The ritual of going out to dinner has forever changed after becoming a Dad. No more going up to have dinner at the bar when a restaurant is on an hour long wait. When I bring my kids out to dinner at a restaurant, I make sure I have plenty of items in my bag to distract them for over an hour. These include: Cheerio’s, crayons, books, fruit snacks, cars, and other things that my 1 and 3 year old can both fight over. Along with these items, I have to bring wipes, diapers, bibs, and a spare change of clothes. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I always forget one essential item. This means that if I bring a jar of baby food, I forget a baby spoon. If I bring wipes, I forget a bib. If I bring a spare pair of shorts, I forget a shirt. So much to remember, so much to forget; which is why I feel so compelled to write this next article about a book which details how to memorize everything.
I’ve listened to this journalist/author/2006 memory competition champion twice now and I’m anxious to buy his book (hopefully in the next few days).
We’ll call this the OKRA Book club (OK Really, Another Book Club?) Yes, that’s a stretch as my regular reading list involves high pitched puppets and Disney characters doing the same “Happily ever after” story with different yet similar looking characters. OKRA Approved! Oh, and anything “Cars.” Have I mentioned the obsession that is taking over my 3-year old son? Yes, there is a countdown in my house for the release of Cars2. The baby does not know it but Cars is destined to be his obsession.
The book is titled by Joshua Foer and references his research and how he got into this fascinating way to build memory. Foer mentions that anyone has the capacity to do so but most of us feel that we lose memory with age (which is how I often feel). There are a few interviews and commentaries on his work, his book and experience which again, I haven’t yet read the book, but I’ve read up on his work which to me is fascinating as I think most of us would like to improve memory.
See http://www.npr.org/2011/02/23/134003962/Moonwalking-With-Einstein this was the first interview I heard and was astonished as to how he could remember and repeat back random groups of 20+ words, repeat it back with 100% success. Just something that if it interests you, you need to hear.
Anyway, I looked again for quotes from him and could not find the one I heard today, so I will not put in quotes but it went something like this….
The interviewer asked him what it was like to meet the Memory Master (whose full name I cannot recall, proving I am NOT a memory champ.) This person was supposed to be a pioneer in studying, improving and mastering the art of the memory power that our brains have the potential to unlock.
So, I did not want to misquote Mr. Foer, but what he said really struck me as remarkable.
It went like this….. When I first met him, the look in his eyes told me that I was someone that he should get to know better.
The actual quote is likely to be much more profound.
I’m writing this because I really enjoyed how he explained his book (Joshua Foer), how he made his statement and how intrigued and excited I am to get this book. There are plenty of memory puns that I could add to this post but I really wanted to get this up as soon as possible the only one I can add is a truth: If I don’t write this now then I feel that my memory fails me all too often and we’ll start discussing diapers and boo-boos. I will however correct the exact quote and to the name of the memory wizard that he spoke of.
One more thing I would like to add, when he explained the memory competition, Joshua Foer cited a few of the events for these annual championships which seem more than impressive:
- Memorize 1,000 random digits in an hour
- Memorize the order of 10 decks of cards in an hour
- Memorize the order of one deck of cards in under two minutes.
For most of us, that sounds impossible which is why it intrigues me.
As always, thanks for reading, Mr. Foer if you have corrections for me, please let me know, but I will buy your book and get my facts straight.
Anyone else reading, please feel free to comment or to criticize. I’m a stay at home Dad who welcomes any adult contact bad or good…but I still choose the latter.
Cheers, Blue skies and Green lights