STILL ON my theme of graphic ways to present information, this comic strip is partly
a way to put some of the suggestions - such as grid, computer colouring, roughs and
ways of lettering - that I’ve been reading about in Drawing Cartoonsinto practice
but it also follows up some of the techniques for remembering facts that I’ve been
reading about in Tony Buzan’sMind Maps for Kids;
You’ve got ‘BUN’, ‘FULL STOP’, ‘STICKS’, ‘HERO’, ‘VINE’ and ‘TREE’.
The point of the simple story format is to enable you to remember the objects in
that particular sequence. For the process to be most effective you should imagine
sensory experiences with the story, such as the taste and smell of a freshly baked
bun and the dry crackly sounds and brittle textures you’d associate with a pile of
Here the sequence of objects is intended to rhyme with numbers. Initially you have
to learn these rhymes but then you can use them for any number you want to remember.
For more information, see Buzan’s lively book. So, as you might have guessed, the
‘ONE’, ‘DECIMAL POINT’ (ok, that’s not a rhyme, but I needed it), ‘SIX’, ‘ZERO’,
And why should I want to remember ‘1.6093’?
It’s to save me time when I’m writing my walks book. Since Google appeared, the main
reason that I take my chunky Cambridge Encyclopedia from the shelf is to use the
conversion tables in the appendix. I measure the map in miles but I also include
the equivalent in kilometres. You can imagine how difficult it is when you’ve got
a figure like 4¾ miles to look it up on tables which don’t include every possible
permutation. Now it’s not a problem; I’m unlikely to forget that figure, which is
exactly how many kilometres there are in one mile, so I can simply type it into the
pop-up calculator on my computer to convert miles to kilometres.
Note: the figure applies to British statute miles; I believe the American mile is
a slightly different length.