Quick Snippets

Published on Sunday, March 11, 2012 in , , , , , , ,

Luc Viator's plasma lamp pictureIt's time for March's snippets!

This time around, we have a selection of new and unusual approaches to using memory techniques:

• Back in January of this year, British Channel iTV premiered a new game show called The Exit List. Contestants answer trivia questions as they proceed through a “memory maze”, but there's a twist! Contestants must memorize an ever-growing list of the answers in order to exit the maze with the money. Correct answers add only one item to the list that must be memorized, while incorrect answers add four items to the list!

To make the game even more exciting, there's a hidden room in the last row containing $100,000 (the others contain $10,000) for correct answers, and also panic rooms, which can add lists of random letters (as opposed to the usual words or phrases) to your memory list. You can find episodes online to get a better idea of this Indiana Jones-meets-Simon game show.

This game show may be coming to America on ABC, as well, courtesy of the same people who brought Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to the US.

• Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking With Einstein, has given a talk on memorization techniques at TED 2012. At this writing, there is no video to accompany that article, but it will likely be available in the long run.

• If you enjoyed my posts on the MIT Blackjack Team, there's a new independent film out on a similar topic. It's called Holy Rollers, and is about a team of card counting Christians. From the trailer alone, it looks like it could be an interesting movie:

• If you've enjoyed my posts on the game of Nim, there's now a commercial desktop version of multi-pile Nim available. It's called Abacan, and is played by sliding beads along different bars from one side of the frame to another.

You can use what I've taught in my Nim posts to try and work out the strategy on your own, or you can just go to the multi-pile Nim Strategy Calculator, select 5 rows, and enter 1-3-5-7-9 for the sizes of the rows to get the winning strategy.

One final note: Ordinarily, my next post would be on Thursday. I'll be posting on Wednesday instead, as Wednesday is Pi Day (3/14)! Pi Day is also Einstein's birthday, and Grey Matters' blogiversary!

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