-a book about introductory calculus
-the atomic number and symbol of every element on the periodic table
-the Greek, Hebrew and Russian alphabets
-the location, code and capital of every US state
-a system for calculating the day of the week given any date
-braille, very slowly
-how to solve a Rubik's cube in 2 minutes
I can also memorize a deck of cards in about 10 minutes with about 5 errors.

I am currently learning:
-a list of about 300 Latin phrases used in English
-Gregg shorthand
-trigonometry
-mental math

ATM I do about 300 spaced repetition card repetitions a day.

So, what awesome, useful stuff have you learnt, or would like to learn? I'm especially looking for skills or info that can be learnt without too much work and would be useful or just cool to know.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby lu6cifer » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:59 am UTC

Ooo. I have thought about this. The only great memorization feat I can hold to my name is the squares up to 59 (well, 45 really, but there's a pattern from 40-59)

Here's what I'd memorize, if I had the time:

-The dictionary
-Morse code
-Conjugations of verbs in some language
-More squares, or powers
-Trig tables
-Logarithms

more stuff, but too busy to post at the moment
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby -.Mateo.- » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:20 am UTC

names of spcecies
languages
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Briareos » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:33 am UTC

I've got 100 digits of pi. I'm too busy these days to just memorize things for the hell of it, but I do have a knack for remembering obscure pieces of information at just the right time to make it seem like I know at least something about everything.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Roĝer » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:51 pm UTC

Unue, gratulojn je lerni Esperanton!

What I think would be very, very useful is the tables of multiplication, not just from 1-10, but from 1-99. It may take a while, but if you can do large calculations in steps of two digits instead of one it should greatly increase the speed of mental calculations.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby -.Mateo.- » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:30 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:I've got 100 digits of pi. I'm too busy these days to just memorize things for the hell of it, but I do have a knack for remembering obscure pieces of information at just the right time to make it seem like I know at least something about everything.


Same here. Sometimes I recall the most absurd details of whatever we are talking about and people say things like "okay, how the hell would you know that??"
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peanutdustbomb
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby peanutdustbomb » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

So, is there a memorization FAQ or training program that one of y'all could point me to?

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby You, sir, name? » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

-.Mateo.- wrote:
Briareos wrote:I've got 100 digits of pi. I'm too busy these days to just memorize things for the hell of it, but I do have a knack for remembering obscure pieces of information at just the right time to make it seem like I know at least something about everything.


Same here. Sometimes I recall the most absurd details of whatever we are talking about and people say things like "okay, how the hell would you know that??"


Yeah, I do that a lot too. I can often spurt dictionary-like information about things and people that I've heard or read in passing years ago.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby boring bore » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

-Learning how to find definitions, formulas, calculations, language translators, random trivia, and other information on the internet

Coprolith sounds like a polymath to me. All that stuff, memorized? Crazy. Or maybe he/she has too much free time. Apart from his/her stuff, I think Roĝer's idea would be the most useful, like for tests--get too complicated and you'll be allowed a calculator anyway, but for something as simple as multiplication, you'll be expected to not need a calculator. So it would be useful to have the two-digit multiplication table in your head already.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:14 pm UTC

I'm in secondary school (high school for US) doing my GCSEs this year and whilst the list of things I've memorised is not as impressive as coprolith's by any stretch of the imagination I'm still pretty pleased with it.

    - various formulae (most of which I ever get given in exams or won't need to know so it is just for my own benefit)
    five different notations for differentiation

    - Feynman's notation for trig

    - a proof of the fundamental theorem of calculus

    - I can, if given a chemical symbol tell you what the element is and rough location on the periodic table with pretty high accuracy

    - the Nato phonetic alphabet

    - day shapes for boats and the equivalent lights for night time as prescribed by the IRPCS

    - IRPCS buoyage (IALA A and IALA B)

    - a large number of chart symbols

    - a significant volume of quotes (monty python, firefly, big bang theory and the like)

    - enough Spanish to be conversant after 2 years of 2 hours a week with 3 before that of me meant to be getting 1 hour a week but first of all with an awesome teacher who couldn't teach and ended up having a nervous breakdown and then having two different teachers (alternating weekly) only one of whom spoke any Spanish.

    - Thank you in 7 languages, most of which I know tourist vocabulary (yes, no, please, hello, goodbye) in as well.

    - the names of pretty much every part on a boat.

    - various facts about ancient history (particularly the Carthaginians, they're underated)

    - a vocabulary at least as extensive as some of my English teachers'

    - everything necessary to play any treble clef (transposed) brass instrument (learnt as a cornet player originally, then as a Bb baritone horn player now euphonium)

    - the last European monarch to die after being attacked by their pet monkey.

    - the winning strategy for noughts and crosses (tick-tack-toe) (yeah, I know pretty easy) and the finger game which resolves all two player scenarios as stalemates unless a third part has just been eliminated and so the remaining players start unevenly. That said we play a slightly different version from that described in the link where the reviving "clap" can be used to rearrange the fingers from one hand to another in any way.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

No love for physical constants? It's always fun to whip out the mass of the earth, mass of an electron, gravitational constant, some astronomical measures...
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Quadropus » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

The only thing I have done related to this is Rubik's cubes in under 1 minute. I have also learnt 4x4 and 5x5 cubes. Though they take me longer.
I used to know lots of digits of Pi, but that sort of fizzled out of my brain. I did also know a lot of the names of bones in the body but they too fizzled out.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:19 am UTC

I once knew pi to 103 or so- it's full of little clusters that make it easier than it sounds, but even so, it's about two years since I memorised it and I doubt i could could go past 30 digits now.
EDIT: hah, just tried again and I still had 40 digits in plastic.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Dromtry » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:31 am UTC

I've gone to a different thing, and memorized different sets of alternate fingerings for sax, to better accommodate certain passages or make/model.

Also, memorizing certain notes to develop good pitch.

And of course, sub 1-minute Rubik's Cube solve (over a year ago on the speed cube, my last solve was in October and about two minutes).
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby The EGE » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:51 am UTC

I've got 100 digits of pi and 20 of e memorized, plus the atomic number/name/symbol/position/info/approximate atomic weight of every element. And the whole VSEPR system, includign the really obscure ones,

I can solve a cube in roughly 90 seconds, and the 5x5x5 in about 10.

I've also got a near-encyclopediac memory of most everything I read, plus of the library I work in (as a page). I can usually find anything in the library without the full information, and there's 20000 books on the shelves.

I've also got information on most every small model rocket motor currently produced in my head. No idea why; I have it all conveniently written down.

Primes up to... at least 100, and squares to about 50.

Things I want to learn: 4x4x4 cube. Braille. Morse code. 250 digits of pi. Entire Firefly scenes.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby akashra » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:53 am UTC

Maybe give learning to sign a go, using either ESL or ASL?
Unlike learning to solve a rubiks cube, it's also practical and useful.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby coprolith » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

I am learning math, like memorizing logarithms and squares and so forth, at the moment. I was also planning to learn multiplication tables, but only up to around 50, since the work involved grows so quickly as you go higher - you'd have to memorize about 5000 multiplications to learn your tables up to 100, but only 1275 to learn them to 50.

I am also not planning to learn any more languages for quite some time, because it seems like so little bang for so much buck. You have to basically study an hour a day for six months, all so that you can stammer out some questionable French to a waiter in Paris just to have him say "Pardon me, sir?" to you in perfect English. xD

I've only been into memorizing stuff for a year now, so I will probably be a walking encyclopaedia three years from now. I'm still in high school, so I'm taking advantage of all the free time I have lying around.

I'm thinking about starting a blog about this memorization business. Do you guys think anyone would read it?

@eSOANEM:
I've also memorized game strategies for a few simple games like nim and chopsticks. Pwning someone 10 times in a row makes a strong impression. :D
I'm also quite interested in all the boating stuff. I have a book about knots that I'm planning to go through one of these days, and I'll probably learn the Nato and maritime flag alphabets some time.

@peanutdustbomb:
You can try googling for mnemonic/memory techniques. All you really need is the major system (for memorizing numbers; you can expand it for memorizing cards as well) and plain old association. The method of loci and the Dominic system apparently work well for other people; they don't work for me.
If you intend to remember lots of stuff over a very long term, especially languages and big series of stuff like countries' capitals etc., you should consider using a spaced repetition system. I recommend Anki (google 'anki spaced repetition'). For info about how to use them, see supermemo.org. I suppose I should warn you that spaced repetition is a LOT of work.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby peanutdustbomb » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

Thanks, coprolith. An internet for you.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

Most of the boat stuff's pretty easy, if you want I can give you quite a few helpful mnemonics for them and logical cues. Knots are useful as well although most knots rarely see actual use (it's mainly bowlines, figure of eights, barrel knots, round turn and two half hitches, reef knots or sheet bends and rolling hitches).

As for the games, it certainly does make an impression. Unfortunately I've learnt the strategy intuitively through experience and so couldn't describe it well. I need to learn strategies for some more complex games as well. How about memorising all the possible games of chess? ;) Probably a bit too difficult.

Oh yeah, I also forgot the square game. (A grid of an arbitrary number of nodes is drawn out, players take turns to add a line, if a square is completed a point is earned and that player gets another go). I tends to start slow and then quickly build up a lot of points.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Indon » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:27 pm UTC

Man, all I ever learned how to do is count in trinary on my fingers (which is too uncomfortable to do for long, btw, so I generally just do binary when bored).
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Dipsy » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

I know the entire phonetic alphabet

but not much other interesting stuff XD

Although I too tend to remember unimportant bits of information. I sometimes count random things(like the number of steps I'm walking up)
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Tangwystal » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

People's names. The names of everyone on my office, and all the clubs and groups I attend. People like the sound of their own name so much. Whenever I get someone's name right on meeting them a second time, I can practically see the little Sims-like green plus signs appear above his or her head.

eSOANEM wrote:- Thank you in 7 languages, most of which I know tourist vocabulary (yes, no, please, hello, goodbye) in as well.

- the names of pretty much every part on a boat.


I like these. They're sweet, and it's always good to know how to say thank you.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby GrantSolar » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

Tangwystal wrote:People's names. The names of everyone on my office, and all the clubs and groups I attend. People like the sound of their own name so much. Whenever I get someone's name right on meeting them a second time, I can practically see the little Sims-like green plus signs appear above his or her head.


How come people find it so hard to remember names? It's hard for me to forget them!
Also, how come I don't get a Sims Plus?
:cry:

I'd love to learn This.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby lu6cifer » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

@The EGE

I'm also quite interested in learning Braille, just so I can try reading a book, while listening to an audiobook, while 'reading' with my fingers at the same time. Man, that'd be awesome. I'd triple my reading rate if I could accomplish that and handle the multitasking.

And bonus points if each book is in a different language.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Tangwystal » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

GrantSolar wrote:How come people find it so hard to remember names? It's hard for me to forget them!
Also, how come I don't get a Sims Plus?
:cry:


They're there! you must look with your soul. Oh. And make sure you have "Load image automatically." checked in your LIFE Browser.

GrantSolar wrote:I'd love to learn This.


YEEEEEEE!

Very silly.


Another thing to memorize: The layout of the various buildings and rooms in my life so that I could navigate them at night, during a blackout, or during the apocalypse. Also: Maps of the USA.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Two9A » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

Oh, gee. Stuff I knew at one point:

  • The name of every country in the world (I could get to maybe half of 'em now);
  • Every mnemonic in the 6502 and ARM assembly languages (again, probably 50% retention);
  • Namarie (All I've got now is Ai! Laurie lantar lassi-surinen).
I'd like to learn Morse code at some point, and get my Ham certificate (even though Morse isn't needed any more, it'd be useful).
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby thicknavyrain » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

At one point, I knew the general layout of every Super Mario Bros level, 1-1 to 8-8.

I can give you the gist of some nowadays but it's been a long time since I've played. I think I know what this calls for...
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby KrazyerKate » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

Has anyone "memorized" what middle C (or another note) sounds like? I've always thought that'd be a cool thing to know.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:06 pm UTC

anyone with perfect pitch will have effectively done so. I know some people with perfect pitch but I don't have it. Not sure how easy (if even possible) it is to learn.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Sandry » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:46 am UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:Has anyone "memorized" what middle C (or another note) sounds like? I've always thought that'd be a cool thing to know.

Not exactly. What I can do pretty reliably, though, is identify if something is a middle D or an E on top of the staff because of Pachelbel's Canon and Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto (the flute entrance), respectively.

Other than that... I haven't been actively memorizing much of anything, I just keep things tucked in my head like who said what on what conference call and who logged what bug pertaining to what area of functionality in the application my team is building. It's massively useful, and is probably what lets me get away with not being as ueber organised as I ought to.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Brunch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:43 am UTC

Math:
Every derivation for every formula you know as long as it's not way too complicated.
Trig for common angles
Powers of two
Complexity class of common algorithms

Musically:
The interval between any two given pitches, instantly (know that Ab to Db is a fourth as quickly as you know C to F is a fourth). Once I memorized everything, transposing became really easy and I didn't have to waste time calculating distances between two written notes. Good for sight-singing or transcribing music.

Also, about learning pitches: If you didn't acquire absolute pitch before you were about 5, it becomes EXTREMELY difficult to try to learn it. Still, it's possible with the right types of exercise and ear-training. I've been going for about 4 months and can name any pitch if its played by itself. If it's played in a musical context or if I just heard a musical structure, it becomes nearly impossible. I can recall and sing any pitch pretty accurately. Still, relative pitch is much more important and is a better time investment to make, which is why pro musicians don't worry about AP.

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby mypsychoticself » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:15 am UTC

I like memorizing poems. Right now, I'm learning The Ballad of Reading Gaol, by Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde wrote:Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
I knew that we had suffered each as other,
And could have grasped your hand and cried, "My brother!"

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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Vohu Manah » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:42 am UTC

Learn:
-become ambidextrous.
-Different calendars
-The ability to say "I don't speak any language besides English" in multiple languages.
-Get shower time to under two minutes

Memorize;
-This list
-US states in order of admission to the Union.
-What latitude/longitude your nearby cities are on
-List of ingredients to a Twinkie
-Classification of tea
-the 'Top 40' songs in order
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Brouhaha » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:41 am UTC

So far I know:

- 314 digits of pi, and 100 digits of e
- Morse code
- Braille
- Squares up to 1002
- ASCII values for each character (though I've probably forgotten some of these)
- Rubiks cubes
- The number of steps in every staircase at my college

Also, it's really fun to memorize songs, then casually work them into conversations. One time after a job interview, my friend asked me how it went, and I replied "At first I was afraid, I was petrified." Then continued with the rest of I Will Survive. :mrgreen:
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Angua » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:13 pm UTC

If you ever plan to spend any time around children:
Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales (and his other poems). They are funny and generally include people dying in amusing ways.
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:13 pm UTC

Vohu Manah wrote:-The ability to say "I don't speak any language besides English" in multiple languages.


I have to do this. How many do you think is enough? So far I can do it in three (one of which is English so doesn't really count), I'll add Danish, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin and Lojban (already know it in French and Spanish).
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Re: Cool Stuff to Learn/Memorize

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:10 pm UTC

Well I can help you with three more (although I'm using "I only speak English"):
Japanese: watashi wa eigo dake o hanashimasu.
Hebrew: ani meh-dah-ber rak anglit
French: Je ne parle que l'anglais (sounds a bit like "juh nuh pahrl que lon-gleh")
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name


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