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This Is Awesome! READ IT!

Oleg KlimOct 2, 2018, 10:23:02 AM

Ok, I'll tell you about my awesomest recent discovery. I've heard of it for the first time when watching one of my all time favorite TV series - The Mentalist. Apart from the lovable characters and interesting plot, it also contained depictions of some pretty cool feats that humans are actually capable of.

The protagonist is a superhero, but of an unusual kind. He does not have super strength, can not shoot lasers from his eyes and is less useful in a fight than some ladies. His superpower is observation and memory.

So the reference I'm talking about is to something called the Method of Loci, also known as Memory Palace. Seeing it in the TV series left me with an impression of something superhuman and esoteric. I didn't think it was worth my time or that I really needed it. I changed my mind yesterday, quite accidentally.

I was reading a book on a tangentially related subject and it kinda tricked me into trying the method. Holy hell, am I excited now! First of all it actually works, secondly it's not only doable and almost easy, but it's also pleasurable to do! Who would have thought?

You want to try it too, so ok, since you ask nicely I'll paste the same text I used for my initiation last night below. You are welcome.

Let’s build a memory palace right here. Let’s say you want to remember ten animals: elephant, giraffe, cow, duck, bison, echidna, sheep, praying mantis, ladybug, and tabby cat.

Think of your own house. Picture it in your mind’s eye. Fish your keys out of your pocket and open the front door. Walk in. Close it behind you. Now, plop that elephant down there behind it, just on the scuffed bit where the door opens.

Move down to where you normally leave your coat. Hang up the giraffe—its chin will go over the hook comfortably enough. Right. Wave it goodbye and go into the kitchen. The cow will go in the fridge—top compartment in the door, where you’re supposed to put eggs but never do. And . . . yes, pop the duck just under the kitchen sink. Move those bottles of bleach out of the way. Ignore its irritable quacking as you close the cupboard door.

Let’s back out and go up the stairs, dropping the bison on the half-landing as you go past. It can patrol there with its big old horns, deterring burglars and such. Now, up and on. Bathroom first. Pictured it in your head? Where better for an echidna than in the bath? Watch it curl up into a little ball at the tap end. What if it’s cold? Let’s leave it the sheep for company.

Right! Out! Give them some privacy, for crying out loud. Go into your bedroom. Pick the praying mantis up, very carefully—respecting his dignity—and place him on top of the vanity mirror on the dressing table, looking out into the room, rubbing his green arms together as he surveys the scene.

The ladybug’s tiny, so easily lost. Place her on your white pillow, where her red-and-black wings will stand out. And, finally, hoof the tabby cat right into the middle of the duvet where, happy as a cat can be, she’ll turn three times round before settling in to sleep with a purr of satisfaction.

Now, snap your fingers and magic yourself back out to the street in front of the house. Can you remember those ten animals? I bet you can. If you’re having trouble, just walk yourself back through the house. Now—wax-tablet-style wipe it clean.

Vanish the animals—and go through this time putting in those particular places the numbers one to ten, or members of your family, or favorite Bob Dylan albums, or points you want to make in your defense at your forthcoming sentencing hearing. Walk back through. Is that Blood on the Tracks sharing the bath with Shot of Love? Why, so it is.

How awesome was that? The book is "Words Like Loaded Pistols" by Sam Leith, in case you wanted to know. The whole book is awesome.