The only way you're going to wake up next to Claudia Schiffer

Raymond Chen

Dominic O’Brien, world speed-memorization champion, on his technique for memorizing over 18 decks of shuffled cards in an hour:

“I remember things by personalising them,” explains O’Brien, 43. “With playing cards, for instance, I memorise each one as a face. The queen of hearts I think of as Claudia Schiffer, the ace of clubs as Nick Faldo. To get them in sequence I then imagine a journey, say from home to work, and fit the different people into that journey. So for example I wake up beside Claudia Schiffer, get out of bed and trip over Nick Faldo. It’s very effective.”

Welcome to the World Mind Sports Olympiad.

Other scintillating competitions include “memorizing random digits” and (from 1997) “listing as many similarities as you can think of between the Princess of Wales and an orange.”


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