Entries in Tricks (3)


How to Memorize a Deck of Cards … and Other Brain-Training Tricks

Digital Vision/ThinkstockBy ABC News' Bill Weir

(NEW YORK) -- They say dogs have a short-term memory of about 20 seconds. Honestly? Mine is worse.

Beyond the missing keys and repeated calls to directory assistance, that fact became even more evident when a recent office guest challenged me to memorize the order of five playing cards.

Casino owners can relax because I couldn’t get past two.

But then my guest -- who happens to be the reigning National Memory Champion -- gave me a lesson that changed my life.

Like most of the world’s mental athletes, Nelson Dellis was born with a very average memory. But after his grandmother began suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s, the 28-year-old began looking for the kind of mental exercises that help stave off the excruciating disease. This is when he stumbled into the technique that has been used since Cicero gave day-long speeches before the ancient Roman senate. And after just a few years of daily practice, Nelson has trained his brain to memorize an entire deck of cards in 63 seconds or a string of more than 200 random numbers in less than five minutes.

Since this method involves picturing famous people naked wandering the halls of your high school, it is a hell of a lot more fun than repeating numbers ad nauseum. And if you watch the video, you’ll see how fast you can retrain your brain.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Holiday Travel Tips: Get Your Flu Shot

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Millions of people will hit the roads, rail and sky over the remainder of the holiday season, and tagging along with them will be hordes of germs ready to spread to the traveling masses.

Despite being surrounded by bacteria and viruses in stores, airports and other public places, there are a few simple ways to minimize the risk of catching a disease, such as the cold and the flu, which could zap the happy out of the holidays.

"You don't want to be a hermit, and you want to enjoy the holidays, but try to use some common sense principles to avoid getting sick," said Dr. Lisa Bernstein, associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

"Even though it's December, it's not too late to get a flu shot. Flu season goes through early spring," said Bernstein.

"This is the prime time for influenza," said Dr. Laurence Gardner, professor of medicine and executive dean for clinical affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "When people are in enclosed spaces in cold environments, the passage of viruses -- especially the flu virus -- is much greater than in wide open spaces in the summer."

Dr. Michael Perskin, assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, suggests getting vaccinated against other disease, such as whooping cough, or pertussis.

Although it may seem inconvenient to worry about flu shots on top of everything else, the alternative could be a lot worse.

"It would be an enormous waste of time if, because of not getting vaccinated, someone spent five days in bed with a fever and just felt crummy," Gardner said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tips to Get You Eating Better and Working Out

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mary Claire Orenic, USA Today’s “happiest woman in America,” says her diet and exercise regimen have contributed to her high well-being. She eats five small meals a day in addition to a big breakfast, plays volleyball with her son and basketball with her husband and enjoys lots of walking with a neighbor.

“I continually eat throughout the day to keep my energy up,” she told ABC News. “I like doing sports....We love going skiing. We love going hiking. We love going down to the beach.”

Check out the following five tips to give your health a kick in the right direction.

  1. Add 2 or 3 healthy snacks to your shopping list.
  2. Ask a friend to go for a walk this week.
  3. Climb a set of stairs (at least 20 steps) today.
  4. Design a tossed salad.
  5. List a healthy activity you can do to help you manage stress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio