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At memory competition, the diverse contestants are unforgettable
At memory competition, the diverse contestants are unforgettable

Each morning, Brad Zupp puts on noise-canceling headphones and a pair of goggles, the lenses blacked out except for tiny peepholes that keep each eye focused downward. He sits at his desk, shuffles a deck of playing cards and gives himself 70 seconds to memorize the order. Zupp then sets a timer and grabs another deck to see how fast he can duplicate the order of the shuffled cards. His fastest time so far: 65 seconds. "I don't do anything bizarre," said Zupp, who performs this drill at least 10 times a day. But what's normal to Zupp and other contestants on the Memory Championship circuit can seem bizarre to those of us who habitually forget to buy milk at the...

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