Red Bull Mind Gamers contest #6 (Creativity) is open, and voting has opened for contest #4 (Memory). I’ve cast my vote!
I wasn’t thrilled with the finalist entries for the Logic round- they were very creative and entertaining, but they didn’t really show off the logical deduction skill the contest was asking for. There were only a few deductions across the entire pool of finalists and the entry with the most votes didn’t have any.
The Memory round doesn’t have that problem. All three finalists used solid techniques to help themselves remember, and I had a very tough time picking one to vote for.
The Movie Trailer Method: Mike A
Mike A has been a staple in this contest, being a finalist in three out of the four rounds thus far. That’s impressive in and of itself, and he’s put together some very creative solutions. I voted for him in the Logic round and would have considered voting for him in the Strategy round if I wasn’t also competing for that title.
Mike’s strategy for memorizing the list is pretty similar to the technique Red Bull Mind Gamers shared on Facebook- turn it into a story. Mike did a great job picking a few simple memorable themes that group the items together.
The old school thief dines at the hotel and gets in his janky car.
Trying to use this myself on the list of items, everything jumps to mind pretty quickly. The thief uses the laser pointer, USB cable, and camera lens. The buffet evokes the waffle iron, tuning fork, and egg timer. The car brings in the motor oil, car battery, and duct tape.
What I like most is how Mike uses the story’s specifics to both hit more items while simultaneously making the story more memorable. A car is easy enough to remember, but a janky car held together with duct tape is extremely memorable.
The Cuber’s Attempt: Caleb D
What I liked most about Caleb’s attempt was that he tethered the list to something that’s personally top of mind for him. The method describe wouldn’t be effective at all for me, but for someone who loves Rubk’s Cubes, this could work well. It’s very resourceful to design a solution based on something specifc you as an individual will never forget.
I appreciate how Caleb’s solution has him memorize at least a few letters out of each of the items; this should help in the event he totally blanks on one of the items. If you can get even the first letter, it could help jar your memory.
I didn’t like as much how Caleb had to compromise or substitute letters out of the short strings- without an easy way to remember and which were substituted, it could make it very difficult to translate one of the memorized triggers back to the item on the list.
Still, I find this a very cool, very unique solution, very deserving of being a finalist.
Submission #1: Anderson B
The third and final submission is Anderson B’s Submission #1. Anderson keeps it simple, tying the nine items to body parts dealing with the senses. It works surprisingly well.
What I like about this entry is that if you completely blank out on any of the items, you can run through a list of body parts in your head. Eyes – camera lens. Tuning fork works with hearing. I don’t know I could get through all nine this way, but if I sat down and memorized the list using this method, I’m sure I’d be able to then.
What I don’t like about this entry is that there are a lot more than nine body parts, and it’d be easy to get stuck on an organ that doesn’t have a paired item on the list. Does the tongue / taste line up with anything? What goes with the sense of touch? It’d work if I sat down and memorized the list coming up with associations, the way Anderson did, but it’s not as accessible as Mike’s solution.
For the second time, I’m supporting Mike A’s entry- very easy to remember, even when I hadn’t memorized the list using this technique. Mike A is probably the contestant I’m looking forward to meeting the most at Red Bull Discovery Lab, assuming he gets enough votes at some point. All three entries are deserving but Mike’s is the most universally usable for helping anyone to memorize the list.
My Own Entry
I had written an entry for this round since I hadn’t been declared winner of the Visual round until after the submissions ended for Memory. My solution was pretty similar to Mike A’s, though instead of creating a story of my own, I tied it back to a KFC Chicken & Waffles commercial, where Colonel Sanders and Mrs. Butterworth reenacted the famous ending to Dirty Dancing. It was a fun solution, though I don’t know if I would have gotten in trouble for building my solution around intellectual property I don’t own!