remember, remember


four lobes of the cerebral cortexIt’s the 5th of November. Which makes me remember some things about remembering.

I’m fascinated by memory, and clearly I’m not alone, judging from the large number of movies, stories, songs and such that feature themes of memory. Or loss of memory. Here’s a ThThTh list of some things I can remember:

    Some memory-related things that come to mind

  • The poem about Guy Fawkes day:

    Remember, remember the fifth of November,
    The gunpowder treason and plot,
    I know of no reason
    Why the gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

  • remember the Alamo!
  • mnemonic devices: phrases, poems or other sayings used to aid the memory for specific facts, such as:
    • Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet: the order of colors in the rainbow)
    • homes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior: i.e. the Great Lakes)

    (more mnemonic devices here)

  • string on finger

  • string tied around a finger: if you need to remember something, you can tie a string around your finger as a reminder that there was something you were supposed to remember. This relies on you being able to remember what it was that you hoped to remember.
  • souvenir: a keepsake or memento, typically from a visit to a place to which one has travelled. From the French verb souvenir, “to remember”
  • memento: an object kept to remember a time, place or event. From the latin remember:

    L. memento “remember,” imperative of meminisse “to remember,” a reduplicated form, related to mens “mind.” Meaning “reminder, warning” is from 1582; sense of “keepsake” is first recorded 1768. (from etymology online)

  • Memento (2000): a movie about a man who loses his ability to form new memories.
  • The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): a movie in which people can undergo a process of selective memory erasure.
  • Chester Tate: A character on the 70s TV show Soap who spends several episodes with amnesia.
  • “Tabula Rasa,” a Buffy episode: A spell gone awry causes the main characters to forget who they are. Hilarity ensues. (Seriously, it’s a really fun, funny episode.)
  • “The Forget me Knot,” an episode of The Avengers in which Emma Peel forgets who she is. (This was Diana Rigg’s last episode on the series.)
  • Forget Me Not,” an amnesia episode of Gilligan’s Island (Okay, I didn’t actually remember this one, guessed that there was an amnesia episode.)
  • For that matter, there are probably plenty of episodes from sci-fi shows like those in the Star Trek and Star Gate universes.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996): Geena Davis plays an amnesiac ex-spy
  • The Bourne Identity (2002): Matt Damon plays an amnesiac ex-spy
  • Who am I?/Wo shi shei (1998): Jackie Chan plays an amnesiac spy.
  • Total Recall (1990) Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a spy whose memories were re-written
  • lots more movies and shows with a memory (or loss of memory) theme can be found here:
  • “I Don’t Remember,” a song by Peter Gabriel

    I don’t remember, I don’t recall
    I got no memory of anything at all

  • “I can’t forget,” a song by Leonard Cohen. I can’t forget, but I don’t remember what.
  • “Only a Memory,” a song by the Smithereens
  • The Persistence of Memory: famous Salvador Dalí painting with melting watches
  • memory: a card game also known by the name “concentration”
  • memory: a computer component for storing data
  • ddr ram

  • Remember when Chris Farley interviewed people? Remember how he interviewed Paul McCartney? That was awesome.

    Chris Farley: You remember when you were with the Beatles?
    Paul McCartney: Yes.
    Chris Farley: That was awesome.

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14 responses to “remember, remember

  1. Do you like Oliver Sacks’ books? All of this memory stuff has me thinking about some of his patients.

    • You know, slouchy, I’m sad to say that I haven’t read any of his books. They sound fascinating, though. Back in the day when I read a lot of books for my enjoyment, I was a fiction junkie.

      Damn, I miss reading books.

  2. I’m surprised that Dory from Finding Nemo is on your list, too! :-)

    Slouchy… yes, made me think of Awakenings and other Oliver Sacks. Love love love ALL his work.

  3. Great ThThTh! (how do you pronounce that?)

    There’s a great song by the Prince Myshkins (brilliant duo of satirical singer-songwriter-philosopher-activists on guitar and accordion) called “I Don’t Remember”, about Ronald Reagan’s selective memory loss while president.
    (lyrics, but sadly not MP3, available on their website: http://www.princemyshkins.com )

    • “Great ThThTh! (how do you pronounce that?)”

      Sally, I am a trained stunt linguist. I wouldn’t want to give away any trade secrets.

      Thanks for the link to those musicians–I’ll have to investigate further!

  4. You’re so silly! I’m ging to be singing that Davy Crocket song all day long now, thank you. (;

    • Sassy-
      I am stumped. Davy Crockett song? Now it will be stuck in my head, too, except I don’t know why. Seriously, did I unwittingly make a reference to it?

  5. Nicely done! I will, personally, always remember the 29th of November.

  6. I think the only way that my father remembers my daughter’s birthday is because it is the same as the Marine Corps birthday.

    My favorite mnemonic is “My lady, please touch softly, not very clumsily.”

    (http://www.magpiemusing.com/2008/09/my-head-is-full-of-useless-information.html)

  7. Memories are made of this.

    THTHTHlurp?

  8. Pingback: NaBloPoMoFaSoLaTiDo « collecting tokens

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