We all know the famous Albert Einstein quote, right? “Never memorize what you can look up in a book.”
Einstein was wrong—there, I said it.
It’s decent advice if you have immediate access to a computer or a smartphone, but there are some things you should just remember automatically. (Sure, there might be apps for some of these things, but do you really want to be that dependent on technology?)
1. A Great Toast
A person that can recite a great toast is worldly… sophisticated… someone you want to be friends with. A traditional Irish toast is always good, or just make one up. My favorite: ‘May our children have wealthy fathers and beautiful mothers.’
2. The Length of Your Hand
How many times have you needed a quick measurement and you don’t have a measuring tape? Me? Thousands of times. Measure your hand once and use it as a standard length.
3. Birthdays and Anniversaries
Especially if you’re married, you know how vital this information is. It’ll save you a small fortune in divorce attorneys.
4. The Difference Between Your and You’re
Ross will explain it for me.
5. “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey”
When using screws, always know which way you’re twisting your screwdriver. Stripped screws are one of the worst things in the world. Turn right to tighten, left to loosen.
6. Your Social Security and Driver’s License Number
I memorized these my first year in college. I filled out so many administrative forms, I dreamt about these numbers. Still comes in handy though.
7. Your Rights, if You’re Stopped by the Police
This is a huge infographic–too huge to post here, but its information in invaluable.
8. How to Tie a Tie
There are hundreds of fancy knot variations, but all you need to know is one: the four-in-hand. My pal (and coworker) Johan made this step-by-step tutorial.
9. Names of People You Meet
How great do you feel when someone you previously met comes up to you and addresses you by your name? Remembering names shows others that you’re smart, attentive and awesome.
Hopefully you never have to use it, but if you do, you could save a life. Make sure you get an accredited lesson though. Wrong techniques can do more bad than good.
11. Location of Exits in Crowded Places
I never thought to keep track of exits in venues like theaters and restaurants until the tragic Station nightclub fire in 2003. Again, it’s another one of those things where you hope you never have to execute an exit plan, but if you do, you’ll know.
12. Important Phone Numbers
You feel invincible with your smartphone packed with every phone number you’ll ever need, don’t you. Just wait until you lose that phone and you can’t even remember your home’s landline.
13. One or Two Great, but Tasteful Jokes or Anecdotes
We’ve all been to awkward gatherings. Someone has to break the ice, it should be you.
14. Basic Keyboard Shortcuts Photo credit: Imgur
15. Your Spouse’s Shoe and Clothing Size
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with #3. Knowing this, and using the information can pay off with huge dividends to your long game.
16. Who & Whom Usage
It’s practically an lost form of language usage, but it’s good to know the difference between who and whom. Just remember: whom =-him, who = he.
17. Food Portions and Serving Sizes
The best way to eat too much food and gain weight is not knowing how much a serving size is. If you can visualize food portions as common items, you’re that much closer to mastering weight control. Source
18. Starting Fire Without Matches
If anyone is going to be able to teach us how to do it, it’s the Boy Scouts of America.
19. Number of Days in the Month
It seems odd when you think about it, but the instances when you need to know if a day of the month has 30 or 31 days always comes at the most inopportune of times. Photo: Quiterly.
20. How to Button a 3-Button Suit Jacket
Just remember this saying… “From top button to bottom: Sometimes, always, never.” Pic: The Art of Manliness
21. How to Write a Letter
People love getting letters in the post. This is the best tutorial I’ve read on how to write one–only 8 steps.
22. Your Blood Type
Of you and your immediate family. Again, a life saver.
23. The Bill of Rights (if You’re an American)
Because if you don’t know them, you’ll never know when they’re being violated. Source
24. The Alamo
Top photo credit: Katie Lips via Flickr
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