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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Engineering challenges are fun activities that are frequently assigned to students in physics or engineering classes, but they can easily be used outside of these venues. An engineering challenge usually has a simple goal and some rules about what sorts of materials you are allowed to use. These are great ways to get people thinking creatively and to foster teamwork and competition. Try an engineering challenge at a birthday party, office outing, scout meeting, or any other gathering where you want to have fun and exercise your creativity.

The Spaghetti Cantilever challenge is a fun one. Each team is given a small package of spaghetti, a roll of tape and a table. The objective is to construct a cantilevered structure that extends as far from the table as possible without touching the ground. The structure must be attached to the top of the table and nowhere else. Because spaghetti is very brittle, the engineering becomes very important. Measurements should be taken from the edge of the table to the furthest point of the spaghetti structure.

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vim

noun :: Robust energy and enthusiasm.

"He was full of vim and vigor."

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Memorizing the calendar will allow you to amaze and impress your family and friends with seemingly impossible mental feats. It's actually quite easy to do with a little practice.

For each year that you want to memorize, all you need to do is remember a twelve-digit number. For the year 2005, that number is 26-63-15-37-42-64. Each digit in that number represents the first Sunday of the month. For example, the first Sunday in January is the 2nd. The first Sunday of February is the 6th, and so on.

Now, suppose someone asks you what day Christmas falls on in 2005. First, you retrieve the 12th digit of your secret number; this is 4. Now you know that the first Sunday is on the 4th. You also know that Christmas is 21 days later. Since a week has 7 days, you know that Christmas is exactly 3 weeks ahead and thus also falls on a Sunday. Let's try a harder example: July 21. The secret number for July is 3. There are 18 days between the 3rd and the 21st. That's 2 weeks and 4 days. Since adding a week takes you back to the same day, we only need to add 4 days to Sunday, which is Thursday. Tada!

All you need is an old calendar to construct the secret 12-digit number for that year. Now, you just need to memorize those 12 numbers. This is what the Phonetic Mnemonic System is great at. Using this system, the secret number listed above can be represented as "Notch, Gym, Tail, Hammock, Horn, Chair", which you could easily link together using the Link System. With a little practice, you could memorize several years and be able to calculate any date for those years with only a few seconds of thought.

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