Pink Hippos, Jimi Hendrix, Chorizo, and How to Memorize Anything

September 22, 2014

Well here’s a slightly geeky yet totally awesome aside – Anthony Metivier has interviewed me for his podcast about memory techniques. Metivier is a well-known memory expert, originally from Canada and now living in Berlin.

I tried his Magnetic Memory Method a few weeks ago, constructing a memory palace to memorize the 50 provinces of Spain. It worked extremely well – I was so impressed, in fact, that I wrote it up on my other website.

I also got in touch with Anthony, and he wrote me back with some questions he’d like to ask. And the rest is history!

Here’s the podcast: How to Memorize 50 Spanish Provinces on Your First Go.

How to memorize anything with Memory Palaces

In case you don’t know anything about memory palaces, the idea is that you take a place that you know well, and you visualize it, putting symbols to represent whatever it is you want to memorize in different parts of the house or other place you have in mind. Head over to Anthony’s website for a free memory-improvement kit if you’re interested.

Then, you are able to take a mental journey through your palace, and find the different symbols along the way, which remind you of the information you’re trying to remember.

It sounds like a lot of work, but actually, I found it to be a lot easier than rote learning. Plus quite a bit more interesting. In any case, it’s been around for thousands of years, since the ancient Greeks!

As Anthony and I talk about on the podcast, your brain is wired to remember things that are sexy, violent or offensive. So I have, in my Memory Palace, at least 4 naked or semi-naked females (for personal reasons, they all represent different parts of Spanish geography) and a crucifixion–because how else am I going to remember Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

Also in the podcast, we talk about Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, pink hippos and how your sexual fantasies can be used to your advantage. Plus my technique for learning and remembering anybody’s name in a second.

I’m convinced… you can use memory techniques of some kind or other and learn how to memorize anything.

Metivier is really good at what he does, and the podcast is great, even (or especially?) when I’m not on it.

how to memorize anything

Also, incidentally, he sounds so polite and intellectual, but take a look at a photo of him. We clearly share some Viking ancestry… Perhaps our forefathers drank mead out of the skulls of their enemies in their memory palaces.

More about Anthony Metivier and Memory Palaces to memorize anything

You can find Antony on Twitter @AnthonyMetivier and he’s also published a bunch of books about his techniques on Amazon.

His main website is Check him out and go memorize stuff! I recommend something you don’t need to know, at first, because that way there’s no pressure.

When you try the method, you’ll see how well it works, and then you can go crazy.

Remember, it’s your imagination… With this technique you can learn how to memorize anything. So do whatever you want in there, and don’t limit yourself!



P.D. Have any experience with the memory palace or other, similar methods? Let me know right here in the comments!

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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