Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Somewhere, a sign language translator silently weeps...

A few months back I posted about this guy who could rattle off all 50 US states in 17 seconds.

At the time, I mentioned that he maybe should have covered his eyes or blindfolded himself of something to really prove to any naysayers that he wasn't simply reading a list just out of camera range. Not to doubt his verbal agility, mind you. I was just critiquing his... showmanship.

Well, yesterday I heard from Christopher, the aforementioned reciter himself (heretofore to be referred to as Mister SwiftyFifty). He affirmed that he was indeed reciting all 50 states from memory in just 17 seconds. In fact, in order to lay all doubt to rest, Mister SwiftyFifty has posted a New 'N' Improved YouTube video. Now with 100% more eye-closing goodness!

All well and good, until I ran across this video from someone called Thrond, who manages to recite all 66 books of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) the Book of Mormon, the 50 US States, the alphabet backwards, and all 43 United States Presidents in just under 60 seconds.(!)

For the full list of exactly what he is reciting (and notice he does indeed have his eyes closed during the performance), you can read it (and try to follow along yourself) here.

More critiquing, both negative and positive:
- Unfortunately, it's rather hard to understand what he is saying.

+ What do you expect? At 270 words (by my count) in 60 seconds, he is spitting out 4.5 words per second!

+ Best moment? When he starts getting into the groove and whips off those glasses!

Ha! Nosing around a bit further, I see a 2.0 version of this video with an additional listing of every Academy Award winner and helpful visual aids. While in this one it's not so obvious whether he is going from memory or not, it's still pretty dang cool.

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1 comment:

Ryan Reeder said...

Posted yesterday. Cool. That means I found this fast.

Your title: "Somewhere, a sign language translator silently weeps..." was awesome. I laughed.

I'm Ryan Reeder, credited as "thrond" in the latter two videos. I didn't do any reading in the recitations (of course). I know the visual aids make that point a little more suspicious, but hey, what are you gonna do?

I notice as I'm writing this that you're also a Ken Jennings fan. I did another video on that topic a while back that you might want to check out if you're so inclined.

Thanks for the mention, and glad you liked the videos.