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Memory champion Jonas Von Essen

28 Oct

Memory Champion Nelson Dellis Memorizes a Deck of Cards Underwater

19 Oct

I saw Nelson Dellis demonstrate his skills at last year’s Association for Psychological Science meeting. Here he memorizes a deck of cards underwater while holding his breath:



Nelson raises money to fight at Alzheimer’s disease at his web site.

Five-year-old passes Microsoft exam

16 Nov

From the BBC:

“Ayan Qureshi is now a Microsoft Certified Professional after passing the tech giant’s exam when he was just five years old.”




Ten year old reciting 370 digits of pi!

25 Aug

An impressive memory feat by a ten year old child:


How actors memorize their lines

25 Jun

A nice post on how actors learn their lines. I thought this paragraph on walking was interesting:

‘There’s more: “The other tip that scientists recommend is to walk,” she said. After a nap, Whiteside might walk around the block without the script to see how much dialogue she can remember. “I have no idea why this works, but they said if you actually walk instead of just sitting there, and you have your muscles moving while you’re attempting to memorize, somehow it speeds the brain up.”‘

Theatrical actors demonstrate impressive memory and the strategies they use to accomplish this are worth examining.

Here is  a video of Sir Laurence Olivier delivering the  opening soliloquy fro Richard the Third.



Extreme memory demonstration

28 May

As promised here is the Extreme Memory presentation from the Association for Psychological Science meeting in San Francisco last weekend.


Nelson Dellis at APS

25 May

I had the great pleasure of seeing memory champion Nelson Dellis performing last night. Dellis, who is also an avid mountain climber, is sponsoring a charity called Climb for Memory that raises funds for Alzheimer’s disease.

I post the full video if makes it available. In the mean time here is a short video of Dellis:



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Extreme memory

21 May

A New York Times article about the Extreme Memory Tournament.


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My search for a “Mr. Memory” newsreel

20 Apr

Boing Boing announced yesterday that British Pathé had posted thousands of their newsreels on Youtube, I held out the hope that I might find footage of the great British memory performer Datas. Datas whose real name was William Bottle, was the model for the character “Mr. Memory” in the Alfred Hitchcock film The 39 steps.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a clip of Datas, but I did find this newsreel of a machine that was named after him. The notes on the footage make no mention of the source of the machine’s name.


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Memory expert: Harry Lorayne

14 Mar

One of the first memory books I ever read was The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Recently, I found this wonderful podcast interview with Lorayne. Michael Senoff does a good job of asking interesting questions while Lorayne tells about his background in memory, magic, publishing, and show business.

In the interview, Lorayne mentions that he had not yet found a publisher for his autobiography. Apparently, it was finally published in 2013 under the title Before I Forget, I’ll have to track down a copy.


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