Memorize the US State Capitals

So last time I had you remember the first five US states alphabetically, the photo album, with Sarah Palin jumping out holding a cactus which was thrown at Noah’s Ark with the gold bars flying out. This gave us Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas and California.

Let’s now store into memory their capital cities. If you did not read my first post please take two minutes to read it over to get an understanding of how ridiculous images force our memory to latch onto information.

OK, let’s memorize their capital cities.

Alabama’s capital is Montgomery. See a photo Album balancing on a golf tee, see Colin Montgomery, the British golfer striking the album with his driver and driving it 250 yd’s down the fairway. Hear the thud of the driver as it strikes the album, see the photo’s scattering across the fairway.

If you are not familiar with Colin Montgomery you could use Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein from the 2nd world war, see him looking through a photo album while driving a tank! Or any Montgomery that springs to mind will work.

If you absolutely cannot think of anyone familiar named Montgomery, then you can break the name into smaller workable chunks like, Mint Gum Rye.

Imagine instead of photos in the album, hundreds of Mint leaves or breath mints instead. As you pull the mint(s) from the page there is a long strand of gum attached, the mints or leaves have all been stuck into the album with chewing gum. You take the mint with the gum and place it in a glass of Rye whiskey and drink this awful concoction. You will only need to see this image a couple times before it will be lodged into your long term memory.

Alaska’s capital is Juneau. See Sarah Palin standing at the lectern shouting “Do you know?” Or see a June bug on her Nose, June Nose/Juneau. See her cross eyed as she tries to deliver a speech with this huge June bug crawling up and down her nose.

Arizona’s capital is Phoenix. See a huge cactus splitting open, perhaps hit by lightning, hear the cracking of the cactus as a Phoenix literally rises from the cactus.

Arkansas’ capital is Little Rock. See hundreds of little rocks in groups of two by two walking up the ramp to the Ark, no animals just little rocks. You can even give them little arms and hands holding onto each other as they stroll up the ramp into the ark.

California’s capital is Sacramento. If you are already familiar with the name Sacramento, then a simple image of a sack will do. A sack full of gold bars may be a little obvious, it sounds perfect, but not really unusual enough. Our memory tends to cling to the unusual, not the normal or obvious.

So instead of seeing hundreds of gold bars stacked on top of each other in a bank vault, replace them with hundreds of sacks, see a bank vault full of tiny sacks.

You may think of the Beach Boys to visualize California, so see the Beach Boys playing a concert with huge sacks over their heads.

If you are not familiar with the name Sacramento, then you can split it into workable chunks just as I did with Montgomery. Sacramento would become Sack Ram Men Toe, see this chain of images and associate it to gold bars or the Beach Boys or whatever image you conjure up for California.

So to review:

The photo Album, being hit on the driving range by Colin Montgomery.
Alabama/Montgomery

Sarah Palin shouting “Do you know?” at the lectern, or the huge June bug crawling up her nose.
Alaska/Juneau

The Cactus splitting open with the Phoenix rising.
Arizona/Phoenix

The Little Rocks walking two by two up the ramp into the Ark.
Arkansas/Little Rock, and finally:

The bank vault full of tiny Sacks or the Beach Boys with sacks over their heads.
California/Sacramento

Again, make sure you review these images within 60-75 minutes from now, it takes less than 60 seconds but is critical for long term storage, then again within 24 hr’s, then 1 week later and then 1 month later.

I will post perhaps four or five state capitals and a crazy image over the next dozen or so posts in order for you to become accustomed to forming crazy ridiculous imagery. This is essential for us to apply memory systems to more practical business applications like recalling Names and Faces, speeches and presentations, model numbers, prices, to-do lists etc. We need to shake up the creative side of our brains before we tackle more business related issues…and besides, this will probably win you a drink or two in a bar!

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