Mentalist Memory Techniques: Peg System – Excercises

Pegs for Peg System

To begin using the peg system you will need to learn some memory pegs and start practicing it. It’s not rocket science but you have to take some time to learn it. Here are a few exercises to get you going.

Phonetic alphabet for numbers 0-9

0 – Z or S – first sound of the word zero
1 – D or T – letters have 1 downstroke
2 – N – 2 downstrokes
3 – M – 3 downstrokes
4 – R – final sound of word ‘four’
5 – L – Roman numeral for 50 is L
6 – g, ch, sh, soft g. g is 6 rotated 180°
7 – K, hard-ch, hard-c, hard-g. K looks like 2 7s
8 – F, V – f written out in joined up handwriting looks like an 8
9 – P, b – P turned around looks like a 9

Exercise 1

Write down the following words as numbers: climb, butler, chandelier, sounds, bracelet, hypnotize

Excercise 2

Write these numbers as their corresponding letters: 6124, 8903, 2394, 0567, 1109, 8374

Pegs for numbers 1-10

1. Tie
2. Noah
3. Ma
4. Rye
5. Law
6. Shoe
7. Cow
8. Ivy
9. Bees
10. Toes

Exercise 3

Peg the numbers to the following objects using the technique below.

9 — purse
6 — cigarette
4 — ashtray
7 — salt-shaker
3 — lamp
5 — typewriter
2 — TV set
8 — wrist watch
1 — fountain pen
10 — telephone

Here’s the technique:

  • 9 (bee) — purse. Make a ridiculous and/or illogical association of the peg word for 9, which is “bee,” and purse. You might see yourself opening a purse and a swarm of bees fly out of it, stinging you. Just “see” the picture for a moment, then go to the next one.
  • 6 (shoe) — cigarette. You can see yourself smoking a shoe instead of a cigarette, see millions of cigarettes falling out of a shoe, or you can see yourself wearing gigantic cigarettes instead of shoes.
  • 4 (rye) — ashtray. You might see yourself dropping ashes into a scooped out loaf of rye bread instead of an ashtray, or, you’re buttering an ashtray instead of a slice of rye bread. The first illogical picture that comes to mind is usually the best, because that is the one that will come to mind later on.
  • 7 (cow) – salt-shaker. Picture yourself milking a cow, but the cow has salt-shakers instead of udders. Or, see saltshakers coming out instead of milk.
  • 3 (ma) – lamp.  Picture your mother wearing a gigantic lamp for a hat. See the lamp going on and off.
  • 5 (law) – typewriter. You might “see” a policeman putting handcuffs on a typewriter, or you can see a typewriter walking the beat, swinging a club, like a cop.
  • 2 (Noah) – television set. Picture Noah sailing on a television set instead of an ark.
  • 8 (ivy) – wrist watch. You can see millions of wrist watches growing all over the side of your house, instead of ivy; or, you can see yourself wearing ivy on your wrist instead of a watch.
  • 1 (tie) – fountain pen. Picture yourself wearing a gigantic fountain pen instead of a tie, or see yourself writing with your tie, instead of a fountain pen.
  • 10 (toes) – telephone. See yourself dialing with your toes, or, you pick up the telephone, but it turns out that you’re holding your toes. (Probably talking to a heel.)

Now without looking write down the numbers with the associated objects: purse, cigarette, ashtray, salt-shaker, lamp, typewriter, TV set, wrist watch, fountain pen, telephone.

Exercise 4

Remember a list of errands: wash the car, going to the bank, send an important email, see the dentist, pick up the umbrella that you forgot at a friend’s house, buy some perfume, call the television repairman, stop at the hardware store, go to the bookstore and have your watch repaired.

car to (#1)
bank to Noah (#2)
email to ma (#3)
dentist to rye (#4)
umbrella to law (#5)
perfume to shoe (#6)
television to cow (#7)
hardware to ivy (#8)
book to bee (#9)
watch to toes (#10)

I hope you found these exercises useful. If you have any questions please dont hesitate to send a message via the contact form.

Credit:How to Develop A SUPER-POWER MEMORY by Harry Lorayne

Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin – Review

Your Inner Fish is all about human evolution.

By looking at fossil records, genes and life on earth today we can work out where we came from and its fascinating.

It is no exaggeration to say this book will change the way you look at the world.

Chapter 1: Finding Your Inner Fish

375 million years ago a fish called Tiktaalik appears in the fossil records in Greenland.

With its flat head and primitive limb-like fins the Tiktaalik fossil is a sea dwelling fish evolving to being a land living animal.

It was cleverly discovered by Shubin and his colleagues after studying the geology of the area and making precise predictions about the fossil record.

Chapter 2: Getting a Grip

By looking at animals with limbs scientists noticed animals as diverse as bats, horses and frogs all have a common design for their limbs, the only thing that changes is the shape and size of the bones.

Humans can rotate our hands relative to our elbows,using a pivot point. This lineage can be traced back to Tiktaalik who could also bend its elbow.

Life in and out of water is not that clearcut with some ancient and modern day fish having lungs.

It appears that fish began growing limbs to escape the water and the fierce predators that lived there.

Chapter 3: Handy Genes

Each cell in our body contains the genetic code to make the whole body.

Different genes are active in the different cell types and genetic switches help assemble us. Interestingly the gene responsible for limb and fin development is the same.

This points to the fact that the evolution of limbs from fins did not require any new genes.

Chapter 4: Teeth Everywhere

Looking at teeth gives us lots of clues about our genetic heritage.

Mammals have a single jaw bone and top and bottom teeth which match up. Reptiles have jaws with many bones and replace teeth continually. Primitive fish like Lampreys have no jaws and feed by attaching themselves to other fish and feeding on their body fluids.

Human teeth reveal that we are all purpose eaters, having incisors specialised to cut food, canines in the back and molars in extreme back to shear or mash food.

Our teeth are the hardest parts of our bodies, Hydroxyapatite giving them their hardness.

The primary purpose of teeth is to allow us to eat things that are bigger than our mouths.

Chapter 5: Getting Ahead

In this chapter we learn that the essence of our heads goes right back to worms.

The muscles in the head are attached to the brain and organs. The nerves in the head look very much like the wiring in an old building, not making logical sense. They have evolved that way to accommodate other features eg. giraffes neck.

Chapter 6: The Best Laid (Body) Plans

The plans for our bodies goes back to fish and if you think about it that’s quite logical. Their bodies are lined up like ours, they have heads and spines.

Animals in other lineages such as sponges and jellyfish have fundamentally different body plans.

Chapter 7: Adventures in Bodybuilding

In experiments using bacteria, predation has been shown to produce multi cellular organisms from single celled ones over a number of generations.

Around 1 bn years ago bacteria began eating each other and at the same time oxygen levels increased in the atmosphere which allowed for multi cellular organisms to survive.

We evolved from these multi cellular organisms, with cells specialising and eventually leading to skeletons and limbs.

Chapter 8: Making Scents

Our sense of smell goes back to being a fish.

Lampreys and Hagfish have single nostril and extract odours from water. Lungfish have 2 kinds of nostrils, external and internal which is similar to the structure we have.

Mammals developed a much greater sense of smell and in fact a whole 3% of the human genome is devoted to smell.

Humans though, like other primates with colour vision, have a diminished sense of smell. Apparently there was an evolutionary trade off between the 2.

Dolphins have no sense of smell and use what was their noses as blow holes to blow out water.

Chapter 9: Vision

The eyes capture light and transmit it to the brain where it is processed.

An amazing 70% of our sensory cells are used for vision.

Fascinatingly, the origin of the eye can be traced right back to bacteria!

There is a single gene which triggers the formation of the eye called pac 6 and this is the same in many creatures with eyes.

Chapter 10: Ears

The history of the inner ear can be traced to ancient fish and the neurons even further.

Mammals’ middle ears are different to other species, having 3 bones.

Interestingly one jelly fish, the Box Jelly fish has 20 eyes, though no other type of jellyfish has eyes.

Chapter 11: The Meaning Of It All

Looking at a human is like looking back in time through our evolutionary heritage. Some of our features started with bacteria, some with fish, others as mammals.

If we look at other animals it becomes apparent which parts are similar. We have many similarities to a Polar Bear, fewer with a Turtle and fewer still with a regular fish.

Many human illnesses are a result of our sedentary lifestyle when our bodies are built for an active one.

Epilogue

We should embrace scientific study without fear.

Maybe it will give us a deeper understanding of human nature and help us cure illnesses

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Mentalist Profile: Derren Brown

Derren Brown is the best mentalist of his generation.

He is constantly advancing his skills, innovating with his performances and calling out fake psychics and other frauds too.

Seeing Derren Brown perform it can be hard not to believe he possesses psychic abilities.

This guy knows what is going on in your mind, often because he has created the thoughts himself!

Early Career and TV

Brown started out at university as a hypnotist then started learning and performing close up magic in the cafe’s of Bristol.

Developing his skills over the next 7 years in Bristol Brown hit television in 1999 with 3 specials which later became the ground breaking series Mind Control. >>Derren Brown – Inside Your Mind [DVD]

Derren Brown Trick of The Mind 1 [DVD] [2004] followed on from Mind Control and the 3 series were very much a natural progression.

Trick or Treat (2007 – 2008) surprised applicants with Derren appearing out of the blue to give people a trick or treat. He hypnotised one guy and dropped him of in Marrakesh and dropped one girl, tied up, in a sack into a lake!

In The Events (2009) Brown stuck people watching at home to their seats using sublimnal messaging and bet £5,000 of a viewers money on the spin of a roulette wheel, and lost :(

Also on TV we had Derren Brown Investigates (2010) and The Experiments in 2011. In one episode of In The Experiments Derren got someone to ‘assassinate’ Stephen Fry and in another got someone to admit to a murder they didn’t commit.

TV Specials: Russian Roulette, Seance, Messiah, The Gathering, The Heist, The System, Hero at 30,000 ft, Miracles for Sale.

Live Shows

Watch some of Derren’s live shows and see his masterful control of the audience. 2011-12 he is touring Svengali.

Some of his other live shows include: Derren Brown Live (2003-04), Something Wicked This Way Comes (2005-06), Mind Reader – An Evening of Wonders (2007-08), Enigma (2009-10)

Skills

Derren Brown uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”

He is a master reader of people’s body language, he uses NLP to put thoughts in peoples minds, he uses lots of psychological tricks like perception without awareness and his memory techniques are something to behold!

He is a master of conjuring and hypnosis and teaches some of his tricks in his books.

Derren Brown emphasises the importance of showmanship and involving the audience.

 

 

What Every Body Is Saying, Joe Navarro – Review

What Every Body is Saying is a detailed book on body language by one of the world’s leading experts.

Joe Navarro has dedicated his life to studying body language, a passion which began aged 8 and led him to a 25 year career in the FBI.

A mix of theory, scientific facts and careful observations fill the book with revealing insights.

Chapter 1: Mastering the Secrets of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication constitutes 65% of all interpersonal communication and if your not already you should start paying attention because our body language tells the truth!

Joe has 10 commandments of body language which include conscious and continuous observation, establishing baselines, looking out for changes, discomfort and not staring at people 😉

Chapter 2: Living Our Limbic Legacy

Think you’re clever – well you should be, you have 3 brains!

Your mammalian ‘limbic’ brain controls your body language and works on a freeze, fight then flight basis.

This survival mechanism evolved millenia ago and is still useful in our survival today. When we are comfortable we demonstrate high confidence and when not comfortable we show low confidence behaviours.

If we are uncomfortable we use pacifying behaviours to stimulate our brains into feeling better. There are differences between men and women but in general these behaviours take the form of  touching our necks, our faces, whistling, yawning, touching our legs and hugging ourselves.

Chapter 3: Getting a Leg Up on Body Language

Forget eye contact and hugs, if you want to know what someone is feeling take a closer look at their legs!

Peoples’ legs give away uncensored information about their inner most thoughts.

Look out for happy feet, which way feet are pointing, the knee clasp and leg splay to gauge what someone is thinking.

If we are comfortable we will cross our legs, and lovers will mirror each others legs. Significant changes in leg movement, foot freeze and the foot lock and leave indicate a lack of comfort.

If you want to know if someone likes you when you meet them when you have shaken their hand see if they stay still or move towards or away from you.

People walk in 40 different ways!

Chapter 4: Torso Tips

People turn towards things they like and away from things they don’t. If we can’t turn away from something we dislike we use our arms as a shield.

When trying to assert dominance people may puff up their chests or splay their torso.

Like the legs, the torso is honest, partly because it contains all our organs!

Chapter 5: Knowledge Within Reach

Arms are used to display dominance for example arms akimbo and the hooding effect, we throw our arms in the air when we are happy and hug people we like. Touching someone’s arm is one of the best ways to instantly gain rapport.

We also put jewellery on our arms to demonstrate wealth.

Chapter 6: Getting a Grip

Our human hands are unique amongst the animals and by using them correctly we can become more persuasive, likeable and credible :)

You can offend people with your hands by pointing, snapping your fingers or flipping the ‘bird’.

Look out for steepling, thumb displays, genital framing, frozen hands, hand wringing, neck touching, microexpressions as all give away our subconscious thouhts.

When shaking hands, don’t try to assert dominance it doesn’t work, giving a good firm handshake is the best bet!

Chapter 7: The Minds’s Canvas

Our facial expressions are a universal language. Humans are capable of more than 10,000 different facial expressions.

Because we can control our facial expressions we can mask emotions but faces are still useful for gauging emotion.

Look out for eye blocking behaviours like squinting and pupil constriction. People do this when they don’t like what they see. Likewise, if what they say is agreeable we see pupil dilation, eyebrow arching and flashbulb eyes.

Contempt is shown by the rolling of the eyes and sneering. The lips, nose, forehead, cheeks all give information away and If the face is sending mixed signals, the negative emotion is more honest.

Interestingly eye contact does not indicate honesty and is often used by psychopaths!

Chapter 8: Detecting Deception

Despite the inherent honesty of our body language, when the body lies, its still hard to tell. Even the most gifted body language readers can only detect deception 60% of the time. Polygraphs are only 60-80% accurate. That’s because lying is a survival tool.

When trying to detect deception make sure you know the base level of body language when comfortable. Look out for blocking using objects, pacifying behaviour, clusters of behaviours, synchrony and emphasis.

Pay attention and get a good view!

Chapter 9: Final Thouhts

We are taught to listen to what people say, see what peoples bodies are telling you and a whole new world of communication will open up!

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A Mind Of It’s Own, Cordelia Fine – Review

What goes on up there?

A pregnant Cordelia Fine went to great lengths to find out.

She bring scientific research to life with personal anecdotes, humour and a passion for psychology. Read on…

Chapter 1: The Vain Brain

The vain brain has a lot to answer for. It makes people think they are more ethical, better employees and better drivers than average and that’s just the start.

We give ourselves all sorts of credit for our successes and let ourselves off the hook for our failures to protect our egos.

If we think we are going to do badly we don’t try to give ourselves an excuse for failure.

We spend time with those who think we are great and have a massively optimistic view of our future health, wealth and happiness.

The vain brain is needed though – those with a more accurate view of reality are often clinically depressed and optimistic people live longer!

Chapter 2: The Emotional Brain

Whether you like it or not your emotions play a big part in the workings of your mind. Take this interesting nugget – your emotions are often aware of things BEFORE you are consciously aware of them.

Happy and sad films alter our perceptions, emotions affect how much pain we feel and emotions even affect what we actually see!

People with damage to the emotional parts of their brains can find it near impossible to make decisions, some feel permanently detached from reality, some even think they are dead :(

Chapter 3: The Immoral Brain

Our judgements which we think are based on logic are often based on gut reactions or moral intuitions. Our need to believe in a just world means that we often believe people have brought misfortune upon themselves.

We hold others up to judgement for things whilst letting ourselves off for the same thing. We are basically illogical and mean people!

We judge ourselves morally superior, and think if our intentions were good that’s the main thing, even if the result is catastrophic failure.

Our morality can easily be altered by circumstances too. In an experiment 2/3 of people administered a highly dangerous voltage to fellow human beings.

Authority was a big factor here and has been shown to play a big part in immorality, as a cursory glance at the history books will confirm.

Chapter 4: The Deluded Brain

150 million Americans believe its possible for someone to be physically possessed by the Devil and 25 million Britons believe its possible to communicate with the dead.

In short many of us are deluded. There is a fine line between regular day to day delusion and being banged up in the funny farm too. People can quite easily be turned temporarily insane.

Our minds are shown to be illogical again – beware asking your loved one ‘don’t you love me any more?’ and if there is no correlation between things your brain will help out by making one up.

Some of the truly deluded think their family has been replaced by aliens or that others are controlling their actions… and then there is religion.

Chapter 5: The Pigheaded Brain

Beliefs are a funny thing. We quickly form beliefs based on the evidence, (even if that evidence is telling us the exact opposite?) and won’t let go of those beliefs, even if they are completely discredited later.

Other people’s beliefs have a huge impact over us too so lets hope mummy really believes her little angel is a genius!

Chapter 6: The Secretive Brain

The unconscious mind, one of my favourite subjects.

The big take-away from this chapter is this:

Areas of the brain are dedicated to specific subjects, they are called schemas. If a schema is activated, it will affect your behaviours. Schemas can be activated through environmental factors without your knowledge. Think about that one for a second.

The unconscious walks us places and drives our cars too – but we knew that already.

Chapter 7: The Weak Willed Brain

Face it – your will is weak. Use it up during the day and spend the evening sprawled in front of the TV watching East Enders.

Our willpower is undermined by a bad mood, rejection and distress.

However, keep working that willpower and it will eventually grow strong.

You need your unconscious mind onside for success. Help it out by writing detailed plans of what you intend to do :)

Chapter 8: The Bigoted Brain

Stereotypes, there must be more to life!

Beware stereotypes. They affect you whether you like it or not. We need to do away with them because people which suffer from negative stereotypes are at a disadvantage – and what’s fair about that?!

It’s those blasted schemas at work again… however all is not lost. Become aware of how blatantly bigoted you are being and do away with it now! (apparently its not that hard).

Epilogue: The Vulnerable Brain

Your brain is with you 24/7 so you better get used to it.

We are at the mercy of our emotions and the environment.

Our brain is constantly doing stuff and not even doing us the courtesy of letting us know.

Fortunatel, if you have read this book you might be able to work yours a bit better :)

Take- Aways:

Our motives are often hidden, even from ourselves.

Beware your schemas (and be aware of other peoples), they are critical in the way we behave and can be easily triggered.

Expectations of yourself and others play no small part in behaviour and performance.

Beliefs – easily formed and hard to shift.

Take control of your brain by writing out a plan!

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Dynamo Magician Impossible Review

Disc 1

In part 1 Dynamo visits Miami, Manchester and London. He presents an award at the Prince’s Trust awards, hangs out with Ian Brown and amazes some sexy women.

Some of his tricks on this disc include twisting a glass bottle, stealing someone’s identity and levitating a guitar!

Dynamo performs a number of mind reading tricks in part 1 including an impressive mind read on Ian Brown.

He performs two other mentalism tricks in London. For the first Dynamo gets two people who know each other to name the same country and repeats this with three different pairs and three different countries. He also does a trick where he touches the male partner of a young couple and the girl feels it!

Oh and did I mention the walking on the Thames thing… well he does that too :)

Disc 2

In part 2 Dynamo is back on the streets of Bradford and London, visits the Snowbombing festival in the Alps, and tops things off by amazing the guests at Rios Ferdinand’s party.

He defies gravity again with bank cards and coins, turns snow into diamonds, drives blindfold round a racetrack and makes his exit from Rio’s party by walking through a glass wall.

In London Dynamo exactly guesses the amount of change in someone’s wallet and back in Bradford he performs 3 mind reads, including a contact on someones phone. Hypnosis is surely at play in the walking through glass effect.

Disc 3

Dynamo’s mentalism tricks are undoubtedly the strongest effect in this episode. I am talking about mind reading 5 guys playing dominos at a park in Miami and mind reading 2 songs from a local DJ.

The effects he does around the pool table are also very impressive.

The tricks with the biggest ‘wow’ factor are effects at a roof party where Dynamo seemingly teleports and another where he blows letters from a cinema billboard.

He also does a cool trick where he seaparates the ice, water and teabag from an iced tea and burns a $20 then makes it reappear inside a lightbulb.

Disc 4

Dynamo performs some really cool mentalism tricks in this episode. He mind reads a number between 1-1000 from Nick Hogan and a random place from a girl in the street and Natalie Imbruglia. He draws the same as a street artist back to back too.

Dynamo stretches himself physically in this episode, stopping his heart for 10 seconds and bench pressing 3 x his own bodyweight in the gym.

There is also seemingly a miracle when Dynamo brings a wall full of ornamental butterflies to life and an amazing prediction live on Radio 1.

Bonus Disc

Behind the scenes and extra footage.

Interestingly Dynamo says he is not a mind reader though does use some techniques to create that illusion.

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