10x Your Memory Power
Autobiographical memory is not just another storage area with our memories, and it is notjust those memories relevant to oneself, it is, according to Conway (2001) a transitory mental representation it is a temporary but stable pattern of activation across the indices of the autobiographical memory knowledge base that encompasses knowledge at different levels of abstraction, including event-specific sensory perceptual details, very often - although by no means always - in the form of visual mental images. Bluck (2003) identifies three functions of autobiographical memory as concerning the self, its role in maintaining social relations, and its directive function. Of the first she writes, knowledge of the self in the past, and as projected into the future has been seen as one critical type of self-knowledge. She also notes that Conway regards autobiographical memory as contributing to the self in terms of its continuity and development. A further, hypothesised function is the personal...
Just as routes and paths are important in our understanding of the physical world, so also are stories and sequential events critical to our thought processes and memories. In both working memory and long-term memory, we often encode information in sequences and find it hard to recall it out of sequence. Beginnings are easiest to remember, followed by endings, and middles hardest try remembering the middle verse of a poem or song you know well without starting at the beginning.
Clyde Tbmbaugh, the eldest of six children, was born on a farm near Streator, Illinois, on February 4, 1906. He enjoyed exploring the heavens with his Uncle Lee and his 3-inch telescope. Clyde virtually memorized the popular astronomy book his uncle loaned him. In 1920 his father and Uncle Lee bought a new 2.25-inch scope from the Sears-Roebuck catalog for them to share.
So, we have looked at the fractional method now for the Pogson step method. This sounds a bit more daunting, but I am somewhat mystified by what merits the attaching of a man's surname to it. The Pogson step method is, quite simply, just using a single comparison star and estimating how many tenths of a magnitude your variable or supernova is above or below it in magnitude. I would like to say more, but there is nothing more to say, except, perhaps, give an example. Let us, once more, take our magnitude 13.6 supernova. But this time we only have star E, of magnitude 13.4, as a comparison. So, we estimate the mag as E - 2, that is, 2 steps fainter than 13.4, or mag 13.6 (remember, magnitudes get bigger as stars get fainter). Most observers will only use this method if they are short of comparison stars or if they are very experienced at estimating tenths of a magnitude. Whether you use either the fractional or the Pogson method, they are both pretty obvious. It is only the notation...
An observing log taken in the field should be simple and concise. You are taking it as you observe so keep it small and brief. It should be just enough to jog your memory from the night before as you read it. As I go through this log, even years after I took these notes, it helps me to remember key things I saw in the sky that night. This can be extra helpful when dealing with objects that change over time, like comets and planets. Note the vital statistics, such as what you saw, when you saw it, where was it in the sky, how bright and how big it was, how good the seeing (1-5, with 5 being best) was and anything noteworthy. Each one of these lines was typed in Excel in the field in just a few seconds.
When I was an undergraduate studying physics my tutor introduced me to thermodynamics by explaining that Ludwig Boltzmann committed suicide in 1906, as did Paul Ehrenfest in 1933. Now it was my turn to study what had driven them both to take their own lives. I did not think this was the kind of introduction likely to inspire a joyful curiosity in the subject, but it probably was not the reason why I found the subject as difficult as I did. It was a hard subject because it seemed to me to possess arbitrary rules that had to be memorized. Lurking somewhere under this set of rules was something statistical, but what it was or how it worked was never made clear. I was frequently told that the best thing to do was just memorize all the different examples given and not try to understand where it all came from. I tried doing this, but partly because I have a very poor memory I did not do very well in the final examination on this topic. I have been prejudiced against it ever since.
You'll find that if the star drifts north, the polar axis needs to move to the right (east), and if it drifts south, the polar axis needs to move left (west). But if - like me - you find this rule hard to memorize, don't worry. The first time you move the polar axis, you'll find out whether you moved it the right way.
Every part of the lunar surface is fascinating to examine visually and to record with a webcam, but I would be lying if I did not say that there are some 20 or so craters that are favorite objects among amateur astronomers. These craters really make you appreciate how lucky we are to have such a nearby planet to examine, month after month. After a year or so of observing and imaging the Moon, these craters will become etched in your memory and you will look forward to those critical interplays of light and shadow on the craters' floors. You will wonder when you will next see a crater at a specific illumination and just how far the shadow from this or that mountain peak can stretch across the crater floor. You will dream of a clear night and steady seeing when you can just capture that critical phase that you have never seen before. One book, now out of print, that really captures the essence of addictive lunar observing is highly recommended. It is Harold Hill's A Portfolio of Lunar...
PK 164+31.1 is a planetary nebula which has been mistaken for NGC 2474 in several references. Sky and Telescope magazine for April 1981 on page 368 tells the story and has a picture of the area. This planetary is very faint, pretty large, not brighter in the middle and has several stars involved at 100X with the UHC filter in the 13 inch scope. The nebula is faint enough that turning on the very dim red flashlight to make a drawing makes the planetary disappear for a few seconds. I had to memorize the field to draw it.
The best computerized telescopes offer periodic-error correction (PEC), which means that small irregularities in the gears can be memorized and corrected by the computer, so that tracking is extremely smooth - but only in equatorial mode. The procedure is to use a crosshairs eyepiece at high magnification and keep a star perfectly centered by making manual corrections for 8 minutes. Thereafter, the computer repeats the same corrections, somewhat smoothed out, at the correct interval. For really accurate training, use a CCD autoguider.
Mechanical tracking errors can be periodic or random. In real life, you get a combination of the two. Periodic errors recur with every revolution of a gear -typically once every 4 or 8 minutes - and some computerized telescopes can memorize a set of corrections and play it back every time the gear turns. This is known as periodic-error correction (PEC) and you have to train it by putting in the corrections, by hand or with an autoguider the latter is preferable. On the Meade LX200, the PEC retains its training when turned off, and you can retrain it by averaging the new corrections with the existing set, hopefully ending up with something smoother than either one would be by itself.
''Over four or five days,'' continued Czeisler, ''if you lose two or three hours of sleep per night, it's the equivalent of losing a full night of sleep, and that causes a lot of detriments in our ability to perform effectively. It impairs the ability to consolidate short-term memory, causes a slowing of reaction time and it increases the probability of lapses of attention that may occur when you're carrying out a routine, highly over-learned task, such as on Earth driving a car. NASA is concerned about the potential impact of this cumulative sleep deprivation on mission safety and success.''
Nova patrols have been successfully conducted visually, using the unaided eye or with binoculars. The two challenges associated with visual search are the need to memorize an enormous number of star patterns (so that you'll recognize a new star), and the difficulty of getting rapid independent confirmation that the new star is indeed new (and is actually a star). It isn't too great a stretch to imagine that you could learn the binocular-star patterns over a fair swath of the Milky Way. After all,
Conway has concluded that autobiographical memory is predicated on life-goals, for example, going to college, getting a job, having children, retiring to a villa in the sun, and so forth, whereas the indexing and retrieval mechanisms ofmemory prosthetics remain steadfastly technologically driven, treating memory as a storage repository of unchanging items that can always be found, dusted off, and put to use, provided that they are properly labelled. However, our thinking on both memory and technology may require a reformulation if these prosthetics are going to work and be acceptable to us, and here is one way in which this might be done.
The lay press immediately picked up on the social implications of these changes in the airborne workplace ''today, having the right stuff means the byte stuff when aviator becomes computer monitor.''14 Pilots grew concerned about losing their touch, what one pilot called the syndrome'' (indeed today's newest Airbus airliner places keyboards where control yokes used to be). One trade publication warned, in language reminiscent of the SETP's concerns in the 1950s ''Men and women who expected to participate in a great adventure of individualism and personal control are memorizing tedious procedures
Would you like to be able to recite all of the planets in order from the Sun It is easier than you think Try using the pneumonic device below. A pneumonic device is a learning tool that can help you memorize important information. To create a pneumonic device, you take the first letter of each word in the series you are trying to memorize and create a funny phrase or saying with the letters. For Instance, a common pneumonic device used to memorize the planets is Can you think of another pneumonic device to help you memorize the planets
This book is divided into several major sections. At the end of each section is a multiple-choice test. Take these tests when you're done with the respective sections and have taken all the chapter quizzes. The section tests are closed book. Don't look back at the text when taking them. The questions are not as hard as those in the quizzes, and they don't require that you memorize trivial things. A satisfactory score is three-quarters of the answers correct. Again, answers are in the back of the book. With the section tests and the final exam, as with the quizzes, have a friend tell you your score without letting you know which questions you missed. In that way, you will not subconsciously memorize the answers. You might want to take each test and the final exam two or three times. When you have gotten a score that makes you happy, you can check to see where your knowledge is strong and where it is not so keen.
Norman Pogson is a well-known variable-star observer from the nineteenth century. He developed a procedure that differs from Argelander's method in that each step is determined to be precisely OTl. This method requires you to compare a variable star with a single comparison star using a previously memorized interval of O'Vl. You then observe the variable again, using a different comparison star. The variable's magnitude is deduced later. Your first observation might be recorded as A - 5, indicating that the variable star is five steps, or 0m5, fainter than the brighter comparison star. Since you have already memorized what a tenth of a magnitude, or step, looks Like, this observation is independent of the next, which considers the fainter star. In the second observation you might say B + 4, meaning that the star is four steps brighter than the comparison star. Later, we would find out that A 11.4, thus A - 5 11.9. If B were equal to 12.3, the B + 4 would also equal 11.9. Remember that...
Since the subject of this book is probability, its meaning and its relevance for science and society, I am going to start in this chapter with a short explanation of how to go about the business of calculating probabilities for some simple examples. I realize that this is not going to be easy. I have from time to time been involved in teaching the laws of probability to high school and university students, and even the most mathematically competent often find it very difficult to get the hang of it. The difficulty stems not from there being lots of complicated rules to learn, but from the fact that there are so few. In the field of probability it is not possible to proceed by memorizing worked solutions to well known (if sometimes complex) problems, which is how many students approach mathematics. The only way forward is to think. That is why it is difficult, and also why it is fun.
Although Bob Evans, shown in Figure 10.1, was not the first amateur to discover a supernova (he was the fourth) and although there are now four amateur astronomers who have discovered more, namely Armstrong, Boles, Puckett, and Schwartz, Bob Evans is still the only truly legendary figure in supernova discovery. To discover supernovae visually, simply relying on your memory of the galaxy fields, and to haul a telescope manually to each object, with no GO TO facility, is awesome. Not only this, but Evans has discovered some absolutely cracking bright supernovae a result of patrolling the brightest galaxies. If you are not too keen on patrolling 10,000 galaxies, Evans' strategy of just bagging a couple of bright, visually discoverable, supernovae per year may be one to emulate. Remarkably, Evans has discovered three supernovae in the same galaxy, NGC 1559, in 1984,1986, and 2005. In addition, in the beautiful galaxy NGC 1365, he has discovered two supernovae, in the years 1983 and 2001,...
Probably the best-known story about Indian (actually Tamil21) astronomy is that told by Warren (1825), recounted in Neugebauer (1952 1983a, p. 435) about a kalendar maker in Pondicherry, who demonstrated to Warren a technique to predict a lunar eclipse by means of memorized tables and the movement of shells on the ground. Neugebauer cites this as an example of a continuous tradition stemming from the 6th century (with Varahamihira) in India, back through the 3rd-century Roman empire, and ultimately to Seleucid era cuneiform tablets, no later than the 2nd century b.c. Apparently, the key to the tables lay in word association, because Warren writes about certain artificial words and syllables being used, and he did not understand a word of the theories of Hindu astronomy, but was endowed with a retentive memory, which enabled him to arrange very distinctly his operations in his mind, and on the ground. The demonstration consisted of the computation of the circumstances of the eclipse of...
The Veda (meaning knowledge ) were therefore written during the Indo-Sarasvati period. Its four main books were orally passed on from a very early period. Until about a thousand years ago, no one had ever inscribed them in writing, so they were transmitted by memory (a typical Veda contains about ten thousand verses). There is no doubt, however, that the Brahmins memorized the Veda (as they still do today), being careful not to change a single syllable of the texts, which are considered sacred. Therefore, we can be sure that the texts of the four books, which contain hymns (Rigveda), sacrificial formulas (Yajurveda), melodies (Samaveda), and magic formulas (Atharvaveda), are today very close to the texts as they were conceived at least 3000 years ago. The interesting thing is that many of the verses of the last three books are copied by those of the Rigveda, as if the author wanted to put together a certain amount of verses (see below).
Smooth tracking and a steady mount are vital for deep-sky work. Many of the less expensive computerized telescopes, such as the Meade ETX-90, are not designed for photography and are usable only with difficulty. Others, such as the Meade LX200 and Celestron Ultima 2000, are fine photographic instruments. For smooth tracking, you need a well-made worm-gear drive, preferably with periodic-error correction (PEC, p. 53) so that the irregularities in the gears can be memorized by the computer and counteracted automatically.
As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to memorize the easy numbers. An educated space-savvy resident of Planet Earth should know that space officially begins at 100 km, that low Earth orbit is centered at about 200 miles - or 300 km - above sea level, and that the diameter of the Galaxy is 100,000 light-years (74 trillion Earth diameters ). It is also useful to know that the speed of light is 300,000 km s, and that a light-year is the distance that light travels in one tropical Earth year. This amounts to just under six trillion miles. It is also vital to know that the difference between escape and orbital velocities is a much smaller value than that of orbital velocity itself, and that planetary atmosphere entry speed is roughly the same as the escape velocity, if the spacecraft is entering from interplanetary or cislunar space.
Don't try to memorize a star map that would be tiresome. Instead, find something in the sky that catches your eye, then use a map to identify it. (My personal career began with the Belt of Orion.) Some constellations, such as Ursa Major and Cassiopeia, jump right out at you others are obscure, and you will never need to learn them. Not one astronomer in a hundred can sketch Camelopardalis from memory.
If a spacecraft passes close by a planet, as it journeys through interplanetary space, then the path it takes is described as a swing-by trajectory. It may be worth recalling some of the background we discussed in Chapter 1 about this type of trajectory, and indeed you may wish to reread the text associated with Figures 1.9 and 1.10 to refresh your memory. The shape of the curve describing the spacecraft's path is called a hyperbola, and it is one of the four basic conic section shapes found by Isaac Newton in his equations describing motion in an inverse square law gravity field. As mentioned in Chapter 1, the shape can be seen all over the place once you start looking for it. You may even have your very own hyperbola in the room where you are reading this,
I was only 11 when the Sputnik went up. Americans were already afraid of the Russians, and now we were desperately afraid. We had air raid drills in school, and were taught how to put our heads down under our desks. My father got a Geiger counter to find out if things were radioactive, and was part of the Civil Defense system. Suddenly it was good to be good at science and math. I got books every two weeks from the Bookmobile, which the county library sent around to farms. Even the library itself was brand new. We had a science fair, and I saved up my allowance, a quarter a week for a long time, to buy a Heathkit shortwave radio with five vacuum tubes. I put it together myself, but it didn't work because my soldering iron was meant for roofing, and had melted some parts. A few months later I found out how to get some new parts, and suddenly there were voices from far away. I studied the parts catalog from Allied Radio the way other kids memorized baseball statistics. I built a...
When monumental alignments are found facing close to east and west, such as the two passages at the passage tomb of Knowth in the Boyne Valley of Ireland, it is often assumed that they are equinoctial in the halfway between the solstices sense. It is certainly easier to argue on pragmatic grounds that the halfway rather than true equinox was the one marked in prehistoric times, in that the halfway point (whether in space or time) could have been identified using direct observations from the place concerned. However, this explanation leaves open the question of how this might have been achieved in practice, and to what precision. Identifying the Thom equinox, for example, requires an efficient system of recording or memorizing numbers of days up to at least 180 and presupposes that the solstices can themselves be defined to pinpoint precision which is not self-evident, as is seen at the Bronze Age site of Brainport Bay in Argyll, Scotland. This is quite different from suggesting, for...
Throughout our lives we memorize a stunning amount of information. Brain researchers of many stripes are hard at work trying to understand how we store, retrieve, process, and act upon it. Just as astronomers develop theories about how stars work or how the universe formed, brain researchers make theories about how the brain works. They can then test their theories with experiments using an array of modern technologies, such as MRI (nuclear magnetic resonance imaging), fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), and PET (positron emission tomography). Functional MRI in particular can make high-resolution, high-speed images of brain activity. As a result, detailed locations of various mental functions are now being identified. The process of creating permanent memories amounts to physically changing the neural connections in our brains. Once information is stored in long-term memory, it can be drawn upon when we think. Furthermore, because of the way memories are stored, they can be...
It is measured) and what is remembered (what are memories about rather than pure memory as such). However, despite this early appearance of an alternate memory paradigm2, laboratory-based studies have predominated. Then in the late 1970s, Ulric Neisser, a leading and distinguished cognitive psychologist, dismissed the work on memory of the previous 100 years of research as worthless for failing to answer the important questions about memory, and called for a shift to the realistic study of memory (Neisser, 1978). His criticism focussed on many of the very things that Ebbinghaus had established, namely, context-free, laboratory studies. This criticism also saw a rebirth in interest in everyday memory. Everyday memory research has been characterised by its attempt to understand the sorts of things people do every day and by its choice of topics, having obvious relevance to daily life and in particular, by its concern with the practical applications of memory research (Klatzky, 1991, p....
The moon and would subtly pull the spacecraft and alter the trajectory. Also, when the LM separated from the command module, somehow it picked up a little extra velocity. Flight Director Gene Kranz believed it came from a little extra air pressure caught in the docking tunnel, or perhaps it resulted from the LM's maneuvers around the CSM.3 Considering they had just come a quarter of a million miles, we can marvel they would even be aware of such a discrepancy, let alone be concerned about it. But the landing site had been precisely placed, and this extra velocity would cause them to miss it by several miles. Armstrong would miss the landmarks he had carefully memorized.
Alternatively, the outline sketch can be carefully traced and, using the numbered original, the shades of grey can be built on in pencil, or what other medium is chosen on the copy. Most of the really first-rate lunar artists use this approach. Obviously, the finished version of the drawing is made after the observing session. This demands that everything is meticulously noted during the observation. Never rely on your memory of what you think you saw through the eyepiece of the telescope. Get it right at the telescope and you will have no temptation to make subsequent alterations to your drawing.
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