10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

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Editor’s note: The following except on “Memory Aids” comes from Increasing Personal Efficiency (1925) by Donald A. Laird. Some re-formatting and condensation have been applied to the original chapter. 

The strength of your memory depends upon the way in which you memorize rather than upon how much it is used. What you want to do is to learn the best ways of memorizing. After you have learned these, follow them rigorously until you have them ingrained as habitual ways of memorizing that you use without thought or effort.

Memory itself, probably, cannot be improved. We are limited by our natural gifts, but the ways in which we memorize can be improved. Therein lies the secret.

1. Be intentional in remembering.

The man who first said “it is the little things that count,” may have wanted to be funny, but he stated a truth of improving memory. The first “little thing” for you to correct is your intention in remembering.

Try to remember this phrase: intention has a lot to do with retention. Be sure to remember this because it is illustrative of one of the first steps in putting memory on a serviceable basis.

When one tries to remember, his memory works much better than when it is left to drift for itself. It has been found that, when one tries to remember, he does remember 20 percent better for a few hours. This same little effort improves memory for longer periods of time by as much as 60 percent.

Apply this every time you run across something that may be useful. When you are introduced to a person say to yourself: “I must try to remember him”; you will remember him much better. When you chance upon a bargain in the advertisements say: “I must remember this” and you will save your pennies, and the embarrassment of forgetfulness.

It is not fair to complain of a poor memory until you have really tried to use what you have in the best way. The ability to remember is there. It is up to you to make the most of it.

2. Memorize the new through the old.

Can you recall the shape of Italy?

Can you recall as accurately the shape of Germany?

You can remember the shape of Italy much better because, when you studied about Italy, its shape was nothing new. It was merely an old-fashioned boot. When you learned this, you had nothing new to remember. What you did was to connect the new notion of the shape of the country with an old idea already in your head.

The secret of your better memory in this case is that you had memorized the new through the old. This is a very important memory aid to use continually.

When was the Chicago World’s Fair? You probably cannot recall. I am going to show you how to connect this new with the old so that you can remember this date easily. This fair was to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America. Of course you know that America was discovered in 1492. That is an old memory. For hundred years later make the Chicago fair in 1892 but, because the buildings were delayed a year, the actual year of the fair was 1893.

Isn’t that much easier than repeating 1893 over and over again? It is not only easier; it makes a more lasting memory. And it is not only more lasting. Doesn’t it mean much more to you now than it would have if you had merely used brute force and memorized 1893 as the date without having the new memories connected with the old ones?

Do you know the German word for dog? It is hund. This can be easily remembered by connecting the new with the old in this way: Hund is much like hound, and hound is an old memory of yours. With one stroke such as this, you have a memory of a foreign word that will last some time.

Not every new thing can be so easily connected with old memories. The point for you to follow, however, is to look for any associations you can possibly find. Do not memorize things as being entirely new; refresh your old memories until you run across some connecting link. You will thus make the new easier to remember, and you will also have strengthened your old memories by reviewing them.

How can you remember this memory aid by connecting it with the others we have given?

When and why was the Chicago World’s Fair?

3. Cultivate a broad range of interests.

At the circus, you saw many people who were strangers to you. Of all these, which ones would you recognize if you were to see them again? Probably the fat woman and the human skeleton.

Let the fat woman teach you something about improving your memory. She was remembered when hundreds were forgotten because you gave her more attention than you did the normal-sized persons. She was unusual and interesting. This caused you to fix your attention upon her and a more vivid impression was made than if she had gained only casual and passing attention.

What did you read in yesterday’s paper? You can probably remember only the items that attracted your attention. That is why most readers remember the novelties of the news rather than the more significant events. You will notice, too, that the advertisements you remember were the large ones or the unusual ones.

The unusual house or the loud automobile is remembered better because they arouse our interest. The interesting public speaker is remembered because interest holds attention, and attention increases the vividness of our memories. Interest and the attention it brings makes otherwise ordinary things vivid. The person who has many and strong interests remembers better than the ones with only a few weak ones.

You probably have trouble remembering names because you are embarrassed when introduced and give attention to complexion and clothes rather than to the name. Hereafter whenever you make a new acquaintance invariably make it a special point to remember their name and their face.

Test your interests in this way: what can you remember from the daily paper? Is it mostly sport news? If so, it is because your interests lie there. Is it the theatrical news? If so, there are your interests too. Or is it the really worthwhile things you remember?

Improve your memory by cultivating an interest in everything you read or hear. Maintain this interest through life, and add further to the vividness of your memories by giving attention only to one thing at a time, and by going slowly until you can feel that a vivid impression has been made. Haste makes waste and not vividness.

One vivid impression is remembered better than three ordinary impressions.

4. Talk over the things you want to remember.

Do you reinforce your memory? When you want to remember some facts, do you just look at them or do you repeat the figures? Do you write them down and think about them for a while? If you look at them and think: “How interesting, I must remember this,” you are improving your memory by this added effort. But you will not have reinforced it.

Reinforce your memories of the news of the day by talking over what you have read at the table. Reinforce your memories of the best markets by talking over the advertisements. Reinforce your memories of the movies you see by talking about them from time to time.

A student of mine recently performed some experiments which revealed that one remembers 15 percent more a week after memorizing things that are heard as well as seen. This is a very simple way for anyone to improve his memory by merely talking over what he has read or heard. Not only will this aid your memory efficiency but it will give you something about which to talk and perhaps change you from a conversational bore into an interesting person to have around.

Among my friends is a physician who is superintendent of a hospital with twelve hundred patients. This a great accomplishment in itself. More important from the psychologist’s point of view is the fact that he has a tenacious memory for names.

He reinforced and improved his memory for names by getting each name through his eyes, his ears, his mental pictures, and by writing it. After he had become adept in this, he never forgot a name memorized.

When you are introduced to a stranger and want to remember the name do not just say “how ‘de’ you.” Repeat his name as often as possible. Disregard etiquette and say: “Glad to know you, Jones.” Repeating the name as well as hearing it reinforces your memory.

If you have been in the habit of laboriously writing down things you want to remember, you are reinforcing your memories slightly, but stronger memories have been found to result from repeating and talking over the things to be remembered. Try this out yourself by talking over the significant news of the day, then think the same news over tomorrow and you will be surprised how great an improvement you have made.

5. Revive your recent memories.

Here is an easy test for you to try on your memory: What did you read about in the last section? Can you remember the section before that, and the one before that? If you go back over your reading, in memory, you will note that you have great difficulty in remembering what you have read even six hours ago. It is but little harder to remember what you read six hours ago than it is what you read two weeks ago.

This illustrates an important and very practical law of memory. For some reason or another, one forgets most rapidly immediately after memorizing. The first day after memorizing one forgets more than he will forget the next thirty days unless he refreshes his memory in the meantime. This rapid fading away of memories is usually disastrous to them.

The principal method to use in order to avoid this rapid loss is to brush up on your memories soon after having memorized. If you have read an interesting article, do not wait until you want to talk about it to revive your memories. The time to revive them and make them permanent is within half a day after the first impression has been made.

If you have children in school, spend some of the time at the evening meal talking over with them the things the teacher taught them during the day. The knowledge retained by the children will be rendered much more useful as well as more permanent if you do.

Take advantage of your spare moments by reviving your recent memories. Whenever you have a minute on your hands, you can turn it to value by offsetting the rapid forgetting of your new memories.

When you are walking recall worthwhile things you have read, seen, and heard. On the car do not read, but devote the time to your personal progress by thinking over your memories. It is easy to day dream, and as easy to dream over your memories. It will take some conscious effort to start the habit of dreaming over – or reinforcing – your memories, but when once started, it is an easy, worthwhile, and interesting habit.

Each evening a most profitable half-hour can be spent by thinking over the effectiveness of the happenings of the day. The memories thus systematically revived will change those of iron into steel.

6. Repeat what you want to remember.

Would you like to have your memories one and a half times as strong as they are now? You can improve them by this amount if you repeat everything you want to remember twice.

How would you like to have your memories twice as strong as they are now? You can more than double their strength if you repeat what you want to remember three times.

Repetition, which is the old stand-by in improving memory, thus is found to be of considerable value, even though there may be diminishing returns. Repetition alone, however, is not the most desirable memory aid. One should understand thoroughly what he is to remember before it is repeated. The layman can memorize difficult medical terms by repeating them alone, but is the memory worth anything if it is not thoroughly understood?

Do not entertain the notion that it is childish to repeat the things you should remember. If you want strong memories you must repeat them. Do not think that your memory is weak if it will not retain things when you read them or mention them only once. You must strengthen your memories by repeating the material you want to remember well. That is the way you memorized the multiplication table, which is probably one of the strongest memories.

When you are introduced repeat the name several times by saying, “Glad to know you, Mr. Jones. We were just talking about the tariff, Mr. Jones.” Thus you have repeated the name twice. Jones feels complimented when you mention him by name, and your memories are strengthened every time you do.

If you care to have all your memories as strong as our memory of “two times two equals four,” use repetition freely.

7. Memorize meanings.

Your sense will improve your memory and your memory in turn will improve your sense, if you go about it in the right way.

One who does not understand the language of finance has a sorry time remembering when he reads the market pages. Likewise, if he is not well versed in sports, a description of a game in the sporting section is scarcely remembered. This is because he does not understand and sense these particular subjects.

A few days ago I was with a group of chemists. The day after, my friend and I talked over the conversation. I remembered but little of it while scarcely a phrase had faded from his memory. I could not remember it because I had not understood what they were talking about. My friend, the chemist, had remembered it because the conversation had made sense for him.

Give your memory an additional lift by memorizing meanings. Can you remember this: Use sense to improve your memory? Can you remember this: Sense memory to your use improve? You remember one because it has sense for you. The other has the same words but is many times harder to remember because there is no meaning that you can attach to it.

You can remember quicker when you look for the meaning; you will also remember longer when you have memorized the sense. Use the dictionary to help you get clear meanings. If the sense is not clear to you, study over the word or phrase until you understand it. Read your papers and magazines for meanings rather than for words. Look for the meaning in conversations and speeches. You cannot possibly remember all the words of the minister, but you can easily remember the sense of his talk.

Put this into practice now by turning to the editorials and reading one for its meaning. It will put more sense into your head and the sense will make it easier to remember. Try for the next few days to develop the habit of reading for the meanings. Neglect the words for they are important only insofar as they give the meaning.

8. Memorize early in the day.

When does your memory fail you most, in the morning or in the evening? Can you memorize as quickly in the afternoon as in the forenoon?

Last year I experimented with 112 of my students so that I might answer these questions. The experiments lasted six weeks and required almost five thousand tests.

I found that one can memorize for ideas best in the forenoon. It is about 5 percent less efficient to memorize in the afternoon, and about 6 percent less efficient to memorize in the evening. From eight until ten in the morning was found to be the best period to memorize for those who arise at seven.

It is probably easiest to memorize in the forenoon because fatigue is least then, and because there are fewer new impressions in the nervous system.

Sunday seems to be the worst day of the week to use one’s memory. This is probably because we take things so easily on that day that our mental machinery is not warmed up and working at its best. Early morning memorizing, immediately after rising, is not effective because the mental machinery, as it were, is not warmed up.

If you are doing some serious study, why not rise an hour earlier than usual, exercise a bit to get warmed up, and study then rather than in the evening when efficiency in memory is 6 percent lower?

Remember that your retentive powers lose in strength gradually from waking to retiring, so do your serious memory work accordingly.

9. Approach memorization with a positive attitude.

Do you dread memorizing? When you have a name to remember, do you dislike memorizing it? When you have a speech or some shopping items to remember, are you bothered by the fear that you will forget them?

This attitude really makes memorizing harder, and increases your chances of forgetting the very things you want to remember. Your attitude has much to do with your mental efficiency.

At the University of California, it has been found that one’s mental efficiency is improved when he makes believe that the work he is busy at is fun and not hard. The work itself, of course, cannot be changed, but the efficiency of the mental life in going at the work is greatly increased by making a pleasant approach to it.

You no doubt have seen some one of your acquaintances stand with his heels to the corner and bend over to touch his forefingers at the level of his knees. Now this can be done easily so long as he does not think it is unusually hard or an impossible stunt, but just as soon as there is a crowd around insisting that it is a hard stunt and that it is impossible for him, he finds himself unable to do it. His attitude has made an easy stunt impossible.

It is much the same with memorizing. The child who thinks that the piece he has to learn for Sunday school is hard, will take twice as long to memorize it as he would if he thought it easy. So with your memory; things will be remembered easier and longer if you look upon using your memory as fun rather than as drudgery. No child should be brought up to think that mental work is hard or irksome, and any adult who feels that way should speedily change his attitude.

If you cannot actually and genuinely change your inner attitude, merely “faking” an attitude of pleasure will be of help. Try assuming this attitude that assists your efficiency the first time you note the “drudgery” attitude creeping over you.

After you have fallen into the habit of looking upon memory and all mental work as being great sport, you are likely to find that it is fast becoming a real and permanent attitude. It should.

Why not pretend that work and memorizing and thought are fun?

10. Make “overmemorizing” a habit.

Students especially, and all of us to a great extent, seem to think that too much memorizing is bad. In consequence we find the student studying his lessons just barely enough to be able to remember them the following day, and we find the salesman remembering the name of his new customers only a day or two.

Much forgetting is due to the fact that we seem to seek the easiest way and memorize only enough to remember for a few hours or days. Never stop memorizing as soon as you can repeat the name, or date, or information accurately. Spend some additional time memorizing it even after it is apparently well learned.

What can you recall of the Civil War history you were taught in the grades? Probably but little because, at the time, you were, like the rest, studying just barely enough to be able to remember the lesson for the recitation on the following day. Much education is wasted in this way. Education should be a life-long acquisition, but unfortunately it fades rapidly. This is because students are not taught the value of too much memorizing.

Information that is memorized well enough to be remembered tomorrow will not be remembered a week later unless it is overmemorized or other precautions are taken to keep it from fading. After you can remember what you are reading or studying, memorize it a little more. It is this additional memorizing that will make the memory permanent.

The physician who has his information in his head is the one who overmemorized in college; the one who has to consult his books again and again is the one who memorized just enough to get by in his examinations. The engineer who has to use the pocket manual continually is the one who failed to overmemorize.

You can remember certain things you have read in this book today. If you want to remember these tomorrow and make them a part of your permanent information, review them at once and overmemorize them.

Make overmemorizing a habit; it is a “factor of safety.”

The post 10 Ways to Improve Your Memory appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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Here’s your first look at the all-new Jeep Wrangler

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Jeep Wrangler 2018

  • Jeep released new photos teasing its upcoming redesigned Wrangler.
  • The new Wrangler is expected to have more tech and fuel-efficient powertrains.
  • The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is expected to make its debut this month at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler has arrived. 

Jeep gave the public a first look at its signature product on Tuesday. The iconic American purveyor of rugged off-road vehicles released a set of teaser photos at the Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The photos show a new four-door Unlimited model as well as a rugged open-top, two-door Rubicon model.

And in case you haven’t noticed, it looks essentially the same as the current Jeep Wrangler

And that’s perfectly understandable. The current generation JK Series Wrangler, which has been around for a decade, remains one of the most popular SUVs in the US with more than 163,000 sold so far this year.

Why mess up a good thing. 

In addition, the Wrangler’s loyal followers aren’t always the most receptive to change. After all, the YJ Series Wrangler’s square headlights are still a point of controversy 30 years after its debut.

Jeep WranglerFor now, few technical details on the 2018 Wrangler are available. In a statement, Jeep said:

"The all-new Wrangler’s unique design includes an instantly recognizable keystone-shaped grille, iconic round headlamps and square tail lamps, improved aerodynamics, a convenient fold-down windshield for off-road purists, even more open-air freedom, and dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations."

According to Jeep, the new Wrangler will feature more safety features and more advanced technology while "staying true" to the brand’s origins. In addition, the Wrangler will get more fuel-efficient powertrain options. Currently, all Wranglers are powered by Fiat-Chrysler’s 3.6- liter, 285 horsepower, V6 which delivers peppy performance but isn’t the most fuel efficient. 

Complete details on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will be available on November 29 when the off-roader makes its world debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

SEE ALSO: Check out the coolest and craziest cars from the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

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People Share The Ridiculously Extravagant Things They’d Purchase If They Woke Up Billionaires Tomorrow

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billionaire money

Shutterstock / Maslowski Marcin

We’ve all been there. Anytime the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot gets up near $500 million we purchase tickets and immediately start thinking of what life will be like next week when we never have to worry about money again. Winning will never happen, but thinking about it is still an easy way to waste a few minutes in an otherwise mundane day.

Now, I can’t stop daydreaming after coming across this AskReddit thread where people all shared the ridiculously extravagant and often outrageous things they’d purchase if they woke up tomorrow and were billionaires. These ideas range from ‘hmm, yeah, I’d probably buy that too’ to ‘holy shit this person’s a genius’. Feel free to drop your idea down below in the comments on what you’d buy/do tomorrow if you woke up and had a billion in your bank account:


Bangbashbonk:
I’d have some really big statues of my mates commissioned and have them put in their gardens in the middle of the night to make them look like the kind of assholes that have statues of themselves.

As someone points out on Reddit, this idea receives bonus points if the statues have super tiny dongs or extra large dongs. Either way, this would be hilarious.


dinklagetubetop:
I’d build a bowling alley, then hire Steve Buscemi and John Goodman to reprise their Big Lebowski roles as Donny and Walter and hang out at least 8 hours a day.


MrFahrenheit702:
I’d go to generic restaurants,give my waiter/waitress 100 dollars to send a glass of milk with ice in it to a specific table. The 100 dollars would be to keep quiet about who sent the milk.
I would do this several more times to the same table until they got visibly upset. No waiter in the world would stop sending ice milks, especially after I raise the offer to 500 dollars.
If I were a waiter I would gladly keep putting glasses of milk with ice in on someone’s table even if they were screaming in my face if I made 500 bucks each time.
So yeah, I would do ice milk, instant classic.


MrPoopHole:
I would buy a retired missile silo, pimp it out, then have the hottest underground club around.


Peelboy:
A full on workshop with a wood and blacksmith shop in one.


couragehelpme:
A house with one of those ridiculously large pools with like a waterfall and a slide and multiple jacuzzis. And I want wall-to-wall aquariums in my house. And I’d be one of those people who builds a mansion for their dog in the backyard. The dog can have its own pool and waterslide.


TheOnePheeph:
In app purchases in mobile games.


Piece_Of_Kek:
I would, somehow, find a way to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on pizza.


ColdSuit:
Penthouse apartment, 432 Park Ave., NYC. It’s not that I don’t have taste, its that I want it so badly.


RDandersen:
I’d like to buy a large piece of land and all the dirt I could and be the new owner of the tallest hill in Denmark. Current tallest point in Denmark is 171 meters. I’d say making a 200-meter tall naturally-looking hill shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for a bored billionaire.


Gingersnap5322:
My dream is to buy a plot of open land and dig a deep enough hole that I can put a 3 story doomsday house in there. Very bottom floor would be a furnace/ laundry room, it would have 3 powerful back up generators in case of disaster. In the middle of the bottom floor would be a giant fridge that is self cooled mostly by the earth, second floor would be the living area and top floor would hold at least 8 of my dream cars. The house that I have designed would be earthquake proof, fire proof and flood proof. I’d cover it with dirt and place a facade house on top and work it into a super air filter. Around the property would be solar power and windmills to generate electricity. And on top of it all the highest quality security system I can get my hands on


marriedmormon:
I’d spend half of it on a divorce


beakindperson:
I really need new clothes. That’s extravagant to me hahaha. Imagine walking around and buying everything you liked. But I’d probably go hire a ton of people to finish my house renovations.


SpermWhale:
I will do it like how the Chinese Emperor did for so long.
A small walled city where the only residents are members of my harem who are assisted by dudes who cut off their dongs for money.


Girth”
I would buy a copy of winrar.


Supremeleaderbestkor:
(I would buy) A politician.


Me too.

DeuceIsWild:
I would hire the best full-time live-in chef money could buy.


CaptainBenza:
A Warhammer 40k army painted by professionals


Same.

holiojolio:
A diamond crusted chastity belt to guard my seed from gold diggers


angrycoffeeuser:
Remember that billionaire-genius guy from Ex-machina? Yeah that would be me (minus the genius part) I’ll buy thousands of acres of forest. Get the best internet possible and maybe some security on the perimeter so no one will bother me. Also dogs, like at least 5 dogs.


If you’re a billionaire and don’t have secret rooms in your house, what are you even doing with you life?

Paranormal_Activia:
I’d buy myself an emerald, an Arabian horse, a mansion with a bookcase that opens into a secret room, and a long leisurely trip around the world.


Vote4President:
I’d probably purchase a fuck ton of piranhas and release them in the Everglades.
I would also release a shit ton of platypuses in the Everglades.
Next release a lot of African crocodiles and Cayman in the Everglades
Lastly I’d release a huge amount of Capybara in the Everglades.
After that debacle in the Everglades I’d next kidnap elon musk and some other genius Chinese genetic scientists with low morals.
Now with my scientists and elon musk I’ll have them perform experimental genetics on human and animal DNA, the Island of Dr Moreau style.
Finally with my last 100k I’ll donate it to the WWF.


aiderkid7:
Two girls at once


Clearly the most practical, saddest, and one that rings true for the most people around here:

WhyIBuiltthispool:
I’d pay off my student loans in one go (quite extravagant if you ask me).


Well, bros, that wraps up the coverage from my end but if you want to keep on reading these AskReddit stories you can CLICK HERE to see that thread in full! As always, you can drop your story/ideas/thoughts in the comment section down below.

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7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

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Photographing landmark buildings when you visit a new place, or even places closer to home is a great way to get stand out photos. Often the architectural beauty of the natural or man-made landmark will make the image dramatic, you simply need to compose the photo well.

In this article, you’re going to see the standard photo, and then how to make more creative images of well-known landmarks. You’ll see a case study of how to shoot one particular landmark in many different ways.

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

This photo was taken from the Trader’s Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It shows the Petronas Twin Towers.

1 – The standard photo

Ahead of photographing more creative images of landmarks the aim is to make the best standard photograph you can. Chances are that a quick search on a photo sharing site like 500px.com will reveal this, so there is no need to re-invent the wheel here.

Once you know which landmark you want to photograph, the next step is to find out where that photo was taken from, if the same image has been taken many times there will likely be a viewing platform.

Once you are in position it’s time to compose your photo. It’s better if you can use a slightly different composition to those used before, perhaps try a vertical shot.

The last step is to ensure you have good images to process once you return home. Bracketing your images when the sky is brighter than the foreground will allow you to use creative post-processing techniques like digital blending. Alternatively, you can use graduated neutral density filters, and get your photograph exposed correctly in camera, with a single frame.

2 – Paint with light for creative images of landmarks

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

This photo shows how light painting can be used to create your own image.

One of the most creative things you can do in photography is light painting. There are several forms of this technique and each can give you dramatic results.

This is innovative in that the results will be your own, and difficult for someone else to replicate. Let’s take a look at the different forms of light painting that you could try.

  • Light painting – Most people know light painting as writing their name with a torch (flashlight) in front of the camera. How about light painting around a landmark to add a creative edge? Those really interested in should look into buying the pixelstick.
  • Kinetic light painting – This refers to moving the camera, as opposed to moving the light source. Examples of kinetic light painting are camera rotation and zoom bursts.
  • Lighting up an object – You can light up a landmark using a strong flashlight, providing it’s not too far away. Using lights to brighten a landmark can make it stand out even more in the frame.
7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

Camera rotation is a good way to make a creative image of a landmark.

3 – Infrared photos of landmarks

Make creative images of landmarks by using infrared photography! There are several avenues to achieving this look, and you have a choice of in-camera or post-processing.

The classic infrared photos show lots of foliage, sky, and usually a water element. The effect creates a dreamscape image by turning the sky black, and the foliage white. Infrared photography is best done on a clear sunny day, with a few clouds to create more interest.

The following are the three avenues open to you to create these photos when shooting with a digital camera.

  • Take a normal photo, and use post-processing to give the image the look of an infrared photo.
  • Add an infrared filter to the front of your lens. To get the infrared look you will need to take your file and process it on the computer.
  • Convert your camera body so that it’s usable for infrared photography, again further processing will be required.
7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

Though this photo uses the same composition of a previous one above, the mood is changed by using an infrared technique.

4 – Get those detail photos!

It’s always a good idea to take some detail photos of a landmark, these are texture images that often use repeating patterns. When photographing a landmark building, whether it’s old or new, you can use bricks or glass windows to create these texture photos.

Photos of natural formations will also have good details. Cliff faces may, for instance, have good lines and textures in them. The aim with this type of photo is to show detail, but at the same time make it obvious which landmark you are photographing. This could be structures that are unique to that particular landmark.

When shooting glass windows, is there a reflection in those windows that will give the photo context? When photographing landmarks always try to get detail photos to add more variety to the set of photos.

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

Creative images of landscapes can be achieved using detail photos. The metallic structure of the tower and the Malaysian flag lend context.

5 – See another world with refraction

An alternative way of producing a unique landscape image is through using refraction. A transparent spherical object will be needed for this, there are several options available. The best objects for producing this effect are a wine glass filled with water, a crystal ball, or perhaps a clear marble.

This is a great way of capturing a large area of your scene, with the effect in the refracting object being similar to a fish-eye lens. The image inside the ball will be upside down, so managing this aspect of the photo is important. This technique is a lot of fun, though the need to carry around a heavy glass ball can be taxing.

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

Refraction is a great method of producing a unique image, this one also shows a reflection.

6 – Long exposure for artistic effect

A great way to produce creative images of landmarks is to play around with long exposures. This is a variable that can be used in different ways to great artistic effect. It’s more common to carry out long exposure at dusk, or during the night; however using an ND filter will allow you to take long exposures during the day.

Here are three ways you can use long exposures:

  • Car light trails – This is a form of light painting. In this case, the car headlights will paint their way through your frame, along the road you’re photographing.
  • Cloud movement – If there are clouds in the sky, and they’re moving fast enough, you can use a long exposure to capture this motion.
  • Moving water – Similar to the above cloud movement, but with water! The main subject is, of course, your landmark, but if that landmark has water near it, then use that to your advantage.

All good landscape photographers carry a tripod, and anyone planning this type of photo will need one. Your exposures will be anywhere from one second to several minutes long.

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

Long exposure photos of car light trails are a staple of photography. Here the road leads up to the Petronas towers on the horizon.

7 – Change your vantage point

The angle that you photograph a landmark at can have a dramatic effect on the type of photo taken. Today the sky literally is the limit, as drones allow for the overhead photos that were previously out of reach.

But a drone is not the only way to achieve a good photo by changing your vantage point. The standard photo is that at street (eye) level, so any variant on that changes the type of photo.

  • Bird’s eye view – This type of photo is taken from a high vantage point, where you will photograph downwards. The most extreme example would be a drone, or perhaps an airplane.
  • Worm’s eye view – The opposite of a bird’s eye view, this is taken from street level looking upwards. You will need to be close to the landmark you are photographing.

The challenge with this is finding a good location that allows a view of your landmark. In the city, this will mean getting access to a rooftop, or viewing platform. In a more rural setting, it means climbing a mountain!

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

A worm’s eye view can give you a different style of photo.

How will you make creative images of landmarks?

There are many ways to photograph a famous landmark in your own unique way. How do you go about putting your own stamp on a location that has been photographed many times before?

Have you tried any of the above suggestions? Can you revisit one of your previous photo locations, and photograph it totally differently? We’d love to see the results of your work past and present, please share with the community in the comments area below.

7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks

The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur has been photographed many times. It can be a challenge to find a unique photo.

The post 7 Tips to Get More Creative Photos of Well-Known Landmarks by Simon Bond appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Creating a Blockchain-Based Network of Interoperable Artificial Intelligences

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup SingularityNET, recently covered by Wired as “the most tech-hype idea of the year,” wants to democratize AI research and facilitate the emergence of human-level AI on a decentralized, open-source platform.

SingularityNET operates on a belief that the benefits of AI should not be dominated by any small set of powerful institutions but should be shared by all. A key goal of SingularityNET is to ensure the technology is benevolent according to human standards, and the network is being designed to incentivize and reward beneficial players. The startup is developing interoperability standards for AIs, which could radically improve the process of discovering and coordinating AI services, while allowing developers to easily monetize AI technology.

SingularityNET positions itself both as a critical mediator across all future AI developments, as well as a hub for free and open AI technologies owned by the crowd, where anyone can acquire or monetize AI services.

Blockchain-based smart contracts will be central to SingularityNET operations, allowing users to combine multiple AI technologies to create custom AI stacks. The initial implementation of SingularityNET will be built on Ethereum, with smart contracts written in Solidity.

“AI is currently very fragmented and narrowly trained,” Simone Giacomelli, founder of Vulpem and co-founder of SingularityNET, told Bitcoin Magazine. “Blockchain technology and smart contracts make economic collaboration over the internet easier than ever before, aligning incentives mechanisms for different AIs to be optimized as one. SingularityNET leverages this collaborative power to make AI work together.”

SingularityNET is the brainchild of AI researcher Ben Goertzel and robotics designer David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics. The robot Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, attracted media attention when it was recently granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

While the SingularityNET project is still partly in stealth mode, it has been presented at recent blockchain events, including Wired’s Nextfest in Italy, SWITCH Singapore and the World Blockchain Forum in London.

At the recent Ethereal Summit in San Francisco, Goertzel showcased Sophia to demonstrate the power of AI and the potential of incorporating AI and blockchain technology to create a decentralized, open-source, blockchain-powered AI network that operates like, and can be thought of as, a thinking brain.

While on the SingularityNET roadshow, Goertzel is taking time from his busy schedule to write a series of posts on SingularityNET.

“SingularityNET is intended as a platform in which an AGI [Artificial General Intelligence] can emerge from the combination of multiple humans and multiple human-created software programs, possessing varying degrees of general intelligence on their own,” Goertzel told Bitcoin Magazine. “It doesn’t eliminate the need for fundamental algorithmic work on AGI reasoning and learning and memory, but it provides a context in which such algorithmic work can have a rapid, transformative impact.”

Goertzel makes a distinction between narrow AI and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). While narrow AI programs are finding applications in a growing range of industries, they are not effectively integrated into overall AGI systems with general-purpose intelligence like that of humans. Therefore, Goertzel is persuaded that the next big step in the evolution of AI is going to be the transition from AI to AGI. SingularityNET wants to support this transition with an open market in which various AI algorithms can cooperate and form new patterns of emergent intelligence.

“The actual design that has been formulated is a quite practical system that is being implemented in quality software code and will serve real corporate customers and become a large and lucrative business,” continued Goertzel. “But at the deepest level, the underlying philosophical and emotional motivations David Hanson and I had for creating SingularityNET, are transhumanist ones.”

Goertzel and Hanson are, in fact, among the leading advocates of transhumanism, defined as the prospect of using advanced technology to radically change, hopefully for the better, the human condition. Enabling transhumanist technologies would include life extension, uploading human minds to futuristic supercomputers, and sentient AGI way smarter than humans, which is the target of SingularityNET.

In his 2010 book A Cosmist Manifesto, which blends transhumanist technology and enlightened spirituality, Goertzel proposed a practical philosophy able to inform the next phases of human history and transhumanist evolution.

Ultimately, Goertzel wants to create “a massively transhuman, overwhelmingly beneficial Ubermind” that evolves and grows continuously out of human mind and culture.

“One way to achieve this would be to via brain-computer interfacing — and this is going to happen,” Goertzel told Bitcoin Magazine. “Of course the computer portion of cyborgs made with brain-computer interfaces will jack into this emerging AGI society, economy and culture as well, and then we will get a supermind.”

“This emerging supermind, as it grows, will provide ways for people to earn a living and sometimes even generate tremendous wealth, as part of its growth process,” concluded Goertzel. “And it will donate parts of its resources to the common good of all humans, including underprivileged ones, as a way of helping drive its growth forward toward its objectives of joy, growth and choice.”

Goertzel shared with Bitcoin Magazine parts of the draft SingularityNET white paper, a living document still under tight wraps.

“A blockchain-based framework designed to serve the needs of AI agents as they interact with each other and with external customers can enable the emergence of a collective intelligence,” notes the draft white paper. “The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain for AI services provides a number of advantages. It allows AI agents to exchange work and subcontract with a high degree of flexibility, and also enables AI-based microservices to be offered to any customer via easily accessible APIs (enabled by smart contracts under the hood).”

Goertzel, Hanson and the SingularityNET team want to balance long-term visionary thinking with practical market needs and business concerns. In their view, the platform could enable AIs to learn from each other and collaborate, which would be one of the biggest breakthroughs ever in the evolution of AI, causing a subsequent impact on the global AI market, which is projected to grow from $233.8 billion in 2017 to $3.1 trillion in 2025.

“From day one, SingularityNET will offer AI agents,” continues the white paper. “The open design of the network, and the economic incentives, should then encourage additional AI developers to add their own AI nodes via the SingularityNET API.”

While many nodes will run on powerful supercomputers in the cloud, others will be embedded in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and humanoid robots like Sophia will be supplied with on-board SingularityNET nodes. The upcoming SingularityNET token, details of which haven’t been disclosed yet, will play a central role in the network’s operations.

The project is about to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to fund the full development of its platform, to be fully deployed in 2018. “This ICO will allow us to start with a bang,” said Goertzel. “We’ll be competing with Google and Facebook…so having a war chest would allow us to take on them more easily.”

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List Of The 10 Highest-Grossing Restaurants In America Includes 4 Of My Favorites On The East Coast

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Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse Midtown Manhattan

Shutterstock / DW labs Incorporated

It’s an old wives’ tale that restaurants make for bad investments. Sure, opening a restaurant is a poor investment if you don’t know anything about running a restaurant and you plan on doing all the work yourself. But if you make food service and hospitality your career, and you’re a talented individual, then running a restaurant can be wildly lucrative.

Case in point, this list Restaurant Business Online magazine which shows the 100 top-grossing restaurants in America of 2017. Also, it should be obvious by now but I’m not talking about fast food here. Looking at this list, one thing stands out: VOLUME. The top-grossing restaurants in America are serving hundreds of thousands of diners per year. Coming it at #1 on the list is Tao Las Vegas which did over $42 million in sales last year for an average check price of $90. So of my favorite restaurants on the East Coast cracked the top 10 including Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach, Carmine’s (New York), Old Ebbitt Grill in D.C., and Smith & Wollensky in midtown Manhattan (the first of many NYC steakhouses I came to love).

Here’s a look at the top 10 highest grossing restaurants in America (in 2017):

10. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (Chicago) — $24,700,825 in Sales, 363,301 meals served
9. Bryant Park Grill & Cafe — $25,400,000 in Sales, 420,000 meals served
8. Smith & Wollensky — $25,961,337 in Sales, 296,723 meals served
7. Lavo New York — $26,822,655 in Sales, 200,000 meals served
6. The Boathouse Orlando — $30,814,369 in Sales, 643,829 meals served
5. Old Ebbitt Grill — $32,662,051 in Sales, 1,072,293 meals served
4. Carmine’s (New York) — $33,147,017 in Sales, 396,871 meals served
3. Tao Downtonw — $33,401,819 in Sales, 311,945 meals served
2. Joe’s Stone Crab — $37,243,159 in Sales, 316,000 meals served
1. Tao Las Vegas — $42,470,345 in Sales, 226,146 meals served

As someone who grew up with a ton of family in the restaurant business, it’s hard for me to fathom restaurants doing over $42 MILLION in sales. I get that Tao and Lavo are clubs as well as restaurants but that’s still insane. Also, this list reminded me of how much I used to love Smith & Wollensky in Midtown. I won’t get into the specifics, but at my first job in the city we used to get treated to dinner at that steakhouse whenever we’d hit goals and our bosses would let us just go nuts and order whatever we wanted…This, of course, meant we’d triple fist with wine, an old-fashioned, and a martini throughout the entire meal.

The list of the Top 100 Highest Grossing Restaurants is pretty fascinating, and you can click that link to head on over to Restaurant Business Online.

[h/t Busines Insider]

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