Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 54 - December 2009 - by Phil Chambers


TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) plus a 3 minute video - Word Count: 984. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the December issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month we have a report on the World Memory Championships, News of what I’ve been up to and a special treat – My 2009 animated Mind Map Christmas Card. Plus the regular Quote and Tip of the month.

What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

Initially several days’ rest to get over the exhaustion of the World Memory Championships! See report below.

On 26th I ran a one day course on Business Applications of Mind Mapping using iMindMap Software as well as pens and paper. This was a newly designed course but was very well received with consistently excellent feedback. I hope to repeat this the first quarter of 2010.


December's Quote of the Month


"Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas.
They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal."

Lenore Hershey (American journalist and former editor of McCall's magazine)

More quotes here

Details of our books here


Mind Map Tip of the Month

If you have to give a presentation, you can save time by planning it using the iMindMap software. Reuse the plan in Presentation Mode to wow your audience with minimal additional effort. Just check the sequence of the branches and add a few extra images. See my Christmas Card for an example of presentation mode in action.

For more tips see '101 Top Tips for Beter Mind Maps'


World Memory Championships - Highlights

WMC logo

Just under three weeks ago saw the World Memory Championships in London, England where 64 entrants from all over the globe gathered to put their memories to the ultimate test.


As expected, former World Champion, Gunther Karsten from Germany got off to a flying start in his best discipline, the Abstract Images setting a new World Record of 318 correctly recalled images. Ben Pridmore, the reigning Champion and favourite for the title was left trailing in joint 13th place. In the second discipline, one of Ben’s favourites, the Binary Digits, he struck back, winning the event with a score of 4,105 and propelling him into second place behind Gunther. Johannes Mallow made a personal best, ending up in overall third place less than 30 points behind Ben. In the third discipline, the Hour Numbers, rising star from China, Su Ruiqiao set a new Word Record, becoming the first person ever to break the 2,000 digit barrier with a score of 2080. Fellow countryman Wang Feng also broke the previous Word Record with a score of 1984. In a great display of good sportsmanship the room erupted to thunderous applause when the top score was announced at the beginning of the second day.


The first event on the second day was Ben’s least favourite: Names and Faces. True to form, Ben finished in 21st place leaving him in overall 5th place in the championships whist Gunter remained in the top spot. The event was won by Simon Reinhard moving up form 8th to 6th place. The next two disciplines, Speed Numbers and Historic Dates were both won by Johannes Mallow. In the latter achieving a new World Record of 118 dates in 5 minutes. Going into the final event of the day Johannes was in the overall lead followed by Ben with Gunther dropping back to bronze medal position. These positions remained the same after the Hour Cards but by winning the event Ben closed the gap on Johannes to only 89 points. Still everything to play for.


The third day began with Random Words. This was won by German Junior Dorothea Seitz with Simon Reinhard close behind moving into third place overall, overtaking Gunther. Despite winning the next event, Spoken numbers, Gunther remained in fourth. Johannes came second lengthening his lead over Ben who made a disappointing 8th. So with only the speed cards to go Johannes was in the enviable position of only needing to memorise a pack of cards in about 45 seconds to leave Ben needing a World Record. As his previous best was just over 59 seconds this was possible. If Ben messed up both trials it would all be over and we would have a new German Champion. In trial one Ben’s clock stopped at 31.55 seconds but he had to be perfect for this to count. As he began recall it looked good for Ben. On checking, he got all 52 but sadly Johannes made a mistake on the 27th card. There was still a second chance though. Ben had to go all out for a fast time and stopped his clock at 25.97 seconds but declared zero realising that he couldn’t get a perfect score and thus his first time stood. Johannes messed up his second deck and Ben retained his title as World Champion. Wang Feng won the discipline setting an impressive time of 31.02 seconds making him the world number 3 in Speed Cards ahead of Andi Bell who up until a few years ago seemed unbeatable. It was a truly memorable three days with a nail-biting finish.

Ben won flights and top class accommodation at the 2010 WMC in China that promises to be a spectacular event.

You can read more and see video clips here.


Christmas Card for 2009



That’s it for this month. Have a safe and relaxing festive season. Look out for the next newsletter at the beginning of January and feel free to be in touch in the meantime.

My contact details are here.

Best Wishes