Friday, February 25, 2011

Links ...

  1. Must-see: BBC's Audio Slideshow: Beautiful Science [hat tip: Dilip D'Souza].

  2. Must-read: Joshua Foer on Secrets of a Mind Gamer -- How I trained my brain and became a world-class memory athlete [hat tip: Animesh Pathak]:

    Most national memory contests, held in places like Bangkok, Melbourne and Hamburg, bill themselves as mental decathlons. Ten grueling events test the competitors’ memories, each in a slightly different way. Contestants have to memorize an unpublished poem spanning several pages, pages of random words (record: 280 in 15 minutes), lists of binary digits (record: 4,140 in 30 minutes), shuffled decks of playing cards, a list of historical dates and the names and faces of as many strangers as possible. Some disciplines, called speed events, test how much the contestants can memorize in five minutes (record: 480 digits). Two marathon disciplines test how many decks of cards and random digits they can memorize in an hour (records: 2,080 digits and 28 decks). In the most exciting event of the contest, speed cards, competitors race to commit a single pack of playing cards to memory as fast as possible.