Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Super Humans - Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years. Following an outstanding amateur and two-year college golf career, Woods turned professional at age 20 in late summer 1996. By April 1997 he had already won his first major, the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes and pocketing $486,000. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as world number one.

Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, a single-figure handicap amateur golfer who had been one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University. In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible. Before turning seven, Tiger won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California. In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys' event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships. He first broke 80 at age eight. He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991. Woods' father Earl wrote that Tiger first defeated him at the age of 11 years, with Earl trying his best. Earl lost to Tiger every time from then on. Woods first broke 70 on a regulation golf course at age 12. Woods' first major national junior tournament was the 1989 Big I, when he was 13 years old. Woods was paired with pro John Daly, then relatively unknown, in the final round; the event's format placed a professional with each group of juniors who had qualified. Daly birdied three of the last four holes to beat Woods by only one stroke. As a young teenager, Woods first met Jack Nicklaus in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, when Nicklaus was performing a clinic for the club's members. Woods was part of the show, and impressed Nicklaus and the crowd with his skills and potential. Earl Woods had researched in detail the career accomplishments of Nicklaus, and had set his young son the goals of breaking those records. While attending Western High School in Anaheim at the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur champion (a record which stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010). He was named 1991's Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the first multiple winner; competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut); and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year. The following year, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he remains the event's only three-time winner. In 1994, at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record he held until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee. He was a member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships (winning), and the 1995 Walker Cup (losing). Woods graduated from Western High School in 1994 at age 18, and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" among the graduating class. He had starred for the high school's golf team under coach Don Crosby. Woods overcame difficulties with stuttering as a boy. This was not known until he wrote a letter to a boy who contemplated suicide. Woods wrote, "I know what it's like to be different and to sometimes not fit in. I also stuttered as a child and I would talk to my dog and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep. I also took a class for two years to help me, and I finally learned to stop."

Super Humans - Jet Li

 Li Lian-jie (April 26, 1963), born in Beijing, China, was an Actor, Musician. It is known by his actor name - Jet Li

"For me, [Hong Kong films] have become too violent. I want to give a smart and positive image to martial arts, not this bloody, fight-for-no-reason image," he said for  Village Voice, July 22, 1997

One of the most popular stars of Hong Kong films of the early 1990s, the compact, charismatic Jet Li was at one time considered the heir to the late Bruce Lee. A child prodigy in martial arts, he excelled in the high-kicking "wu shu" style, winning several national championships and traveling around the world (including a 1974 US visit to the Nixon White House). Before turning 20, Jet Li made his film debut as a fighting priest in "Shaolin Temple" (1982), which was banned in Taiwan but proved popular throughout Asia. After two sequels, "Shaolin Temple II: Kids From Shaolin" (1984) and "Shaolin Temple III: Martial Arts of Shaolin" (1986), both of which showcased his talents, Jet made his directorial debut with the unsuccessful "Born to Defend" (also 1986). Since he had only been earning a limited salary, Jet Li obtained a two-year exit permit and settled in San Francisco with a Chinese actress who would briefly become his wife. "The Master" (filmed in San Francisco in 1989 but not released until 1992) was a minor modern-day kung fu thriller, more notable as the first time Jet Li worked with director Tsui Hark. Instead of returning to China in 1990, the actor settled in Hong Kong, where he attempted to rejuvenate his sagging career by signing with Golden Harvest. His breakthrough screen role came in 1990 when Tsui Hark cast him as real-life folk hero Wong Fei Hung in "Once Upon a Time in China". Despite critical carping over Jet Li's relative youth and his training in another martial arts discipline, the period piece offered the performer a strong role and he more than met the challenges exhibiting the requisite stoic aura. He went on to reprise the role in two sequels (in 1992), but an ankle injury forced the use of a double in several fight sequences. Nevertheless, Jet Li dominated the films in a role many felt he was born to play. The actor, however, felt financially underappreciated and after a series of disputes parted company with Golden Harvest. (He was replaced by another actor for two sequels before resuming the franchise in 1997's "Once Upon a Time in China and America", which can be qualified as a kung fu Western.) Over a five year period (1992-97), Jet Li appeared in over two dozen films of varying quality. He scored as another martial artist folk hero "Fong Sai Yuk" (1993) and played his signature role of Wong Fei Hung in the uneven "The Last Hero in China" (also 1993), which he also produced. Additionally, he starred in the biopics "Tai Chi Master" (also 1993) and "New Legend of Shaolin" (1994), By the time of "Black Mask" (1996), an attempt to create a new franchise based on a popular Hong Kong comic book, his career was on the wane once again. Despite numerous offers from bigwigs like Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino, Jet Li took his time following fellow HK actors Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung and Chow Yun-Fat to L.A. At one time he was attached to a Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle and withdrew just before filming. Finally, in 1998, Jet Li appeared in his first American studio film, playing the martial artist villain opposite Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon 4". It would remain to be seen if the handsome actor's galvanizing screen presence could be transplanted in a real Hollywood blockbuster.

Lord of the Wu Tang 
Kiss of the Dragon (2001) 
The One (2001) 
Romeo Must Die (2000) 
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) 
The Hitman (1998) 
Black Mask (1997) 
Once Upon A Time In China And America (1997) 
My Father Is a Hero (1995) 
High Risk (1995) 
The New Legend of Shaolin (1994) 
Fist of Legend (1994) 
The Bodyguard from Beijing (1994) 
Fong Sai-Yuk (1993) 
Fong Sai-Yuk 2 (1993) 
Once Upon a Time in China III (1993) 
The T'ai Chi Master (1993) 
Once Upon a Time in China II (1992) 
Swordsman II (1992) 
Once Upon a Time in China (1991) 
The Master (1989) 
Born to Defence (1988) 
Martial Arts of Shaolin Temple (1985) 
Kids From Shaolin (1984) 
The Shaolin Temple (1982) 

1974: Youth National Athletic Competition: Gold Medal, Wu Shu champion
1975: Youth National Athletic Competition: Gold Medal, Wu Shu champion
1977: Youth National Athletic Competition: Gold Medal, Wu Shu champion
1978: Youth National Athletic Competition: Gold Medal, Wu Shu champion
1979: Youth National Athletic Competition: Gold Medal, Wu Shu champion

Made first trip to the USA to perform in a wushu team at the White House for President Richard Nixon (1974)

Beijing Athletic School, Beijing, China; majored in martial arts

Super Humans - Sachin Tendulkar

Today i will write about Kinetic/Kinestethic Geniuses.

First on the list is Sachin Tendulkar (1973-present) - Indian cricket player

The "Super Natural," the "Willow Prince," "the King," and even "a god" are terms that have been used to describe Indian cricket batsman Sachin Tendulkar, yet he refers to himself as a normal person who is satisfied with being counted among the best batsmen in the world. A young prodigy, Tendulkar began playing cricket as a toddler and at age sixteen was selected to play on India's national team. In 2001 he became the first batsman to score a total of 10,000 runs in one-day cricket. He is an idol in his native India, where he lives humbly even though his salary and product endorsements have made him the world's wealthiest cricket player. Still at the top of his game in 2003, Tendulkar is sometimes compared to the great West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards and to Australian cricket legend Don Bradman , who died in 2001 at age 92. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was born April 24, 1973, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a language professor; he died in 1999. Sachin has two brothers and a sister. He began playing cricket at age 2 1/2, with his nanny in the family's backyard, using a broomstick for a bat. As he grew, he began playing street cricket with neighborhood children, and after watching the World Cup on television at age ten, he began to get serious about the game. Although left-handed, he learned to bat with his right hand as a youth. Street rules required players to bat with their nonpreferred hand to increase their chances of being eliminated. After the family moved close to Shivaji Park in Bombay, Sachin's game began to improve. At ages twelve and thirteen, he was practicing and playing school matches a total of twelve hours a day on some days. He once played fifty-four matches in a row. His coach, Ramakant Acherkar, encouraged Sachin to play his hardest by placing a rupee on top of one of his wicket stumps and offering the money to anyone who got Sachin out. If no one did, Sachin won the money. He still treasures thirteen of the coins he won in that way. At age thirteen, Sachin scored his first century (100 runs) at school, and the following year he was invited to a net session with the Indian professional team. At age fifteen, he and a friend set a world record of runs (664) for his school, and at sixteen, Sachin was picked to play his first Test match for India against Pakistan. His father signed the papers for him, because Sachin was too young. By age seventeen, Sachin had toured New Zealand and England with the team. On the England tour he scored a match-saving 119 points, which made him the second youngest test century-maker ever. From there, his career has become better each year. On March 31, 2001, he became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day cricket, setting this record during a five-match series against Australia. He has broken the world record for maximum centuries in International cricket and continues to set records with every passing season. At the end of 2002 he was ranked third in the world in Test batting and was preparing for a forty-seven-day tour of New Zealand, after recovering from a hamstring injury. For a country in love with the sport of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has become a national treasure, idolized by millions. Cricket players the world over consider him probably the most complete batsman the game has ever seen. He is so skillful that there is practically no shot he cannot play. Bowlers dread facing him, because he is unflappable and succumbs to none of their tricks. Ace Australian bowler Shane Warne once said Tendulkar gave him nightmares.

The 5'5" boyish star is mobbed by fans wherever he goes in India, except for his old neighborhood in Mumbai, where he still plays cricket with friends and is treated like a normal person. Every televised game he plays becomes a national event, and the details of his life are a national obsession. He is accustomed to the fuss but remains humble, in spite of the fact that he is the world's wealthiest cricketer and appears in about one-fourth of all Indian television commercials, so prolific are his endorsements. Tendulkar is the first Indian to achieve such heights in both sports and media stardom. Over his career, he has helped to bring Indian cricket from a little-televised sport to a major national pastime. His talent and skill place him in the world annals of cricket, with the best of players from any country. Yet, he humbly said, in 1999, "I've never thought of myself as the best batsman in the world. My ambition was to be considered one of the best, and to stay there."


1973 Born April 24 in Bombay (now Mumbai), India

1975 At age 2 1/2, begins hitting ball with a broomstick in his backyard

1983 Watches World Cup cricket match on television and becomes seriously interested in the game
1986 Scores his first century (100 runs) in his school, at age 13

1987 Is invited by captain of Indian team to a net session with the team

1988 With friend Vinod Kambli, sets world record of 664 runs for Shardashram School at inter-school tournament; at age 15, scores 100no (not out) in his first-class debut for Bombay team

1989 Scores 103no at one-day debut for Bombay team

1989-90 At age 16, is selected to play for India against Pakistan, making his international debut in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Test matches. On a tour of New Zealand, scores 88, just short of being the youngest century-maker in a test match
1990 Tours England and scores 119 in a match, making him the second-youngest test century-maker
1995 Signs first contract with WorldTel, for five-year commercial endorsements and marketing deal that will make him the world's richest cricket player
1996 Is appointed captain of Indian team—will serve until early 1998

1997 Daughter, Sarah, is born to Tendulkar and wife, Anjali, in October

1998 Makes 155 runs against Australia in Madras (now Chennai), India; meets 90-year-old Australian cricket master Sir Donald Bradman
1999 Begins having back pain in January—doctors later determine scar tissue in his lower vertebrae had become inflamed, but problem can be quickly corrected; bats in India's first World Cup match, against South Africa; flies home from match in England when father dies of cardiac arrest in mid-May; is again named captain of Indian team, in July; second child, a son, is born September 23
2001 Is invited to Bradman's 92nd birthday party, shortly before his death at 92; becomes first batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day cricket, setting this record in third game of five-match series against Australia on March 31; re-signs with WorldTel; in November, is accused of tampering with cricket ball at match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and fined
2002 Pulls out of seven-match India-West Indies series with hamstring injuries; makes his thirtieth Test century, one more than Bradman; at end of November ranks third in international Test ratings, with 856 points and 58.46 average

Awards and Accomplishments - Has broken the record for maximum centuries in International cricket (One-Day Internationals + Test matches)
1992 Became youngest player to score 1,000 runs
1997 Voted Wisden Cricketer of the Year
1998 Received Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest honor for achievement in sports, for the year 1997
1999 Received Padma Shri Award, bestowed by India's president, the nation's highest civilian honor
2001 On March 31, became first batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day cricket
2002 On September 5, became youngest cricket player to play 100th Test match

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Super Humans - Kim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-Yong (born March 7, 1963) is a South Korean civil engineer and former child prodigy. Kim was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ"; the book gave the boy's score as about 210.  Guinness retired the "Highest IQ" category in 1990 after concluding IQ tests were too unreliable to designate a single record holder. Kim Ung-Yong was born in Hongje-dong, Seoul, South Korea. His father is Kim Soo-Sun, a professor. He started speaking at the age of 6 months and was able to read Korean, Japanese, English, German and many other languages by his third birthday. By the time he was four years old, his father claimed Ung-Yong had memorized about 2000 words in both English and German. He was writing poetry in Korean and Chinese, and wrote two short books of essays and poems (less than 20 pages). At age four he scored over 200 on an IQ test normally given to seven-year-old. An article was published about him in Look magazine. After reading the article, a teacher and students at Grant High School in Los Angeles began writing to him. In February 1967 his father applied for Kim to be enrolled at Grant High School. In November 2, 1967, at the age of 5, he appeared on Fuji TV in Japan and amazed guests by solving Differential Equations. During that show, he wrote poems in different languages including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Japanese and Korean. On November 5, 1977, Kim solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems on Japanese television. Later on, he entered Chungbuk National University. He has majored in civil engineering and received a PhD. As of 2007 he served as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University. In March 14, 2014, he became associate professor in Shinhan University, and became vice president of North Kyeong-gi Development Research Center. 

But more interesting is the story of his choices related to life. As he is one of the "Ones that get away", geniuses that choose a normal, fulfilling life. At the age of eight, the child was invited by America’s NASA and conducted research work for 10 years. He also received a PhD in physics at Colorado State University. But by 1978, he was burnt out and returned to his homeland. He surprised everyone by switching to civil engineering and later chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation. The Korean media soon denounced him a “failed genius”. 
But for so-called failed genius Kim Ung-yong, his life is anything but a failure. He’s happy to be an ordinary company worker, he said. He’s happy with his station in life and exactly the way he is. 
“Apparently, the media belittled the fact that I chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation,” Kim said regrettably. “People expected me to become a high-ranking official in the government or a big company, but I don’t think just because I chose not to become the expected it gives anyone a right to call anyone’s life a failure,” he explained. Kim says his life is a great success and we agree that to the extent he has found his bliss, he surely is a successful man. Indeed, at the end, isn’t that what we’re all ultimately after? Everything else is mere empty prop. I have only admiration for everyone whom will choose a happy family life over some career, doesn't matter how extraordinary.

And what advice would the world’s smartest man give to the rest of us? “Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that,” Kim said. We agree. Like nature herself, we should value a diversity of talents and abilities. And know that in the end, happiness is the ultimate success.

Super Humans - Bobby Fischer

   Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess Grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many consider him the greatest chess player of all time. At age 13, Fischer won a "brilliancy" that became known as "The Game of the Century". Starting at age 14, Fischer played in eight United States Championships, winning each by at least a one-point margin. At age 15, Fischer became both the youngest Grandmaster up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship. At age 20, Fischer won the 1963–64 U.S. Championship with 11/11, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament. Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games (1969) remains a revered work in chess literature. In 1970 and 1971, Fischer "dominated his contemporaries to an extent never seen before or since". During that period he won the 1970 Inter-zonal Tournament by a record 3½-point margin and won 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps in the Candidates Matches. In July 1971, he became the first official World Chess Federation (FIDE) number-one-ranked player, spending a total of 54 months at number one. In 1972, he captured the World Chess Championship from Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in Reykjavik, Iceland, publicized as a Cold War confrontation which attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.[9] In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE over one of the conditions for the match. This allowed Soviet GM Anatoly Karpov, who had won the qualifying Candidates' cycle, to become the new world champion by default. After this, Fischer became a recluse, disappearing from both competitive chess and the public eye until 1992, when he won an unofficial rematch against Spassky. It was held in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo at the time. His participation led to a conflict with the U.S. government, which sought income tax on Fischer's match winnings, and ultimately issued a warrant for his arrest. In 1990, Fischer patented a modified chess timing system that added a time increment after each move, now a standard practice in top tournament and match play. He also created a new variant of chess called Fischer Random Chess or Chess960. Between 1990 and early 2000s, Fischer lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and Iceland, and made increasingly anti-American and anti-Semitic remarks on various radio stations. Possibly as a result, his U.S. passport was revoked. Unaware of the revocation, Fischer traveled to Japan, where he was arrested by Japanese authorities and detained for more than eight months under threat of deportation. In March 2005, Iceland granted Fischer full citizenship, leading Japanese authorities to release him from prison. Fischer flew to Iceland, where he lived until his death on January 17, 2008. He had an unique understanding of chess, or as Frank Brady said in a not very well known article:
"In previous writings I have cited Fischer's I.Q. as in the range of 180, a very high genius. My source of information is impeccable: a highly regarded political scientist who coincidentally happened to be working in the grade adviser's office at Erasmus Hall - Bobby Fischer's high school in Brooklyn - at the time Fischer was a student there. He had the opportunity to study Fischer's personal records and there is no reason to believe his figure is inaccurate. Some critics have claimed that other teachers at Erasmus Hall at that time remember the figure to be much lower; but who the teachers are and what figures they remember have never been made clear. It is probably a reflection of the "chess-champion paradox" that the 180 figure is considered unrealistic. Fischer's apparent lack of intellectual attainments, in contrast to the champions of the past, would seem to make a high I.Q. unbelievable. He is considered by many to be almost an idiot savant. Perhaps some of the following anecdotes will dispel the doubts of the unbelieving. Before playing the match with Spassky in Reykjavik, in 1972, Fischer toured Iceland for a few days to get the feel of the land. One morning he telephoned his old friend Frederick Olaffson, Iceland's only grandmaster. Both Olaffson and his wife were out of the house, and a little girl answered the phone. Fischer said, "Mr. Olaffson, please." Olaffson's daughter explained, in her native Icelandic, that both her mother and father were out of the house and would return in the early evening for dinner. Fischer does not know a word of Icelandic and had to hang up with an apology. Later that day, talking to another Icelandic chess player (who did speak English), Fischer remarked that he had tried to reach Olaffson. "It sounded like a little girl on the phone," he said. He then repeated every Icelandic word he had heard over the telephone, imitating the sounds with perfect inflection, so well, as a matter of fact, that the Icelander translated the message word for word. In 1963 Fischer played in and won the New York State Open Championship at Poughkeepsie, New York. During the last round I was involved in a complicated ending with Frank S. Meyer, the late senior editor of National Review. Fischer, on his way to the washroom, briefly paused at my board - for perhaps five seconds - and then walked on. A few months later, he visited me at my office, then located at the Marshall Chess Club. "How did that last round game turn out?" he inquired. I told him I had won, but with difficulty. "Did you play Q-B5?" he asked. I told him quite frankly I couldn't remember what I had played. He immediately set up the exact position to "help" me remember, and then demonstrated the variation I should have played to have secured a much more economical win. The main point is that he did not simply remember the position, then analyze it in front of me; he remembered not only the position but also his fleeting analysis as he had passed my board months previously. Anecdotes like this lead to speculation of how many moves Fischer sees ahead, and in what period of time. Masters who have traded Pawns with him in speed chess (usually five minutes for the entire game for each player) claim that postmortem analysis shows Fischer sees three or four moves ahead in any position, with a glance of a second or two. If he studies the position for all of five seconds, he can see five or six moves ahead, sometimes more. Occasionally for fun, against strong players, Fischer will place the hands at one minute on his clock and give his opponent ten minutes. Invariably he will win with time to spare. Even more remarkable is the fact that Fischer can remember most of his speed games. At the conclusion of the unofficial Speed Championship of the World at Hercegnovi, Yugoslavia, in 1970, Fischer rattled off the scores of all his twenty-two games, involving more than 1,000 moves, from memory! And just prior to his historic match with Taimanov, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Fischer met the Russian player Vasiukov and showed him a speed game that the two had played in Moscow fifteen years before. Fischer recalled the game move by move. Whatever his degree of intelligence or memory facility may be, it is an unimportant question in appraising Fischer's contribution to chess. We do know that he has an eidetic memory when it comes to remembering positions and moves; we do know that he can move with rapid-fire precision that is phenomenally superior to his contemporaries' ability. Since chess is Bobby Fischer's profession, his business, and his art, is it really germane to try to evaluate his prowess in other fields, or can we finally begin to take his acknowledged chess ability as evidence enough of his remarkable intelligence? The discussion of Fischer's mental qualities is an embarrassment to him personally. He claims not to know what his I.Q. is. It is a wise policy of school boards, indeed, not to reveal actual figures to the student. In the spring of 1974, Fischer castigated his friend Bernard Zuckerman for reporting to a Soviet chess weekly that Fischer's I.Q. was "astronomical." Fischer believes that his statement, as an artist and as a man, lies in his chess. That is what this volume is all about; accordingly, The Chess of Bobby Fischer is a ground-floor approach to the workings of Fischer's brain. Though the speculation about his intelligence and memory is fascinating, it will be by his games that he will be remembered. They are the true testament, perhaps the only one possible, to his mind."

Nothing else to add.


Monday, 28 December 2015

Super humans - Magnus Carlsen

After the history of IQ testing series, i will start a new one. I will point out some of the well known gifted children, examples of what means to be a prodigy in doesn't matter what field. Today is chess.

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (Norwegian: [sʋɛn ˈmɑŋnʉs øːn ˈkɑːɭsn̩]; born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster, No. 1 ranked player in the world and reigning World Chess Champion in classical and rapid. His peak rating is 2882, the highest in history. A chess prodigy, Carlsen became a Grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years, 148 days, making him one of the youngest grandmasters in history. On 1 January 2010, at the age of 19 years, 32 days, he became the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world No. 1. In November 2013, Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013, thus becoming the new world chess champion. On the May 2014 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached his top Elo rating of 2882, the highest in history. He successfully defended his title in November 2014, once again defeating Viswanathan Anand. In 2015, he won the inaugural Grand Chess Tour, a series of three supertournaments featuring the 10 best chess super-grandmasters in the world. Carlsen was known for his attacking style as a teenager but has since developed into a more universal player. He does not focus on opening preparation as much as other top players and plays a variety of openings, making it harder for opponents to prepare against him. His positional mastery and endgame prowess have drawn comparisons to those of former world champions José Raúl Capablanca, Vasily Smyslov, and Anatoly Karpov. He remember me of young Polgar girls. 

One beautiful movie about him here.

Coming soon: Terence Tao, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Srinivasa Ramamujan, Mozart, Gauss,  Stephen Wolfram, William James Sidis, Champollion, Blaise Pascal, Allan Kay, Lang Lang, Evgeny Kissin, Midori, Bobby Fisher, Tiger Woods, Kim Ung-yong, Tony Royster Jr, Colin Camerer, Polgar Susan. Judith and Sofia, Justin Frankel, Harvey Friedman, Harry Connick Jr, Savion Glover, Jet Li, Budhia Singh, Edmund Thomas Clint, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and maybe few more.

Sleep and memory

Next link will be about sleep and memory.

Also, i am working on a book about lucid dreaming, best hobby ever. You can do it in your sleep, so, no time needed. Shall i continue? (Of course, probably i will finish it after the book about the impostor syndrome, that i want to do after the healthy eating one, so, not yet, huh!)

A clean environment and the memory performance

There are some series of studies which will show the link between organisational skills and a better use of our intellect (memory included). A decent, clean, good looking work space is really improving our productivity. As someone said: how you do anything is how you do everything. A survey by retailer OfficeMax of over 1,000 adults finds that 90% of Americans believe clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. A surprising 77% said clutter damages their productivity, in line with previous studies revealing that executives waste six weeks a year searching for lost items and information. Additionally, more than half of all respondents said disorganization impairs their state of mind and motivation levels, while two out of five people said it hurts their professional image. We can extend this to our entire life, to our bedroom and our house. There are extensive studies about how to "de-clutter your life" and how this will impact you. I will mention only one study, about making your bed first thing in the morning. In a survey of 68,000 people by, 59 percent of people don’t make their beds. 27 percent do, while 12 percent pay a housekeeper to make it for them. Here’s what disturbed me: 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62 percent of non-bed-makers admit to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. All in all, bed makers are happier and more successful than their rumple-sheeted peers. Since these factors show correlation but not causation, this does not mean that non-bed-makers can’t be happy and successful, but the odds are stacked against them. And it makes sense, since an organized environment can positively impact our mental state—and given it only takes 30 seconds, it could lend a small sense of accomplishment at the very start of the day. So maybe I’ll try it. My mom would be proud.

Think about, and simplify you life. On some extent, the outside world will influence your inside world, through some mumbo-jambo validated even by science.

Special added bonus: i use the pre-action technique for few years now, and i find it very effective, especially if you are a bit lazier by nature. What is this, you will ask? Easy like that, remember when you want to not forget to put that envelope in the mail, and you leave it on top of your shoes? That's it. Some special arrangement meant to start some action, or to make you to remember what you want to do. I can leave some stuff on the bed to see when i am back from work, or i will put my headphones in the pocket with a bit of the cable out to remember to listen some of my Japanese lessons. Imagination is your only limit. Use it and you can tell me how this changed your life.

Kind regards.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a Mathematician and Computer Programmer (1815–1852). 

The daughter of famed poet Lord Byron, Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace—better known as "Ada Lovelace"—was born in London on December 10, 1815. Ada showed her gift for mathematics at an early age. She translated an article on an invention by Charles Babbage, and added her own comments. Because she introduced many computer concepts, Ada is considered the first computer programmer. Ada died on November 27, 1852.

Early Years
Ada Lovelace, born as Augusta Ada Byron, was the only legitimate child of the famous poet Lord George Gordon Byron. Lord Byron's marriage to Ada's mother, Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron, was not a happy one. Lady Byron separated from her husband only weeks after their daughter was born. A few months later, Lord Byron left England, and Ada never saw her father again. He died in Greece when Ada was 8 years old. Ada had an unusual upbringing for an aristocratic girl in the middle of 18th century. At her mother's insistence, tutors taught her mathematics and science. Such challenging subjects were not standard fare for women at the time, but her mother believed that engaging in rigorous studies would prevent Lovelace from developing her father's moody and unpredictable temperament. Ada was also forced to lie still for extended periods of time because her mother believed it would help her develop self-control. From early on, Lovelace showed a talent for numbers and language. She received instruction from William Frend, a social reformer; William King, the family's doctor; and Mary Somerville, a Scottish astronomer and mathematician. Somerville was one of the first women to be admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society.

Babbage and the Analytical Engine
Around the age of 17, Ada met Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor. The pair became friends, and the much older Babbage served as a mentor to Ada. Through Babbage, Ada began studying advanced mathematics with University of London professor Augustus de Morgan. Ada was fascinated by Babbage's ideas. Known as the father of the computer, he invented the difference engine, which was meant to perform mathematical calculations. Ada got a chance to look at the machine before it was finished, and was captivated by it. Babbage also created plans for another device known as the analytical engine, designed to handle more complex calculations. Ada was later asked to translate an article on Babbage's analytical engine that had been written by Italian engineer Luigi Federico Menabrea for a Swiss journal. She not only translated the original French text in English, but also added her own thoughts and ideas on the machine. Her notes ended up being three times longer than the original article. Her work was published in 1843, in an English science journal. Ada used only the initials "A.A.L.," for Augusta Ada Lovelace, in the publication. In her notes, Ada described how codes could be created for the device to handle letters and symbols along with numbers. She also theorized a method for the engine to repeat a series of instructions, a process known as looping that computer programs use today. Ada also offered up other forward-thinking concepts in the article. For her work, Ada is often considered to be the first computer programmer. 
Ada's article attracted little attention when she was alive. In her later years, she tried to develop mathematical schemes for winning at gambling. Unfortunately, her schemes failed and put her in financial peril. Ada died from uterine cancer in London on November 27, 1852. She was buried next to her father, in the graveyard of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Nottingham, England.

And for all my readers, i have an interesting bonus.

I hope you will enjoy it!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Nine Billion Names of God – Arthur C Clarke

This is my splendid Christmas gift for you all. And an invite to create something similar as a writing exercise, until the end of the year. This is my try.  I hope you will enjoy it. Merry Christmas!

“This is a slightly unusual request,” said Dr. Wagner, with what he hoped was commendable restraint. “As far as I know, it’s the first time anyone’s been asked to supply a Tibetan monastery with an automatic sequence computer. I don’t wish to be inquisitive, but I should hardly thought that your –ah– establishment had much use for such a machine. Could you explain just what you intend to do with it?”
“Gladly,” replied the lama, readjusting his silk robe and carefully putting away the slide rule he had been using for currency conversions. “Your Mark V computer can carry out any routine mathematical operation involving up to ten digits. However, for our work we are interested in letters, not numbers. As we wish you to modify the output circuits, the machine will be printing words, not columns of figures.”
“I don’t understand . . .”
“This is a project on which we have been working for the last three centuries — since the lamasery was founded, in fact. It is somewhat alien to your way of thought, so I hope you will listen with an open mind while I explain it.”
“It is really quite simple. We have been compiling a list which shall contain all the possible names of God.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“We have reason to believe,” continued the lama imperturbably, “that all such names can be written with not more than nine letters in an alphabet we have devised.”
“And you have been doing this for three centuries?”
“Yes. We expected it would take us about fifteen thousand years to complete the task.”
“Oh.” Dr. Wagner looked a little dazed. “Now I see why you wanted to hire one of our machines. But exactly what is the purpose of this project?”
The lama hesitated for a fraction of a second, and Wagner wondered if he had offended him. If so, there was no trace of annoyance in the reply.
“Call it ritual, if you like, but it’s a fundamental part of our belief. All the many names of the Supreme Being — God, Jehovah, Allah, and so on — they are only man-made labels. There is a philosophical problem of some difficulty here, which I do not propose to discuss, but somewhere among all the possible combinations of letters, which can occur, are what one may call the real names of God. By systematic permutation of letters, we have been trying to list them all.”
“I see. You’ve been starting at AAAAAAAAA . . . and working up to ZZZZZZZZZ . . .”
“Exactly — though we use a special alphabet of our own. Modifying the electromatic typewriters to deal with this is, of course, trivial. A rather more interesting problem is that of devising suitable circuits to eliminate ridiculous combinations. For example, no letter must occur more than three times in succession.”
“Three? Surely you mean two.”
“Three is correct. I am afraid it would take too long to explain why, even if you understood our language.”
“I’m sure it would,” said Wagner hastily. “Go on.”
“Luckily it will be a simple matter to adapt your automatic sequence computer for this work, since once it has been programmed properly it will permute each letter in turn and print the result. What would have taken us fifteen thousand years it will be able to do in a thousand days.”
Dr. Wagner was scarcely conscious of the faint sounds from the Manhattan streets far below. He was in a different world, a world of natural, not man-made, mountains. High up in their remote aeries these monks had been patiently at work, generation after generation, compiling their lists of meaningless words. Was there any limit to the follies of mankind? Still, he must give no hint of his inner thoughts. The customer was always right . . .
“There’s no doubt,” replied the doctor, “that we can modify the Mark V to print lists of this nature. I’m much more worried about the problem of installation and maintenance. Getting out to Tibet, in these days, is not going to be easy.”
“We can arrange that. The components are small enough to travel by air — that is one reason why we chose your machine. If you can get them to India, we will provide transport from there.”
“And you want to hire two of our engineers?”
“Yes, for the three months which the project should occupy.”
“I’ve no doubt that Personnel can manage that.” Dr. Wagner scribbled a note on his desk pad. “There are just two other points–”
Before he could finish the sentence, the lama had produced a small slip of paper.
“This is my certified credit balance at the Asiatic Bank.”
“Thank you. It appears to be–ah–adequate. The second matter is so trivial that I hesitate to mention it — but it’s surprising how often the obvious gets overlooked. What source of electrical energy have you?”
“A diesel generator providing 50 kilowatts at 110 volts. It was installed about five years ago and is quite reliable. It’s made life at the lamasery much more comfortable, but of course it was really installed to provide power for the motors driving the prayer wheels.”
“Of course,” echoed Dr. Wagner. “I should have thought of that.”
The view from the parapet was vertiginous, but in time one gets used to anything. After three months George Hanley was not impressed by the two-thousand-foot swoop into the abyss or the remote checkerboard of fields in the valley below. He was leaning against the wind-smoothed stones and staring morosely at the distant mountains whose names he had never bothered to discover.
This, thought George, was the craziest thing that had ever happened to him. “Project Shangri-La,” some wit at the labs had christened it. For weeks now, Mark V had been churning out acres of sheets covered with gibberish. Patiently, inexorably, the computer had been rearranging letters in all their possible combinations, exhausting each class before going on to the next. As the sheets had emerged from the electromatic typewriters, the monks had carefully cut them up and pasted them into enormous books. In another week, heaven be praised, they would have finished. Just what obscure calculations had convinced the monks that they needn’t bother to go on to words of ten, twenty, or a hundred letters, George didn’t know. One of his recurring nightmares was that there would be some change of plan and that the High Lama (whom they’d naturally called Sam Jaffe, though he didn’t look a bit like him) would suddenly announce that the project would be extended to approximately 2060 A.D. They were quite capable of it.
George heard the heavy wooden door slam in the wind as Chuck came out onto the parapet beside him. As usual, Chuck was smoking one of the cigars that made him so popular with the monks — who, it seemed, were quite willing to embrace all the minor and most of the major pleasures of life. That was one thing in their favor: they might be crazy, but they weren’t bluenoses. Those frequent trips they took down to the village, for instance . . .” “Listen, George,” said Chuck urgently. “I’ve learned something that means trouble.”
“What’s wrong? Isn’t the machine behaving?” That was the worst contingency George could imagine. It might delay his return, than which nothing could be more horrible. The way he felt now, even the sight of a TV commercial would seem like manna from heaven. At least it would be some link from home.
“No — it’s nothing like that.” Chuck settled himself on the parapet, which was unusual, because normally he was scared of the drop.
“I’ve just found out what all this is about.”
“What d’ya mean — I thought we knew.”
“Sure — we know what the monks are trying to do. But we didn’t know why. It’s the craziest thing –”
“Tell me something new,” growled George.
” . . . but old Sam’s just come clean with me. You know the way he drops in every afternoon to watch the sheets roll out. Well, this time he seemed rather excited, or at least as near as he’ll ever get to it. When I told him we were on the last cycle he asked me, in that cute English accent of his, if I’d ever wondered what they were trying to do. I said, ‘Sure’ — and he told me.”
“Go on, I’ll buy it.”
“Well, they believe that when they have listed all His names — and they reckon that there are about nine billion of them — God’s purpose will have been achieved. The human race will have finished what it was created to do, and there won’t be any point in carrying on. Indeed, the very idea is something like blasphemy.”
“Then what do they expect us to do? Commit suicide?”
“There’s no need for that. When the list’s completed, God steps in and simply winds things up . . . bingo!”
“Oh, I get it. When we finish our job, it will be the end of the world.”
Chuck gave a nervous little laugh.
“That’s just what I said to Sam. And do you know what happened? He looked at me in a very queer way, like I’d been stupid in class, and said, ‘It’s nothing as trivial as that’.”
George thought this over for a moment.
“That’s what I call taking the Wide View,” he said presently.
“But what d’ya suppose we should do about it? I don’t see that it makes the slightest difference to us. After all, we already knew that they were crazy.”
“Yes — but don’t you see what may happen? When the list’s complete and the Last Trump doesn’t blow — or whatever it is that they expect — we may get the blame. It’s our machine they’ve been using. I don’t like the situation one little bit.”
“I see,” said George slowly. “You’ve got a point there. But this sort of thing’s happened here before, you know. When I was a kid down in Louisiana we had a crackpot preacher who said the world was going to end next Sunday. Hundreds of people believed him– even sold their homes. Yet nothing happened; they didn’t turn nasty, as you’d expect. They just decided that he’d made a mistake in his calculations and went right on believing. I guess some of them still do.”
“Well, this isn’t Louisiana, in case you hadn’t noticed. There are just two of us and hundreds of these monks. I like them, and I’ll be sorry for old Sam when his lifework backfires on him. But all the same, I wish I was somewhere else.”
“I’ve been wishing that for weeks. But there’s nothing we can do until the contract’s finished and the transport arrives to fly us out.”
“Of course,” said Chuck thoughtfully, “we could always try a bit of sabotage.”
“Like hell we could! That would make things worse.”
“Not the way I meant. Look at it like this. The machine will finish its run four days from now, on the present twenty-hours-a-day basis. The transport calls in a week. O.K., then all we need to do is to find something that wants replacing during one of the overhaul periods — something that will hold up the works for a couple of days. We’ll fix it, of course, but not too quickly. If we time matters properly, we can be down at the airfield when the last name pops out of the register. They won’t be able to catch us then.”
“I don’t like it,” said George. “It will be the first time I ever walked out on a job. Besides, it would make them suspicious. No, I’ll sit tight and take what comes.”
“I still don’t like it,” he said seven days later, as the tough little mountain ponies carried them down the winding road. “And don’t you think I’m running away because I’m afraid. I’m just sorry for those poor old guys up there, and I don’t want to be around when they find what suckers they’ve been. Wonder how Sam will take it?”
“It’s funny,” replied Chuck, “but when I said goodbye I got the idea he knew we were walking out on him — and that he didn’t care because he knew the machine was running smoothly and that the job would soon be finished. After that — well, of course, for him there just isn’t any After That . . .”
George turned in his saddle and stared back up the mountain road. This was the last place from which one could get a clear view of the lamasery. The squat, angular buildings were silhouetted against the afterglow of the sunset; here and there lights gleamed like portholes in the sides of an ocean liner. Electric lights, of course, sharing the same circuit as the Mark V. How much longer would they share it? wondered George. Would the monks smash up the computer in their rage and disappointment? Or would they just sit down quietly and begin their calculations all over again?
He knew exactly what was happening up on the mountain at this very moment. The High Lama and his assistants would be sitting in their silk robes, inspecting the sheets as the junior monks carried them away from the typewriters and pasted them into the great volumes. No one would be saying anything. The only sound would be the incessant patter, the never-ending rainstorm, of the keys hitting the paper, for the Mark V itself was utterly silent as it flashed through its thousands of calculations a second. Three months of this, thought George, was enough to start anyone climbing up the wall.
“There she is!” called Chuck, pointing down into the valley. “Ain’t she beautiful!”
She certainly was, thought George. The battered old DC-3 lay at the end of the runway like a tiny silver cross. In two hours she would be bearing them away to freedom and sanity. It was a thought worth savoring like a fine liqueur. George let it roll around in his mind as the pony trudged patiently down the slope.
The swift night of the high Himalayas was now almost upon them. Fortunately the road was very good, as roads went in this region, and they were both carrying torches. There was not the slightest danger, only a certain discomfort from the bitter cold. The sky overhead was perfectly clear and ablaze with the familiar, friendly stars. At least there would be no risk, thought George, of the pilot being unable to take off because of weather conditions. That had been his only remaining worry.
He began to sing but gave it up after a while. This vast arena of mountains, gleaming like whitely hooded ghosts on every side, did not encourage such ebullience. Presently George glanced at his watch.
“Should be there in an hour,” he called back over his shoulder to Chuck. Then he added, in an afterthought, “Wonder if the computer’s finished its run? It was due about now.”
Chuck didn’t reply, so George swung round in his saddle. He could just see Chuck’s face, a white oval turned toward the sky.
“Look,” whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. (There is always a last time for everything.)
Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Are you the sum of the 5 best friends?

Today i will say a few words about positive peer group and its importance in memory and intelligence training.

I can start with something like this:

Peer effect is an important component in determinating a learner outcomes. A typical student learns from discussions with his peers and can possibly be affected by their personality and attitude towards learning. Peer students can also be motivated by working together. It is well established that the quality of peers could affect a wide range of outcomes from school performance to health conditions, or even juvenile criminal behaviour. Scientists have investigated in the peer effects for a variety of peers include proximity based peers such as schoolmates (Evans et al. (1992)), roommates (Sacerdote (2001),Hoel et al. (2005)), classmates (Ammermueller and Pischke (2009)), or linkage based peer, such as friendship, Cooley(2009),Bramoull´e et al. (2009)). The existing literature has focused on the peer effect of friendship largely because of the limited availability of data. One available source is the friendship data in The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Moreover, for some choices of peers, selective problems are of particular concern. Evans et al. (1992) hint at the importance of individual choices of peer groups in peer effect estimation. While exogenous random assignment experiment could exist for some peer group formation such as randomly assigned college roommates. For most peer group formation such as by means of network of friendship, such random assignment is impossible. As a result, most peer effect estimations make use of exogenously assigned peers or analyze outcomes for which the selection problem of peer types is not a key issue(e.g. health outcomes).

What we learn from all this. I know, I know, is a bit boring, but the idea is that union it is strength, and it is important to be constantly challenged by your friends and colleagues achievements. This is how you can become better. Imagine learning to run for a marathon. You think you will compete better if you train with:
A. people aged more than 60 years
B. professional athletes
C. children under 8 years

You get it, right? But here come another tricky reasoning. What do you know about illusory superiority? Not much. OK, let me tell you more. Illusory superiority is a cognitive bias whereby individuals overestimate their own qualities and abilities, relative to others. This is evident in a variety of areas including intelligence, performance on tasks or tests, and the possession of desirable characteristics or personality traits. It is one of many positive illusions relating to the self, and is a phenomenon studied in social psychology. Illusory superiority is often referred to as the above average effect. Other terms include superiority bias, leniency error, sense of relative superiority, the primus inter pares effect, and the Lake Wobegon effect (named after Garrison Keillor's fictional town where "all the children are above average"). The phrase "illusory superiority" was first used by Van Yperen and Buunk in 1991. Or the other extreme, that is underlined in articles like this one

JR Harris suggested in The Nurture Assumption that an individual's peer group influences their intelligence greatly over time, and that different peer group characteristics may be responsible for the black-white IQ gap. Several longitudinal studies support the conjecture that peer groups significantly affect scholastic achievement, but relatively few studies have examined the effect on tests of cognitive ability. There is some evidence that peer groups influence tests of cognitive ability, however. The peer group an individual identifies with can also influence intelligence through the stereotypes associated with that group. The stereotype threat, first introduced by Claude Steele, is the idea that people belonging to a stereotyped group may perform poorly in a situation where the stereotype is relevant. This has been shown to be a factor in differences in intelligence test scores between different ethnic groups, men and women, people of low and high social status and young and old participants. For example females who were told that women are worse at chess than men, performed worse in a game of chess than females who were not told this.

Anyway, in conclusion, my grandfather was probably right, with his advice "try to not be the most intelligent person in the room, wherever you will be", if i see it this way. Are many other researches, most of them supporting the theory, some of them finding arguments against, but the common sense dictate that constant stimulation, coming from your peer group, will have indeed a role in developing better memory and above average intelligence skills.

Think about. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Equality and the advantage of being a genius

Today post is something special.
Did you ever meet people that think: It is not fair to be a genius, you can use others in unimaginable ways and they cannot ever realize it. Or all other kinds of moaning. And their possible solutions. Read the following short story. It is a "reductio ad absurdum", but was never more true than in today's society. Enjoy the lecture.

by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron's fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

"That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did," said Hazel.

"Huh" said George.

"That dance-it was nice," said Hazel.

"Yup," said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren't really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

"Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer," said George.

"I'd think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds," said Hazel a little envious. "All the things they think up."

"Um," said George.

"Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?" said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. "If I was Diana Moon Glampers," said Hazel, "I'd have chimes on Sunday-just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion."

"I could think, if it was just chimes," said George.

"Well-maybe make 'em real loud," said Hazel. "I think I'd make a good Handicapper General."

"Good as anybody else," said George.

"Who knows better than I do what normal is?" said Hazel.

"Right," said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

"Boy!" said Hazel, "that was a doozy, wasn't it?"

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

"All of a sudden you look so tired," said Hazel. "Why don't you stretch out on the sofa, so's you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch." She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around George's neck. "Go on and rest the bag for a little while," she said. "I don't care if you're not equal to me for a while."

George weighed the bag with his hands. "I don't mind it," he said. "I don't notice it any more. It's just a part of me."

"You been so tired lately-kind of wore out," said Hazel. "If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few."

"Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out," said George. "I don't call that a bargain."

"If you could just take a few out when you came home from work," said Hazel. "I mean-you don't compete with anybody around here. You just sit around."

"If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people'd get away with it-and pretty soon we'd be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

"I'd hate it," said Hazel.

"There you are," said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?"

If Hazel hadn't been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn't have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

"Reckon it'd fall all apart," said Hazel.

"What would?" said George blankly.

"Society," said Hazel uncertainly. "Wasn't that what you just said?

"Who knows?" said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, "Ladies and Gentlemen."

He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

"That's all right-" Hazel said of the announcer, "he tried. That's the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard."

"Ladies and Gentlemen," said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. "Excuse me-" she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

"Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen," she said in a grackle squawk, "has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous."

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen-upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrison's appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.

"If you see this boy," said the ballerina, "do not - I repeat, do not - try to reason with him."

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have - for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. "My God-" said George, "that must be Harrison!"

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood - in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

"I am the Emperor!" cried Harrison. "Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!" He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

"Even as I stand here" he bellowed, "crippled, hobbled, sickened - I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!"

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrison's scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubber-ball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

"I shall now select my Empress!" he said, looking down on the cowering people. "Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!"

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

"Now-" said Harrison, taking her hand, "shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!" he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. "Play your best," he told them, "and I'll make you barons and dukes and earls."

The music began. It was normal at first-cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while-listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it.

It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it.

And then, neutraling gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons' television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George. But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. "You been crying" he said to Hazel.

"Yup," she said.

"What about?" he said.

"I forget," she said. "Something real sad on television."

"What was it?" he said.

"It's all kind of mixed up in my mind," said Hazel.

"Forget sad things," said George.

"I always do," said Hazel.

"That's my girl," said George. He winced. There was the sound of a rivetting gun in his head.

"Gee - I could tell that one was a doozy," said Hazel.

"You can say that again," said George.

"Gee-" said Hazel, "I could tell that one was a doozy."