Jun. 12th, 2011

The Competition and people with extraordinary memory:
  • (because in the heat of a memory competition, there is no such thing as deaf enough).
  • Stromeyer showed Elizabeth’s right eye a pattern of ten thousand random dots, and a day later he showed her left eye another dot pattern. Astoundingly, Elizabeth was able to mentally fuse the two images.
  • A bit of Hebrew school lore like the levitating rabbi or the wallet-cum-suitcase made out of foreskins. But as it turns out, the pinprick Talmudists are as legit members of the Jewish pantheon as the Mighty Atom.
  • ... brought to life by S’s synesthesia, he had trouble understanding abstract concepts and metaphors.
  • A diaspora of Japanese chicken sexers spilled across the globe... cradled in the left hand and given a gentle squeeze that causes it to evacuate its intestines.
  • Tony Buzan tells anyone who will listen that the World Memory Championship is less a test of memory than of creativity. When forming images, it helps to have a dirty mind.
  • He has several hundred, a metropolis of mental storehouses.
  • “My philosophy of life is that a heroic person should be able to withstand about ten years in solitary confinement without getting terribly annoyed,”
  • The secret to becoming a grand master of life was to learn old texts.
  • Work efficiently, they have to find order in the chaos of possible memories.
  • “While before I had a little two-digit laser boat that could dart through numbers like a tuna on amphetamines, now I have a three-digit sixty-four-gun Man of War,” he boasted. “It is enormously powerful, yet potentially difficult to control.”
  • Often, when you’re really gunning for it, the only traces left by a speedily sighted pack of cards will be a series of emotions with no visual content whatsoever.
  • (anything Germanic is intimidating at a memory contest)
  • An overwhelming number of contestants are young, white, male juggling aficionados.
  • “I used to lecture in an off-the-peg suit, but I was tugging at it with my expansive gestures,” he told me. “So I studied fifteenth-, sixteenth-, seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century swordfighters, and how their arms had not one iota of resistance from their wardrobes.
  • "And remember, girls dig scars and glory lasts forever.”
  • I pulled it out of the stark marble sink of my modernist palace. It was December 10, 1975.



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