Can a speed-listener keep up?
It’s a battle royale of the senses: speed listening vs. listening vs. reading.
To find out how one’s choice of intake affects comprehension, the Star’s Nick Patch, Ryan Porter and Lauren Pelley speed-listened, listened to and read The Martian, respectively.
Then they took this five-question quiz (spoiler alert if you haven’t read or seen The Martian).
Here’s how they did:
1. What kind of music did Commander Melissa Lewis take with her to Mars?
a) rock b) country c) disco d) hip-hop e) electronica
Answer: C. Everyone aced this, though speed-listener Nick admits to “guessing wildly.”
2. What’s the name of the Mars mission?
a) Apollo 18 b) Mars Lander 2 c) Discovery 7 d) Ares 3 e) Pathfinder 2
Answer: D. Also a three out of three, and the only question Nick was confident in.
3. The daring spacecraft slingshot trajectory proposed by a NASA designer is known as:
a) The Hail Mary Pass b) The Venkat Kapoor Maneuvre c) The Rich Purnell Maneuvre d) The Donald Trump Switchback
Answer: C. Only Lauren, a.k.a. the one who actually read the book with her eyes, knew this.
4. What does stranded astronaut Watney use to help start a fire on Mars?
a) A NASA instruction manual b) A crewmate’s crucifix c) A cassette music tape d) A roll of toilet paper
Answer: B. Apparently Ryan was the only one listening—no one else got this.
5. What Earth celebration were the real potatoes Watney finds in the Mars provisions packed by NASA intended for?
a) Easter b) Christmas c) Thanksgiving d) Watney’s birthday Answer: C. Everyone knew this, but Nick admits it was an educated guess. Afterall, what is Thanksgiving without potatoes?
Regular-audio-listener Ryan and reader Lauren both scored four out of five. Meanwhile, we can deduce from Nick’s three out of five score — including a couple of “guesses” — that speed-listening only works if your multiple choice game is super strong.