Saturday, April 27, 2019

French memories

This will be fun - the French Memory Championship in October, just before my birthday! Well worth a trip across the channel!

The fourth installment of the French Memory Open Championships will take place on the 12th and 13th of October 2019 at the ENSEA (Engineering School of Electronics and Telecommunications) in Cergy-Pontoise, north-west of Paris. The competition will be in an IAM National format and will be overseen by Francoise-Marie Thuillier, the main organizer and Idriz Zogaj, the arbiter in chief.

As was the case in a number of recent competitions, the memorization will be done on paper and the recall will be performed digitally (using the standard-memory site) for all the disciplines apart from Speed Cards. The modalities of registration and the entry fee will be announced before late. The competition is open to everyone, regardless of previous experience, whether you're there to break records, advance in the world rankings, a total beginner looking to get inspired by discussing with the French National team members (who scored a silver medal in the rankings by nations at the past World Championships in Vienna) and other international competitors or talk hippocampus-hacking all weekend long with like-minded mnemonists. Feel free to contact the IAM in case you have any questions about this particular event or memory training for competitions in general. À bientôt !

Friday, April 26, 2019

No spoilers

But I have to say, I feel very lucky to live in a universe where the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

And now it's going to rain for the next week and a half

I'm still really impressed by the four days of summery sunshine over the four-day weekend, immediately changing back to grey unexceptionalness as soon as people go back to work. But anyway, I've just had an email from the Gold Coast hotel in Las Vegas, who have been sending me emails ever since I gave them my address in January 2002, advertising misleadingly low 'room rates' (which, in true American fashion, don't include tax, or 'resort fees', or tax on resort fees) and it makes me think I'm way, way overdue for another holiday there.

I should just book a week in the Gold Coast right now, and see how much the place has changed in the what must be about eight years since I was last there! I bet it isn't raining in Las Vegas!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Memory leaguing

Those following my cycling updates will be pleased to know I did indeed bike from Derby to Nottingham today, completing an impressive four-day sequence of healthy outdoor pursuits. Now tomorrow I have to go back to the office and vegetate some more - I'm really going to have to quit that job some time soon and become a full-time (or couple-of-hours-a-day) recreational cyclist.

But to look on the bright side, it's nearly May, and Memory League May is with us again. Get yourself a free three month subscription to Memory League by following the instructions here!

If you've never even heard of Memory League, check out the site and give it a try. It's fun! If you're already familiar with it, join the latest season of the Online Memory League Championship! It works like this:

 The Online Memory League Championship is a competition open to everybody. Competitors are divided into groups of around six players (with each division consisting of two groups) - new players this season are put into divisions based on their leaderboard position, so you will be playing against people at the same kind of level as you.

 In a season, each competitor will play each of the others in the group once, with one match per week, on a schedule drawn randomly at the start of the season. Players can be flexible about when they play their matches, depending on availability and circumstances, but should try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. You will need to communicate with your opponents - leave messages on the Memory League website, or the Art of Memory forum, or the Facebook group "World Memory Championships". We can help you get in touch with people - just send me a message if you need help!

 Matches will consist of six games - each player chooses three different disciplines, with the choice alternating. The first player on the scheduled match list chooses the first discipline; the schedule will be arranged so that each player gets a roughly equal distribution of 'home' and 'away' matches. Draws are possible, both in individual disciplines and in the match as a whole.

 If the match is a 3:3 draw, the players can (if they both agree to it) play a one-game 'decider', which can be any discipline they choose. If they don't both agree to play the decider, then the match is a draw.

 The league table gives two points for a match won, one for a match drawn. Players on the same number of points are ranked by number of disciplines won.

 At the end of the season, the bottom two in each division are relegated to the division below, and the top two in each division are promoted to the division above. There are play-offs between the runner-up in each group and the second-last in a group from the division above to determine promotion and relegation.

 The top four in the first division go into play-offs for the grand title, followed by a grand final to determine the League Champion!

 This season will last five weeks, starting at the beginning of May and ending at the end. Or at least that's the plan! Everybody who takes part will need to be prepared to play five matches in May. So if that works for you, please sign up on the forum!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I'm fitter than I thought I was

I was only planning to go as far as Kings Norton on the bike today, but once I'd got there I thought I might as well carry on all the way to Birmingham, so I did, even if it meant missing the first half hour of the football. And as a bonus, on the train back someone told me I look just like that guy who can remember everything, and was even more impressed when I confessed that I actually AM that guy!

This whole less-cake-more-exercise thing is working out surprisingly well, actually. Tomorrow I might get the train up to Derby or Nottingham, and bike the old route between the two, just to finish off an Easter weekend of pedal-power. By next weekend, I'll probably be running marathons.