Saturday, March 23, 2013

Congratulations to the winners!

At the UK Championship in 2008, I was at my peak of memory fitness, at least in terms of National Standard competitions, which are a different beast to World Championships. I set three cool new world records, in 15-minute numbers, 10-minute cards and 5-minute binaries, which have all stood to this day - because that's the point when I stopped training for these things with any kind of enthusiasm, and because there are very few National Standard championships in the world.

But no more! At the Italian Championship in Rome today, Johannes Mallow beat my numbers record, and he, Ola Risa and Jonas von Essen ALL beat the binary record! Okay, it was always a bit silly that I held a world record in numbers, which lots of people are better than me at, but binary is supposed to be My Thing! Now I'm the fourth-best in the world at 5-minute binary! I'm going to have to do something about this...

Hannes also beat his own record in abstract images, and Boris beat his own record in 5-minute words. I think that's all the records that have tumbled today, but if I missed anything, sorry. Rather than sitting here all day and following the live streaming and Dai's entertaining commentary on Facebook, I was dedicated and did a practice session of every single discipline myself! No world records here, especially towards the end of the day when it was a struggle to remember anything at all, but the practice is going to be useful for next weekend. Also, it kept me from being too depressed that I'm here at home in the middle of a never-ending blizzard, when all my friends are having fun in Italy. I bet it's really hot and sunny, too.

Well done, everyone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's... disturbing

Those adverts for mind-altering drugs to use on your cats and dogs. There's something deeply wrong about the whole idea. Though I'm tempted to get one of the things and plug it in, just to see what effect it has on me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Football fan

I see that next Thursday, there's a match between Gateshead and Newport County, at Boston Utd's York Street ground. Gateshead apparently couldn't find anywhere better or closer to stage their home game, which I find a little difficult to understand, seeing as how it's hundreds and hundreds of miles away. But still, it puts me in mind of the time I went to York Street, some time around 1986, to see an England v Wales under-15 match. England won 5-0. This has to count as a good omen for the Welsh Memory Championship two days after the thrilling Gateshead/Newport match. As well as a good omen for Gateshead, although I don't really care about that.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Who keeps buying the thing?

Remember that blog last year about how my monthly income from "How To Be Clever" had inexplicably increased to the dizzy heights of £47.29? Well, it kept going up, and now it's always well over £50 a month. Last month was a staggering £83.69, although today's payment has sunk to a mere £65.71. I'm mystified. It still isn't a real book, after all...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Memorable results

The results of the Slovenian championship that I was so ignorant about yesterday have popped up on the internet - Christian Schäfer, Boris Konrad and Annalena Fischer showed seven Slovenian starters what a trained memory can do, in a regional-standard competition (the short format with more emphasis on the disciplines that require non-technique memory).

Over in New York, meanwhile, where the memory competitions are even more non-system-demanding (you won't find binary digits or abstract images there, and if you can't remember random words you won't win the title), congratulations to Ram Kolli! It's a long-awaited win - he won the championship in 2005, the year before the new-style cool final format was introduced (incidentally, is it really seven years since I went to watch the first one?) and then seemed to come second every year thereafter, so he's well overdue another win now.

I'd really love to arrange an American-style competition as some kind of English Memory Championship some day. Maybe if I ever end up with some money, somehow, I'll do it.