Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Back. Spring Forward.

Fall Back or Spring ahead. Isn't that the saying we are supposed to remember to know which way to turn our clocks during Daylight Saving Time (DST)?
I was wondering who comes up with these mnemonic sayings? By the way, a mnemonic is any learning technique that aids memory. Commonly, most mnemonics are verbal catch phrases or special words like "Fall back" or "Spring Ahead" when helping someone remember something like turning back their clocks for DST.  Others are more visual, like for example how to recall the number of days in a particular month. Have you ever innocently asked someone "Hey Dude, How many days are in this month?"

And then they give you a look of disappointment -- like you just peed your pants or something.  That's because they have a mnemonic way, or a technique that they use to remember how many days are in each month. The method to remember this is a visual way and it is simple. It involves placing your two fists together with the thumbs tucked in and counting across the knuckles and spaces in between (but not counting the space between the hands). If each month is assigned to a knuckle or space in turn, each knuckle month has 31 days, and all of the space-between-the-finger months have just 30 days; except of course for the month of February and don't worry about that one, even NASA Rocket Scientists get all mucked up on that month!

Want to remember which astronauts were in the crew that landed on the moon? Me neither, but play along, this will be fun!
To remember the name of the crew members that first landed on the Moon, just recall:
A - B - C
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins
To recall which Apollo flight was the first manned landing, just recall the "double-L" as a number within the name:
See folks, if you stick with Ava you're going to learn something!! This Greek girl just might pass on some useful information that could help you win a free drink in a  bar or win in a heated debate with your Honey over something trivial....or you could just use this new knowledge and walk around like a Mr. Smarty Pants--I'm just sayin' don't let this blonde hair fool ya'.
Ever wished you could remember the names of the 7 Continents?  Well your wish is Ava's command:  Europe, Antarctica, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, South America
E at An As pirin Af ter A N ighttime S nack
I know about now you are saying....Ok how does she know this stuff. It's because I'm Greek I tell ya! Seriously, mnemonics were  first invented by the Greeks for memory-training 2500 years ago.Back when my manager, Mr. Bricks was just a toddler.
The word "mnemonics" comes from the Greek mneme("memory") and mnemon ("mindful"), and the Greek goddess of Memory and mother of The Muses, was Mnemosyne.
Actually I also know it from the 1995 movie starring Keanu Reeves called  Johnny Mnemonic I got last week from Netflix. In the movie Reeves played a character that had a cybernetic brain implanted to store information.
So now you know.  Whenever you hear the term Fall Back orSpring Ahead for Daylight Saving Time you can indirectly thank the Greeks. And you just thought we were famous for our pretty hair and nice skin...well that too!
Ava (The Greek)
PS. If you did not know your mnemonics you were two hours early for Church this morning - just sayin'

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