New from NPR! Memorize! 記憶力大車拼,這篇別忘了讀啊。




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Ready. Set. Memorize!

by VICKI BARKER

The 21st World Memory Championships are underway正在進行 in London this weekend. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are contending for the title爭奪冠軍頭銜. In a set amount of time, each contestant will try to memorize the most faces, numbers, playing cards and random words隨機出現的字. Vicki Barker met some of the mnemonic記憶的competitors and has this story.

VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: In the gymnasium of a South London technical school, site of this year's World Memory Championships, Norwegian Ola Kaere Risa checks his stopwatch碼表. Risa is Norway's only contestant this year.

OLA KAERE RISA: I hope to defend the glory of my country為國爭光.

DON XUN: My name is Dong Xun and I'm from China. I'm 10 years old now.

BARKER: What's your best event?

XUN: Abstract images. I want to remember 250 this time.

YUDI LESMANA: My name is Yudi Lesmana. I am from Indonesia. I can get about 25 decks紙牌(一個deck為一副) in hour.

BARKER: Of cards - decks of cards一副副的紙牌.

LESMANA: Decks of cards.

BARKER: These mental athletes腦力運動員 are boosting their brain power促進腦力 while the rest of us are outsourcing ours into the nearest memory chip請記憶晶片來代勞.

NELSON DELLIS: For practice, I do about a deck of cards in 32 seconds, so.
BARKER: That's U.S. title holder Nelson Dellis, ranked 24th in the world. His grandmother's death from Alzheimer's阿茲海默症 prompted him to work on his own terrible memory, he says. Now, he helps firms and individuals企業與個人 do the same.

DELLIS: Most people realize that they're not using their brains as much. And they notice that they don't remember numbers or addresses because they're always typing them into their smartphones, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Good morning, everybody.

BARKER: The opening ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The chief statistician記分員 for this event is Mr. Phil Chambers.

BARKER: One of the few places on the planet where a statistician gets a round of applause獲得熱烈鼓掌.

TONY BUZAN: You are warriors of the mind腦力戰士.

BARKER: That's competition co-founder Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind mapping腦圖/心智圖. Buzan many of the strongest competitor nations have long traditions of memory work.

BUZAN: China - 10,000 years ago, they started to develop systems that helped children remember. In Japan, the same. The Indians, the Arabic nations, extraordinary memory systems.

BARKER: In a nearby room, officials - their title is arbiter裁決者 - shuffle decks of cards洗牌, double-check columns of words and numbers. Co-founder共同創始者 and chess grandmaster西洋棋大師 Raymond Keene says few here are human calculators or prodigies born with photographic memories照像記憶(又稱Eidetic memory) .

RAYMOND KEENE: Everybody has their own way of creating the ability to memorize the facts they want to memorize. So, they aren't machines - most of them, some of them are dyslexic誦讀困難, and they fought against that to get where they are.

BARKER: Just ordinary people, Keene says, who have trained their brains to do extraordinary things.


For NPR News, I'm Vicki Barker in London.  SIMON: This is NPR News.

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