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USA National Memory Championships 215

bigtallmofo writes "Could you memorize 1,000 digits in under an hour? How about remember the exact order of 10 shuffled decks of playing cards in under an hour as well as one shuffled deck in less than two minutes? If so, you could be counted among 36 grand masters of memory worldwide. Slate is reporting that other spectacular memory feats were performed at the 2005 USA National Memory Championship. Congratulations to Ram Kolli, a graduate student in computer science at Virginia Tech, and this year's champ."
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USA National Memory Championships

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  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @09:15PM (#11987940) Journal
    That's incorrect. A quick web search reveals: http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20020826.html [yahoo.com] Only 555-0100 through 555-0199 are exclusively reserved for movies. The remainder of the 555 exchange is being parceled out.

    AFAIK, this was not always the case though.
  • Re:The Human Brain (Score:2, Informative)

    by jay-be-em ( 664602 ) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @09:29PM (#11988008) Homepage
    Einstein was the archetypal forgetful scientist.
  • by hugesmile ( 587771 ) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @09:40PM (#11988080)
    no no no

    0=s or z,
    1=t or d
    6=j, sh, ch
    7=hard c, k
    8=f, ph
    9=p or b

    Called the Major System [wikipedia.org], it's been around for hundreds of years (as I recall, haha).

    In college I could memorize a deck of cards on clock-ticks. 52 seconds for a deck.

    A more impressive trick (to most people) is to have the person shuffle the deck, take out 5 cards and put them in their pocket.

    I flip through the remaining 47 card for 30 seconds, and tell them what's in their pocket. (Loraine / Lucas explain how to do this one in the memory book). It's not hard, but takes practice.

    After that, I found girls, and quit doing the geek memory thing. You don't want girls to know that you have a good memory - then you lose all your excuses for forgetting to call them, forgetting anniversaries, etc.

  • Re:Casinos! (Score:4, Informative)

    by michaeldot ( 751590 ) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:25AM (#11989226)
    The private "agency", that Casinos use to scope these potential card counters, probably compile a dossier of these mentats.

    Actually, you don't need a good memory to card count.

    Card counting consists of determining the ratio of high cards (tens, aces) to low cards (2-6). To find this you simply add one for each low card that appears and subtract one for each high card.

    This gives the running count, which you can divide by the number of decks remaining to find the True Count, which is used to make decisions - how much to bet, or whether to deviate from Basic Strategy in playing a hand.

    So, at any given time you're only actually remembering one number.

    The hardest part about modern card counting is actually maintaining a good cover, that is, pretending to be rich and careless when you throw out black chips, or drunk and stupid, or talking incessantly to convince the dealer or pit boss that you can't possibly be counting with all that distraction.

    There are quite a few professional card counters around, but they're more likely to have honed their skills by taking acting lessons rather than memory courses...

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie