Skip to main content

Full text of "1"

See other formats

0 gr HN D 

Shortcuts and brain hacks 
for learning new skills fast 

PC all.c M 



Shortcuts and brain hacks 
for learning new skills fast 



rdie grant books 

To My Father, Ali 


Title Page 
7-Step Guide to Learning Anything in 48 Hours 

1 Introduction 

How It Works 
2 Memory Principles 
3 Memory Techniques 
4 Advanced Memory Techniques 
5 Plan, then Act 

Using These Techniques 
6 Everyday Memory 
7 Study Techniques 
8 Speaking to an Audience 
9 Learning Languages 
10 Music 
11 Knowing More about...Everything 
12 Become a Memory Athlete 

Put Your Memory to Work 

About the Author 
About the Contributors 
Copyright Page 


Over the next ten years education will be massively disrupted. Everyone 
will be able to learn anything they want five to ten times faster than they do 
now. Tansel Ali has already started this disruption, and in How to Learn 
(Almost) Anything in 48 Hours he introduces us to concepts and techniques 
that give the reader tools to learn anything in record time. This enjoyable 
book also provides practical exercises, tools, tips and tricks to practise these 
skills not traditionally taught in schools. Congratulations to Tansel for 
leading the way to faster and better learning, and setting the groundwork for 
the next decade of education. The future of learning is here. 

Nolan Bushnell 

Founder of Atari Corporation 
March 2015 


Below is a 7-step guide to learning almost anything in 48 hours. Applied 
with the techniques and tips from this book, it will create a structured 
process for you to follow and make sure you’re on track to achieving 
learning success. 

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (Up to 3 hours) 
You’ve made the choice to learn something. The first step then is to 
gather all the resources and materials you need to get started. If you 
were to learn a language, for example, the list of resources might include 
books, audio, websites and apps. It might also be helpful to find a native 
speaker with whom you can practise speaking the language. 

2. Develop memorisation strategy (Up to 2 hours) 
Once you have gathered all you need, make a decision on the memory 
techniques you plan to use from this book. For example, if you’re 
wanting to memorise a lengthy list, such as past presidents of the Unites 
States of America, you would look at using the Method of Loci. If 
you’re wanting to acquire knowledge fast, you would look at developing 
a mind map of the content and using visualisation methods such as 
SMASHIN SCOPE to create engaging associations in your mind with 

the knowledge. Reading this book will help with identifying the most 
relevant strategy. The more practise you get at identifying which 
memory techniques to use, the better you become at developing a 
memorisation strategy. 

3. Organise/prioritise materials (Up to 1 hour) 
With your strategy developed, the next step is to organise the materials 
and resources you have to fit inside your strategy. If your strategy was to 
memorise all 1500 French phrases, then you will need to make sure you 
have your 1500 French phrases set out in a way that will make it easy 
for you to go through them one by one. One method of doing that is to 
enter or copy and paste each phrase into a spreadsheet so that it becomes 
easy to access. 

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour) 
It is important to share your learning task with a family member, friend, 
or anyone else that will hold you accountable. Accountability to others 
creates motivation to get you going so that you don’t let others down. 
We do tend to slack off if we are accountable to only ourselves. 

5. Memorise (Up to 30 hours) 
Once you have all of your materials and have developed your process 
for learning, it is time for action. It is best to start with short periods of 
memorisation rather than long. The reason for this is that it is less strain 
on the brain, you will complete a set memorisation period quickly, and 
as you get better you will increase your time. If you start with longer 
memorisation periods then it will overwhelm you very quickly. Keep it 
short and simple. 

6. Review (spaced repetition) (Up to 1 hour) 
Once you have memorised you will need to go back and review your 
work. This helps to store your memorisation in long-term memory. 

Depending on what you're learning, of course, the rule for spaced 
repetition is to review an hour later, then a day later, then a week later, a 
month later, three months later, sik months later and finally a year later. 

7. Practise and apply (Up to 10 hours) 
Once you have memorised and used technigues to achieve what you 
want, you will need to practise to give yourself feedback on your 
memorisation. This is the test of how much you have learned. If you 
have indeed memorised 1500 French phrases, go into an environment 
where French is spoken and have conversations. Are you able to speak 
it? What works? What doesn’t? Note all these down and figure out why 
these were the case. Learn from them and then go back and re- 
memorise. Having the chance to practise what you have memorised is 
crucial to the learning process. Memorisation only helps you to store the 
information, whereas learning helps you understand. Practise is the 
intersection where these two meet. So try to practise as much as you can 
and, before you know, you will learn anything you want to learn in 
record time. 



“Nothing is impossible—the word itself says 


“Pm possible" !'—Audrey Hepburn 

Time is perhaps the most precious thing we possess. We only have it once, 
it's not renewable and we could all use it better. We can be so entrenched in 
our daily lives that, in spite of our desires, we can't seem to find the time to 
better ourselves, pursue our hobbies and participate in activities we love. I 
frequently hear people say they wish they could learn a language, play a 
musical instrument or even hang out with their family more—if only they 
had the time. But then time passes, and nothing changes. We need to remind 
ourselves, as many philosophies and religions espouse, that all we have is 
now. How to Learn (Almost) Anything in 48 Hours gives you new skills to 
learn things that you never thought possible, and to make sure your time is 
used effectively. 

Today at the touch of a few buttons we have access to far more 
information than we could ever need. We're not just bombarded with 
information from online but from schools, universities, short courses, 
seminars, workshops and conferences. Unfortunately, our brains are often 
unable to cope with the relentless volume of data from multiple sources day 
after day. Information overload is a real problem and can cause anxiety and 
stress. The knock-on effects of stress may mean increased forgetfulness, 
and reduced confidence, self-esteem and productivity. Learning should be 

exciting and fun and never frightening. With that in mind, this book is a 
deliberate, conscious disruption to traditional learning methods, especially 
that of rote learning. 

Studying memory has made me appreciate that the brain is far more 
amazing than most of us realise. The idea for How to Learn (Almost) 
Anything in 48 Hours came about after I memorised two Yellow Pages 
phone books in only twenty-four days. I reasoned that the techniques and 
strategies that helped me do that could be used by everyone to learn faster 
and better, and the memory techniques explained here apply to all forms of 
information-based learning. 

No matter what your school grades, class, culture or environment 
indicate, I believe you can learn anything you want to. Nothing is too 
difficult. People who have learned these memory techniques have gone on 
to learn languages in record time, memorise books, shine as elite athletes, 
dazzle as public speakers, and become outstanding leaders and people of 
influence such as inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk and basketball star 
LeBron James. You do not require a degree or need to have blitzed special 
exams to have this knowledge. You just need your imagination and the will 
to try. 

£ KEY points 

Make the most of now. Don’t delay starting something. There is only 


Think about your personal goals and how you would like to lead your 
Your mind is amazing, therefore you have the ability to be amazing. 

Do not be afraid to fail. I’m writing this book because I’ve failed 
countless times. 

Don’t give up. Muhammad Ali was once asked how many sit-ups he 
could do. He replied that he only started counting once he started to 

hurt. Pushing through that difficult part will lead to success. 


“The secret of getting ahead is getting stated.’ 
—Mark Twain 

New brain connections are created every time you form a memory. 



In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in all matters to do 
with the brain, as seen in the popularity of brain apps, books and games, 
and topics such as plasticity and general brain health gaining greater 
currency. This book helps you adopt newer, faster, more effective forms of 
learning, which also means training your brain to think and act in new 

Imagination is the key 

For generations rote learning has been our principal way of remembering 
things, with repetition the sole focus of our memorisation. A more effective 
way of remembering, though, is to use our imagination. Rather than repeat 
information over and over again we can create highly imaginative visual 
stories to connect with what is to be remembered. Aside from being fun, 
remembering made-up stories engages our brain in many more ways than 
traditional memorisation. Words are processed on one side of the brain, 
images on the other. Repeating words is ineffective, but creating images 
from those words is incredibly strong. 

Consider how often people go back to reread sentences in books because 
they felt they missed something or could have understood something better. 
It happens a lot. Contrast that with people watching a movie and how many 
would rewind every few minutes to make sure they don’t miss anything. 
I’m guessing there would be none. This is because the movie visually 

engages us; we see body language, environments, we feel emotion, we 
experience being in the moment, we are one with the movie. Reading text is 
different. There needs to be an ‘encoding’ process that transforms the text 
into images for us to truly understand—we need to create the experience. 
This doesn’t mean that watching something is better than reading. It just 
means that using visual processes to trigger your imagination helps us 
remember better. Reading text can also trigger the imagination far beyond 
what we see on a movie screen. It is the use of imagination that will give 
you a better mind and memory to learn faster and better. 

Memory foundation: the building blocks to a better memory 

Before learning memory techniques, it is essential to build a foundation for 
your memory. Having a foundation gives you the basics to remember and 
learn anything. Without it you will not learn as effectively and will need to 
keep going back to review your work. Interestingly, the two major 
principles discussed in this chapter build both memory foundation skills and 
creativity; they work hand in hand, complementing each other in the 
memory process. 


One of the greatest learning methods I’ve come across in my many years as 
a memory trainer is called SMASHIN SCOPE. It was devised by British 
learning entrepreneur Tony Buzan, who also created mind mapping (more 
of that later), and his colleague Vanda North. It’s an acronym that details 
how we can use our brain to greatly enhance our visual perception. These 
twelve principles not only help us remember better, they help us become a 
more creative and lateral thinker. 

S ynaesthesia/Senses. This interesting word refers to our senses and 
sensations. Generally when we picture something it is a static image. If I 
said ‘whiteboard’, most people will see in their mind's eye a whiteboard— 
either mounted on a wall or on castors. Rather than just ‘seeing’ the image, 

if we use our other senses we can become further engaged and involved 
with our subject—think of smell, touch, taste and sound. If you went up to 
the whiteboard and licked it, what would it taste like? Next time you see 
Static images, use your senses to exercise your mind. 

Movement. Movement makes a static image dynamic. Using the 
whiteboard example, we can now visualise it spinning around, moving from 
side to side, or even growing legs and walking out of the room. The subject 
could even be you moving around the object—maybe you’re flying around 
it or vice versa. Movement creates traction in the brain that connects its 
subject, making it more memorable. 

Association. Without association there is no connection. If there is no 
connection then there is no memory. Visualise a pen next to paper—this is a 
weak association because there is no physical connection, but if the pen 
writes on the paper there is a connection. But to make this more exciting 
and memorable, what if the pen scribbles on the paper, ripping it to shreds? 
Writing on paper is a very logical and common thing. The shredding story 
doesn’t occur every day so it’s more memorable, with the brain saying, 
“Wow, what just happened?’ 

Sexuality/ Self. Tony Buzan says we all have a good memory around this 
topic so let’s use it. Maybe what you’re trying to remember or visualise 
resembles a certain body part. There are many ways to use this type of 
imagery for people so inclined. When I’m working with kids, though, I tell 
them to visualise themselves as the subject: imagine being the actual 
whiteboard. How does it feel to have people write on your face all day? Do 
you get a kick out of it or are you stuck and wishing to be free? 

Humour. Something funny can be a huge help with your visualising. This 
doesn’t mean you have to be the funniest person in the room, it means use 

what's funny to you. When I meet someone called John, for example, I 
immediately picture him sitting on a toilet. For me that’s funny, for others it 
may not be—but it is memorable. I believe comedians are often super- 
creative beings because they find ways to communicate a point and to make 
it entertaining and unique. If you want to exercise your creativity, why not 
learn more about comedy? 

Imagination. When we visualise we usually think of real things in our 
world. We try and make logical associations with what we are trying to 
remember: I sat down on the chair; I stopped at the red light; I typed on my 
laptop. These examples are perfectly normal, but they are not memorable. If 
we want to have a great memory and become more creative, we need to step 
outside this logical realm. Instead of just imagining sitting on a chair, how 
about the chair turning around, jumping and then sitting on you? Your brain 
sees this image with stunning clarity precisely because it isn’t a normal 
occurrence, and so a stronger mental image is created. Imagination is your 
friend that can take you to places and help you see things you have never 
seen or experienced before. As Victor Hugo so vividly put it: ‘Imagination 
is intelligence with an erection.’ 

Numbers. Sometimes we need a bit of order in our visualisations. Numbers 
create that order and provide some much needed relief for the logical 
thinkers among us. Applying numbers that mean something to you to an 
image can create a much stronger emotional connection to that image. The 
number 23, for example, reminds me of the great sporting hero Michael 
Jordan. If I see the number 23 anywhere it reminds me of him and the day 
my Jordan 5 shoes were stolen while playing interschool football. 

Symbolism. As we’ve heard, a picture is worth a thousand words. Symbols 
often carry a great deal of information at just a glance. They also help 
communicate a specific message. What would happen, say, if street signs 

were written in sentences? You wouldn't have time to read them before 
another sign appeared, and then another, then Bang! you’ve crashed. Your 
brain processes images much faster than words, which is exactly how speed 
reading works. 

Colour. Creativity loves colour. Used well, colours can help you think and 
remember very quickly. Instead of visualising a bright red tomato, perhaps 
see it as a bright blue tomato. That whiteboard might actually be black and 
blue, not white and silver. All you need to do is visualise the difference, and 
that will be enough to make it memorable. But you don’t always have to 
choose a different colour to visualise the item. Imagine Uluru in all its 
beauty against the setting sun, the amazing red rock glowing as you move 
closer to it. It is mesmerising. If you use the same colour as the thing you’re 
visualising, then accentuate it and bring out that experience in your mind. 
Try and feel the colour if you can. 

Order. Creating a sequence of events or stories allows our brain to follow a 
visual pattern that helps us to remember. Creating these patterns and 
sequences not only builds creativity, it also assists us in grouping things and 
storing them safely in our brain. This is where techniques such as the 
Method of Loci help us connect random objects together (chapter 3). 

Positive Images. Happy, positive images make you feel all cosy inside and 
they do help you remember. Negative images are often as memorable or 
even more so. When visualising you can use either: the bright red tomato 
looked so tasty I ate it; the tomato was rotten, but I still ate it—and then I 
vomited. The brain loves drama and gets attached to it. 

Exaggeration. Make things much larger than they are in real life so your 

mind creates an extraordinary image to remember. Visualise a kebab six 
metres tall waddling down the road with garlic sauce dripping down its 

sides and crowds of screaming, hungry people running up to it, tripping 
over themselves from all directions with absolute joy. Unforgettable! 

How it works 
Think of a subject and then apply SMASHIN SCOPE to make it more 

A cat 

In milliseconds you just visualised a cat. To make the cat more memorable 
we could colour the cat red (Colour), make it smell like it had farted 
(Senses), have it jump up on top of you (Movement) to rub that smell on 
you (Senses). This (hopefully) is not a real-life scenario so in its creation 
we used imagination, association with the cat and yourself, as well as 
exaggeration of the narrative. Try not to use your everyday logic when 
creating stories. Use your imagination to make silly creative stories that will 
stick in your mind. After all, you are trying to make it memorable! 

Make memorable stories from the following pairs of words using 
SMASHIN SCOPE. Each pair has been divided into examples of concrete 
nouns, concrete + abstract nouns, and finally both abstract nouns. Concrete 
nouns already give us a visual of the word, but abstract nouns don’t. You'll 
need to create an image for the abstract noun and connect it back to the 
other word. 

cow + strike 

SMASHIN SCOPE helps integrate the logical part of your brain with the 
creative to enhance your mental capabilities. It may seem ridiculous to 
make things humorous or to use different colours, but you’re still learning. 

The more you do these sorts of exercises in your head the more you'll 
discover what a practical difference they make in the real world. In 
meetings where you need to solve problems quickly, instead of having one 
or two ideas, you might now come up with five. Even in sport, instead of 
having three options to choose from, your mind can now think laterally and 
consider other scenarios. Often the best people in sport and business are 
creative and are making the best decisions. This does not have to be an 
innate thing. It can be learned by using simple tools such as SMASHIN 

How long? Once you’ve done some practising it should take around 
thirty seconds to create a story using SMASHIN SCOPE. For difficult, non- 
concrete words, it may take up to one minute. 

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model 

My first book was called The Yellow Elephant, which also happens to be the 
name of a memory model I developed. It helps us to solve memory-related 
problems by following a four-step guide to make something memorable. 

1. Abstract 

Information, ideas or concepts (without physical form), or things that do not 
make sense to us are likely to be abstract. This includes languages that 
we're unfamiliar with and highly specialised forms of learning such as 
quantum physics. Strings of numbers, words, and even people's names can 
be abstract. Abstract things are slippery to understand and don't mean 
anything to us unless an image is created inside our brain. 

2. Image 

To make things more memorable we need to convert the abstract into an 
image. We may or may not be able to understand what this abstract thing 
means, but by making it an image we prepare our mind to understand how 
to use it at step 3. The word 'creativity', for example, is abstract as it does 
not conjure up a specific image in our mind. If, however, we use the image 

of a lightbulb or even that of Albert Einstein then we have converted the 
abstract nature of the word to an image we both recognise and understand. 

3. Association 

To complete the memorisation process, we need a story connecting the 
elements through association. A strong association is made when what 
you’re memorising is physically connected. Earlier I used the example of 
pen and paper and how when the pen writes on paper, or better yet shreds 
the paper by pressing too firmly on it, a stronger association is made. The 
stronger the association, the more memorable it is. 

4. Communication 

How do you then make this memorable for others? Steps 1 to 3 occur in our 
own heads but communicating this to others may require some adapting and 
adjusting. What we create for ourselves may not suit or be appropriate for 
our audience so we need to consider new ways to craft information that 
others can understand, whether it’s study notes from class or grand public 

How it works 

Remembering names 

Names are forgotten because they are abstract in nature. There is no image 
for our brains to connect and store. So the trick to remembering names is to 
create the image and make an association. 

If you’re trying to remember the name Clare, for example, you could 
picture Clare being eaten by a bear. ‘Bear’ will trigger the name Clare 
because of their shared rhyming properties. You may also picture Clare 
looking like a bear. Or perhaps Clare has lots of hair sprouting from her 
nose, or claw-like hands! Make this image as graphic as you can. You may 
even imagine Clare being chased by a bear—but because there is no 
physical connection or contact between Clare and the bear it weakens the 
memorisation. So even though there may be an emotional connection to the 

image, such as Clare’s fear of the bear, a physical connection with your 
images will help you remember better. 

When listening 

Words are extremely powerful and can have deep emotional connections— 
but only if they’re visualised. You can listen to instructions, presentations, 
or even a friend chatting to you, but if you don’t convert what they are 
saying into images you may miss the importance of the message and 
increase your likelihood of forgetting. When listening to anything, visualise 
the images using SMASHIN SCOPE principles to make better stories and 
you'll remember much more than before. 

When trying to learn anything new 

When you first come across information it needs to be organised and 
arranged in a way for your brain to make sense of it and create images. 
Techniques such as mind maps (chapter 3) and drawings help you visualise 
and order information. Once you have visual order, you can make 
connecting stories. 

f key points 

* Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. 
* Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN ScOPE and 
bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can 


* The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not 
sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how 
you can create memorable mental images and link the story. 



Many people believe having a great memory is a gift. When I was nineteen, 
I actually believed I had a ‘shocking’ memory. I would forget names, 
directions, what I had just read, and even what people had said to me a 
minute ago. It was embarrassing; however, I accepted that I had not been 
born with a great memory — that is, until I stumbled upon memory 

These ‘mental activities’ made me use my imagination and little did I 
know how easy it was to improve my memory. Not only that, but I would 
go on to learn much faster, achieve more, and gain significant confidence in 
myself to do anything as I got older. Now it is your turn to experience the 
power of memory techniques. 

Linking and association 

Linking and association is a technique that helps us remember effectively 
by creating stories using the items we want to remember in a sequential 
order. It’s possible to link and associate any piece of information with 
another. Many people are unsuccessful in their early attempts to do this, 
though, because their links and connections are broken along the way to 

How it works 
Let’s say we had five items to remember. The linking process would look 
like this: 

Subject [= Item1 [ED] Item2 [ED Item3 [ED] Item4 [OS] Item5 

The first item is connected to the initial subject, and to the second item. 
Each subsequent item is connected to the one following it in a sequence. 

How to use 

Remembering a list of words: 
1. shoes 





ot de epe 

Imagine your shoes smelling profusely. You decide to take them off, and as you do milk starts 
to pour out! The milk splatters everywhere and somehow splashes into the eye of the postman. 
The postman is angry, jumps on his donkey and starts to chase you. You run for your life and 
feel yourself getting sick and suddenly you turn blue! 

To-do list: 

1. Take the rubbish bin out. 
Buy the newspaper. 

Pick up dry cleaning. 
Work out at the gym. 
Water the plants. 

DI. aec Ed. pa 

You head out of the house and suddenly the rubbish bin flips over and tips itself on top of you. 
The rubbish is full of newspapers that stink like something has died in them. Before you retch 
you head over to the dry cleaners to change into clean clothes. You feel refreshed and pumped, 
so much so that you're inspired to workout at the gym. You drink too much water during your 
workout and the toilets are out of order so you end up watering the plants. 

With linking and association the word you are memorising does not have to 
be exactly the same as how you memorise it. So if I try to remember the 
word *kaleidoscope', I might visualise and come up with something that 

sounds like the first part of the word, such as “calendar”, where “cal' acts as 
a trigger to ‘kaleidoscope’. My associative story could then be that I looked 
at my calendar and it was spiralling visually like broken mirrors. 

How long? As long as it takes to read the paragraph and connect with the 
listed words, around one minute. 

This book uses many triggers to form associations with words. Since we 
are using our own imagination everyone’s stories and triggers will be 
different, so feel free to create your own triggers to the exercises in this 

Number rhyme 

This is where the numbers rhyme with the words. 

How it works 

one = gun 

two = shoe 
three = tree 
four = door 
five = hive 
six = sticks 

seven = heaven 
eight = gate 
nine = wine 
ten = pen 

How to use 
Let’s say we want to remember the words on the right of the rhyming 
words. We link the rhyming list with the words to be remembered list. 

1. gun: elephant 
2. shoe: breakfast 

. tree: CD 

. door: computer 
. hive: TV remote 
. sticks: water 

. heaven: towel 

. gate: chocolate 


. wine: tomato 
10. pen: phone 
The elephant is shot with a gun. (Luckily it does not die.) 
You eat breakfast with your shoe as a spoon. 
The tree outside is growing cDs. 
The door opens onto a supercomputer. 
There is a beehive inside the TV remote. 
You throw sticks into the water because you are bored. 
As soon as you enter heaven you are given a refresher towel. 
The gate is made out of chocolate and you have to bite your way through to enter. 
You shove a whole tomato inside a wine bottle. 
You draw smiley faces with your coloured pen on a stranger’s mobile phone. 

All that’s left now is to remember what happened with each of the rhyming 
numbers to give you the item you had memorised. 


7. heaven ......................... 

How long? Around ten seconds for each story from the above examples, so 
a little under two minutes. 

Number shape 
This is just like the number rhyme system but it uses images that look like 
the number instead of rhyming with it. 

How it works 

one = | 
two = 
three = À 
four = / ` 
five = F 
SIX = 

seven = 

nine = à 

ten = e 


How to use 
Let's say we want to remember the words on the right of the number shape 
words. We link both the shape list with the words to be remembered list. 

1. candlestick elephant 
2. swan breakfast 
3. trident CD 

4. boat computer 
5. hook TV remote 
6. elephant's trunk water 

7. feathers towel 

8. glasses chocolate 
9. snake tomato 

10. bat and ball phone 

The candlestick burns the butt of the elephant. 

The swan eats poached eggs for breakfast. 

At Trident Motors they are giving away free One Direction CDs. 

Your boat has a computer attached to the endofit for GPS navigation. 

You grab your TV remote with a hook because you just can’t be bothered 
getting up. 

The elephant's trunk sprays water all over you at the zoo. 

As the leaves come down you suddenly notice you are only wearing a 

Your glasses are drenched in chocolate. (Mmmm, chocolate.) You feed 
your pet snake a juicy red tomato. 

You hit the ball with the bat so hard that it breaks your neighbour’s mobile 
phone as they are using it. 


All that’s left now is to remember what happened with each of the number 
shape words to give you the item you had memorised. 

1. candlestick — "Shen idees: 
T MEME ach reat AA 
strident O OZ O O OOOO a tea ard re Saree 
hook ————————— 5 
. elephant’s trunk ` —  . .................... 
. feathers iit andires de astra gs Sua get 
. glasses — — 5— 5 ^ ^ duwbeuudb A E AR 

Go A A U1 Fb W N 

. snake — —  — — —— .................... 
10. bat and ball — — —— auus RR REX 

How long? Around ten seconds for each story from the above examples, so 
a little under two minutes. 

Method of Loci 

This memory technique creates locations and/or objects in a sequential 
order to store information. The storage is done through linking and 
association of the location and item to be memorised. The most important 
feature of this method is to remember information in sequence order. The 
number of locations is almost limitless and I have over 300 sequential 
locations just while walking down the street! 

How it works 
Here is a set of locations that might be in sequential order. 
1. front door 

2. bed 

3. shower 

4. sink 

5. cupboard 

How to use 

Location Item to be memorised 
1. front door mobile phone 
2. bed yoghurt 

3. shower cucumber 

4. sink chainsaw 

5. cupboard tiger 

You head towards the front door of your house and it turns into a huge mobile phone, which 
you have to swipe through to get inside. You hop into bed and you feel something sticky. Oh 
dear, someone has smothered yoghurt all over the bed. You jump into the shower and rub 
cucumber all over your body thinking it is soap. You turn the sink tap on and it makes a 
buzzing chainsaw noise. You peer deeper into the sink and find a miniature chainsaw inside. 
You open the cupboard to find a live tiger all squashed inside, ready to jump out and attack. 


All that’s left to do now is to remember what happened in each of the 
locations to give you the item you had memorised. 

1. front door ......................... . 

2 ......................... ; 

3. shower —......................... ; 

4. sink  ......................... : 

b5.cupboard. ......................... f 

How long? Around twenty seconds for each story from the above examples, 
so a little under two minutes. 

Mind mapping 

Mind mapping helps you organise information and ideas in a non-linear 
manner. Its inventor, Tony Buzan, calls it a thinking tool that reflects 
externally what goes on inside your head. Often when we’re thinking, 
things are not exactly organised. Thoughts are scattered and we need to 
gather together snippets of information from many places in our brain to 
understand something. A mind map allows you to create a complete plan all 
on one page so you can see direct and tangential links for specific topics. 
Mind maps can be used to make and take study notes, memorise books and 
even organise weddings! It is also a powerful technique for improved 
productivity, as demonstrated by the abundance of apps and software 
available such as iMindMap, XMind, Mindnode, Mindgenius, NovaMind 
and Mind Manager. But it’s not necessary to buy software as they’re easy to 
draw by hand. 

How it works 

1. Take the main topic and put it at the centre of a page. 

2. Create section headings like thick branches starting at one o’clock and 
moving clockwise. 

3. Create subheadings from the section headings. 

4. Use colour and images throughout to engage the brain. 

Second Level 
First Level Third Level 
Second Level Third Level 
Central Topic Third Level 

SWOT analysis 
This mind map has subheadings that create an order of information 
understood at a glance. 

competitor gaining 
market share 

impact of legislation 

negative publicity 
could hurt 

retention at app ` ‘Threats 

economic financial 

growth into 
government sector 
expansion into Asia 

could develop 

further products 
increased profit margins 

puta foothold over 

Speech preparation 




market leader 

204 years experience 
34% market share 

multiple locations 

customer service staff 
require training 

processes and systems 
need to be developed 

new markets not tested 
weak online presence 

marketing strategy needs 
to be evaluated 

This next mind map is a forty-minute presentation I gave on two topics: the 
perfect job interview and time management. I also added time estimates to 

help me prepare more accurately. A mind map can be a great help with 

visual presentations if you're using software programs such as MS 

PowerPoint or Keynote. 

how | started  scaptic 

speaking my story 
what | do now 
role of memory 
go through 

website example 

m ind 
memory mapping gather knowledge 
visualisation practice quastions 
stand out 
Call ask questions 
small talk 


{4 mins) 
The Perfect Job 
Time Management 
(40 mins) 
execute © {15 mins) >, 
= e 

Speed reading 

time managamant 

5. SUMMARY (1 mins) £ 

Kay po 

parfect job interview 

What change would you like to sae? 

mE How would it make you feel? 
(5 mins) 

What can you do to bagin right now? 

visualisation time lina 

being in the present 


(motivation to take action) 

(15 mins) 

email worlds 
cut more and 

have more time to think 

try visualise the present 
add feeling to your goals 
eliminate unnecessary clutter 

give yourself time to think 

gather & organise knowledge using Mind Mapping 
research similar role 
practice answering common questions 

anticipata & make up questions interviewer would 
possibly ask 

stay focused 

show your difference, stand out 

smile, be personable 

small talk 



mindfulnass activity: lock at photo of family 
describe picture to person next to you 

what feelings come when look at pictura 

linear goals 
right brain goals 

emotion basad goals 

Imagine completing your reading in hours instead of weeks. Imagine, too, 

managing your social media and all those emails, reports, assignments and 

documents with time to spare and a greater understanding of their content. 

Speed reading truly can be life-changing, and for those who are not natural 

readers (like me) it can be especially rewarding. Bibliophobia is the fear of 

books and speed reading cures that fear. 

When we were children we were taught to read word by word. This is 

fine for learning how to read, but as our brain gets better at comprehending 

basic text we should be able to absorb information in larger chunks rather 
than individual words. Speed reading uses techniques to encode words into 
images, enabling faster, more effective reading. Our brain has the ability to 
group together phrases so that we visualise what’s happening rather than 
reading word by word. Speed reading enables you to absorb information in 
chunks as you read; it creates better comprehension as you visualise groups 
of words together in context rather than each word. 

How it works 

Using a visual guide 

Reading with a finger or some sort of pointing device like a pen along the 
line helps to reduce the number of times you need to go back to reread. This 
in turn allows quicker reading. 

How to use 

Run your finger underneath the words as you read as a guide. This tricks 
your brain into reading more as your eyes will not only follow your guide, 
but see further along from the guide, forcing you to read faster. The more 
you practise the less you'll notice your guide because you'll be so involved 
in the text. The more you're involved, the more you will remember. The 
more you remember, the better you will comprehend what you read. 

Image flow 
Words are grouped into contextual meanings instead of set chunk sizes. 
This results in a more consistent and visual flow of reading. 

How it works 

(The quick brown fox) (jumps over) (the lazy dog). 

Words are grouped into their meaningful context. This enables the brain to 
process three phrases rather than reading nine individual words. If one word 
takes one second to read, then nine words will take nine seconds. But 

reading three phrases using image flow should take only a second to 
process each contezt, which means you will already be reading three times 

Speed reading exercise 
Here is an exercise on how to view images in chunks using image flow. Try 
visualising the content in brackets before moving along to the next bracket. 

(Seven Tips) (to Reduce Stress at Work) 
(In 2014) (I presented in Iran) (at the International conference on Memory) (and Stress 
Management). (Here are seven tips) (on how to reduce stress) (and become a happier worker). 

1. (Be aware) 

(Most people are oblivious) (to the fact that they are stressed). (Their breathing changes), (heart 
rate increases) (and even their speech) (is faster than normal). (They can sometimes be a 
nuisance) (to others without even knowing). (Making a conscious effort) (to take a critical look) 
(at yourself) (and see if you’re stressed) (can help you enormously). (Once you know you’re 
stressed) (you are then able to) (take action) (to reduce that stress). 

2. (Take a break) 

(Often when stuck) (in front of the computer) (for hours) (things can get quite stressful), 
(especially if you’re on a deadline). (Taking a quick power nap) (or a brisk) (fifteen-minute 
walk) (from a stressful situation) (can alleviate some stress symptoms). 

3. (Be healthy) 

(If all we're eating is rubbish), (then we will feel like rubbish). (Eating good food), (exercising) 
(and avoiding drugs) (all help to reduce stress). (One cool trick I’ve learned) (from Tony 
Buzan’s book) (Head Strong) (is to keep telling yourself) (that “you are in the process) (of 
becoming healthy’). (This engages the brain) (in the present) (and helps you to) (take action). 
(Try it!) 

4, (Have a laugh) 

(A proven stress destroyer), (laughter can take your mind) (off things causing you stress) 
(stressors). (Watch some videos), (talk to some funny friends), (crack some jokes), (do whatever 
it takes) (to give yourself) (a positive experience) (so that you not only) (reduce stress), (you 
enjoy life). 

5. (Learn to say no) 
(Here’s a big one). (A lot of stresspots I’ve met) (in office environments) (have made a habit) 
(of saying yes) (to everything). (Stop it, dammit!) (Now!) (It creates further work), (pushes 

mental) (and physical boundaries) (and of course), (gives you more stress!) (You will also find) 
(that saying ‘No’) (is so liberating). (Know when to say no) (and you will be) (saving yourself). 

6. (Socialise) 

(I know) (when I was stressed) (the last thing I ever wanted) (to do was meet up) (with people). 
(But research shows) (that socialising) (is a great form) (of reducing stress). (It takes you away) 
(from your bubble of life) (into the lives of others). (Suddenly you find yourself) (enjoying 
company) (and talking about things) (that are exciting) (and interesting), (again taking you 
away) (from worrying). 

7. (Get rid of distractions) 

(You wake up) (and first thing in the morning) (you check your emails). (You end up regretting 
it) (and it affects your mood) (while you’re getting ready), (eating breakfast) (and travelling to 
work). (As soon as you get to work) (you switch your computer on) (and look at more emails). 
(Aghhh!) (They keep coming throughout the day) (and you just keep checking them). (What a 
life). (When you check your email) (it creates a world in your head) (full of the content) (in the 
email). (Some worlds are small), (some are massive), (some irrelevant). (In any case), (there are 
hundreds of worlds) (out there in your head) (that you are worrying about). (The best plan) (is 
to clear your head) (of these stories) (by checking your email) (less often) (and doing them in 
‘batches’), (as Timothy Ferriss explains) (in his book) (The 4-Hour Work Week). (This will help 
restore) (sanity into your life). 

Practise speed reading with a variety of materials to help you build your 
visual reading skills. It is not the easiest of memory techniques, but it may 
prove to be the most rewarding. 

KY key points 

* Make sure your linking and association connections are not 

overlapping. Item 1 has no relationship with item 3, and while it may 
feel natural to assume a connection there, it could make you lose the 
order of memorisation. 

* Visualise your locations and objects in the Method of Loci as much as 
you can. Having imaginative and visually clear loci is a huge help with 
recall and retention in long-term memory. 

* Mind maps order your information visually. 

* When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the 
words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve 

your comprehension. 



Remembering numbers can be really tricky unless you use a particular 
technique. Here are several that are incredibly useful. 

The Major system 

This encodes numbers into phonetic sounds based on the letters of the 
alphabet—but not vowels (including the letter y). The following numbers 
represent the letters next to it. 

0 7 s, z, c (ceiling) 

2=n, gn 

6 = sh, j, dg (hedge), ch (chair), g (George) 
7 =c, k, ck, ch (chord), g (goat) 
8-f,v,ph, gh 


How it works 
Take a pair of digits and make a few small words using the above code. The 
number 32 can be man, for example, 77 cake, 86 fish and 09 soap. 

How to use 

There are many uses for the Major system, but it’s mostly used for 
remembering a long series of numbers. (NB: You do not need to know the 
Major system codes off by heart. Just have them close by for reference.) 

Memorising numbers 
To remember this twenty-digit number we would pair up the numbers and 
then make a story using linking and association. 


92 (pen) + 57 (leg) + 33 (mummy) + 91 (bat) + 14 (door) + 47 (rock) + 68 
(chef) + 21 (net) + 72 (gun) + 82 (fan) 

The pen writes a large squiggle on my leg. When I stand up I see a mummy three metres tall 
holding a bat. I run as fast as I can, open a door and go inside. There he is — The Rock holding 
eggs, about to bake a fairy cake. He is dressed as a chef, wearing a net on his head. Then he 
swaps his net for a large machine gun, and his fans watching applaud the action hero. 

How long? Around two minutes to remember all the digits after reading the 
above story. 

Using Method of Loci 
We can also use the Method of Loci to store numbers in pairs for each 

1. | front door pen Someone scribbled on the front door with a 
red pen. 

| 2. [bed = leg | A leg was sticking out as | sat on my bed. 

3. | shower mummy | You opened the shower curtain to a large 
scary mummy. 
The sink wasn't working so you hit it with 
a bat. 

5. | cupboard door You opened the cupboard and found a secret 
door inside. 

television rock You watched The Rock wrestling on 


7. | couch chef The chef was cooking some food on your 

| dishwasher | net ` | You covered the dishwasher with a net. 

fridge gun You shot the fridge door handle with a gun 
to open it. 
fan The fan was spinning so fast it sliced through 
the table. 

All that is left to do is to recall the story from each location, which will in 

turn give you the word associated with the numbers above. 
1. front door # ..................... 
bede. MC rU 
. shower ..................... 
oi WEE 
. television — ..................... 
wi ai ess RE E tenes 
. dishwasher — OO ..................... 
EE c 
10. table — — —  ..................... 

© © I ADU BW hM 

How long? It will take between ten to twenty seconds to make the story 
(connection) with a location and item to be memorised. So for ten items it’s 
around three minutes. 

Memorising playing cards 
Create an image for each card using the Major system or use the references 

ce [irae Joue Ier ës 
e pies eem rnm Jeu 

(mesa ësst D [tct 
e uci [acies [actes [acum 

Using Method of Loci 
Using the Method of Loci here's how to memorise ten random playing 

cards. Each card is connected to a location for an imaginative story to be 

front door Someone throws a seat at the front door. 

je Ir Your birthday cake is sitting on your bed. 

3. | shower You slide the shower curtain hoops and get 
bathroom KD The sink isn't working so you hit it with a 
sink diamond. 
You open the cupboard and find an old raggy 

| G [television — | 105 | You clean the television with tomato sauce. 
There is dog hair all over your couch. 

kitchen sink | QC | You cover the kitchen sink with a fairly large 

fridge 35 You try to protect your fridge from the sumo 
wrestler but fail. 

| 10. [tabe — | ac | The cat is dancing on the table. 

After you’ve memorised ten playing cards, try doubling that effort to 

twenty. Ultimately your goal is to memorise fifty-two playing cards in fifty- 
two locations. 

How long? It should take around twenty seconds to create a story with 
the location and card, so for the ten items it’s around three minutes. 

Dominic system 

Created by Dominic O’Brien, World Memory Champion for a record eight 
times, this technique is similar to the Major system and encodes digits into 
people and actions. The numbers coded are: 

OO Di & DO NN ta CH 
Hou "Hu oH MH 
n DD" D GO 

O œ N 
Z D Li 

How it works 

Group the digits of numbers to be memorised into pairs. The letters of the 
first pair of digits creates a person using the initials of their first name and 
surname. The nezt pair relates to an action or activity of the person. 

How to use 

Let's memorise this number using the Dominic system. 


Number | Initial | FirstName | Surname | Action 


Using the above table, we see that number 92 makes NB with 9 = N and B 
— 2. From this we can use the initials to create a name. In this case, 

De [umen 
[a [ums [N 
m [owe 
m fo 




DO ceo c 


Napoleon Bonaparte. Since we have a person for the number 92, we can 
now attribute an action. In this case we have chosen Napoleon Bonaparte 
fighting in battle. The action element comes in when we are combining 
numbers together. 

* The first two digits are always a person. 

* The next two digits are always an action. 

Using the Method of Loci to help, you can now use the person/action 
strategy of the Dominic system: 

Location Numbers Associative story 

Front door 92 59 Napoleon Bonaparte acting on stage 
at your front door. 
2. Bed 33 00 Charlie Chaplin screaming his lungs 
out on your bed. 
3. Shower 15 42 Albert Einstein playing with his dog 
in the shower. 

4. Bathroom Stephen Hawking combing his hair in 
sink the bathroom sink. 

5. Cupboard 72 82 George Bush posing in your 

A key points 

* You do not need to know the Major system codes as you start 
memorising, just have them close by as a reference. Before long you'll 
know them off by heart. 

When linking numbers make sure you don't mix up the order of the 
numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story 

you will recall incorrect numbers. 

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach 
the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection 
makes for stronger memorisation. 

The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. 

create as many loci as you can so you don't get your stories mixed up 
by repeatedly using the same location. 
creating a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helpful 

when using the Dominic system. 
* [mpress others with these new skills and spread the love. 



“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.’—Herbert Spencer 

So now you’re completely across the principles and techniques of memory 
training. In the following chapters you'll see how to apply them to many 
different topics and will soon be able to apply them to any area of learning 
you want. In my thirteen years as a memory trainer I haven't met anyone— 
from the ages of four to over ninety—who wasn't able to use these 

Anyone who has an imagination is able to use memory techniques to 
enhance their memory. 

Ah, I hear you saying, it's not that simple. Sure, it requires commitment, 
but if you're keen to learn more about the world and the millions of 
wonderful things in it (and out of it) then stick with it for a while. Too often 
we give up on things before we really get started. New Year's resolutions 
are a perfect example of this. Don't wait till 1 January to try new things, but 
do take some time to plan a strategy and mark your time carefully. 

There is more than one reason why people fail to achieve their goals. 

A lack of discipline 

According to self-development entrepreneur Brian Tracy, discipline is being 
able to do what you need to do, when you need to do it, whether you like it 
or not. Get into the headspace of working towards your goals even at 

difficult times. Such sacrifices mean not just achieving your resolution, but 
creating a successful habit. 

A lack of passion 

On New Year’s Day (depending on if you're nursing a hangover) anything 
seems possible. But as the weeks roll on other things happen and what 
motivation you had is compromised. Before embarking on a new project, 
create an image of your goal in your head. Write it down. Then hit it with 
all the feelings that achieving it will give you. If you want to learn a new 
language or skill, say, visualise how great it would be to speak that 
language. Write down all the feelings that it will give you and keep adding 
to it. How would you feel speaking the language when travelling, or for 
work? The more emotion and feeling you have, the fiercer your pursuit of 
the goal will be. 

A lack of focus 

Your goals end up being ‘too hard’. You’ve managed initial steps then 
realised that it’s going to take much more energy and effort. At this point 
you start to feel overwhelmed and you give up. Instead, create a plan with 
all the steps necessary to complete your goal. Knowing what’s needed 
makes the journey easier. 

A lack of accountability 

Being accountable for your actions increases the chances of reaching your 
goals. It’s easier, too, if there are other people, friends or family, who share 
the same goal. Search around. If not, are there any clubs or societies you 
can join? You can let yourself down, but letting others down is much more 

Too busy 

People often tell me they ‘don’t have the time’ to do what they want to, and 
it’s true we’re busy—possibly working several jobs, looking after children 
and maybe elderly parents. Plan each day from the night before and rid 

yourself of time-wasting distractions. Practice the Pomodoro Technigue— 
breaking down tasks into twenty-five minute intervals with a couple of 
minutes’ break in between—for better time management and you'll be 
surprised. Then work on your goals. 

Too forgetful 

Learning memory techniques is not just about remembering, it’s also about 
creating successful habits of the mind. Visualisation is the key to memory. 
So try and use your imagination for everything! 

Caught up in negative thoughts 
There may be people out there who do not want you to succeed, but if you 
start to worry about them then you will likely fail. Instead, focus on the 
passion you have for achieving this goal to sail through the negativity. It’s 
not easy, but it is oh so rewarding once you get there. 

With coaching I get to provide people with knowledge and skills to make 
positive changes in their lives. Here’s my coaching formula to help you 


5. Habit Plan 

How it works 
1. Identify problem areas 

Make a list of the things that are stopping you from learning as you'd like 
to. You may find that the only barriers are ones you've created in your 
mind. Or they could be physical, financial, time-based, skills-based or 
geographical. Make the list as comprehensive as you can. 

2. Program development 
Now you've identified barriers and problem areas, list all the knowledge, 
skills and resources you may need to fix the problems. 

Problem area | How does itfeel? | Knowledge Skills Resources 

Slow reading. Like I'm getting How to read Speed Courses, books; 
nowhere. faster. reading. coaching; find 
someone who reads 

Not understanding | How to improve | Memory better 

what | read. understanding. | techniques. 

Don't have the | Like I'm delaying How to manage | Time Share goals with 
time to learn. something | should | time. management. | family and friends to 
geton with. build accountability, 

Everyone else can, (brain hacks). 
why not me? 

use The Pomodoro 

After listing your problem areas complete your resources column because 
you may not have the information for the knowledge and skills columns 
until you’ve done a little research. 

3. Goal setting 
In a similar table, list your goals—but this time instead of a ‘How does it 
feel?’ column, have one titled ‘How will it feel?’ 

Goals How willitfeel? | Knowledge | Skills Resources 

To remember | Great—confident | How to Memory Get coaching, 
names easily. | about meeting remember techniques. find people who 
people. names. are great at 
remembering names. 

To leam Empowering. How toleam | Learning Find all materials 
anything faster and Strategies. for faster learning, 

Better career 
prospects. wg Memory tech- 
niques and hacks. 

memory techniques, 
speed reading and 
Mind mapping. 


Mind mapping. 
Speed reading. 

The ‘feel’ column provides a strong emotional response to the brain that 
stimulates further action to help you reach your goals quicker. Have a vision 
using emotion! 

4. Action plan 

Start the work: read those books, attend those seminars, perhaps get a 
coach. Whatever it takes to achieve your goal, write it down. This will 
become your roadmap to success. 

5. Habit plan 

You have a plan, but you need to create habits for your actions so that when 
working on your goals, the tasks come to you naturally. That’s the point of 
creating a habit. You might have all the resources and plans at your 
fingertips, but unless you make it a habit you simply won't do the work. 

6. Ongoing support and review 

As you work towards your goals, make sure you have someone to check in 
with from time to time for encouragement and support. Don’t try and go it 

Achieving goals: how I memorised the Sydney Yellow Pages in twenty-four days 

After nine long years of training, competing and coaching through my 
business, I decided to quit memory training. It was one of the toughest 
decisions I had ever made because I just loved what I did, but study, health 

and family issues needed to take priority at that time. Two weeks after this I 
received a phone call from a PR company that wanted me, as the Australian 
Memory Champion, to memorise the Yellow Pages phone books as part of a 
marketing campaign for the brand. 

My initial reaction was one of disbelief, but after discussions we worked 
out what I needed to memorise—over 2000 business names and their phone 
numbers. They gave me some time to think about it and days later I was 
sitting on the couch with my laptop about to write a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ 
email, knowing that this task would further add to the chaos that was my 
life at the time. 

Then suddenly something clicked. 

I knew I could memorise a phone book. I knew this was something I 
could do and I had to prove it to myself. I knew this opportunity had come 
about because of my hard work in the memory business for so many years, 
and to say no would have been like turning my back on that work. So I re- 
did the calculations in my head: if it took thirty seconds to memorise one 
advertisement, then I should be able to manage 2000 ads in around twenty 
days. If I went ahead with it, I would have to take time off work, miss some 
university classes and, hardest of all, go without seeing my then two-year- 
old son for most of the day. Still, by being super organised and making 
slight sacrifices, I would achieve something no one else had. I retyped my 
email CDI do it'—and pressed send. 

The SMART (Sensible, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goals 
that I learned in management class went out the window. In order to achieve 
something that had never been done before, I had to create a new plan. 

To be honest, I didn't even think, ‘What if I can’t remember?’ or, “What 
if I get the numbers wrong?' Somehow I just knew I could do it. I believed 
in myself, and belief is such a powerful thing. I had twenty-four days before 
I would be tested in public at a convention and also give several live TV 
and radio interviews. 

At last the A-K and L-Z volumes of Sydney’s Yellow Pages arrived 
(they were much thicker than Melbourne’s). I flicked through the pages and 
wondered on the best strategy to memorise this beast. I needed to ensure I 
had enough time to test myself and revise, and to have confidently 
memorised 20,000-plus digits that made up the businesses. 

I used SMASHIN SCOPE to picture the name of each business. This was 
critical. If I didn't have a strong image for each business, then it would be 
almost impossible to recall its numbers. Then I memorised the numbers 
using the Major system, decoding phonetic sounds for numbers. So the 
process was to visualise the advertisement and then link the number of the 
business to my visualisation. To remember the ad for Bob's Cleaning 9217 
7747, for example, I first imagined a person bobbing down and scrubbing 
the floor as hard as he could. Then I linked it to the number by having 
cleaner Bob take out his *pen'(92), write his invoice on his ‘dog’(17) with 
the dog jumping into a ‘cake’(77). As the dog jumped into the cake, “Rocky 
Balboa'(47) jumped up yelling ‘Adriaaaaaaan’. 

It took a good thirty seconds to do this for each ad. For all you 
memorisers out there, there were many reasons I did not use the Method of 
Loci. Firstly, it would have taken longer and I couldn't have memorised the 
ads in the time I had. Secondly, I didn't have enough locations. Thirdly, as I 
was going to be tested at random, there was no point trying to remember the 
order, which is the Method of Loci's specialty. Instead, I chose the basic 
linking strategy and it worked exactly how I wanted it to. 

I had also learned from a rookie mistake I made some time earlier on 
1116 SEN radio when interviewed by Billy Brownless, Tim Watson and 
Andy Maher. They got me on the show to talk about memory and gave me a 
short memory test of ten words. I assumed it would be easy because we 
memorisers remember hundreds of words in single sittings. I had even 
picked my favourite location to use. (The Method of Loci is popular with 
memorisers in competition and one of the most powerful memory 

techniques there is.) I thought I had it covered. Boy, was I wrong! Of the 
ten items they tested me on, I only remembered three! Listeners called up 
the station saying I was a fake and that they had memorised more than me. I 
also copped it from the presenters who had a good laugh at my expense. 
From this I learned that you might know sensational memory techniques but 
if you don’t use the right one for the right occasion you'll end up with egg 
on your face. 

That first night of memorisation was very nearly the last. I had 
memorised for seventy minutes but only got through fifty ads. My wife 
tested me but the results were disappointing. I didn't know if I should 
continue, and I had barely even started. 

I was in this now though. I had to continue. Fortunately, work gave me 
two weeks off so I could focus fully on the task at hand. And I was very 
conscious of how important it was to remain healthy—to drink lots of fluids 
and eat right, remain positive and pray like crazy! 

The next day I did slightly better. The day after that, much better. 
Consistency was what I was looking for. Once I had gotten into a groove it 
was almost robotic. I was memorising sixty ads in sixty minutes. Although 
it doesn't seem like much of an improvement from the first night, my recall 
was far better. I was memorising sixty ads and going back three more times 
to re-memorise them; I memorised sixty ads four times and then moved on 
to the next lot of sixty. I averaged around five hours a day memorising. 
Some days I did slack off, but the following day I would put in a solid eight 
hours. The longest day was memorising for ten hours, memorising in five 
blocks of two hours with a break in between. 

Earlier I wrote about the importance of accountability. What helped me 
get through this challenge was the fact that I tweeted my progress daily, 
which held me accountable to my followers and friends. My dedication 
surprised even me, because in memory competitions I rarely memorised for 
more than ten minutes at a sitting! 

That final week my white office table had become yellow, stained from 
the phone books, and I had a yucky metallic taste in my mouth from turning 
thousands of pages. By day eighteen I had memorised both books. So I 
went back to revise the ads all over again to firm up my recall. I had six 
days to do this. Beginning again, I almost doubled my initial speed—120 
ads per hour—with even better recall. 

On arriving in Sydney I found myself swamped with television, radio and 
media interviews. I was tested live on national television and radio, but this 
time the hard work, strategy, consistency and sacrifices all paid off. I did 
make a couple of mistakes, it's true, but the client and the PR company 
were thrilled and it was regarded as a great success. 

O9 KEY points 

* List your goals 
We've heard it before, but listing your goals in life can be an eye- 
opening experience. Writing them down makes them fully conscious, 
and your brain will love you for it. Put the list on your fridge or desk 
where you'll regularly see it. The more your goals are in the front of 
your mind the more progress you'll make. 
Remember to feel 
close your eyes and visualise how it would feel to achieve your goals. 

These feelings are the most important drivers you have. If you don't 

have an emotional connection to a goal then you're only looking at a 
set of tasks and to-do lists. Feelings put you in a mental state of 
accomplishment even before you've accomplished anything. 

Begin now 

Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now! It could be as simple as picking 
up the phone and calling someone. Start acting now and you are one 
step closer to success. 


‘Time moves in one direction, memory in another.’—William Gibson 

In 2015, the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world took forty 
minutes to simulate just one second of human brain activity. 



“You never realise what a good memory you have until you try to forget 
something.”—Franklin P. Jones 

According to a March 2015 Australian Bureau of Statistics media release, 
dementia (including Alzheimer’s) is now the nation’s second-biggest cause 
of death after heart disease. It is predicted that by 2050 nearly one million 
Australians will suffer from some sort of dementia, an alarming statistic 
particularly as there is no known cure for the disease at this time. It’s little 
wonder then that people are becoming more and more conscious of brain 
health and are increasingly keen to exercise it every day. 

We may not need to be memory champions, memorise books, learn 
languages in a month or perform amazing memory feats, yet there are so 
many everyday things we do that are made so much easier by having a 
better memory. 

Where did I leave my keys? 

A common problem around the world is remembering where we left our 
keys. It’s astonishing that this is such a common thing to forget and we’ve 
all done it at least once, but if you keep doing it maybe it’s time to fix the 
problem. Try the following steps to help you always remember where you 
put your keys. 

1. Visualise 

Create a vivid image of where you put the keys to help with recall. Since 
this happens in our heads, we can exaggerate to make that visualisation 
really stand out. As you put your keys on the table imagine that the keys 
grow in size and get bigger and bigger! 

* Picture your keys getting bigger and bigger. 
* Listen to the sound they make as they grow. 

2. Associate 

Linking our item to be remembered with another item allows us to recall 
better. Once again, since it is happening in our minds, we can be creative 
and make that association stand out. As the keys grow to an extraordinary 
size the table breaks in half, unable to carry the weight of the keys. 

* Picture the table breaking in half. 
* [magine the keys becoming heavy enough to break the table. 
* Listen to the sound of the table breaking. 

3. Recall 
Recall can be either conscious or accidental. 

Conscious: You remember the association with “keys breaking the table’. 
Ah, table! 

Accidental: You walk around your house looking for the keys and pass 
the table. You stop and ask yourself, “Why did the table break? Oh, the keys 
broke it.” Voila!—You find the keys. 

How to remember you've got everything before leaving the house 

As you're about to head out the front door, visualise and associate all that 
you need to take with you. If you need to take your keys, phone, phone 
charger, bag and important contract documents for signing, individually link 
each item to the door. You need to visualise each story as you are about to 
head out the door. 

1. As you are about to exit the front door a huge metallic key whacks you in the face. 

2. Your phone is now the size of the door and as it rings it causes the front door to vibrate. 
3. The phone charger is blocking your exit as you try to leave. 

4. You trip backwards over your bag as you try and head out of the door. 

5. The front door is made of very thin paper and it needs to be signed, reminding you of the 

The front door is only a trigger point to help you remember before you 
leave the house. Other trigger points might include when you get into your 
Car, or as you put on your shoes. 

Remembering where you parked your car 

We’ ve all forgotten at least once where we’ ve parked, but walking around 
and around busy multi-storey carparks can be frustrating and embarrassing. 
If you know how to memorise numbers you can memorise the level number 
if there is one. If there isn’t then find something in your surroundings as a 
visual connection. Perhaps you parked outside and there are trees about 100 
metres away roughly at a one o’clock direction. You can make a story of 
how trees crashed onto your car at 1 pm. The trick is to find something 
unique and associate it with your car—but do not involve any other car as it 
may not be there when you get back! 

Remembering shopping lists 

The simplest way to remember shopping lists is to use the memory 
techniques of linking and association. To remember the list below we need 
to create an imaginative story connecting one item to the other. 

1. soft drink 
2. flour 

3. beetroot 
4. Vegemite 

5. toilet paper 

6. pineapple 

7. cat food 

8. dishwashing liguid 
9. fly spray 

10. chocolate 

You walk into the supermarket and you are sprayed with soft drink by the staff. Just as you 
wipe yourself off, someone from the checkout accidently spills flour over you. Everyone is 
watching and you're embarrassed and turn red like a beetroot. Of course you know the best 
cure for embarrassment—a spoonful of Vegemite right down the hatch. But the Vegemite must 
have been way out of date. Your tummy starts grumbling and you run as fast as you can and 
dive into boxes of toilet paper. As you come up for air you feel a large pineapple ring around 
your neck. You take a bite and realise it’s actually cat food you’re eating. Now you feel sick 
again and need to wash your mouth out. You grab the dishwashing liquid and give your mouth 
a good clean. Your mouth is frothing and bubbles are going everywhere so you grab fly spray 
off the shelf to spray the bubbles away. It works and you celebrate by treating yourself to your 
favourite chocolate. 

If you need to memorise more than twenty items it’s best to use the Method 
of Loci as your story will get very long and one weak link in the story chain 
means you could forget everything after the last item you remembered. If, 
however, you memorise a lot of items and prefer to use linking and 
association methods, make sure your story is highly visual, imaginative and 
links physically to the next item. 

Remembering names 

A good way to remember names is to visualise the person first. What’s 
memorable about their appearance? Do they have a big nose? Long hair? 
Piercings? Exaggerate some feature even if they look remarkably normal 
otherwise. By doing this we create a strong holding spot for our information 
to be memorised—in this case the person's name. 

This is Bruce. 

To make him memorable 1 picture him with a bald head, wearing 
colourful running shoes, pants and a footy t-shirt. Now that we have a 
memorable visual of the man, we need to create a separate visual for the 
name ‘Bruce’. The first thing that comes to my mind is Bruce Lee, the 
martial arts movie star. I could also use another Bruce, I know, but Bruce 
Lee makes a more interesting story involving punches, spinning roundhouse 
kicks and cries of ‘Hayaaaa!’ 

Now for the fun part—creating the story. Visualise the person with 
colourful running shoes, footy t-shirt and bald head being attacked by Bruce 
Lee himself yelling ‘Hayaaaa!’ All that is left to do is to recall the name. 

Go back to the person you initially created an image for and think about 
what happened to them. In this example it was being attacked by Bruce Lee. 
As soon as you recall Bruce Lee it will trigger the name Bruce. 

These techniques are also helpful in remembering appointments, your 
kids’ schedules and running errands such as picking up the dry cleaning or 
dropping off shoes to be repaired. 

Everyday technology 

Technology is great when it helps us live more productive, better lives, but 
it can also cause headaches. What we presume is making us more advanced 
could in fact be dragging us behind. Here are some ways to help deal with 

annoying everyday technology problems that help exercise our minds at the 
same time. 

We have so many logins these days it’s difficult to remember them all, but 
we do know that using the same password repeatedly is neither secure nor 
smart. Even so, many websites demand a minimum of eight alphanumeric 
characters, including capital letters, and some workplaces insist you change 
your login each month! Memory techniques take the guesswork out of 
remembering multiple passwords. 

What needs to be memorised: 

* the password itself 
* username 
* the website or service you are logging into. 

These three items need images that are interconnected. It's no use trying 
just to remember a password because you may not remember what to use 
the password for. 

Let's say I want to remember an email account login and have these 

Password: sMfxFgjq 
Website: Yahoo mail 

Damo and Craig are my cats' names so I visualise them and connect 
them both to Yahoo via association. I visualise my cats in the morning after 
they've been fed with their victory cry, ‘Yahooooo! We have eaten.’ 
(Believe me, if they could speak that's exactly what they'd say.) Next is the 
password, a jumble of letters in upper and lower case, currently abstract 
with no meaning to anyone. Using the Yellow Elephant Memory Model we 
can turn the abstract into images through storytelling: 

A small snail (s) goes up a large mountain (M) and as he goes up hears some very strange faint 
sound effects (fx) coming from a huge fireplace (F) where someone has thrown tiny goji (gj) 
berries. As soon as the snail picks up the berries the queen (q), who happens to be three metres 
tall, walks in. 

Notice how I visualised small and faint images for lowercase letters and 
large, bold things for upper-case? Remember this trick. Also, be sure you 
use SMASHIN SCOPE to make your visualisation stand out. All that is left 
to do is to connect Damo and Craig with the snail story and we have 
memorised our Yahoo email password. When recalling this information, the 
first thing we see is the site or service to enter our details so we begin our 
story from that point: 

Damo and craig cry ‘Yahoooo!’ after breakfast when suddenly they realise they have eaten 
snails. One of the smaller snails escapes the food bowl and climbs up a large mountain (M) and 
hears some very strange faint sound effects (fx) coming from a huge fireplace (F) where 
someone has thrown tiny goji (gj) berries. As soon as the snail picks up the berries the queen 
(q), who happens to be three metres tall, walks in. 

It may seem like a lot of mental work just to remember one password. 
But you should only need to do it once. Once you’ve reviewed your story a 
few times you should be set and locked in the password. 

Here are some passwords to memorise. 



Once you've got the hang of making up stories, converting from abstract 
to image, see if you can use something similar for your own passwords. You 
can generate random passwords by visiting You can create passwords this way, or 
you could play with a mixture of letters, words and numbers that make 

sense to you. You can even join two different passwords together in upper 
and lower case. 

Just make sure you don't use any of these, which are the twenty-five 
worst passwords: 123456; password; 12345; 12345678; gwerty; 
1234567890; 1234; baseball; dragon; football; 1234567; monkey; letmein; 
abc123; 111111; mustang; access; shadow; master; michael; superman; 
696969; 123123; batman; trustnol. 

Since 2014 Australian credit cards no longer accept signatures for 
purchases and now require a PIN, which can be four or six digits long. The 
key elements to memorise here are: 
* the service you are using for your PIN 
* the PIN itself. 

Say, for example, I want to remember my PIN for general ATM use. 

Bank card: ANZ Bank 
PIN: 677501 

Create a visual for the ANZ Bank and the number 677501 using the 
Major system or Dominic system to encode the numbers into images. 

The Australian and New Zealand cricket teams both greet you as you walk towards the ANZ 
ATM. You're about to put your card into the machine and the Australian team gives you a piece 
of chocolate (67) while the New Zealand team takes your chocolate and glues (75) it to the 
ATM. As soon as it's glued, both the teams tell you to sit (01). 

Credit card numbers 
Credit cards require more than just memorising numbers and the key 
elements to memorise are: 

* the type of card 
* the card number 
* expiry date 

* security code 
* PIN 

The type of card: VISA 

The card number: 7833 2690 6563 1980 4323 
Expiry date: 03/2019 

Security code: 671 

PIN: 1134 

Create a visual for VISA, the card number, expiry date, security code and 

You arrive in a foreign country and unfortunately you do not have a VISA. You start coughing 
(78) to the mummy (33) next to you and receive a nudge (26) from the boss (90). You turn 
around to find that they have packed your luggage into a large shell (65) but they forgot the jam 
(63). You get annoyed so you gently tap (19) the face (80) of the ram (43) that was sitting 
quietly next to the garden gnome (23). The officer comes along and asks you when your card 
expires and you tell them your sumo (03) wrestler's nose (20) is dripping like a tap (19). The 
officer gets confused then asks for your code. You tell him it's in your jacket (671). He reaches 
into your jacket and finds a piece of paper with a PIN, and the following words written on it: 
"Teddy (11) is being held hostage by Mary (34). 

Telephone numbers 

Key elements to memorise: 

* the person/business/place to remember 
* the phone number 

Let's say you want to remember your friend Bob's number. 

Bob Norman 
Ph: 0491779841 

Create a visual for Bob Norman and the number 0491779841 using the 
Major system or Dominic system to encode the numbers into images. 

A person is constantly bobbing up and down (Bob) in a Harvey Norman (Norman) shopping 
store among the electrical goods. Bob suddenly gets a baseball bat (91) and takes a swing at 
you, but he misses and whacks a cake (77) instead. You go to take a bite of it but it’s made of 
beef (98) and there are rats (41) running out of it. 

You can, of course, use the Method of Loci for storing longer numbers if 
you like. It’s up to you how you memorise them, but as long as you create 
the story by encoding it will work. 

Stress management 

Stress can take away our ability to progress in life and keep us stuck ina 
hole that we feel we cannot escape from. Using visualisation, and especially 
through using SMASHIN SCOPE, we can create relaxing stories that make 
us breathe a whole lot better. 

Imagine yourself on a beautiful island, the sun is up and the temperature is perfect. You get up 
from lying down on the soft sandy beach and make your way into the crystal clear water. You 
dip your right foot into the water and it gives you a tiny chill sensation, which rushes from your 
feet all the way to your brain. You slowly walk through the water, feeling how soft the sand is 
on the soles of your feet as the water moves between your toes. 

You can either read the above paragraph, or feel it in your mind as an 
experience. Go back and reread it and this time visualise and feel what’s 
happening. Hear the sounds around you, feel the warmth and the chill, let 
your mind wander. 

Was it different the second time? Did you feel you were there? Being in 
the moment is a powerful strategy when dealing with stress. Using 
visualisation techniques like this help you take a break from the real world 
and go to a place that soothes the mind. 

Continue the story and make it longer, or think of another relaxing story. 
Will it involve nature, your family, success? Whatever it is use SMASHIN 
SCOPE to bring your story to life. Close your eyes for even greater effect. 


* The three-step process of remembering keys will also help you recall 
other daily things like taking the bins out, or whether you've fed the 


* Use the number systems for all number-based items or dates including 
phone numbers, PINs, credit cards—wedding anniversaries work well 
here too! 

* Use your SMASHIN ScOPE skills to create amazing visual stories for 
stress relief. 



“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”—Sydney 
J. Harris 

Most of us have spent our entire educational life learning through 
repetition. Indeed, most of the world still works this way, and probably will 
for some time yet. Many learners and educators might acknowledge other 
learning methods, but the safety and ease of rote learning ultimately 
triumphs. It’s a proven system, right? It’s produced so many academic 
champions and shaped learning culture around the world. 

But there’s still a problem. 

Repetition sucks. It takes a long time and we often forget and are forced 
to repeat things over and over again. Today’s students are given so much 
information that they don’t have time to review material so it’s no surprise 
they end up forgetting it. Then when it’s exam time they endure the ritual of 
overnight cramming—a bizarre practice that is also a widely accepted form 
of learning! 

Personally, I was never a master of cramming. I couldn’t bear the long 
hours and I’d get super stressed. My eyes were truly opened for the first 
time when I learned about memory techniques when still a student. Before 
that I had always assumed I had a bad memory. Learning memory 
techniques engaged the creative side of my brain, which I loved. I’ve 
always been imaginative but had never used my imagination for studying 

before because I learned by rote. Whole brain learning, which incorporates 
memory techniques such as mind mapping, linking systems and speed 
reading, won me over in a big way. And I didn’t stop there. I knew that if it 
could help me it would be fantastic for other students too. 

How to study faster and better 

We often don’t think about why we study, it’s just something we do because 
we have to, usually as part of school or a university course. Becoming more 
conscious about how we learn, however, helps us understand ourselves 
better and makes us more self-aware. This self-awareness can spark a 
deeper interest around specific subjects, driving deeper engagement and 
bringing real meaning to our learning efforts. 

What do you want to get out of your learning? 

If you’re at school, is your motivation to get top grades or is it to satisfy 
your parents? If you’re already working, are you studying to get better at 
your job or to find a new one? This is all fine, but have you ever thought 
about what you really want to learn? You may be an accountant who wants 
to learn how to cook Asian food, or to play a musical instrument. Wanting 
to learn something helps your mind become more receptive to new 
information because you’re more engaged with the subject matter. 

How will you motivate yourself to study? 

It’s difficult to study something that’s boring and dry. The trick is to change 
boring to exciting by using the Yellow Elephant Memory Model. Just 
imagine that the topic is the abstract, then create an image. Here you can 
use your visual skills, mind mapping, drawing, singing, dancing, or 
whatever you feel connects with the content you’re reading. Try 
transforming multiple pages from a boring old textbook into a graphic 
representation on one page. With practice, you can turn something dry into 
something memorable. 


I was never brilliant at maths. I just scraped through at secondary school, 
and at university I failed it three times, making my undergraduate degree 
take years longer than it should have! After getting into all things memory- 
and brain-related, though, I understood that my difficulties with maths came 
about because it really is another language, one that was not well 
communicated to me or well understood by me. What I have since found to 
be a real help with the building blocks of mathematics is to memorise 


Memorising formulas 

Shape areas 

We need to substitute images for symbols and letters to make stories that 
connect the logical sequence of the formula. For the multiplication symbol 
x we can have the action: jump. 

So now let's apply the stories. 

b = base 

h = height 

You walk half-way up the triangle then realise you need to get down. 
You jump on its base and then immediately jump as high as you can to 



get to the top. 


area = w xh 

w = width 

h = height 
You roll across the width of the rectangle to find a huge spider 
millimetres away, which causes you to jump up to the height of the 


You are eating a pie, which looks like an ellipse. The sauce runs down 
your shirt and you jump up, yelling ‘Aay!’ Suddenly you jump up a 
second time after a bee lands on you. 


area = 4(at+b) x h 
h = height 

You walk half-way up the trapezium and realise that you have to jump 
on top of both of your friends, ‘Amy + Ben’. Embarrassed and ashamed, 

you step back and jump extremely high. 

area =b x h 
b = base 
h = height 

You see something on the base of the parallelogram and move closer to 
investigate. It’s a snake and you jump up as high as you can from 

area = nx r? 

r = radius 

After eating your circular pie you jump on the rollercoaster —twice! 




0 = theta, which can equal the action ‘dance/dancing’. 
/ = separating 

sin = sign 

cos = cos lettuce 
tan = tansel 

csc = casket 

sec = secretary 

cot = baby cot 

opposite = opposite 
hypotenuse = hippopotamus 

adjacent = agent 
Formula: sin 0 = opposite / hypotenuse 

You're holding a sign while dancing. Opposite you is a barrier 
separating you from the hippopotamus. 

Formula: cos 0 = adjacent / hypotenuse 

You are eating cos lettuce while dancing. An agent pops out of 
nowhere and tells you to separate yourself from the hippopotamus. 

Formula: tan 0 = opposite / adjacent 

Tansel is dancing. Directly opposite him is an agent who is disgusted. 
Luckily, there is a barrier separating them. 

Formula: csc 0 - hypotenuse / opposite 

The casket is being danced on by rowdy hippopotamuses. They must 
be separated and report to the opposite end of the room to be 
disciplined. Naughty hippos. 

Formula: sec 0 - hypotenuse / adjacent 

The secretary is dancing on her desk. The rowdy hippopotamus is 
about to join in when suddenly he is separated by animal safety agents. 

Formula: cot 0 = adjacent / opposite 

The baby cot has dance music blaring out of it from a speaker. The 
parents call in the agents to separate the speaker and put it at the 
opposite end of the room’. 


| -b+ Vb? - Age 
Quadratic formula 

= = extremely loud 
x = xylophone 
—b = blown away 
+ = clown 
= heart 
b (squared) = one of the Bananas in Pyjamas, B2 
— = takes away 
4ac = 4 apples with multiple cinnamon donuts 
= divided by 

2a = 2 apples 

The xylophone is being played extremely loudly and is eventually 
blown away by an angry clown. Your heart starts racing, then one of 
the Bananas in Pyjamas, B2, comes to help. He takes away your fear 
by giving you 4 apples with multiple cinnamon donuts. You are very 
kind and divide 2 of the apples to share with friends. 

How to write a good essay 

Studying is not just about gathering knowledge and making sense of it, 
though; it’s also about showing that you understand that knowledge, and the 
most common way we do this is through written essays, reports and exams. 
The real stumbling block to success in writing comes from not carefully 
organising our thoughts and approach, so planning is essential. Our sample 
essay comes from Monash University’s Language and Learning Online site. 

1. Look closely at the essay topic 

In the last twenty years, rates of divorce have risen significantly in 
Western countries. critically analyse some of the different explanations 

given for this phenomenon. In your discussion you should consider what 
implications these explanations might have for social policy. 

2. Order the information 
The first thing to do is identify the topic, which here is rates of divorce (in 
Western countries). Now we need to establish a structure for the essay. Most 
are pretty straightforward, requiring an introduction, three or four main 
points (or paragraphs) in the body of the essay using quotes or references to 
support your argument, then a conclusion with a final point or recapping on 
points already made. 

By analysing the question we can create a mind map structure for our 

overview of issue 

history of problem 
Introduction we 

state intended purpose of essay 

f examples 
changes in laws . 
problam with argument 

Rates of Divorce Body explanations | broad societal ^ examples 
Essay a problem with argument 

implications for 
social policy 

point of view 

Conclusion - 
own insights summary/responsa 

3. Write to fill in the structure 
Once you've established the shape of the essay it's much easier to write the 
content to follow the different points that need to be made. 

4. Fill in the gaps 

Once you create your branches you can clearly see what you need to write 
about. If you get stuck, simply move on to another branch and continue. It's 
not necessary for you to write chronologically, and because you've created 
the structure the pieces will all fit together. It's a little like having a skeleton 
—now you need to add flesh to it. 

5. Essential supporting material 

Use guotes 

They can help effectively support your argument and do so succinctly, and 
are often from experts in their field. 

Use facts 
Facts help bolster your argument—key discoveries and key dates are 
essential to give authority to an essay. 

Here is the finished sample essay: 

A major change that has occurred in the Western family is an increased 
incidence in divorce. Whereas in the past, divorce was a relatively rare 
occurrence, in recent times it has become quite commonplace. This change 
is borne out clearly in census figures. For example, thirty years ago in 
Australia, only one marriage in ten ended in divorce; nowadays the figure is 
more than one in three (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1996: p. 45). A 
consequence of this change has been a substantial increase in the number of 
single-parent families and the attendant problems that this brings 
(Kilmartin, 1997). 

An important issue for sociologists, and indeed for all of society, is why 
these changes in marital patterns have occurred. In this essay I will seek to 
critically examine a number of sociological explanations for the ‘divorce 
phenomenon’ and also consider the social policy implications that each 
explanation carries with it. It will be argued that the best explanations are to 
be found within a broad socioeconomic framework. 

One type of explanation for rising divorce has focused on changes in 
laws relating to marriage. For example, Bilton, Bonnett and Jones (1987) 
argue that increased rates of divorce do not necessarily indicate that 
families are now more unstable. It is possible, they claim, that there has 
always been a degree of marital instability. They suggest that changes in the 
law have been significant, because they have provided unhappily married 

couples with ‘access to a legal solution to pre-existent marital problems’ (p. 
301). Bilton et al. therefore believe that changes in divorce rates can be best 
explained in terms of changes in the legal system. The problem with this 
type of explanation, however, is that it does not consider why these laws 
have changed in the first place. It could be argued that reforms to family 
law, as well as the increased rate of divorce that has accompanied them, are 
the product of more fundamental changes in society. 

Another type of explanation is one that focuses precisely on these broad 
societal changes. For example, Nicky Hart (cited in Haralambos, 1995) 
argues that increases in divorce and marital breakdown are the result of 
economic changes that have affected the family. One example of these 
changes is the raised material aspirations of families, which Hart suggests 
has put pressure on both spouses to become wage earners. Women as a 
result have been forced to become both homemakers and economic 
providers. According to Hart, the contradiction of these two roles has led to 
conflict and this is the main cause of marital breakdown. It would appear 
that Hart’s explanation cannot account for all cases of divorce—for 
example, marital breakdown is liable to occur in families where only the 
husband is working. Nevertheless, her approach, which is to relate changes 
in family relations to broader social forces, would seem to be more probing 
than one that looks only at legislative change. 

The two explanations described above have very different implications 
for social policy, especially in relation to how the problem of increasing 
marital instability might be dealt with. Bilton et al. (1995) offer a legal 
explanation and hence would see the solutions also being determined in this 
domain. If rises in divorce are thought to be the consequence of liberal 
divorce laws, the obvious way to stem this rise is to make them less 
obtainable. This approach, one imagines, would lead to a reduction in 
divorce statistics; however, it cannot really be held up as a genuine solution 
to the problems of marital stress and breakdown in society. Indeed it would 

seem to be a solution directed more at symptoms than addressing 
fundamental causes. Furthermore, the experience of social workers working 
in the area of family welfare suggests that restricting a couple’s access to 
divorce would in some cases serve only to exacerbate existing marital 
problems (Johnson, 1981). In those cases where violence is involved, the 
consequences could be tragic. Apart from all this, returning to more 
restrictive divorce laws seems to be a solution little favoured by Australians 
(Harrison, 1990). 

Hart (cited in Haralambos, 1995), writing from a Marxist-feminist 
position, traces marital conflict to changes in the capitalist economic system 
and their resultant effect on the roles of men and women. It is difficult to 
know, however, how such an analysis might be translated into practical 
social policies. This is because the Hart program would appear to require in 
the first place a radical restructuring of the economic system. Whilst this 
may be desirable for some, it is not achievable in the present political 
climate. Hart is right, however, to suggest that much marital conflict can be 
linked in some way to the economic circumstances of families. This is 
borne out in many statistical surveys which show consistently that rates of 
divorce are higher among socially disadvantaged families (McDonald, 
1993). This situation suggests then that social policies need to be geared to 
providing support and security for these types of families. It is little cause 
for optimism, however, that in recent years governments of all persuasions 
have shown an increasing reluctance to fund social welfare programs of this 

It is difficult to offer a comprehensive explanation for the growing trend 
of marital breakdown; and it is even more difficult to find solutions that 
might ameliorate the problems created by it. clearly though, as I have 
argued in this essay, the most useful answers are to be found not within a 
narrow legal framework, but within a broader socio-economic one. 

Finally, it is worth pointing out that, whilst we may appear to be living in 
a time of increased family instability, research suggests that, historically, 
instability may have been the norm rather than the exception. As Bell and 
Zajdow (1997) point out, in the past, single-parent and step-families were 
more common than is assumed—although the disruptive influence then was 
not divorce, but the premature death of one or both parents. This situation 
suggests that in studying the modern family, one needs to employ a 
historical perspective, including the possibility of looking to the past in 
searching for ways of dealing with problems in the present. 


Australian Bureau of Statistics (1996). Divorces, Australia. canberra: 
Australian Government Printing Service. 

Bell, R. and G. Zajdow (1997). Family and household. In R. Jureidini, S. 
Kenny and M. Poole (eds). Sociology: Australian Connections. St 
Leonards. NSW: Allen & Unwin. 

Bilton, T., K. Bonnett and P. Jones (1987). Introductory Sociology, 2nd 
edition. London: Macmillan. 

Haralambos, M. (1995). Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 3rd edition. 
London: Bell & Hyman. 

Harrison, M. (1995). Grounds for divorce. Family Matters. No. 42, pp. 34— 

Johnson, V. (1981). The Last Resort: A Women’s Refuge. Ringwood: 

Kilmartin, c. (1997). children divorce and one-parent families. Family 
Matters. No. 48. (available online). 

McDonald, P. (1993). Family Trends and Structure in Australia. Australian 
Family Briefings No. 3. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family 

Sometimes it is rocket science 

It should be clear by now how mind maps can really help condense many 
points of information to keep you focused on the sum of its parts. Just for 
fun I thought of creating a mind map for a chapter on rocket science taken 
from the NASA website, which you can find here: 

there are some important 
differences in application of forces 

lift force used to overcome d 

the weight on an aiplana 

thrust is used in opposition 

to weight cred E, 
lift is used to stabilise 8 on many 
control the direction of flight rockets 

the wings most of the aerodynamic 

forces are generated by ` onan airplane Forces on 
and tail surfaces a rocket 
the fi : 
À aerodynamic forces are Differences in 
mosecone ` Generated by forarocket | 2. the application 
body tube of the forces 
[the yellow dot 

with the black aerodynamic forces 
centre on the act through the centre 
figure) of pressure both airplane 

(tha yellow dot while the weight acts & rocket 

on the figure) through the centre of gravity 

although same 4 forces act on a rocket ason an airplane 

the drag of a rocket is usually While most airplanes have 

much greater than the lift a high lift to drag ratio 3. 
magnitude and direction of the 
forces remain fairly constant for an airplane 
Magnitude and direction of the 4. 

forces change dramatically 

during a typical flight for a rockat 

an excellent way to leam basics of forces 

| and response of an object to extemal forces 

Study of by Sir Isaac Newton 
FOCKEtS | the motion of an abject in first accurately described 
response to an extemal force — over 300 years ago 

using his 3 laws of motion design & predict 
the flight of full 
engineers still usa Newton's laws to scale rockets 
/ have both magnitude 
/ are vector quantities 2. 
/ — anda direction 
f when describing nature of magnituda 
forces must account for both ~ 
- direction 
magnitude depends on mass 
of all parts of rocket 
1. weight weight force always directed acts through the — (the yellow dot 
towards centre of earth centre of gravity on the figure) 
| S the mass flow rate 
magnitude through engine 
depends on 
and the velocity & 
| 2 thrust | pressure at exit of nozzle 
Forces na normaly acts along 
in flight, rocket the longitudinal axis — therefore acts through the 
— | subjected to of the rocket center of gravity 
4 forces 
some full scale rockets — 1o produce a force which is not 
can move, or gimbal aligned with the center of gravity 
ther nozks 
the resulting torque about ` can be used to 
8 : the center of gravity manoeuwe the rocket 
£ 3. lift 
S 4. drag shape 
H size 
= magnitude depands on velocity of the rocket 
properties of the atmosphere 
act through the centre (the black and yellow 
of pressure dot on the figure) 
on mission 
very important for may not be important — "f rocket usually spend 
model rockets for full scale rockets short amount 
full scale of time in 
boosters atmoephere 
the magnitude & sometimes the direction 
in flight f 
Response | | of the 4 forces is constantly changing 
of rocket | . ` | 
relative magnitude & like a motion of the 
dependson direction of forcas rope in ‘tug of war’ 
being careful to account 
for direction 
if forces are 
added up a net external force on resulting mation described by 

the rocket is obtained Newton's laws of motion 


* Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your 
mind from everyday routine. 

* Keep at it and get others involved. Social learning makes you learn 
even faster. 
* Use mind mapping to organise writing projects for articles, essays and 

* Don't ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and change in the 




‘Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the 
most universally understood language. ‘—Walt Disney 

Making information memorable for others is what communication is all 
about, and it’s the fourth and final step of the Yellow Elephant Memory 
Model. What is memorable for ourselves, however, may not work for 
others. Everyone learns differently and information can be perceived in 
many ways so it’s important to think not only about the information you're 
providing but also how you'll communicate that to an audience. 

Making speeches memorable 

Many people in the world fear public speaking, and for many different 
reasons. Memory techniques allow you to be confident that your 
information is safely stored in your head and accessible, which helps you 
present with conviction and hopefully settles nerves. Here are some quick 
tips to help you present that material with confidence. 

Know your audience 

This allows you to really tailor your message. Always ask ahead for as 
many details as you can, such as the number of people expected, their age 
demographic, the types of jobs they have and, if possible, what they hope to 
get from the presentation. 

Know your key message 

In one sentence determine what it is that you're trying to say to your 
audience. If you struggle to do this, then you need to simplify your 


Write down all the things you will talk about and create a mind map to 
quickly identify the main subject areas so you can then develop your 

Once you have mapped out your talk, work out how long the sections will 
take. With practice these estimates become fairly accurate. 


If you have time, practise your presentation in front of a mirror, video 
recorder or family and friends. This will help you evaluate your vocal 
projection and diction, and show if your body language needs some work 
and if you’re rushing things or are too slow. 


If you’ve done all your preparation this should be easy. Of course nerves, 
technical problems, hecklers, roadworks outside and other disruptions could 
still occur so your best defence is to know your message really well. 
Memorise your key words, themes and approach. This is better than 
memorising your entire talk word for word because you can present it 
naturally in different ways. People don't want to see a robot talking, they 
want to see a human speaking. It is far more engaging and builds trust. 

Get feedback 

Comments—whether they are great, constructive or negative—provide 
opportunities for you to improve in areas that you might not even have been 
aware of such as mumbling or needing to ask more questions from the 

audience. No feedback means you only take away what you have 

Reflect and improve 

Not many presenters reflect on their speech once it’s over. But taking the 
time to review your speech provides you with ways to improve it so next 
time it’s even better. 

Death by PowerPoint 
Think of presentations where the screen is filled with text and the presenter 
drones on, reading out every single word, neglecting to add any images to 
break up the words and create some variety. How dull! These types of talks 
are trapped in the first step of the Yellow Elephant Memory Model: without 
images the presentation cannot move to the second step. 

The excerpt below is from The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. 


Headings. Leave a blank line, or its equivalent in space, after the title or heading of a 
manuscript. On succeeding pages, if using ruled paper, begin on the first line. 

Numerals. Do not spell out dates or other serial numbers. Write them in figures or in Roman 
notation, as may be appropriate. 

August 9, 1918 (9 August 1918) 
Rule 3 

chapter XII 

352nd Infantry 

Parentheses. A sentence containing an expression in parenthesis is punctuated, outside of the 
marks of parenthesis, exactly as if the expression in parenthesis were absent. The expression 
within is punctuated as if it stood by itself, except that the final stop is omitted unless it is a 
question mark or an exclamation point. 

I went to his house yesterday (my third attempt to see him), but he had left town. 

He declares (and why should we doubt his good faith?) that he is now certain of success. 

(When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized, the final stop comes before 
the last mark of parenthesis.) 

Quotations. Formal quotations, cited as documentary evidence, are introduced by a colon 
and enclosed in quotation marks. 

The provision of the constitution is: “No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from 
any state.” 

Quotations grammatically in apposition or the direct objects of verbs are preceded by a 
comma and enclosed in quotation marks. 

I recall the maxim of La Rochefoucauld, “Gratitude is a lively sense of benefits to come.” 
Aristotle says, “Art is an imitation of nature.” 

Quotations of an entire line, or more, of verse, are begun on a fresh line and centered, but 
need not be enclosed in quotation marks. 

Wordsworth’s enthusiasm for the Revolution was at first unbounded: 
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very heaven! 

Quotations introduced by that are regarded as in indirect discourse and not enclosed in 
quotation marks. 

Keats declares that beauty is truth, truth beauty. 

Proverbial expressions and familiar phrases of literary origin require no quotation marks. 
These are the times that try men’s souls. 

He lives far from the madding crowd. 

The same is true of colloquialisms and slang. 

References. In scholarly work requiring exact references, abbreviate titles that occur 
frequently, giving the full forms in an alphabetical list at the end. As a general practice, give the 
references in parenthesis or in footnotes, not in the body of the sentence. Omit the words act, 
scene, line, book, volume, page, except when referring by only one of them. Punctuate as 
indicated below. 

In the second scene In III.ii (still better, simply insert IIL.ii in 
of the third act parenthesis at the proper place in the sentence) 

After the killing of Polonius, Hamlet is placed under guard (IV.ii. 14). 
2 Samuel i:17—27 
Othello IL.ïii. 264—267, IILiii. 155—161. 

Syllabication. If there is room at the end of a line for one or more syllables of a word, but 
not for the whole word, divide the word, unless this involves cutting off only a single letter, or 
cutting off only two letters of a long word. No hard and fast rule for all words can be laid down. 
The principles most frequently applicable are: 

(a) Divide the word according to its formation: 

know-ledge (not knowl-edge); Shake-speare (not Shakespeare); de-scribe (not des-cribe); 
atmo-sphere (not atmos-phere); 

(b) Divide “on the vowel:” 

edi-ble (not ed-ible); propo-sition; ordi-nary; espe-cial; religious; oppo-nents; regu-lar; 
classi-fi-ca-tion (three divisions allowable); deco-rative; presi-dent; 

(c) Divide between double letters, unless they come at the end of the simple form of the 

Apen-nines; cincin-nati; refer-ring; but tell-ing. 

(d) Do not divide before final —ed if the e is silent: 

treat-ed (but not roam-ed or nam-ed). 

The treatment of consonants in combination is best shown from examples: 

for-tune; pic-ture; sin-gle; presump-tuous; illus-tration; substan-tial (either division); indus- 
try; instruc-tion; sug-ges-tion; incen-diary. 

The student will do well to examine the syllable-division in a number of pages of any 
carefully printed book. 

Titles. For the titles of literary works, scholarly usage prefers italics with capitalised initials. 
The usage of editors and publishers varies, some using italics with capitalised initials, others 
using Roman with capitalised initials and with or without quotation marks. Use italics 
(indicated in manuscript by underscoring), except in writing for a periodical that follows a 
different practice. Omit initial A or The from titles when you place the possessive before them. 

The Iliad; The Odyssey; As You Like It; To a Skylark; The Newcomes; ATale ofTwo Cities; 
Dickens's Tale ofTwo Cities. 

Now compare the tezt against a mind map version of the same content. 

that occur frequently > abbreviate titles 

In scholarly work 
requiring exact references 

give full forms in alphabetical list at end. 
give references in parenthesis or 
in footnotes 
the body of the sentence ` notin 
line | she words References 
een omit 
page As general practica 
when refering by only one of tham - except 
In the second scene of the third act 
In Ill ii (still better, simply insert Ill ii in 
parenthesis at the proper place in the sentence] 
After th kiling of Polonius, Hamlet is placed under guard (IV i. 14). | Parme ^ 
2 Samuel i:17-27 
Othello Il iii 264-267, IIl.iii. 155-161 
introducad by a colon _ formal quotations 
enclosed in quotation marks ` (Cited as documentary 
The provision of the Constitution is: "No tax or duty evidence) 
shall be laid on articles exported from any state.” example 
ara preceded by a comma -— 8 
: quotations in apposition 
enclosed in quotation marks ^ or (the direct objects 
| recall the maxim of La Rochefoucauld, of verbs] 
"Gratitude is a lively sense of benefits to come." example 
Aristotle says, “Art is an imitation of nature." | 
are begun on a fresh line 
and centred 
be enclosed in quotation marks > but need not : 
quotations of an entire Quotations 

Wordsworth's enthusiasm for the Revolution was at first unbounded: 

line or (more, of verse] 

example | 


Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 

. But to be young was very heaven! 
ix | -~ | quotations 
indirect discourse  rogarded as | introduced by 
and not enclosed in quotation marks 
Keats declares that beauty is truth, truth beauty | 
proverbial expressions 
familiar phrases of literary origin 
"m requiring no 
colloquial — quotation marks 
These are the times that try man's souls. sang 
example | 

He lives far from the madding crowd. 

after title or heading leave a blank line 
RUM or equivalent in space 
Headings I P 

on succeeding pages > if using ruled papar ` begin on the first line 

spell out dates 
do not 
or other serial numbers 


IVA Few Numerals | 
Matters roman notation 

of Form iai 
August 9, 1919 (August 1918) 
example Rule 3 
Chapter XII 
352d Infantry 

SC is punctuated 
A sentence containing 

anexpression > in parenthesis outside of the marks of paranthasis 

exactly as if expression in 
parenthesis were absent 


: is punctuated as if it stood by itself E 
the expression unless it is a 

within except — that the final stop question mark 
is omitted : 
or an exclamation 

| went to his house yesterday [my third 
attempt to sae him), but he had left town 

— He dedares [and why should we doubt his 
good faith?] that he is now certain of success 

The use of narrative illustration 
Just as mind maps can be used to summarise large volumes of information 
in an organised way, so too can illustrations. These techniques mirror the 
Yellow Elephant Memory Model because the abstract spoken word is 
transformed into images, which then tell a story. This is what you often find 
in comics and graphic novels but they're increasingly being used to help 
presentations. Check out a few of the sites listed in the Sources page (p. 

184) at the back of this book. 

fO key points 

e Know your key message when presenting. 

e Rehearse your presentation. 

* Use imagery, stories and key words as triggers for your talk. 
* Double-check content before you speak or press send. Will the 
audience or reader easily understand it? 

* Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data. 



“Learning never exhausts the mind.”—Leonardo Da Vinci 

Learning another language opens a door to a new culture and expands your 
assumptions of how other people, often very different from you, live their 
lives. It also demonstrates to everyone your dedication and discipline, 
which may result in other, extra benefits and opportunities. There are, 
however, a raft of reasons people use to explain why they’ve not managed 
to learn another language, many of them similar to those made in chapter 5. 

‘It’s too difficult’ 

I used to believe Chinese was an extremely difficult language to learn 
because of its bewildering written text with its vast number of characters, 
and the very different sounds it makes being spoken. But when I began 
studying it I found some principles were easier to understand than with 
English. You never know unless you give it a go. 

‘I don’t have the time’ 
People are busy and time is precious. Most people, though, don’t know how 
to use their free time effectively. New technologies are also needlessly 
keeping us busier as well as wasting our time. 
And what if learning a language wasn’t so difficult or time-consuming? 
In 2013 I spent a year as a participant in the Asialink Leader’s Program. 
This program allows leaders in a range of professional fields to initiate 

projects that engage and build stronger Asia—Australia relationships. As the 
‘memory expert’ I wanted to apply memory techniques to learn Chinese 
Mandarin in the most effective and efficient way possible. 

I couldn’t begin by opening any book on Mandarin and memorising but 
instead had to develop a plan, similar to the one I used to memorise the 
Yellow Pages. I knew I had to: 

* develop a memory strategy 

* choose the most suitable memory techniques 

* develop a learning program incorporating the techniques 
* test it myself. 

This project helped me develop a template not just for learning 
Mandarin, but for any language. And the cool part is that if you spend forty 
minutes a day on this you'll be speaking the language within a month. 

How it works 

Many people believe we need to learn and memorise vocabulary to learn 
and speak a language. While this may be true in one sense, memorising 
hundreds or even thousands of words doesn't mean that you'll learn the 
language. This is because words on their own have no context and 
meanings can differ enormously depending on the situation. When we were 
children our parents spoke to us with phrases like “Come here”, “Hello, how 
are you?” and “What on earth are you doing?” (Okay, the last one was 
inspired by my wife dealing with my four-year-old.) 

We learned our mother tongue through repeated phrases, so it makes 
sense for us to memorise phrases instead of individual words. The 
difference between remembering through rote learning (the repetition of 
phrases) and memory techniques is time. You may repeat phrases hundreds 
of times, while memory techniques may only require three or four 
repetitions. Memory techniques enable you to learn much faster, with better 

long-term recognition. Memorising phrases helps us learn things in context 
and gets us speaking much faster than if learning individual words. The 
concept then is: the more phrases you memorise, the more language you 
will be able to speak. 

To begin you will need to do three things: 

1. learn and memorise the pronunciations 
2. memorise the phrases 
3. review phrases. 

If you don’t learn the correct pronunciation then the memory connections 
you make will be incorrect. Yes, you'll likely remember them, but you'll 
end up saying the wrong thing! It is essential to spend time memorising the 
pronunciations, and this is especially the case for languages that are tonal 
like Chinese. Tonal languages use different pitches to distinguish meaning. 
Memorise the wrong pitch, and you could be offending someone instead of 
asking for their name. 

Chinese Mandarin 
Pinyin system 

This system was designed to translate the pronunciation of Chinese 
characters phonetically. Pinyin is Chinese for ‘spelled-out sounds’. 


Similar to ‘b’ in ‘boat’, softened to a ‘p’ sound. 
Similar to ‘p’ in ‘top —with more finality. 

Same as ‘m’ in the English ‘ma’. 

Same as ‘f’ in the English ‘fat’. 

Similar to ‘d’ in the English ‘down’: softened to approach a ‘t’ 

Similar to 't' in the English ‘top’. 
Similar to ‘n’ in the English ‘name’. 



m o 



m | 
m | 
m | 






Purse your lips and position the tongue high and forwards. 

Similar to ‘er’ in the English ‘hers’. 

Similar to “V in the English ‘look’. 
Similar to ‘g’ in the English ‘go’: softened to approach a ‘k’ 

Similar to ‘k’ in the English ‘kiss’. 

Similar to ‘h’ in the English ‘hope’. 

Similar to ‘j’ in the English ‘jeep’: tongue is positioned below 
lower teeth. 

Similar to ‘ch’ in the English ‘cheap’: tongue is positioned 
below lower teeth. 
Similar to ‘sh’ in the English ‘sheep’: tongue is positioned 
below lower teeth. 

Similar to ‘j’ in the English ‘jam’. 
Similar to ‘ch’ in the English ‘cheap’. 

Similar to ‘sh’ in the English ‘ship’. 

Similar to ‘z’ in the English ‘azure’. 

Same as ‘ds’ in the English ‘woods’. 

Similar to ‘ts’ in the English ‘bits’. 

Similar to ‘s’ in the English ‘see’. 

Similar to ‘ee’ in the English ‘bee’. 

Similar to ‘oo’ in the English ‘room’. 

Similar to ‘ah’ in the English ‘Ah-ha!’ 
Similar to ‘or’ in the English ‘bore’. 

Similar to the English ‘Yay!’ 

Similar to the English ‘eye’. 

Similar to ‘ei’ in the English ‘weigh’. 

Similar to ‘au’ in ‘sauerkraut’. 

Similar to ‘ou’ in ‘dough’. 

Similar to ‘an’ in ‘fan’. 

n Similar to ‘un’ in ‘under’. 

ng A Mandarin ‘a’ followed by the ‘ng’ sound like in the English 

ng A Mandarin ‘e’ followed by the ‘ng’ sound like in the English 

r A Mandarin ‘e’ with the tongue curled back. 

Tonal system 
There are five tones in Chinese Mandarin, which are critical to understand 

as you learn to speak the language. Warning: if the tone you use is incorrect 
you'll be saying something completely different from what you meant to 




er | 

1. Level monotone ma (mother) 
The tone is consistent, just like opening your mouth at the dentist and 
saying “ahhhhh'. 

2. Rising tone ma (hemp) 

The tone rises up as if asking a question: what? 

3. Dips down then up ma (horse) 
The tone dips down and then back up again, like stretching out the word 

‘door’: doo—oor. 

4. Fast fall down ma (scold) 
The tone quickly dips down, similar to saying ‘the’ quickly. 

5. Neutral: No emphasis ma 

Sounds as it is read, like ‘meh’—like you just don’t care. 

How to memorise Chinese phrases 

Use the Yellow Elephant association techniques to help you. 

Abstract: Ni hao ma: How are you? 

Image: NI (knee) hao (how) ma (ma: as in mother) 

Association: You hit your ‘knee’ on the table and started to scream in pain. You hear a voice 
behind you asking: ‘Howww’ did you do that?’ You turn around and see that it was your ‘ma’, 
who then says, ‘How are you?’ 


Many of us likely began to study French at school but gave it away after a 
couple of years. This romance language shares many similarities with 
English, and the same alphabet certainly helps. 



Gad |Similarto@in‘ad’ ~~’ 

Similar to ‘a’ in ‘around’. 

inary ny | to “ay” in Jay 
&à Se —  |Similar to ‘e’ in ‘get’. 

a: Similar to ‘ee’ in ‘deed’. 
Similar to ‘oh’ or ‘aw’ in ‘saw’. 
Similar to ‘oo’ in ‘food’. 
Similar to ‘ew’ in ‘few’. 
Similar to ‘ee’ in ‘deed’. 


b | Same as ‘b’ in ‘bed’. 

Same as ‘c’ in ‘colour’. 

ke ç [Similar to ‘s’ in ‘sit’. 

d | E ame as ‘d’ in ‘dog’. 

t E ame as ‘f’ in ‘fit’. 
E [Same as ‘g’ in ‘get’. 

This is a silent letter. 

if Similar to ‘g’ in ‘orange’. 

Same as ‘k’ in ‘kite’. 


Same as ‘k’ in ‘kite’. 
Similar to first ‘r’ in ‘rare’. 

Same as ‘z’ in ‘zip’. 




Gliding vowels (diphthongs) 

Similar to ‘i’ in ‘light’, 
Similar to ‘ea’ in ‘head’. 

Similar to ‘oh’. 

Similar to ‘ahng’, without the ‘g’. 

Similar to ‘oo’ in ‘poodle’. 

Similar to ‘e’ in ‘me’, but faster. 

Sounds like ‘air’. 

ez | ez |Similar to ‘ay’ in ‘lay’. 

en, em  |Nasal sound; same as ‘an’. 

in Nasa sound; like ‘ang’ in ‘gang’, without the ‘g’. 
oi JJ Similar to ‘wa’ in ‘wander’. 

Nasal sound; like ‘ang’ in gang, without the ‘g’. 
Similar to ‘oo’ in ‘fool’. 

on  |Nasal sound; like ‘ong’ in ‘thong, without the ‘g’. 
Similar to ‘wee’ in ‘weep’. 

ui Similar to ‘wee’ in ‘weep’, but with the tongue 

un — — |Nasal sound; like ‘ung’ in ‘lung’, without the P. 

Similar to ‘sh’ in ‘push’. 

g "e Similar to ‘ny’ in ‘canyon’. 

NENNEN: Similar to ‘y’ in ‘years’. 
Similar to P. 
eo ph —  |Similar to ‘P’ in ‘fan’. 
Similar to the ‘ch’ in ‘chess’. 

Similar to the ‘t’ in ‘tap. 

The ‘t’ followed by rolling of the tongue. 

How to memorise French phrases 

Abstract: Comment allez-vous? How are you? 
Image: Comment (comment) allez (Ali) vouz (you) 

Association: A really funny ‘comment’ was made to ‘Ali’. He turned around and asked “How 
are you?' to the person making the remarks. 

It will take some time at first to come up with associations for the foreign 
words, but a minute or two is all that's needed to make up a story 
connecting the phrase similar to the example above. The more you practice, 
the better you will get. 

Try and visualise the story and the sounds around you and you won't 
need to repeat phrases a hundred times to learn them. A simple association 
with some emotion will make things so much faster and you'll be well on 
your way to learning any language in record time. 

Learning 1500 phrases will have you speaking the language at its very 
basic form. If you spend around forty minutes a day memorising twenty- 
five phrases then you'll pick up the spoken language in two months. That is 
less than forty-eight hours' study! If you like, you can build on this with 
seventeen phrases a day for three months. This system means that you can 
learn to speak any language within months not years. 

Try your memorisation skills with the following Mandarin and French 

Mee NI gen wò vil qù ma?  |Are you coming SE me? 
Iech Bekveme | 
Call me tomorrow. 

Can you speak slowly? 

Gmwóhi —  Comewime —— | 

Do you see him often? 

Do you understand? 

Do you want something? 

Bu yao gaosu wi  |Dortelmeta. ——————— 
Bang wð yia —  Giemeahmd 
Muhwángqinzóu [Go rightahea. — | 

NI zuo wan le ma? Have you finished? 
Wien zai 
How long are you staying? 
Iwóduitàázháomle || am crazy about her. 

WO zai langféi shjian ^ | am wasting my time. 

WO jiánzhíbünéngxiangxn 1 can’t believe it. 

WO méishijianle Il don’t have time. 

WO yrgéréndoubárénshi fi don’t know anybody. 

Fendà —— "Emdsh 
Bun. — ME 
Vous parlez Vous parlez francais? —— | Do you speak French? (formal) 

Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement, |Could you speak more slowly, 
s’il vous plait? please? 

Pourriez-vous me l'écrire, s'il vous |Could you write it down for me, 
plait? please? 

[Je ne comprends pas. | |] don't understand. 
See you tomorrow! 

Excuse me, where’s the toilet? 
Bonne joumée! Haaa ne | 
Pai un petit nez et un visage rond. || have a small nose and a round face. 
E ee 


Tu as [Tu as le visage très rouge. | [Tu as le visage très rouge. ` très rouge. Your Your face is very red. | is Your face is very red. | red. 

J'aime le chocolat mais je n'aime I like chocolate but I don't like milk. 
pas le lait. 

Qu'est-ce que vous voulez boire? | Qu'est-ce que vous voulez boire? ` What would you like to drink? 

Ue cherche le centre commercial. — |I am looking for the shopping mall. 
Combiencoütelebille? ^ |Howmuchisaücke? JI 
Ue peux essayer cette robe? — | May I try on this dress? 

Pouvez-vous m'aider? [Can you help me? | 
We e right. Have a good day, Miss. 
bonne j Dunes Mademoiselle. 

[De quoi souffrez-vous? sid De quoi souffrez-vous? ` What s wrong with you? 

Do you take credit cards? 

KY key points 

Make sure you memorise the pronunciations before memorising 
phrases. It will make learning much more effective. 

Take your time and don’t rush making associations for phrases. Use 
the SMASHIN ScOPE technique to help you. 

Visualise the end goal of speaking the language. How will it feel to 
communicate with someone in their language? Use this as motivation 
to keep you going. 

Have fun making silly stories for characters and phrases. 

Make sure you can practise with someone who speaks the language. 

You don’t want to be memorising for hours only to have done it 

Don’t worry about getting the exact memory associations for words or 
phrases. Even making an association to the first letter can be enough to 
trigger the rest of the word. 



‘One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.’—Bob 

Learning to play a musical instrument is often at the top of people’s wish 
list of things to do, but most just don’t get around to it. I taught myself how 
to play guitar, and back in the day played in a band in front of thousands as 
well as recorded in studios. And there are many famous self-taught 
guitarists such as Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Eddie Van 
Halen. I’m not saying ditch the lessons because learning the fundamentals 
and music theory will give you musical know-how and many more ideas on 
how to make your own music. But if you just want to play then it makes 
good sense to start with a simple approach. 

How to play guitar 
Most people will have some idea of how to hold a guitar. Usually it rests on 
your leg (right, if you’re right-handed) and is kept close to your body, 
upright and straight. It’s important not to slouch as it’s bad for posture and 
will make you tire more easily. 

You can play individual notes and chords on a guitar, though here we'll 
focus on individual notes so you become familiar with the instrument. An 
easy way to play notes, even if you don't know them, is to use guitar 

tablature. Tablature shows you where to place your fingers on the guitar to 
Here is part of the classical song Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven: 

Part 1 (Play this whole section twice) 


The letters represent the notes and string types. The first string starts 
from the bottom E, then second string is A, then D, G, B, and the sixth 
string, E. You don’t need to memorise these—you just need to know that 
the first string is the thickest string, and the thinnest string is the sixth 

This means that Für Elise starts with placing your finger on and playing 
the twelfth fret on the sixth string, then the eleventh fret on the sixth string, 
and back to the twelfth fret. A 0 on a line means playing an open string. 
Have a go at playing the rest of Für Elise. Once you have mastered the 
guitar tablature, you can memorise the tablature by using the Major or 
Dominic systems. 


Part 2 


Part 1b 


Let’s look at ways to use the number systems to memorise guitar scales, 
chord progressions and aspects of music theory. 
The start of Für Elise can be memorised using the Major system: 

5=1,7=k, 8=f, 10-ts, 11 = td, 12 = tn 

Picture giving a tin can of food to a toad. He doesn't like it and throws the tin back. You walk 
up to the toad and ask why it didn't like the tin? He tells you that he needs a key to open it. 
You wiggle your toes and magically the can opens. Much to both your surprise, there is a loud 
woof sound coming from inside. You both lie on the floor in shock. 

This memory technique also works very well to remember guitar scales as 

C Ionian starting from the A-string 

If we create words in groups of three digits using the Major system we get 
the following: 

357(milk), 357(milk), 457(relic), 568(leech-off), 578(liquefy) 
3=m,4=1r,5=1,6=ch, 7=kandgq, 8=f 

Picture Dora the Explorer drinking her milk. She loves it so much she’s going for a second 
helping of milk. As she reaches for the fridge to grab one out, she takes out an old relic instead. 
From inside the relic out jumps a huge leech that latches on to Dora. She tells the leech off for 
scaring her and liquefies it with help from her trusty monkey Boots. 

The keyboard 
Piano lessons have been a part of many people’s lives for generations. 
Today the piano is still one of the most popular instruments to play. 
According to a 2010 LA Times article, six-year-olds who received keyboard 
instruction had more brain growth and finer motor skills than their peers. 
The piece also stated that ‘learning to make music changes the brain and 
boosts broad academic performance’. So to sharpen the mind and improve 
memory, get in amongst music and play it rather than just listen to it. 

For those of you otherwise unfamiliar with the keyboard, let’s play the 
song “You Are My Sunshine’ by Charles Mitchell and Jimmy Davis (Paul 

1. First you need to memorise the notes for the song. 
The notes are: 

C (this one’s middle c) 




C (high c) 

A simple way of remembering these notes is to group and make words from 
them from the song below. 

l 3 H 5 5 1 5 3 3 

C F G A A A G A F F 

5 3 2 l l l 2 1 3 3 
You are my sun- shine my on- ly sun- shine 
l 2 3 4 5 5 4 3 2 

F G A B-flat D D C Bfla A 

5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 1 

you make me hap- py when skies are gray 

l 2 3 4 5 5 4 3 2 1 

F G A Bfa D D C Bfla A F 

5 4 3 2 1 l 2 3 4 5 
you'll ne- ver know dear how much I love you 
l 2 3 4 2 2 3 1 

F G A B-flat G G A F 

5 4 3 2 4 4 3 5 

please dont take my sun- shine a- way 

I’ve bunched the letters into groups of three notes, except when it made 

sense to use four letters to form ‘GAFF’ and complete the phrase for the 

song. Of course you can create your own grouping and ordering as long as 

you can make words out of the letters. 

ONAN bd 




cafe good 

AAA batteries 

making a gaffe (mistake) 

fog around 

bad day 

Commonwealth Bank (Australia) 
fog around 

bad day 

9. CBA 
10. FFG 
11. ABG 
12. GAF 

Commonwealth Bank (Australia) 
fire and fog 



1. To memorise we will need to make a story with the words above ina 


It’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining. Your local cafe is good but 
you find AAA batteries inside your cup. Oops, it looks like someone 
made a gaffe and you’ve already swallowed them! You try and find the 
waiter but there is too much fog around. Suddenly it’s turning into a 
bad day and you race into the nearest Commonwealth Bank, but it 
turns out there is fog around inside there as well. This bad day looks to 

continue at the Commonwealth Bank because now there is fire and fog 
inside! You stagger outside coughing and a gorgeous lady named 
Abigail approaches. She also happens to be the waiter from the cafe and 

tells you whoever gave you the coffee will be sacked. 

2. The next step is to play the notes memorised in step 1 on the piano 
below. The letters on the keys indicate the notes for the song. 

Having memorised the notes allows you to focus on building muscle 
memory for your fingers so that they start to learn where the notes on the 

piano are as you play the song. 


Work on memorising notes for songs and then build your muscle 
memory by applying what you've remembered to play the song. 

Use your finger or, even better, a plectrum to play random notes on the 
guitar. It doesn't have to make beautiful music, it's just to get your 
fingers used to the fretboard. 

Websites such as YouTube, Virtual Piano and GuitarMasterclass offer 
some great videos on playing piano and guitar that are worth checking 

Get some guitar tablature. You can find plenty online as well as in 
guitar magazines. 

If you want to, try memorising the tablature for a song to increase your 
memory power and exercise your mind. 



“Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is 
futile..—Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) 

Today we are bombarded by information, meaning we have more to read, 
more to analyse, more to think about and more to discuss. To stop us feeling 
overwhelmed by this aspect of modern living we need to organise our 
information better so we can access it faster and more precisely. With 
traditional methods of rote learning, acquiring knowledge takes time. In 
using a systemised approach we can reduce that time and increase our 
retention of facts and data. 

Questions to ask include: 

* What knowledge are we trying to acquire? 
* How many pieces of information are we trying to remember? 
* Which technique is the best for the job? 

How to memorise countries and their capital cities 
The quickest and most effective way to do this is to use a straight linking 
and association method. 

Country ea 

[o ooo 

Morocco Rabat You eat a lovely rabbit stew in 

Gabon Libreville There is a city that’s a library where 
you are told to shut your gab and 
keep quiet. 

EE MERE You comb a rose and it transforms 
p a maroon colour. 

lii Riga You work out your lat muscles 
rigorously in Latvia. 

Ecuador Quito You will never quit until you reach 
the equator. 

Dominica Roseau Dominic O'Brien smells a rose in 

Oman Muscat Kevin Muscat says “Oh man!’ after 
losing a game to Sydney. 

Switzerland Roger Federer burns up the tennis 

Kuala Lumpur  |Koalas come from Malaysia. 
Vietnam Hanoi You are annoyed when your bike 
gets stolen in Vietnam. 

Some countries are easy to remember while others are more difficult 
because of the abstract wording of country or city. Use SMASHIN SCOPE 
to help make memorable stories. I may decide, for example, it's stronger for 

recall if I memorise Libreville, Gabon, by imagining my friend Gabriel 
standing on a library shelf. 

How to learn quiz questions and answers 

To remember quiz questions and their answers: 

* break up key words into images 
* link each image 
* review the associative story 


Q. What term describes an adult male swan? 
A. Cob. 

The words to associate and connect are: male swan and cob. 

The male swan always eats corn on the cob. 

Let’s try another. 

Q. What is the largest bone in the human body? 
A. Femur. 

The words to associate and connect are: largest bone, human body, femur. 

Picture holding a bone as large as a human. It’s so large and heavy that you lose control and 
drop it on a female. 

Try memorising the following quiz questions and answers: 
1. In computing what is RAM short for? 

. Which organ secretes insulin? 

. Who was the first actor to refuse an Oscar? 


. What is the famous business list that Fortune produces each year 

. In which year did Adolf Hitler become chancellor of Germany? 

. Who composed Peer Gynt? 

. Who was the youngest ever American president? 

. How many episodes of Fawlty Towers were made? 

© © N OD UI 

. What name is given to the hybrid fruit of tangerines and grapefruits? 
10. What do the dots on a pair of dice total? 

11. How high is a basketball hoop? 

12. In photography what does SLR mean? 

13. What is the motto of the SAS? 



Which two countries signed up to the common market in 1973 
alongside the UK? 

How many years did Nelson Mandela spend in prison? 

Which star is the nearest to Earth? 

What is the nearest galaxy to the solar system? 

Which nerve forms the link between the eye and the brain? 
How many species of reptiles live in Antarctica? 

In which year was the first FA Cup final held at Wembley? 
What is agoraphobia the fear of? 

How many kilograms make up a metric tonne? 

On what date is American Independence day? 

Who said, ‘I think, therefore I am’? 

In which country was cricketer Ted Dexter born? 

What was the name of the policeman in Enid Blyton’s Noddy books? 
The clavicle is more commonly known as which bone? 

What is the collective noun for a group of rhinoceroses? 
Facing the bow of a boat, which side is port? 

Who painted The Starry Night? 

Answers: 1. Random Access Memory; 2. pancreas; 3. George C. Scott; 4. 

Fortune 500; 5. 1933; 6. Edvard Grieg; 7. Theodore Roosevelt, aged forty- 
two; 8. twelve; 9. tangelo; 10. forty-two; 11. ten feet (3.048 m); 12. Single 
Lens Reflex; 13. Who Dares Wins; 14. Ireland and Denmark; 15. Twenty- 

seven; 16. the Sun; 17. Andromeda; 18. optic nerve; 19. none; 20. 1923; 21. 
open spaces; 22. one thousand; 23. 4 July; 24. René Descartes; 25. Italy; 26. 

P. C. Plod; 27. collarbone; 28. a crash; 29. left; 30. Vincent van Gogh. 

How to memorise quotes 

Good quotes help us reflect on things and can pack a great deal of wisdom 

into a phrase or brief sentence. They are also one of the most popular forms 

of shared content on the Internet. As with quiz questions, memorising 

guotes uses association, but with the added difficulty of creating images for 
the person's name. 

The approach is to: 

* break up key words into images 
* link each image 
* connect images to the person. 

“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.’ A. P. J. Abdul 

Picture someone holding a gun next to your head telling you, “You have to dream' or else. So 
you do that but before your dream can come true, you wake up. A man is standing next to 
you in A. P. J. singing Paula Abdul. You say: “Kill me now.” 

Try memorising these quotes: 

1. “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly 
you are doing the impossible.' Saint Francis of Assisi 

2. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even 
touched: they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller 

3. ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.’ 

4. *Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch 
excellence.' Vince Lombardi 

5. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi 

6. ‘I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to 
always reach my destination.’ James Dean 

7. ‘Quality is not an act, it is a habit.’ Aristotle 

8. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. Lao Tzu 

9. ‘Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” Desiderius 
10. ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ Milton Berle 

Scores and statistics 

Sports fans love a good stat. When considering statistics identify what you 
want to remember—there are many things and combinations of things such 
as score, goal scorers, teams, date, time and venue. 


Sat 14.03.2015 

Crystal Palace 3:1 Queens Park Rangers 
Wilfried Zaha (CP) 21° 

James McArthur (CP) 40° 

Joel Ward (CP) 42’ 

Matt Phillips (QPR) 83° 

From the above scores there are eleven different types of information to 

remember: day, date, month, year, team 1, team 2, team 1 score, team 2 

score, goal scorer(s), goal scorer team, and goal in minute of match. 
Images will need to be created for each: 

Saturday (saturn) 

14 (door) 

03 (sumo) 

2015 (nose, doll) 

Crystal Palace (a large palace made of crystal) 

Queens Park Rangers (the queen deploying park rangers) 
3:1 (mat) 

Wilfried Zaha (Prince William freed a zebra) 

21 (net) 

James McArthur (captain James cook having McDonald’s with your friend Arthur) 
AO (rose) 

Joel Ward (hole in the wall) 

42 (Arnie) 

Matt Phillips (welcome mat with built-in Phillips head screwdriver) 

83 (foam) 

Now for the fun in connecting the associative story: 

The planet Saturn crashes down at your door. It falls on top of a sumo wrestler who ends up 
breaking his nose. As he tums around he is greeted by a lovely doll inside a large palace made 
of crystal. The Queen comes out of the palace with her park rangers on a long red mat. 
Leading the group is Prince William proudly riding his freed zebra. From his pocket he casts 
a net at Captain James Cook, who is eating Macca's with his mate Arthur. Both are trapped. 
A rose starts to appear from a hole in the wall—it's Arnie. He busts through the wall, jumps 
on the welcome mat, snatching up the Phillips head screwdriver, and rescues the two, landing 

safely on foam. 

It may seem like a lot of work, but it only takes one story to be developed 

and visualised for all the details to be remembered and stored in our long- 

term memory. To make it easier, perhaps focus on memorising the teams, 

score and scorers. 

See how you go creating stories for these statistics: 

Sun 15.03.2015 
Manchester United 

Sat 14.03.2015 
West Brom 

Australian Rules football 



Newcastle United 

Manchester City 
West Ham 

Hull City 

Aston Villa 
Stoke City 

To memorise AFL scores you can include: team 1, team 2, team 1 score, 
team 2 score, round, venue. 

Round 1: MCG 

Richmond 98 86 Carlton 

The associative story would go something like this: 

The tigers (Richmond) were eating blue m&m’s (carlton) when they realised it was beef (98), 
so they spat it out and started eating fish (86) instead. They dropped the rest of the uneaten fish 
in a cup of tea (round 1), and paraded it all around the McG. 

If you’re extra keen you can add further statistics such as attendance, date, 
goal scorers, best on ground and so on. 

Individual player statistics 
Memorise the player’s name. Kicks, handballs, marks and tackles can be 
linked together using any number technique such as the Dominic system or 
Major system. 

Using the Major system our story is: 

Reece conca (picture him conquering Greece). As he conquers Greece he kicks a donut (12), 
then handballs a hockey (7) puck, eventually marking a hair (4) that came off a carlton 
supporter who had one tooth (1). 

Use your memory skills to create stories for the following individual player 

Richmond Football Club 

David Astbury 
Troy Chaplin 
Reece Conca 
Trent Cotchin 
Brett Deledio 
Shane Edwards 
Brandon Ellis 
Nathan Foley 
Ben Griffiths 
Shaun Grigg 
Dylan Grimes 
Shaun Hampson 
Bachar Houli 
Jake King 
Dustin Martin 
Steven Morris 
Chris Newman 
Ricky Petterd 
Jack Riewoldt 
Matt Thomas 
Ty Vickery 

Nick Vlastuin 

£O key points 

Identify what information you want to remember. 

Break down the information into bits to be memorised and create the 
images for them. 

consider which technigue works best for the task. Linking and 
association may work just as well as the Method of Loci. 

practise with large sets of data so you create elaborate stories and 
connections, and remember more. 

Show off your skills to friends. This is a good way of testing your 



“The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting in 
above-average effort.”—colin Powell 

Each year people of many nations come together for the World Memory 
Championships, where participants sit and memorise for an allotted time. 
Once memorisation time finishes, a recall period is given allowing 
competitors to show what they remembered. The purpose of the 
competition is to see who has the best and most effective memory. It sounds 
extremely nerdy and only for really smart people. That’s what I first 
thought, too, before entering it myself. 

When I did I was shocked to see everyday, average people like you and 
me doing truly extraordinary things with their brain. This is what the World 
Memory Championships and this book are all about—the ordinary person 
doing extraordinary things. What’s even more exciting is that the 
participants don’t just remember hundreds of digits or randomly shuffled 
decks of playing cards, they take away skills to assist them in their 
everyday life—skills such as fast memorisation, brain training for mental 
performance and improved concentration and focus. People ask me about 
entering the World Memory Championships because they understand that 

taking memory training to a competitive level enhances mental capabilities 
and massively improves everyday performance. 
Entering a memory championship will help you with: 

* greater memory and recall 

improving focus and concentration 


* accomplishing goals 
* managing time better 

completing tasks faster. 

The World Memory Championships comprise ten distinct events held 
over three days. Entrants compete in all ten events for the chance to be 
crowned the World Memory Champion. 

Names and faces. Fifteen minutes memorisation. Thirty minutes recall. 

Twelve faces are shown on one A3-sized sheet of paper with their first 
name and surname. You have to correctly memorise as many names as you 
can in fifteen minutes. Spell a name incorrectly and you lose a point! 

Binary numbers. Thirty minutes memorisation. Sixty minutes recall. 

Remember as many Os and 1s in rows of thirty as you can. A one-digit 
mistake reduces your score to 15 out of 30. Two or more incorrect digits 
mean you score 0. 

One-hour numbers. Sixty minutes memorisation. Two hours recall. 
Numbers are presented in rows of forty digits. One digit wrong scores 20 
out of 40. Two incorrect numbers mean you score 0. 

Abstract images. Fifteen minutes memorisation. Thirty minutes recall. 
Five abstract images are displayed per row for a total of ten rows per page. 
For a correct row you get 5 points. A mistake means a deducted point. 

Speed numbers. Five minutes memorisation. Fifteen minutes recall. 
Digits are presented in rows of forty. A one-digit mistake means you score 
20. Two or more mistakes mean you score 0. 

Historic/future dates. Five minutes memorisation. Fifteen minutes recall. 
Made-up dates are presented on multiple pages to be memorised. Points are 
given for correct date recall and deductions for mistakes made. 

One-hour cards. Sixty minutes memorisation. Two hours recall. 
You can select as many decks of cards as you can memorise in one hour. 
Results can vary from no decks memorised up to a whopping thirty decks! 

Random words. Fifteen minutes memorisation. Thirty minutes recall. 

Four hundred words are presented in rows of twenty. Get one word 
incorrect and you score 10 out of 20. Two or more incorrect words mean 
you score 0. 

Spoken numbers. 200, 300 and 400 seconds. Up to twenty minutes recall. 

Digits of numbers are spoken by an official at one-second intervals for 200, 
300 and 400 seconds. The person who has memorised the most consecutive 
numbers in a row from the very beginning wins the event. 

Speed cards. Five minutes memorisation. Five minutes recall. 

This is the competition finale. The winner is whoever can memorise a deck 
of randomly shuffled cards within five minutes. Just keep in mind that the 
current record (at time of writing) stands at 20.44 seconds by Simon 
Reinhard of Germany. 

So the memory competition is not just about who can memorise the most, 
but who can memorise the most, most effectively, and fastest. My 
experience as a mental athlete helps me enormously when teaching others 
how to memorise effectively, without the need to go back and repeat again 
and again. 

It’s interesting, too, that the more I learned about memory, the more I got 
from speed reading—and vice versa. To help explain this let’s turn to the 
speed numbers event of the Memory Championships. 

There are various ways of using the Major system to memorise a row of 
forty digits. One way is to memorise two digits per location, which gives 
you twenty stories to remember per line of forty digits. 

Location 1: Location 2: Location 3: Location 4: 
Front Door Couch TV Window 
[17] [23] [97] [67] 

The story for the above can be something like this: 

A dog (17) bites the front door (Loc. 1). 

A gnome (23) jumps up and down on the couch (Loc. 2). 
A bike (97) is ridden into the TV (Loc. 3). 

chocolate (67) is smothered all over the window (Loc. 4). 

Now most people could remember these stories if they spent time 
imagining them. But with only a few seconds to memorise them, you may 
forget part of a story, which means forgetting the number. And as there are 
twenty short stories to remember in a row of forty digits, there is a high 
possibility of making one mistake, or even two, out of that twenty. 

To reduce this risk my approach was to memorise four digits at one 
location. This means ten stories to remember for each forty digits. 

Location 1: Location 2: Location 3: Location 4: 
Front Door Couch TV Window 
[17 23] [97 67] [21 01] [39 40] 

The story for the above can now be something like this: 

A dog (17) bites a gnome's (23) bottom at the front door (Loc. 1). 

A bike (97) was painted with chocolate (67) on top of the couch (Loc. 2). 

A net (21) was wrapped around a seat (01) to smash through the TV (Loc. 3). 
A mop (39) was mopping away rice (40) surrounding the window (Loc. 4). 

It’s a little longer but now there is more of a storyline instead of very short 
connections using two digits. A storyline is always more effective than a 
simple link because we can relate to it, because it has meaning. It is much 
more difficult to create meaning or a storyline for one particular image, and 
there is simply not enough time in the competition and not enough elements 
to drive the story further. While these techniques both accomplish the same 
task in remembering a row of forty digits, the four-digit memorisation 
method is a far more effective strategy. 

In fact, it’s possible to memorise even more digits in a location. What if 
you were to try ten? This means making a story with five images linked to 
one another four times for each row. So if you only have four stories to 
remember per row of forty digits, chances are you will remember them— 
especially if your story is imaginative. 

So what does this tell us about speed reading and memory? It tells us that 
they are essentially the same thing. The more stories we bunch together, the 
more effective the recall, which is proof of the saying ‘A picture is worth a 
thousand words’. 

The things you need to become memory champion are the same as those 
needed to excel in any other field whether it’s competitive sports, business, 
education or entertainment. They include hard work, self-discipline, sound 
strategies, supportive, strong, positive people around you and a genuine 
passion and love for what you do. 

The World Memory Championships training program 

Here is a program of activities to help you train for the World Memory 
Championships. For those who don’t wish to enter the competition this is 
still a great brain-training program. 

Names and faces 

1. Jump on a site such as Facebook or LinkedIn. 

Find a page where it displays a list of people's names and their 

Memorise their names using SMASHIN SCOPE through linking and 

Start timing yourself both with memorising and recall. Try recalling the 
name by viewing their photograph only, ensuring you cover the name if 
it’s directly under the photo. 

Binary numbers 


Download binary digits file from Or use the two pages of 
binary code here to make a start. 

Memorise the following binary code using the Major system or 
Dominic system for the digits. 

000 = 0 
001 = 1 
011 23 
100 = 4 
101 =5 

Memorise the binary code in pairs (as below) in rows of thirty for five 

100 111 001 010 000 011 111 001 010 010 

100 111 (rock), 001 010 (ton), 000 011 (sumo), 111 001 (cat), 010 010 

As you get better, increase your memorisation time from five to ten 

minutes. Then from ten to twenty minutes. 

WA ee e E EH eee OS e EE CD CD CD CD e e mO CD e e e E E E AI CO ECH CH ECH e e © 
E gn gr e gn ge CO gr gn EH gz —— gr ges E EH EH e EH —O0O0 EH er ————— EI gr gn ges E gz gz gz gr ges ECH EH sr Or EH CH EH ec c—————0 € 
QO — —— 0-000 -—OOO Or KOO —O-—O0OOOQO — ee OK OO OHe- OH OCH Oe e- OOK OK OO CH OOK KK OK OCH CH 
SO e Or Or e oor Or CD e CD CD ECH we r C ECH CD QD c— QD e e Or CO e e EH CO e CO — Or ECO 0 C e e C0 C CH e Or mm e 
Dies Ces CO ez gg zs Cie: es Cie Cie: es Cie e000 OroOQererexrere Ore’ Or OererO er Cie CH OCH e Or oocecece 
v CD e e CD CD e CD CD CD e e CD CD e e e Or oor CD CD CD we Orr CD CD e CD CD CD e e ECH CD e e e CO e CO CO e OH CH CH e CH e e CO CO e CH © 
KOrO O e — — H — OO e — O — — O e — —O OO —OO0 — e e OO e OH OH e eK EH e e OO e e e OO e e OO e OO e OH OO e ee © 
vc CD e CD CD e e CD CD CD e e or E CD ECH CD CD ECH we ere e EE CD we or CD CD we e CO ECH CD e e Or ECH CO ECH C CD CD e e —— oo oo © 
SO OOo E e EE EH CO e ooo ECH EH CB e CO CO e EH CD —— —— CO CD Om III ECH e CO CO e CO CD e Oo e 
pe (0 EH meer e D — — e e O0 O0 — — OOK e OK OH O e — OO e — — — D — — KK OOK e OOK e OO e OH OO e KOO e e ee © 
Ee E C C C EH EH EH ECO ECH e er C e oor CO e — — C e oor CO ECH C ECH ECH ECH ECH ECH QD e e C e C CD we C e e — E OO JINI 
Die OO Oe ees Or CH Oe e EH ee: zg ÉIe- OH Oe: zg: oO e: He gz: eg: ës Or ooeoercecee 
es E gz gz gr ges ECH es CHE EH es CH es CH gz gr OF gr gz KAA gr gr gr ges EH EH e OH CH CH e or Orr Or gz gr gr ge EH ges 3 e gr gr rood = 
Die OO OH e OO OH OH e Oe OO OH OO OH OH e e OO e e e ees Oe: OO OH e OO OO OH e OO e OO OO OH OH OO e e OO e e e e e = OOe- OO e- OCH CH e 
00 CD CO e Or CD QD c— e e e CD e e CD e e EE CD ECH e e CD CO CD COD ECH e Or CD ECH e e c OO e ECO ECH C 00 CH CH e EH e 
CO — O0 e OO O — O — —O — O AA eK OK OO e H O0 -——O0-—O0—O0O0 Or Ore OK OO e e e OK OK OH OH e e OK OO e OO OH OH e CH 
Die Ce: OCH e- oo 00-0000 e Ce: e: Cie Cie: Or oo e- OO e- CH Oe OCH OH OH ee ege EI e Ce Ce: 002402 
e CD CD e e CD e CD CD e e er CD CD e CD e Or Or c CD CD e r CD CD e eK CD e CD CD e e er OOK Or CD e Orr OH C e e OO e e © 
e Oe OO OO OH e- 0004 He: 00" He er ere Oe Oe Oe ooo e- COOC OH e: OK OO K Orr wr ee OK Oe Oe OH OCH e- CH CH 
eo e CD e e CD OO COD e CD e e E e COD e e CD e e CD e CD e Orr CD e CD OH e Or Orr or CD e e CD momo e 0D e e © 
— O0 OO OH — OO —O OO — O —OO O — —O —O e OH e e OH OH OH e OH OO e Oooo e OH e OH OO OH e e OK OK OK e OO OO OH e OO OH e CH 
errr momo CD CD CD QD e e CD c— Or eK CD e e Orere o0 0 0 CD e CD CD CD CD COD e e OK CD e e CD e c CD e co gr — — mo © 
errr D e OO OH e OO v—O -— -———O0O0OO —O —OO — — ——O0-—O0O0-—O e Orere e OO OH OH OH e OO e OCH OO e e e e OO e OO OH e 
Ss gës EI ez ges HOH OH OH e Ce: rer er ECH OH Oe CH eg ie: IO OH OCH e eege: e: OO OH OH er Ce: ewe eK OereeOoo CH 
See mor C2 CO CO EH ee rr See CO e Or II e e er 0D e 00 00 EE CO eee EE EE EE AI e CD e e e rere © 
CO OO O c — — —O — OO e ee OO OH — OO —O O -—-—O0O OO OH ee ee Oe OH Orr eK OOK OOK OOK e- OOOO KKK eK OH 
CO c —— E CO CD CD e Or CD CD CD e e e Kr Orr Or CD CD e Or II CD e Or CD CD CD e e e e 0D e e OO Oo CO CH CH e CH 
Ss EI ez E ez gz gës ës gës EE ez CH zez EE e CH ez eeen es ez gz gëss OO e ez: es He CH ees ses Éies EI gz gz ës 
CO c7 Ee eg c0 E CD CD e COD e c CD CD QD e eK CD c CD c e CD CD e CD e e c e E CD CD e Orr CD ECO CD e e CD e CD e — CO EH e CD e e e e E © 
oO OH OCH CO ez e CH CH CO CH ez e CH ez — EH CH OH OH CH e CH ez es HOH OH OCH CH ez es EH OCH CH CH ez e CH ez e HCH OH OCH OCH e CH ez es CH CH OCH CH CH e e 

——0————-— E EE e EE wn EE EE EE mn rererere ETC EE e E e E E E e rrr — e 
e OO OO OH O-——O0O0-—O0-—O0O0OOO -—-——O0-—O0O0O0-—O0O0O0O0-—-—O0O0—o0—-o0oocococ-—---oc-—-oco 
c E CO e Or COD e C CD CO e — C EH CD QD e CD e e C e C e e E CO e Or C ccc e GO GO CH CO e: Or e: E e: © 
Ss ës ez ses Ces es Cie e CHE CH ez OroOrewerererOerrOer Orr Or EH e: OH OH CH e: OH e: EH CH e: e 
CO c e C2 CD e e ge Or CD CD e CD CD CD e CD e e CO CD e CO CD CD ez ez CO CH ez ee Or oor CO CO CH ez CO ez e OO — © 
c OO e e Ore > — e e E e OO e OH OH e e e OO e OH OO e e OH e e OO ee e OO e e OO e OO e OO OH e e = 
OrrorooeoeoeeOrr e E CD e or EH CD e e CO ECH CD e e CO e EH ECO CO CH CO CH e e e GOä EH e GEO e: CO c e: e 
SO CO 000 CO EH EH e CO CD e O0 e Or Or CO 000000 r CO CH e: CEO CH kK e 0 © 
Ee e (OO — — E O — e EH — OO — — OO e — ——O0 e e e e DO OH e e OO OO e e OH e OO OH e e OOK es 
CO CO ee Oro Om E e EH ECH we E EE ECH ECH ECO ECH ECH ECH CD e e Or ECO CH e CO © e CO EH e eee © 
“Oro CH ez e CH CH e KF CH gz gr gg Ce CH OCH CH e www NK EI ge CH CH e ge CH CH ez ge CH o gr ge ge OD e OH OH CH e 
ae en E e E e e orere ere Ee E e e e — E wn EE E EE e EE e orrore rere e So 
Die OO OH OO OH OH e e OO e e e ee e Oe: oor OH OOF OOe- OO OH OH CH Oe e Oe ez ez ez gz = 9 e: OH CH e: CH 
CO CO c c e 0 E e e CD e e E OOo ECO ECH CD CD Kr CD e CD EH e e e e Orr Oe e oo or er Ooo CH © 
Ss ës Ei es ez ez es e Cie ocr er Or Ce OCH Oe Ces: OrOrere’"Or Oro CH e: e: E e: CH e: CH CH 
eoQOr 0000r e Orr e: Cie Cie: Ce OCH e-COCHe- CH Oe OCH OO ee e: e: ge: Or Or OH e: OH CH 
CA ge ge OOr Or CH e CH ez er CH CH ez e CO CH ez er CO CH CH ez ez e CH CH ez CH ez CH ez CH ez es CO CH ez es oOo ev 
Die Oe OOF Or e ee e OrOr Oe OOO e- COOC Oe: Oe OCH IAA ges 9 e: OH e: OH e: OO CH 
e EH EH gz OrOrer CO e CH gz ef CH gz ge CH er CH e CH gz CH e CH CH ez CH e CO ez CH ez EH ez ge Orr CO ccc ges 
COO eO 000 —O0—O0—O0——00O0—0O0—0O0O0 e- Or CH OCH ee CH e: OH e: OH e: e: O0 OH OH e: oO CH e: 




CIA ere Orr g Orr ——C) 00 EH CH CH e CH e Orr Oorwrw OF FFF Fre Oo es CD 
Q eO ez gr gg CH CH OH OCH e CH e CH CH ez e ef eK Ce CH CH e CH e CH e gz ge ge CH CH OH OH es CH es OH CH ez er ge ges EH e CH CH 
Dies E ez gz ss EE EEN ez E gz zz ss Es ss EH EH E ez Ess es EE EH EH en EH gz gz gr gr gs E gz gr ges E E 
COO sw pn er EE EE EE EE wn or oor oer EE wn EE EE EE EE pn EE EE E EE e E e E E e or er oro 
cO Oe er eK OOF OOF OH Oe KF OO OH OO OH ee ee Or OH Oe eze- OOK OCH e: OH OH e: eK OO OH OO e: ez ez es 
romeo emo CO E e Orr CO C0 EH E e CO e CO EE E e e e er E e er Or OC Or E e e © c e 
Die CH ez gz es EC e CO ez gz ës gës ës 3 es eg gz ës ges ECH e Ce ez es ECH e CHEN e: gz gz gz = C e: Ote 
C eC ge CH CH CH CC Cc c0 CH ez CH ez CH CH ecc ccc cf) 
OCH EH CH we e EH e wn EH EH EH EH ORK EH e RK E EH EH EH EH we e EH EH EH ECH e wn EH e wn EA EH EH CO EH e EH e es EA EA CH EH EH e 



One-hour numbers 

1. Download the random numbers file from 

2. Memorise six decimal digits per location for twenty minutes, then go 

back and review for ten minutes. Repeat this process for a total of one 

hour. There are various ways of doing this. You may prefer to memorise 
for ten minutes, then go back and review—just don't memorise for one 
hour straight, you'll become tired and may end up forgetting 

Memorise numbers in groups of three pairs, and in rows of forty. For the 
last four digits of each row you can use the Dominic system. 

4712037122946340315909488277 103566271978 
[471203] [712294] [634031] [590948] [827710] [356627] [1978] 

It makes sense to use more digits in a location for one-hour numbers so you 

have fewer stories and locations to remember. 

Abstract images 



Download samples from 

Memorise by linking each abstract image together in a row of five. 
Memorise for fifteen minutes straight. 

Test your recall. 

Speed numbers 


Download the random numbers file from 

Memorise for five minutes straight using any method you prefer. Five 
minutes of memorisation with no review helps strengthen your longer 
term memory and allows you to memorise more. At first you'll make a 
lot more mistakes but with practice you'll get a whole lot better. 

Historic/future dates 


Download the random dates file from 

Memorise as many dates as you can in five minutes using any number 

Here are the sorts of things you're likely to find: 

1971: a cat jumped over the fence. 

2012: a mobile phone floats on water. 

1766: Peter Pan flies over Antarctica. 
1335: the first painting of a chimpanzee is sold to a merchant in France. 
1818: wife divorces husband for forgetting wedding anniversary. 

One-hour cards 


Have shuffled decks of cards ready. (The number depends on how many 
you would like to memorise in an hour.) 

Download recall sheets from and print them out. 
Memorise three cards per location for twenty minutes, then go back and 
review for ten minutes. Repeat this process for a total of one hour. 
There are various ways of doing this and you may even choose to 
memorise four decks, then review and repeat the process. 

Random words 

CN L e w m 

Download random words list from 

Practise by memorising two words per location for fifteen minutes. 
Spend thirty minutes to recall the memorised words in order. 

Go back and review your mistakes: visualise them. 

Memorise again for another fifteen minutes. 

Repeat step 4 to remove any mistakes. 

Spoken numbers 

1. Go to and download the spoken numbers file. 

2. Press start and, using your number and location systems, memorise as 
many numbers spoken at one second intervals as you can. 

3. When the numbers have all been spoken, write down as many as you 
can recall. Recall from the first number onwards, because any number 
not memorised after that is where you stop scoring. 

Speed cards 

1. Have two decks of playing cards ready—one deck shuffled and the 
other deck in suit order. 

2. Have a stopwatch ready to time yourself. 

Start your stopwatch upon memorisation of the deck of shuffled cards. 
Stop the clock once you’ve finished the memorisation. 
Pick up the ordered deck of playing cards. 

p MI epo 

Start your five-minute timer and rearrange the ordered cards to match 
the memorised first deck. 

7. When five minutes is up, or as soon as you’ve completed rearranging 
your ordered deck, put both decks side by side and flip them over, card 
by card, at the same time. If you have memorised and ordered the deck 
correctly, the cards should be identical as you flip. If they are not, then 
you have either made a memorisation mistake or memorised from the 
bottom up, in which case turn the re-ordered deck upside down and flip 
both decks over that way. 

£ key points 
Memory championships training can fast-track effective memorisation. 
Adding more information to be remembered into one location makes it 
more memorable. 

Speed reading and memory engage in the same brain function— 

converting abstract to image. 
Self-discipline, hard work, and practice, practice and more practice 
will make you a memory champion. 


‘Everything is practice. ”—Pele 

When awake, the human brain produces enough electricity to power a small 

Now that you have learned the principles, the technigues and their many 
applications, it’s time to practise these new skills. This section will provide 
hours of fun and ensure that you make the most of your amazing mind. Just 
remember to build the memory foundation first by using SMASHIN 
SCOPE before applying memory techniques. 

Create stories using the following: 

pencil + door + lemons 

fascination + golf + humorous + exhibition + freak 

Speed reading test 

Have a stopwatch ready and hit start when you begin reading the following 
article. When you come to the end hit stop and record your time. Follow the 
instructions to get your reading speed in words per minute (WPM). 

The deepest dispute in education is based on a mistake 
Daniel Kilov 

In what must be now the most watched talk on the Internet (and likely all of human history: 
what other speech could have reached twenty-six million viewers?) Sir Ken Robinson calls for 
a revolution in the way we are educating children. He calls for a move away from fact-filled 
curricula and instead champions the teaching of creativity. He does not offer much in the way of 
a positive vision of what this revolutionary classroom would look like, but others using his talk 
as a rallying point often speak in terms of ‘twenty-first century learning skills’ which include 
information literacy, critical thinking, analysis and creative thinking. 

The putative dispute between defenders of fact-based learning and advocates of twenty-first 
century thinking skills is, however, based on a false dichotomy, and this dissolves once we 
understand the relevant science of memory. A synthesis of these views, as we will see below, 
suggests that the best way to promote twenty-first century skills is to embrace Art of Memory 
techniques from 500 Bc. 

Supporters of twenty-first century learning skills conceive of thinking skills as being, in some 
important way, beyond the mere accumulation of memorised facts. Scientific research, 
however, has determined that memory is central to complex cognitive processes such as 
thinking and problem solving. 

The ability to sift through and critically appraise the value of information in any subject 
cannot be acquired without a significant body of knowledge in that area. The scientist George 
Miller demonstrated the importance of background knowledge to the use of reference materials, 
for instance, by asking a group of students to use a dictionary to learn new words. The results 
are humorous but clearly demonstrate the pitfalls of the anti-fact philosophy: 

* ‘Mrs Morrow stimulated the soup.’ (Meaning: she stirred it up.) 

* “Our family erodes a lot.” (Meaning: they eat out.) 

* *Me and my parents correlate, because without them I wouldn't be here.” 
* ‘I was meticulous about falling off the cliff.’ 

e ‘I relegated my pen pal’s letter to her house.’ 

If we really want to be able to understand and appraise information that comes our way we 
cannot be content just to look it up on Google. 

Even something like ability in chess, often considered a game of pure reasoning and abstract 
strategy, depends crucially on memory. Herbert Simon, whose research in this area won him a 
Nobel Prize, demonstrated in a series of experiments that chess ability relied not on Iq or raw 
mental processing power but on that player's memory bank of typical chess positions and 

In these experiments, players of various levels were shown different configurations of boards 
from high-level chess games. The participants were then asked to reconstruct the boards from 
memory. The results were astonishing. Chess experts were able to recall the configurations of 
the chess pieces almost perfectly. Novice players could only recall about a third of the pieces. 
The reason for this is that the expert chess players saw the board in a completely different way. 
Their vast memories of previous chess games meant that the configurations of all pieces had 
meaning. The superior memory ability of the chess experts was not just a by-product of 
expertise, it was the essence of their expertise. 

For expert players, the source of their skill is what they can remember about a game and the 
way that those memories influence how they perceive the board in front of them. Similar results 
have been found across a range of different disciplines. 

This should come as no surprise. No creative idea that has changed the way we view the 
world has been invented in a vacuum of knowledge: Nobel Prize winners developed their 
insights only after years spent accumulating knowledge. If their memories of their disciplines 
were lost to them, say through amnesia, so too would be their creative capacities and 
information literacy skills. 

If expert skill, and the creativity it entails, lies in the accumulation of vast stores of 
knowledge then anything that is going to increase our capacity to form memories and the speed 
with which we do it should be treasured. This is true even for those of us without aspirations to 
become world-class experts. All of our mundane, everyday projects depend crucially on 
memory. Imagine, for instance, being able to absorb foreign language vocabulary like a sponge, 
internalising the words needed to speak a new language in weeks rather than years. 

Real-life examples of high-speed learning exist. Every year, athletes gather from all over the 
world to compete in the World Memory championships and, every year, they demonstrate 
startling learning abilities. One competitor at the first World Memory championships, Bruce 
Balmer, taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 
World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then 
went on a talk show in that language. The most remarkable thing about these individuals, 
however, is that there is nothing special about them at all. Rather, they all employ a small set of 
simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. 

The techniques of the Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost 
universally practised by the thinkers of the ancient world who believed that mnemonic training 

was essential to the cultivation of one’s memory, focus and creativity. creativity was an act of 
synthesis that could only occur within the mental playground of a trained mnemonist. 

Appropriately, in Greek mythology, Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, was the mother of the 
muses, the goddesses of creativity. 

These techniques formed the comerstone of western education and were employed and 
advocated by thinkers like Thomas Aquinas, Petrarch, Giordano Bruno, Francis Bacon, 
Gottfried Leibniz and René Descartes. For most of the history of education, the view of 
memorisation was one entirely alien to those of us concerned with so-called twenty-first 
century learning skills. The deepest dispute in modern educational debate is based on a mistake: 
If we really want to promote the abilities of critical reasoning and creativity then we would do 
well to recognise that the right place for the art of memory is not in memory competitions or in 
history books but in our classrooms and workplaces. 

Stop timer! 1038 words 

Divide 1038 by the time it took you to read: e.g. 1038 + 5 minutes = 207 


Memorise how to say ‘hello’ to others in other languages. 

Amharic (Ethiopia)  |tadiyass (informal) tena yste’lle’ gn (formal). 

Arabic marhaban. 

Armenian bere (hello). 

ustralian Aboriginal languages 

Adnyamathanha nhangka, nhangka warntu? (how are you?) 

(South Australia) 

Kalaw Lagaw Ya yawa, ngi midh? (how are you?) 

(Torres Strait) 

Pitjantjatjara (Central |wai, wai palya? (how are you?) 


Wiradhuri (New yiradhu marang, yamandhu marang? (how are 
South Wales) you?) 

Bengali (India) namaskar (hello). 
zdra veite (pron. zdrah veytej) 

Chinese Cantonese: nei ho or lei ho (pron. ne ho or lay ho); 

Mandarin: ni hao (pron. nee how). Tone is very 
Se e (informal), dobro jutro (morning), dobar dan 
(day), dobra vecer (evening), laku noc (night). 
dobry den (formal), ahoj (informal; pron. ahoy). 
[Danish ^ he (informal; pron. hi), goddag (formal). 
hoi (very informal), goedendag (formal). 
[Dzongkha (Bhutan) |zuzangp. |^ 
Estonian ` tere páevast (good day). 
Fijian — bula uro (informal), bula vinaka (formal). 

moi, terve or hei (informal); mita kuuluu? (how are 

French ` allo, bonjour (formal); bonsoir (good evening). 
dia duit (informal, literally God be with you). 
gamardjoba (pron. gah-mahr-joh-bah). 

German: traditional hallo (informal), guten tag (formal, pron. gootan 
taag), tag (very informal). 

German: Austrian grüfs Gott (pron. gruess got), servus (informal, 

and Bavarian pron. zair-voos). 

Greek yassou (informal, pron. yah-soo), yassas (plural, 
formal, yah-sas), kalimera (good morning), 
kalispera (good afternoon, pron. kalee-spe-rah). 

Gujarati Gujarati (India) ` | namaste, namaskar, kemcho. 

[Hawaiin ^ | Hawaian ^ aha = | 

Hebrew shalom j———— goodbye, peace), ma korae? 
(informal, what's Gg 

Hindi sid Hindi  |nammaste = | | 

Indonesian halo (hello), selamat pagi (morning), selamat siang 
(afternoon), selamat malam (evening). 

Italian buon giorno (morning, pron. bwohn geeornoh), 
buon pomeriggio (afternoon, pron. bwohn poh- 

mehreejee-oh), buona sera (evening, pron. bwohna 

Japanese ohio (informal), ohio gozaimasu (morning, pron. o- 
hi-yo go-zai-mass), konichi ha (afternoon, pron. 
kon-neechee-wa), konbanha (evening, pron. kon- 

Konkani (Goa, India) namaskar, namaskaru (formal); dev baro dis div 
eotteoke jinaesimnikka? (How are you?) 

Latin salve (sing., pron. sal-way), salvete (pl., pron. sal- 
waytay), ave (sing., formal, pron. ar-way), avete 
(plural, formal, pron. ar-way-tay). 

merhba (welcome), bongu (good morning), bonswa 
or il-lejl it-tajjeb (good evening). 

kia ora (hi), tena koe, morena (good morning). 

khammaghani, ram ram sa. 

salaam, do-rood. 

eyhay (informal), ellohay (formal). 

cześć (hi, pron. cheshch), dzień dobry (good 

morning, pron. jeyn dob-ry). 

oi, boas, ola, bom dia, bons dias (good morning, 
good day); boa noite, boas noites (good evening, 
good night). 

Punjabi (India, sat sri akal. 

Romanian salut, buna dimineata (formal, morning), buna ziua 
(formal, daytime), buna seara (formal, evening); 
buna (pron. boo-nah). 

Russian Privet! (informal, pron. pree-vyet), zdravstvuyte 
(formal, pron. zdra-stvooy-tyeh). 

malo (informal), talofa (formal). 
Spanish hola (pron. o-la), buenos días (good morning), 
buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches 

ui esses night). 

Swahili (Tanzania,  |habari. 

[Urda | ` adaab, salam (informal), salam alei kum (formal). 

Memorise more Chinese phrases. 

Have you finished? 

Ta xiànzài yljing zai là shang le. He is on his way. 
Wiere Dovacnaiig | 
How long are you staying? 

Duoshäo qin? am AI 
Wodutazhaomile. — | am crazy about her. 
Iwózàilàngféishíjian. — | am wasting my time. 

WO jiánzhí bünéng xiangxin. —— || can't believe it. 

WO méishijianle il don’t have time. 

WO yï gè rén dou bürènshi. [i don't know anybody. 

WO gänjué häo duôle. || feel much better. 


WO zhao dao le. I found it. 
WA met o o O 
Wózhyidiol. node | 
WO xiánggentashuohuà. fi want to speak with him. 
Wóyngl. — wm O o o 
Qinggéiwóyibeikafe. Sf would like a cup of coffee, please. 
Wóisle Ummmg —— 
Wóybzbule Tale | 
Wò rign Tode | 
WO hui xi&ngniin nf de isen. —— 
Wósiskm wy. — — 
Wäin Tue So S 
Wò hën máng Tab — 
Wówindehinküxm. —  |'mhwigim. —— 
WO zhinbéinSole. mr 
It's incredible! 

Wen qa hën xiang Take — | 

Baro Ire | 
Másénme unt 
Na shì äre |sdifrem. 
Na shi ën reine | 
Hüxng ant 
Bùná ltsnotdiffial. | 
It’s not worth it. 

It’s the same thing. 

Wo yéyiying — Mew | 
Figsng bi 
See you tomorrow. 

She is my best friend. 
Tizkncongmg. Seine 
Manin) bowdown 
Gàosuwð ferme —— | 
Thank you very much. 


le — "eo 
That's interesting. 

Dile — "eeng, O S S O 
There are too many people here. 

Tamen a REG gingmu. [They like each other | [They like each other. — | each other. 
N shu shénme? —  Whaddyousy) 
What do you think? 

Zénme la? What’s going on/ happening / the 

What’s the date today? 

Níqinál?h Where are you going? 

Taiši Weise OOOO 
You are impatient. 

Ni kàn shinggi hën lei [You look ire — | 
You're always right. 

Yov’re in a bad mood. 
Mag ageweeg | 

Memorise more French phrases. 

Tell me something I don't know. 

Ouand on parle du loup. Speak of the devil. 

De nai pas les moyens. ~~~*‘('cantaffordi. — 
Ta te rends compte? [Can yowimagina?” 
Je n'en veux pas äeren 
You're cheating me. 

I’m not interested. 

D'accord, je la prends. JOK, Plaken 
Let’s get back to the subject at hand. 
Pourraisje avoir un sac? [Can I haveabag? | 
[Je mai fait rien de mal. Ji haven't done anything wrong. 

It is a misunderstanding. 

[Où m’emmenez-vous? [Where are you taking me? 

Tu m’as tellement manqué! I missed you so much. 
Aplustard. zi 
Vous êtes très gent. [Yow’re very kin 
T faut queje pae. (nenn 
[Je reviens tout de suite. [I will be right back. 

Je m'en sais rien [i have mode —— 
Vade! ma my wai 
Qu'estce que es? —————— Whatisthio 
[Que faites-vous dans la vie [What do you do for a living? 

fle! Don 
Dai aim mg 
Paie cafard. | mfeingdwn. 
Duren? [You maraging OK? | 
[Je n’en crois pas mes yeux. {i can’t believe my eyes. 

[Pen mettrais ma main au feu! |[Pdbetmylifeonit. AI 
[Allez savoir pourquoi. — Nour guess is as good as mine. 

Are you up for it? 

Ca te changera les idées. It'll take your mind off things. 

That’s nonsense! 

Ca vous plat? Doyle — 
Irespére gue cent vrai, i. ë ] 
Quelle hevre esti? aim — — — 
Domemog. — Denis 
Que”est ce qui ne va pas? (What is wrong? 
Ce m'est pas be fir's normy fau 
Never mind, it doesn’t matter. 

(Ce m'est past temible, [irs notthatgreat ` 
De suis perdu. mt 
[Sans blague. | Seriously, all kidding aside. 

Aidez-moi, s’il vous plaît. — | -moi, s’il vous Aidez-moi, s’il vous plaît. — | Please help me. 

Here you go! (when giving 
Vraiment RelW SSS O 
Regarde! Lok OOOO 
Dépécheto ump 
Je vais vous aider (i am going to help — 
Vous pouvez marcher? [Can you wak? 
Can you feed yourself? 
C'est dangereux [irs dangerous. 
Faites attention! ae aa II 
UA eecht SSS 
N'allez pas part [Domt go this way! 
e T 
Give me a break! / Leave me alone! 
Je ne l'ai pas fait intentionnellement. |I didn’t do it on purpose. 

Ce n'est pas ma faute. This is not my fault. 

Faites-le vous-même. [Do it yoursel ———————— 
You're a complete moron. 

Quelle nourriture aimes-tu? Mier food do youlike | 
Dal am? 

Avez-vous de la monnaie, s'il vous |Do you have change, please? 

Quelle est la date aujourd'hui? / What's the date today? 

Quel jour c'est? 

What country are you from? 

[Nous ne parlons pas chinois. — |We can't speak Chinese. 

Je suis étudiant. lamasuden. | 
(C'est dans quelle rue vhs ` 
Je pare anglais. lspeakEnglih 
C'estla vie Shas fe! 
Bon voyage!  [aveagodupl —— 
Vous avez un plan?  [oyoumaeama? 
[Tu fais quoi? — what are you doing? 

[Tu pars quand? — — |When are you leaving? 

Comment tu t'appelles? [Whatisyourmame 

Quel âge as-tu? (formal) Tu as quel |How old are you? 

âge? (informal) 

Je voudrais |’ addition, s'il vous I would like the bill, please. 

Je préfére du fromage blanc. I prefer fresh cheese. 

Je suis perdu. Pouvez-vous m'aider, |I am lost. Can you help me, please? 
s'il vous plait? 

Où sont les taxis, s'il vous plait? Where are the taxis, please? 
Combien je vous dois? How much do I owe you? 
Combien ça coûte? How much does that cost? 


Fais de beaux reves. Sweet dreams. 
Quoi de neu? [When 
Ça m'est pas gravel [No problem! — 
Pas grand chose. [Nothing muh 
[Un moment s'il vous plait. ne moment, gea 

Viens avec moi!/ Venez avec moi! Come with me! 

Countries and their capital cities 

nr d RN 
Afghanistan: Kabul Albania: Tirana Algeria: Algiers 

Andorra: Andorra la  |Angola: Luanda Antigua and Barbuda: 
Vella Saint John's 
nue Vies 7 

Bangladesh: Dhaka 
Barbados: Bridgetown "Belarus: Minsk Belgium: Brussels 
Belize: Belmopan Bhutan: Thimphu 

Bolivia: Sucre Bosnia and Botswana: Gaborone 
Herzegovina: Sarajevo 

Brazil: Brasilia Brunei: Bandar Seri Bulgaria: Sofia 

Burkina Faso: Burundi: Bujumbura 


Cambodia: Phnom Cameroon: Yaoundé Canada: Ottawa 


Cape Verde: Praia Central African Chad: N'Djamena 
Republic: Bangui 



Chile: Santiago China: Beijing Colombia: Bogota 

Costa Rica: San José — |Cóte d'Ivoire: Croatia: Zagreb 
Cyprus: Nicosia Czech Republic: Prague 
Democratic Republic of Denmark: Copenhagen |Djibouti: Djibouti 
the Congo: Kinshasa 
Dominica: Roseau Dominican Republic: 
santo Domingo 

Ecuador: Quito Egypt: Cairo El Salvador: San 

Equatorial Guinea: Eritrea: Asmara Estonia: Tallinn 

E pe Addis Ethiopia: Addis Ababa - Ethiopia: Addis Ababa | — À | 

Federated States of Fiji: Suva Finland: Helsinki 
France Pais 7] Palikir 

France: France: Paris si 

Gabon: Libreville Gambia: Banjul Georgia: Tbilisi 
Germany: Germany: Berlin ` Germany: Berlin ` |Ghana Accra  |Greece: Athens 

Grenada: Saint Guatemala: Guatemala |Guinea: Conakry 
George's City 

Guin Bissau: Bissau” (Guyana Georgetown _ 
TEEN Honduras Tegucigalpa Tegucigalpa Hungary: Budapest 

E o o | 
Iceland: Reykjavik India: New Delhi Indonesia: Jakarta 

Iraq: Baghdad Ireland: Dublin 
Israel: Jerusalem Italy: Rome 
EE lb LL o DcDÉ L1 10 10 1] 

= = = SSeS 
Japan: Tokyo Jordan: Amman 

Kazakhstan: Astana Kenya: Nairobi Kiribati: South Tarawa 
Kuwait: Kuwait City |Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek 

Lesotho: Maseru Leg Monrovia — Liby Tripoli — 
Liechtenstein: Vaduz (Lithuanie: Vilnius Luxembourg: —__| 
P| eebe | 


Macedonia: Skopje Madagascar: Malawi: Lilongwe 

Malaysia: Kuala Maldives: Male Mali: Bamako 


Malta: Valletta Marshall Islands: Mauritania: Nouakchott 

Mexico: Mexico City Moldova: Chisinau 
[Monaco: Monaco |Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Montenegro: Podgorica 
Mozambique: Maputo |Myanmar: Naypyidaw 

Namibia: Windhoek Nepal: Kathmandu 

Netherlands: New Zealand: Nicaragua: Managua 

Amsterdam Wellington 

Niger: Niamey Nigeria: Abuja North Korea: 

Norway: Oso Norway: Oslo | 

Oman: Muscat — [| [|] o o 
ey eee ec ee PE a 
Pakistan: Islamabad Palau: Ngerulmud Panama: Panama City 

a E 
Port Moresby 

Peru: Lima Philipines: Mania Poland: Warsaw 
Portugal Lisbon À ooo oo 

Q o] 
Qatar: Doha] | | 

Republic of the Congo: |Romania: Bucharest Russia: Moscow 

Rwanda: Kigali | Rwanda: Kigali | 

Saint Kitts and Nevis: |Saint Lucia: Castries — |Saint Vincent and the 
Basseterre Grenadines: Kingstown 
Samoa: Apia San Marino: San Sao Tomé and Principe: 
Marino Sao Tomé 
Saudi Saudi Arabia: Riyadh — Saudi Arabia: Riyadh — Senegal: Dakar — Senegal: Dakar — Serbia: Belgrade 
Seychelles: Seychelles: Victoria ` Seychelles: Victoria Sierra Leone: Freetown | Singapore: Singapore 

Slovakia: Bratislava Slovenia: Ljubljana Solomon Islands: 

Somalia: Mogadishu ` |South Africa: South Korea: Seoul 
Bloemfontain, Cape 
Town and Pretoria 

Sudan: Khartoum 

Jayawardenepura Kotte 

Swaziland: Mbabane Sweden: Stockholm 
Switzerland: Bern 

Taiwan: Taipei Tajikistan: Dushanbe “|Tanzania: Dar es Salaam 
and Dodoma 

Thailand: Bangkok Timor-Leste: Dili Togo: Lomé 

Tonga: Nuku'alofa Trinidad and Tobago:  |Tunisia: Tunis 

Turkey: Ankara Turkmenistan: Tuvalu: Funafuti 

Ukraine: Kiev United Arab Emirates: 
Abu Dhabi 

Uruguay: Montevideo 

Uganda: Kampala 

America: Washington 

Uzbekistan: Tashkent. TT 

Vanuatu: Port Vila Vatican City: Vatican | Venezuela: Caracas 
nn MEE EE 

Yemen: Sana'a 
Zambia: Lusaka Zimbabwe: Harare 


General knowledge questions (see answers) 
1. Who was the legendary Benedictine monk who invented champagne? 
. Name the largest freshwater lake in the world? 
. Where would you find the Sea of Tranquility? 
. What is someone who shoes horses called? 
. What item of outer clothing was named after its Scottish inventor? 
. What type of weapon is a falchion? 
. Which word goes before vest, beans and quartet? 
. What is another word for lexicon? 

© © cu BW NY 

. Name the seventh planet from the sun. 


. Who invented the rabies vaccination? 


. Ringo Starr narrates which children’s TV series? 



The hardest substance on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness is 
diamond. What's the softest? 

What martial arts name means “gentle way”? 

What digit does not exist in Roman numerals? 

Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub better known as what? 

Where did George II die? 

Humans are 10,000 times more sexually active than what other animal? 
Which animal has the collective noun of smack? 

Citius Altius Fortius is the motto for what? 

What animal produces its own suntan lotion? 

Questions about countries (see answers) 

. Name the world's biggest island that's not Australia. 


gdi E WU Ne CH 

Which is the only American state to begin with the letter ‘p’? 

. What is the world’s longest river? 

. Name the world’s largest ocean. 

. What is the diameter of Earth? 

. Where would you find the world’s most ancient remnant forest? 
. Which four British cities have underground rail systems? 
. Name the famous Spanish capital of Catalonia? 

. Which city was once the imperial capital of Russia? 

. In which country is the port of Fray Bentos? 

. TAP is the national airline of which country? 

. In which country did the turnip originate? 

. Calico cloth was invented in which country? 

. Where was the first penal colony in Australia? 

. Speed skating started in which country? 

Questions about films (see answers) 


Name the actor who starred in 142 films including The Quiet Man, The 
Searchers and Stage Coach. 




. What is the oldest film in existence, and when was it made? 
. Which actress has won the most Oscars? 
. Which actress said, ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy 

night’ in All about Eve? 

. Name the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 
. Who played Neo in The Matrix? 
. Name the actress whose career began at the age of three, and who went 

on to star in films such as Taxi Driver, Contact and The Silence of the 

. Bray Studios, near Windsor in Berkshire, was once a home to which 

famous brand of horror films? 

In which film did Humphrey Bogart say, *We'll always have Paris?’ 
Who directed the film Picnic at Hanging Rock? 

Which author wrote the screenplay to James Bond’s You Only Live 

In which film adaptation of the novel does Jean Valjean appear? 
James H. Pierce was the fourth and last silent film actor to play which 
famous character? 

Which famous actor inspired the creation of Bugs Bunny? 

What’s the name of the 2015 reboot of the Max Max films? 

Questions about the garden (see answers) 



By what name is English landscape architect Lancelot Brown more 
usually known? 

. Name the world-famous gardens sited sixteen kilometres outside of 

London, close to the River Thames. 

. Which garden is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? 
. What colour is a Welsh poppy? 

What colour is a Himalayan poppy? 

. What flower is the symbol of culture? 
. What tree can be English, American or Eurasian? 



Which common flower’s buds could also be used as capers? 
Which kind of bulbs were once exchanged as a form of currency? 
By which Latin name was Rosa gallica previously known? 
‘Moons of the faithful’ is the Chinese translation for which fruit? 
What is the common name of Eucalyptus microtheca? 

What plant has flowers but no leaves? 

. What vegetable gets its name from the word for milk? 

Elizabeth I had anthophobia. What was she afraid of? 

Ouestions about sport (see answers) 






What colour jersey is worn by the winners of each stage of the Tour de 

. Name the only heavyweight boxing champion to finish his career of 

forty-nine fights without ever having been defeated? 

. Which sport does Constantino Rocca play? 
. Name the country where you would find the Cresta Run. 
. How many times was the Men’s Tennis Singles at Wimbledon won by 

Bjorn Borg? 

. In 2011, which country hosted a Formula 1 race for the first time? 
. Name the game played on a lawn called a crown green. 

. Which chess piece can only move diagonally? 

. Name the only footballer to have played for Liverpool, Everton, 

Manchester City and Manchester United. 

In soccer, whose nickname was “The Divine Ponytail’? 

What tennis player's name meant ‘tall trees by still water’? 

What was Sir Don Bradman's batting average? 

Which golfer has the most PGA golf tour wins? 

What is the record for the highest attendance at an AFL/ VFL match? 
Which famous Hawaiian is commonly regarded as the father of modern 

In which sport are left-handed people banned from playing? 


What is Usain Bolt’s fastest time for the 100 metres? 

Which team has the highest goal-scoring AFL/VFL game? 

Who are Australia’s most successful female and male Olympic athletes? 
How long is a marathon? 

Questions about the arts (see answers) 


Name the three primary colours. 

In needlework, what does UFO refer to? 

Name the famous ballet Russian dancer who changed the face of 
modern ballet. 

4. Whatis the painting La Gioconda more commonly known as? 



. What does the term “piano” mean? 
. Name the Spanish artist and sculptor famous for co-founding the Cubist 


. How many valves does a trumpet have? 
. Who painted How Sir Galahad, Sir Bors, and Sir Percival were fed with 

the Sang Grael; But Sir Percival’s Sister Died Along the Way? 

. If you were painting with tempera, what would you be using to bind 

together colour pigments? 

What is John Leach famous for making? 

Who said, ‘I like Beethoven, especially the poems’? 

What arts movement was founded by Tristan Tzara? 

Who was the first Australian to win a Grammy Award for Best Classical 
Vocal Solo? 

John Cocteau was best known for writing which novel? 

How big is Guernica? 

Questions about history (see answers) 


When was William Shakespeare born? 
Who was Henry VIII’s first wife? 
On what date did Germany invade Poland? 


. Which famous battle between the British Royal Navy and the combined 

fleets of the French and Spanish took place on 21 October 1805? 

. What year was the United Nations founded? 
. What year did Margaret Thatcher become prime minister of the United 


. When did the Berlin Wall come down? 
. Who is regarded as the founder of Medicare and what year was it 


. When did the Eurostar train service between Britain and France start 


When was the euro introduced as legal currency on the world market? 
How many prime ministers has Australia had? 

In what year was the Magna Carta signed? 

On what date did the Commonwealth of Australian become established? 
What was the spacecraft’s name for the first manned Moon landing? 
Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was of which national descent? 
Who invented the first polio vaccine? 

In which year was Nelson Mandela released from prison? 

What date is France’s Bastille Day? 

Which planet was discovered by William Herschel in 1781? 

How many US presidents have been assassinated and when? 

Questions about books (see answers) 

. In publishing, what does POD mean? 


What is the oldest surviving printed book? 

. Who were Agatha Christie’s two most famous sleuths? 
. Which Shakespeare play features Shylock? 

. Who wrote the novel Death in Venice? 

. Who wrote Where the Wild Things Are? 

. What is an e-book? 

. How tall would a double elephant folio book be? 



Whose autobiography is My Place? 

How old is the world’s oldest dictionary? 

Who chronicled the adventures of a famous fivesome? 

Which travel writer comes from Des Moines, Iowa? 

Which author had the middle names Ronald Reuel? 

Which famous writer said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit 
down at a typewriter and bleed’? 

Who is the Head of Hogwarts? 

Which Nobel Prize—winning author wrote the book Dr Zhivago? 
What is the second book of the Old Testament? 

What was Dick Francis’s profession before he took up writing? 
Who created the Mary Poppins books? 

What is the name of Charles Dickens’s last book, left unfinished? 

Questions about TV (see answers) 


In Thunderbirds, what was Lady Penelope's chauffeur called? 

What was Skippy? 

Name the BBC series about a shipping line set in Liverpool during the 
late 1800s. 

. In the TV series Dad’s Army, what was Captain Mainwaring’s first 


. Who was the original inventor of TV? 
. Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey was as famous for her flamboyant character 

as for her cookery books and TV show from the late 1960s to the mid 
1970s. By what name was she more usually known? 

. Which popular BBC series about old collectibles began in 1977, 

presented by Bruce Parker and Arthur Negus, and is still running to this 

. Which BBC music program was broadcast weekly between 1964 and 


. What was Barney and Betty’s son’s name in The Flintstones? 

10. Which Australian actor was memorably killed off in season 4 of Game 
of Thrones? 

11. In what year were the first Logie Awards presented? 

12. Which British actor was the star of the HBO series Deadwood? 

13. The car in the Knight Rider series was called KITT. What does this 
acronym stand for? 

14. In what year did Neighbours start screening in Australia? 

15. What's the name of the cult Australian TV series featuring a dog that 
went on to be remade in the US? 

Questions about food and drink (see answers) 
1. If you had Lafite-Rothschild on your dinner table, what would it be? 
2. What is sushi traditionally wrapped in? 
3. May Queen, Wisley Crab, Foxwhelps and Lane’s Prince Albert are all 
species of what? 

. What is another name for allspice? 

. What colour is absinthe? 

. What flavour is Cointreau? 

"d o 01 E 

. If you were to cut a hare into pieces, marinate it in wine and juniper 
berries then stew this slowly in a sealed dish, what would this recipe be 

8. True or false? Fried tarantulas, eggs boiled just before they're due to 
hatch and puffin hearts eaten raw when still warm are all traditional 

9. How many crocus flowers does it take to make 500 grams of saffron? 

10. What food is found by sniffing pigs or dogs? 

11. There are more than 1500 varieties of what food? 

12. In ancient Egypt what food was reserved for the Pharaohs? 

13. What type of fish is used in making Worcestershire sauce? 

14. Which dessert is also known as *Tuscan trifle'? 

15. Cavendish, orinoco and lady finger are all varieties of which fruit? 

16. What is ceviche? 

17. What is a coulis? 

18. What is the national dish of Scotland? 

19. In Bavaria what is defined as a staple food? 

20. Lycopersicum esculentum is what common food? 

General knowledge answers 

1. Dom Perignon; 2. Lake Superior; 3. the Moon; 4. farrier, also 
blacksmith; 5. mackintosh; 6. sword; 7. string; 8. dictionary; 9. Uranus; 10. 
Louis Pasteur; 11. Thomas the Tank Engine; 12. talc; 13. judo; 14. zero; 15. 
tea; 16. on the toilet; 17. rabbit; 18. jellyfish; 19. the Olympics; 20. 

Country answers 

1. Pennsylvania; 2. Greenland; 3. the Amazon; 4. the Pacific; 5. 12,750 
kilometres (7922 miles); 6. the Daintree in Far North Queensland; 7. 
Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and London; 8. Barcelona; 9. St Petersburg; 
10. Uruguay; 11. Portugal; 12. Greece; 13. India; 14. Sydney Cove; 15. 

Film answers 

1. John Wayne; 2. Roundhay Garden Scene, made in 1888; 3. Katharine 
Hepburn: four Oscars and twelve nominations; 4. Bette Davis (as Margo 
Channing); 5. Peter Jackson; 6. Keanu Reeves; 7. Jodie Foster; 8. Hammer 
Horror; 9. Casablanca; 10. Peter Weir; 11. Roald Dahl; 12. Les Misérables; 
13. Tarzan; 14. Clark Gable; 15. Fury Road. 

Garden answers 

1. Capability Brown; 2. Kew Gardens; 3. the Hanging Gardens of 
Babylon; 4. yellow; 5. blue; 6. lotus; 7. elm; 8. nasturtium; 9. tulips; 10. 
Rosa mundi; 11. apricot; 12. coolibah tree; 13. cactus; 14. lettuce, old 
French/Latin; 15. flowers, specifically roses. 

Sport answers 

1. yellow; 2. Rocky Marciano; 3. golf; 4. Switzerland; 5. five; 6. India; 7. 
lawn bowls; 8. bishop; 9. Peter Beardsley; 10. Robert Baggio; 11. Evonne 
Goolagong; 12. 99.94; 13. Sam Snead, eighty-two wins; 14. 121,696, 
Carlton v Collingwood VFL grand final 1970; 15. Duke Kahanamoku; 16. 
polo; 17. 9.58 seconds; 18. 37 goals, Geelong def. Melbourne, round 
19,2011; 10. Dawn Fraser and lan Thorpe; 20. 42.2 kilometres (26.2 miles). 

Arts answers 

1. red, yellow and blue; 2. an unfinished object; 3. Rudolf Nureyev; 4. 
Mona Lisa; 5. to be played softly; 6. Pablo Picasso; 7. three; 8. Dante 
Gabriel Rossetti; 9. egg yolk; 10. pottery; 11. Ringo Starr; 12. Dadaism; 13. 
Dame Joan Sutherland in 1962; 14. Les Enfants Terribles; 15. 3.5 x 7.8 

History answers 

1. 23 April 1564; 2. Catherine of Aragon; 3.1 September 1939; 4. The 
Battle of Trafalgar; 5. 1945; 6. 1979; 7. 9 November 1989; 8. Gough 
Whitlam, 1984; 9. 14 November 1994; 10. 1 January 1999; 11. Twenty- 
eight; 12. 1215; 13. 1 January 1901; 14. Apollo 11; 15. Irish; 16. Jonas Salk, 
1952; 17. 1990; 18. 14 July; 19. Uranus; 20. Four: Abraham Lincoln, 1865; 
James A. Garfield, 1881; William McKinley, 1901; John F. Kennedy, 1963. 

Book answers 

1. Diamond Sutra, dated to AD 868; 2. print on demand; 3. Hercule 
Poirot and Miss Marple; 4. The Merchant of Venice; 5. Thomas Mann; 6. 
Maurice Sendak; 7. A book available in a digital (electronic) format; 8. 50 
inches (127 centimetres); 9. Sally Morgan; 10. cuneiform tablets dated to 
2300 BC; 11. Enid Blyton; 12. Bill Bryson; 13. J. R. R. Tolkien; 14. Ernest 
Hemingway; 15. Dumbledore; 16. Boris Pasternak; 17. Exodus; 18. jockey; 
19. P. L. Travers; 20. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. 

TV answers 

1. Parker; 2. 1960s TV series starring Skippy the kangaroo; 3. The 
Onedin Line; 4. George; 5. Bostonian George Carey in 1876; Scotsman 
John Logie Baird is often cited but his ideas weren't until the 1920s; 6. 
Fanny Cradock; 7. Antiques Roadshow; 8. Top of the Pops; 9. Bam Bam; 
10. Noah Taylor; 11. 1959; 12. Ian McShane; 13. Knight Industries Two 
Thousand; 14. 1985; 15. Wilfred. 

Food and drink answers 

1. wine; 2. nori—seaweed; 3. apple; 4. pimento; 5. green; 6. orange; 7. 
jugged hare; 8. true; 9. up to 75,000; 10. truffles; 11. rice; 12. mushrooms; 
13. anchovies; 14. tiramisu; 15. banana; 16. South American dish of 
marinated raw fish or seafood; 17. fruit or vegetable purée, used as a sauce; 
18. haggis; 19. beer; 20. tomato. 


1. ‘The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.’ Aristotle 

2. ‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ 
Napoleon Hill 

3. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ Albert Einstein 

4. ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less travelled by, 
And that has made all the difference.’ Robert Frost 

5. ‘I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.’ 
Florence Nightingale 

6. ‘What you seek is seeking you.’ Rumi 

7. ‘I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 
games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning 
shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. 
And that is why I succeed.’ Michael Jordan 

8. ‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely 
tenacity.’ Amelia Earhart 














. ‘Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.’ W. 

Clement Stone 

‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live’. Jim Rohn 
‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’ 
John Lennon 

‘The mind is everything. What you think you become.’ Buddha 

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the 
bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your 
sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.’ Mark Twain 

‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they 
dont have any.’ Alice Walker 

‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best 
time is now.’ Chinese proverb 

‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’ Socrates 

‘Eighty per cent of success is showing up.’ Woody Allen 

‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he 
grows up.’ Pablo Picasso 

‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.’ Steve 

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget 
what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ 
Maya Angelou 

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight 
of the shore.’ Christopher Columbus 

‘Whether you think you can or you think you cant, you're right.’ Henry 

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, 
power and magic in it.’ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

‘The best revenge is massive success.’ Frank Sinatra 

25. ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.’ Anais Nin 

Sports statistics 

The Ashes 

Nation Series Won Lost Drawn 

Australia 68 32 31 5 

England 68 31 32 5 

ee [Sum [Winer [un 

England in Australia 1882-83 England 2-1 (3) 

| Australia in England E oe | England — |1-03) —— 
puer 3 pere e n : Se SEN ES SNR 
dan ^ A SC Dat D | SN d am APER 
free à p m YA : Da m En : SH TR 
finem 2 por EE p Pent Le E Re 
Ferre » om pea eee Ea i ws ee 
Ke z EE poe ann Es : an NM 
npe 2 Pi PRES wawi SCH Tm 
peer UE 7 a = ele e SE 
EE ai a =} — PES CHRON 
ao a ei SS ener d — et s SH ENIM 
xcu t E por aur pom ERST P e 
Doa E T ei pues Ges VE SESCH een ee ae ee 
eee A acc E Lie Sr det 
De S pe muss i aero a | SH — 
a A Ee penus cmm : SC TN 
MEA re A Ge SES ins PR | SCH See 
crue S Ee porem ee er S 

Australia in England 1909 Australia 

England in Australia 1970-71 England 2017) 

England in Australia 2013-14 Australia 5-0 (5) 


Round 23, 2014 

Friday 29 August 2014, 7:50pm; Venue: MCG, Attendance: 48,980 

Collingwood 2.3 46 58 88 56 
Hawthorn 14 88 129 18.13 121 
Hawthorn won by 65 points. 

Saturday 30 August 2014, 1:45pm; Venue: MCG, Attendance: 56 663 

Carlton 6.3 74 114 146 Eu 
Essendon 1.3 96 1111 13.12 a 
Match drawn. 

Saturday 30 August 2014, 1:10pm (3:10pm ESTY. Venue: Subiaco, Attendance: 


Fremantle 33  Á 75 138 169 105 
Port Adelaide 33 76 910 1413 97 
Fremantle won by 8 points. 

Saturday 30 August 2014, 4:40pm: Venue: Stadium Australia, Attendance: 31,227 

Sydney Swans 2.1 43 76 91165 
Richmond 5.3 64 8.5 108 68 
Richmond won by 3 points. 

Saturday 30 August 2014, 7:40pm: Venue: Kardinia Park, Attendance: 24,659 

Geelong 52 116 16.13 21.17 143 
Brisbane Lions 24 75 106 129 81 
Geelong won by 62 points. 

Saturday 30 August 2014, 7:40pm: Venue: Docklands, Attendance: 17,174 
North Melbourne 4.3 85 139 199 123 
Melbourne 4.3 8.5 97 149 B 

North Melbourne won by 30 points. 

Sunday 31 August 2014, 1:10pm: Venue: Carrara, Attendance: 11,840 
Gold Coast 6.3 96 118 159 a 
West Coast Eagles 6.2 98 2010 2313 151 
West Coast won by 52 points. 

Sunday 31 August 2014, 2:50pm (3:20pm EST): Venue: Adelaide Oval, Attendance: 

44 069 

Adelaide 42 115 155 229 141 
St Kilda 22 3.3 87 98 62 
Adelaide won by 79 points. 

Sunday 31 August 2014, 4:40pm: Venue: Docklands, Attendance: 14,725 
Western Bulldogs 2.4 58 1114 15.19 108 

GWS Giants 40 104 126 187 115 
Greater Western Sydney won by 6 points. 

Narrative illustration 
Rather than always using mind maps, try and draw some pictures freehand 
to visually narrate the following article. 

Skilled incompetence 
Chris Argyris 

“Managers who are skilled communicators may also be good at covering up real problems.’ 

The ability to get along with others is always an asset, right? Wrong. By adeptly avoiding 
conflict with co-workers, some executives eventually wreak organisational havoc. And it's their 
very adeptness that's the problem. The explanation for this lies in what I call skilled 
incompetence, whereby managers use practised routine behaviour (skill) to produce what they 
do not intend (incompetence). We can see this happen when managers talk to each other in 
ways that are seemingly candid and straightforward. What we don't see so clearly is how 
managers' skills can become institutionalised and generate disastrous results for their 
organisations. Consider this familiar situation: 

The entrepreneur-cEO of a fast-growing medium-sized company brought together his bright, 
dedicated, hardworking top managers to devise a new strategic plan. The company had grown 
at about 45 per cent per year, but fearing that it was heading into deep administrative trouble, 
the cEO had started to rethink his strategy. He wanted to restructure his organisation along more 
rational, less ad hoc, lines. As he saw it, the company was split between the sales-oriented 
people who sell off-the-shelf products and the people producing custom services, who are 
focused towards professionals. And each group was suspicious of the other. He wanted both 
groups to decide what kind of company it was going to run. 

His immediate subordinates agreed that they must develop a vision and make some strategic 
decisions. They held several long meetings to do this. Although the meetings were pleasant 
enough and no one seemed to be making life difficult for anyone else, they concluded with no 
agreements or decisions. ‘We end up compiling lists of issues but not deciding,’ said one vice 
president. Another added, ‘And it gets pretty discouraging when this happens every time we 

A third worried aloud, ‘If you think we are discouraged, how do you think the people below 
us feel who watch us repeatedly fail?’ This is a group of executives who are at the top, who 
respect each other, who are highly committed, and who agree that developing a vision and 
strategy is critical. Yet whenever they meet they fail to create the vision and the strategy they 
desire. What is going on here? Are the managers really so incompetent? If so, why? 

392 words 

Guitar scales tablature 

Practise some scales on the guitar. 

A major scale 

e|----------------------------------------- 4--5--| 
B|----------------------------------- 5--7-------- | 
G|------------------------- -4--6--7-------------- | 
D|----------------- 4--6--7----------------------- | 
A|-------- 4--5--7-------------------------------- | 
R|--5--7----------------------------------------- | 
e|--5--4----------------------------------------- | 
B|-------- 6--4----------------------------------- | 
G|-------------- 7--6--4-------------------------- | 
D|----------------------- 7--6--4----------------- | 
A|-------------------------------- 7--5--4-------- | 
B|----------------------------------------- 7--5--| 

e|-------------------------------------- 5--8--| 
B| -------------------------------- 5--B-------- | 
G|----------------------- 5--7--B-------------- | 
D|----------------- 5--7----------------------- | 
A|-------- 5--6--7----------------------------- | 
E|--5--8-------------------------------------- | 
e|--8--5-------------------------------------- | 
B|-------- T. S | 
G|-------------- 8--7--5----------------------- | 
D| ----------------------- 7--5----------------- | 
A|----------------------------- 9--6--5-------- | 
E| -------------------------------------- 8--5--| 

A major pentatonic scale pattern 2 
Perec eee Sree eee 5--7--| 

Be | 
a coos | 
D|-------------------- 6--7--6-------------------- | 
A|----------- 5--7--8----------- 8--7--5----------- | 
B|--5--7--8----------------------------- 8--7--5--| 

Learn to play a song on guitar using tablature 

This is the introduction to Metallica's song ‘Nothing Else Matters’. 

Tuning: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb 

6/8 time 

D ' ' ' ' ' 
> H H à i D 
' D ' ' ' ' 
' o ' ' ' ' 
Uu U i U i H 
o ' ' ' ' ' 
' ' ' ' ' ' 
1 o i i ' i 
' U Uu ' ' H 
' ' eo ' ' ' 
1 i D i i i 
' ' ' ' ' o 
' ' ' ' ' ' 
' ' D ' ' ' 
' ' o ' ' ' 
1 i D i ' i 
' o ' ' ' ' 
1 ' ' ' ' ' 
e i i i i i 
1 D ' ' ' ' 
' o ' ' ' ' 
1 D i i 1 i 
' i eo i i i 
' ' ' ' ' D 
' i i i ' eo 
D i i D D D 
i i i i ' i 
1 i o i 1 i 
' D ' ' ' ' 
i o i i i i 
i D i i 1 i 
o ' ' ' ' ' 
' U i LI L H 
i o i i 1 i 
' ' D ' ' ' 
H D o i ' D 
1 i D i 1 i 
' ' ' ' ' o 
i i i i 1 D 
' ' D ' ' ' 
i D eo i ' D 
i i D i 1 i 
' o D ' ' ' 
i D i i ' i 
o i i 1 H i 
' ' ' ' ' ' 
D e D D D i 
1 D i i 1 i 
' ' o ' ' ' 
i D D i i i 
i i i i i e 

Wii AAA e 



EE —— 




| a aan ee ue 

Bb----- 12--0---| -----0---0---|-----0---0---|-----0---0---| 

Ib------------- |------------- |------------- |------------- | 
EE | ------------- |------------- |------------- | 
Eb-0----------- | -0----------- |-0----------- |-0----------- | 
Eb------------- 7---7------- | ------------- | ------------- $----------- | 
Bb------------- 8---8------- | ----- 7----- 5-|------------- B----------- | 
Gb----------- 9----- 9------- |----- 7----- 5-|----------- 9------------- | 
Ib--------- g--------------- | ---7----- 5---|--------- g--------------- | 
Bb------- 7----------------- | -5----- g----- |------- J----------------- | 
Eb-0----------------------- | ------------- | -o----------------------- | 
Eb------------- | ---------- J----- J-------- |----- 5----------- 3------- | 
Bb----- J----- 5-|---------------- §-------- |------- J----------- 5----- | 
Gb----- 7----- 5-|------------- 9----------- |--------- 7----------- 5---| 
Ib---7----- 5---|------------------------- | ------------------------- | 
Ab-5----- 3----- | ------- J----------------- | -5----------- 3----------- | 
Pb |-0----------------------- fe | 
Eb----- g------------------- | ------- 0----- (0------ )------- 0----- | 
Bb------- 3--------- 5-4----- |----- 0---0---(-0----- ) |----- 0---0---| 
Gb--------- 4--------------- | ---0------- 0- (--0----) | ---0------- 0-| 
Ib------------------------- | ------------- (---2---) |------------- | 
Bb------------- 2----------- | ------------- (----2--) |------------- | 
Eb-3----------------------- | -0----------- (----- 0-) |-0----------- | 

Memorise guitar chords 
Although we didn’t learn chords earlier, try and memorise the placement of 
fingers on the strings here to ramp things up a bit. 

A Am 
2 1 2 2 31 

Passwords and numbers 

Memorise these passwords: 

ectRn8Y Y 

Memorise these PINs 



Memorise these credit card details: 

Expiry date: 7/20 
code: 117 
PIN: 0442 

Expiry date: 12/19 
code: 481 

PIN: 9814 

Expiry date: 1/17 
code: 973 

PIN: 6412 

Expiry date: 4/16 
code: 860 

PIN: 8876 

Expiry date: 1/11 
code: 211 

PIN: 4287 

Expiry date: 9/16 
code: 307 

PIN: 5455 

Expiry date: 4/23 
code: 105 

PIN: 6297 


Expiry date: 11/14 
code: 200 
PIN: 3987 

Memorise these telephone numbers: 

Shane charles 
Ph: 0421 766 760 

Plumbing corporation 
Ph: (02) 9878 1123 

AcE Window cleaners 
Ph: (03) 7781 1936 

Vijay Varma 
Ph: 0488 910 238 

Sandy Beach 
Ph: (07) 8662 5627 

Bobby Becker 
Ph: 0444 980 016 

Ph: (03) 9891 1652 

Liu Xiu Lang 
Ph: 0467 877 563 

Now that your memory toolbox of techniques is in good shape, here are a 
list of challenges for you to consider: 

* Mind map a recent issue of a magazine such as Australian Women’s 
Weekly, Zoo, Men’s Health or Frankie. 

* Memorise twenty decks of playing cards. 

* Meet twenty people and remember their names. 

Read a 300-page book in three hours. 

Memorise fifty telephone numbers from your contact list. 

Memorise and present a twenty-minute speech without any notes. 

Planning a trip? Learn 1500 phrases from a language of your choice. 

Memorise the winners of the Melbourne Cup. 

Teach yourself to learn another instrument—ukulele or a wind 
instrument?—in less than forty-eight hours using memory and learning 
principles from this book. 

Join me as a mental athlete in the World Memory Championships. 

CO points 
Make sure you understand the key memory concepts and techniques 
before attempting the exercises. 
complete these exercises with a friend to make it more fun. 

Try thinking of other applications for memory now that you're familiar 

with the techniques. 
Have a go and don't give up too easily. What may seem difficult may 
in fact not be once you get started. 


General brain training 
This is such a growing area with new websites popping up all the time. To 
start, though, take a look at these sites for memory training: 

For memory lessons, community forums and brain training software try: 

For those of you who really want to ramp things up, this website was 
designed by another memory athlete: 

Learning tools 

With a particular focus on career try: 

Two other well-known sites in this space are: and 

World Memory Championships 
See record-breaking memory champion Simon Reinhard in action: 

For more information on the World Memory Championships go to:; for World Memory Championship 
Statistics go to: 

Mind mapping 

For more information on mind mapping, go to the founder’s website:, or xMind offers its own mind mapping software: 

Speaking to an audience 
Take a look at some of these videos online to see what’s possible using 
narrative illustration: 

Illustrator Gavin Blake visually represents Rachel Botsman’s book The Rise 
of Collaborative Consumption: 

For those of you really keen to learn more, Gavin Blake's website is: 

Shape Your Thinking: Brandy Agerbeck at TEDxWindy City, 

Specific sources as used in the book 
Study techniques 


Trigonometry: Cheat Sheet.pdf. 

Essay writing: Language and Learning Online:; 
essay writing example: 

Learning languages 

A great resource for phrases can be found at Page. 
Just type in the language and then ‘phrasebook’: for example, ‘Hungarian 

Aboriginal languages website: boriginalGreetings.htm. 

The Mandarin phrases on page 104 come from Dig Mandarin. For a more 
comprehensive list, go to: 

Learning music 

Los Angeles Times article: 
0301-brain-music-20100301; also mentioned in: 

There are so many sites online with a focus on music, including 
instructional videos, and some will be better or more useful to you than 
others. Do search to find what suits you best, but these may be a good place 
to start: 

* Virtual Piano: 

* GuitarMasterClass: 

* Guitar tablature:;; 

General knowledge 

There are so many online sites with their own brain teasers and quiz 
questions. One that's worth checking out is questions.pdf. 


I never thought I’d write a book, let alone two! My hope is that this one also 
helps people and makes their lives that bit easier. Thank you to my amazing 
parents and family who have supported me and given me strength ever 
since I was a child. They have been my greatest inspiration. I thank my dear 
friends and colleagues that have supported me along my journey. Thank 
you to Nolan Bushnell for helping me send my message of learning to 
thousands of people around the world. To my awesome contributors, you 
guys are amazing individuals doing extraordinary things. Keep at it! To my 
readers, I appreciate you taking your valuable time to acquire knowledge 
and better yourself. You're also an inspiration for me to keep doing what I 
do. And finally thanks to my wife and our three beautiful kids. Love you 
all. Peace. 


Tansel Ali is a three-time Australian Memory Champion, international 
memory expert and coach, who trains people and organisations to improve 
memory and increase performance. He frequently appears on television and 
radio and has featured in Todd Sampson’s award-winning ABC 
documentary Redesign My Brain. He may, however, be best known for 
memorising Sydney’s Yellow Pages in only twenty-four days. His first book 
was The Yellow Elephant: Improve Your Memory and Learn More, Faster, 
Better. Tansel lives in Melbourne with his wife and three children. 


Twitter: @tanselali 


Daniel Kilov is a memory athlete. He was the silver medallist at the 2011 
and 2012 Australian Memory Championships. He also broke the Australian 
record for the abstract images event, having memorised 115 abstract shapes 
in sequence. Since then, Daniel has become a sought-after speaker and 
educator, described by the media as one of ‘the nation’s finest thinkers and 
communicators’. He was a speaker at the 2011 Australian Mensa 
Conference and at two TED conferences in 2012. In 2014 he gave another 
TED talk and spoke at the Mind and Its Potential conference. Daniel 
believes that we are all mental athletes and that in today’s competitive 
world we all need to remember more, and be more creative, innovative and 

Julien Leyre is a French-Australian writer, educator and social 
entrepreneur. In 2011, he founded the Marco Polo Project, a non-profit 
organisation that explores new models to help people understand China and 
develop cross-cultural empathy by celebrating literature and language. He’s 
currently completing a PhD at Monash University, mapping the digital 
ecosystem of Chinese language learning and his website is: 

Published in 2015 by Hardie Grant Books 

Hardie Grant Books (Australia) 
Ground Floor, Building 1 

658 Church Street 

Richmond, Victoria 3121 

Hardie Grant Books (UK) 
Dudley House, North Suite 
34-35 Southampton Street 
London WC2E 7HF 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any 
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers and 

copyright holders. 

The moral rights of the author have been asserted. 

Copyright tezt O Tansel Ali 2015 

Every reasonable effort has been made to acknowledge and to trace the owners of copyright materials. The author and publisher 
will be glad to receive information for more comprehensive acknowledgements in subsequent editions and apologise for any 


Cataloguing in publications data available from the National Library of Australia 

How to Learn (Almost) Anything in 48 Hours: 

Shortcuts and brainhacks for learning new skills fast 

eISBN 9781743583432 

Cover design by Luke Lucas