Memorization tip for test taking

17 09 2014

Just wanted to share this tip I came up with myself in college (although I’m sure someone in the world has thought of it). It is intended for use in engineering/math type classes with limited or no use of a cheat sheet. Let’s call it the short term memory cheat sheet.

Step 1: Make a 1 page cheat sheet of equations/material you need to remember. It should only be material you don’t remember (no easy equations like F = ma), and it should be sectioned in a grid of some kind. Each time you review the sheet, try to “place” the items in their grid space, and remember them spatially.
Here’s a very complicated example taken from


Step 2: Read over the sheet a few times after writing it. Go to sleep.

Step 3: Review the sheet the morning of the test.

Step 4: Have the sheet on your desk, trying to memorize as much as you can while waiting for the professor to hand out the tests. Up until the professor tells you to put everything away.

Step 5: This is important: when you get your test, turn it over and draw the same grid you had on the cheat sheet you just put away in your backpack. This helps with visualization. If you get scrap paper you can use one of those. If your professor prints double sided and you have no clean sheet of paper, get creative.

Step 6: Fill in as much as you can remember. Speed is important as you’re relying on your short term memory. Try to visualize the sections of the grid, and what each contains. Regurgitate as much as you can as fast as you can, before reading anything. Remember every minute you’re writing down your cheat sheet is a minute you lose to take the actual test.

Boom, now you have a cheat sheet for a test that does not allow any cheat sheet! Feel free to link to this page if your professor thinks you cheated. Then tell them, with the internet, memorization is getting pretty pointless.

Bonus tip: When you do get a cheat sheet, if you write in one direction with red pen and then turn the paper 90° and write in blue pen, you can fit twice as many notes.

Synergistic Tech Development

9 09 2014

2020 is a satellite in the back

Wilderness survival is for the wilderness

3 08 2014

A common misconception among tough guys seems to be that if the world ends, they think they will be able to live off the land near a populated area.

Dead wrong. Emphasis on the word dead.

In the LA/OC area there are about 13 million people. If the SHTF, they will all be looking for food and water, it will be a blood bath of competition. There’s no way the land can support even 1/10th of the amount of people who will be displaced.

The amount of food stored in LA/OC without trucks/trains/planes constantly rolling in is about five days worth, according to Collapse. Assuming half  the people are wiped out and none of the food is damaged, that’s 10 days. Say you can ration about 50% and we add in food not normally counted in the food supply (emergency stored food etc), and maybe the remaining population would last a month. Maybe.

Best strategy for a regional disaster? Get out of the region! But whatever you do, definitely don’t assume you can use wilderness survival skills to last very long when there are millions of people roaming the countryside.

Today I saved a life

22 07 2014

And all it cost my friend is a beer. 5 bucks for a life, not a bad deal. You may be wondering what I did to save my friend’s life; did I pull him from a fire? No. Did I stop a gunman from shooting him? No.

I fixed the front brakes on his bicycle.

The front brakes on a bicycle account for about 80% of maximum braking power. That’s a huge difference in stopping power if your front brakes are out! Can you imagine riding down a hill and having a stoplight change from green to red on you? Not a pretty picture. So yes, today I saved a life, zero cost for me except a few minutes.

If you didn’t have to work, what would you do?

10 06 2014

The most common question I get when I tell people I want to “retire” young (aka be financially independent, which is having enough money that I can live without working) is, wow, what would you do?

I find it sad that most people can’t think of a life without work. That being said, it’s not like i have a plan, all I really need to know is I don’t want to be stuck in an office (or anywhere else) answering to someone else. So I decided to make a list of some things I could do, here it is:

  1. Sail around the world

  2. Master a skill (this is definitely it’s own list)

  3. Try to get on TV

  4. Go back to school and start another career for fun

  5. Volunteer

  6. Be a nanny for my family that have kids

  7. Help friends with odds and ends

  8. Buy and/or finance a food truck

  9. Write a book

  10. Spend a lot more time with family and friends

  11. Work a menial job for exercise and some fun money

  12. Become a teacher (Community college probably)

  13. Be a total couch potato

  14. Become a chef

  15. Become a life coach

  16. Make more money and donate it

  17. Become a researcher

  18. Catalog my family tree and maybe record some stories from each family member

  19. Learn to hunt

  20. Learn to live off the land

  21. Mine for gold

  22. Study the art of pickup

  23. Become a snowboard instructor

  24. Develop apps

  25. Become an executive assistant to someone awesome

  26. Learn to brew beer

  27. Learn to cook ramen in Japan

  28. Learn another language

  29. Enter politics

  30. Bike across the country

  31. Learn the art of the sword

  32. Become a pilot

  33. Learn to wingsuit

  34. Wake up at noon everyday

  35. Become a personal trainer

  36. Workout hardcore and be able to do feats of strength (like a 1 arm pullup)

Alright, that was tough! I can probably think of more but it’s about time for me to go to sleep. What’s interesting is a lot of these can be accomplished now and that most are about who I am, not buying things (but I already knew I’m that type of person).