Monthly Archives: June 2017

Ep 11: The mathemagical number 9



The mathemagical number 9

Today, I’ll walk you through Arthur Benjamin’s trick.
Once again, here’s a link to his ted talk. He does the trick I’m giving away at around 5 minutes and 42 seconds.

A performance of “Mathemagic”


Ep 10: Pick a number



Pick a number

After enjoying Arthur Benjamin doing his mathemagics, I thought I’d give it a try for myself. I wrote a little software and gave it a go. Join me and you’ll find out why I’m not a mental calculator, but that anyone can do it if they know the trick.

Here’s a link to the ted talk in question:

A performance of “Mathemagic”


Ep 9: From mnemonic and memory to math and mental calculation



From mnemonic and memory to math and mental calculation

You could be better at doing math than you might think. There are methods that allow one to do tricks with numbers that seem just across the street from flat out impossible.

Watch as Arthur Benjamin shows us how one can calculate in ones head, sometimes faster than one could use a calculator.

Arthur Benjamin: A performance of “Mathemagic”

Approximately 10 minutes and 42 seconds into that first video, he uses some variant or another of the major system in order to hold some numbers in his mind, while he works on others. Have a look at the major system and how it works.

The Major System

Finally, Arthur Benjamin shows us how to do a couple of mental math methods. The tricks are surprisingly easy to use. Impress your friends and scare your neighbors!

Secrets of Mental Math


Ep 8: Memories and lasers and mice, oh my!



Memories and lasers and mice, oh my!

Today’s episode is just to point you at an interesting ted talk. I don’t say much other than that you should check out this link. So, check out this link.

A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.

It’s about 15 minutes long, and it explains how they used a laser to play with memories within the brains of mice. No, really!


Ep7: Now where did I put…?



Now where did I put…?

Today, we examine the method of placing things you wish to remember within a place that you hold in your mind.

For background, here’s a roughly 9-minute ted talk on systems in your brain related to memory, and how your brain keeps track of where you are, or even, where you imagine you are.

How your brain tells you where you are


ep6: As I recall



As I recall

Today is an introduction to Mnemonics—methods you can use to improve your memory.

Here’s a 20-minute Ted talk that explains the topic nicely, including how one method works.

Feats of memory anyone can do

And here are no less than three separate wikibooks that let you find out how many of the mnemonic methods work, and how you can use them.

Intelligence Intensification/Memory Techniques

Book:Mnemonics – Wikipedia

Memory Techniques Wiki


Ep5: Back to the question



Back to the question

It’s Monday, and I thought I’d recap what happened last week. (Who knows what you were up to this weekend.)

Here’s the link I added to episode 1’s show page, just because.

Comparison of the effects of unilateral and bilateral eye closure In cortical responses in kittens.

And here’s the link from Friday, as I talk more about synesthesia without bothering to explain what it is again.

What color is Tuesday?


Ep4 this episode tastes green



this episode tastes green

Today we chat about synesthesia, wherein one sense can trigger another. Checkout the 4-minute video I found that tells you all about it.

What Color is Tuesday?


Enough with plants and kittens, let’s move on to humans



Plants grow differently in different gravity, and the brains of kittens develop differently when deprived of vision. So, what about those pesky humans?

Here’s an article from Scientific American about differences in the brains of those who lose their hearing or sight at an early age.

Super Powers for the Blind and Deaf – Scientific American


ep2: On the subjects of seeds sprouting in low gravity, I was wrong



Here’s an article that showed me that something I thought was true, wasn’t so:

plants do grow in zero gravity.

Plants growing in space is interesting, So how about some YouTube videos about them.

The first:
Cultivating Plant Growth in Space
Is about five minutes long. It was put out by NASA in 2015.

The second and last:
plants in space
Was put out by the Australian Academy of Science in 2016, and last for more than an hour and a half. It includes three speakers. The first speaks about growing plants in controlled environments, including space and commercial applications. The second speaker tells us about different lighting requirements for controlled environment plant growth, and the advantages of using LED style lighting. The last speaker tells us about when actual plants were grown in actual space, on the ISS–International Space Station.