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How to memorize the whole periodic table

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Just as some math geeks strive to memorize pi to 1,000 places (or in the case of British savant and mental_floss bloggee Daniel Tammet, several thousand places), there are science geeks who strive to memorize the periodic table. (Granted, the periodic table has a finite amount of information, whereas pi does not. But still, it's a daunting task.) To help get your keyboards sharpened for our periodic table quiz later this week, here are some tips on how you can commit the whole shebang to memory (and thus pass with flying colors):

"¢ Of course, long mnemonic sentences can help you remember the names of the elements, like Hi! He Lies Because Boron CanNot Oxide Fluoride (for the first nine elements H, He, Li, Be, Bo, C, N, O and F) or New Nation Might Also Sign Peace Security Clause for the eight elements following.

"¢ What's harder is memorizing the other periodic table data, like the elements' number, valence, mass etc. But thememorypage.net has a cool method for remembering long strings of numbers, by converting them to words, which you can then string together into sentences! Check it out:

Suppose we assigned each of the digits 0 through 9 to a consonant. Then, when we want to remember a number, we convert the number into consonants, insert vowels, and form a word. This word can then be used to form an association much more readily, rather than trying to use the number itself.

As an example, suppose we want to remember that the Old Testament has 39 books, and suppose 3 and 9 translated into M and P, respectively. We could then insert the vowel A between the consonants to come up with the word "map". We would then visualize a huge map in front of us, with the Mediterranean Sea, Israel, Egypt, Mt. Sinai, etc.: a nice map of the Old Testament. Two weeks later we want to remember how many books were in the Old Testament. We recall that huge map with all the places on it. MAP... consonants are M and P... that's 3 and 9. 39! We did it! That's sort of a roundabout way of doing it, but it works, because of the associations.

Now that you've got that down, study up and get ready for our upcoming quiz! (Oh, and don't forget to study the history and fun trivia behind all those elements either; that'll definitely come in handy.)

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

501069-OpeningCeremony3.jpg

Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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