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The Boy with the incredible Brain
Posted: 18 May 2007 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Daniel Tammet first came to worldwide attention in March 2004 on international Pi Day (3/14, of course) when he recited, from memory, Pi to 22,514 decimal places. It took over five hours and set a new European record. The event, which Daniel named “Pi in the Sky”, coincided with Einstein’s birthday and took place in front of Einstein’s blackboard at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, England. Daniel used that event to raise funds for the National Society for Epilepsy because it was after a series of childhood seizures that his extraordinary number and memory abilities began, aligning him with that rare circumstance of the ‘acquired savant’ in which such exceptional skills surface following some CNS injury or disease. He is proud of the monies raised on behalf of this organization, and certainly gave this worthy cause a good deal of visibility.

In addition to number and massive memory skills, Daniel has exceptional language skills as well. He speaks French, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Esperanto and Icelandic. He learned the difficult Icelandic language in seven days which was carefully documented in the one hour film about Daniel titled The Boy with the incredible Brain.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3372301236664593143&hl=nl

(50min)

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Posted: 18 May 2007 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The Discovery Channel had a documentary about idiot savants, or whatever they’re calling them today.  After that they had one about Tammet.  He seems to be a rare case of a functionally able savant, meaning he has many of the symptoms and emotional/development issues, but he also is able to function in normal society without supervision.  He has the same ‘disassociation’ with certain things that allows him to process information in a completely different manner from the rest of us.  He says that each number has a unique look and ‘feel’ to them in his mind, and this is the same no matter how large the number grows - he’s capable of remembering them all.  This allows him to process mathematical calculations in just by thinking about the numbers involved. They move around and take on new forms which turns out to be the answer. 

He’s an interesting person, and is well aware of his abilities and disabilities.  He met Kim Peek (Rain Man) on the show, and it was interesting seeing someone who is actually self aware of his excellences and limitations compare them to the ‘classic’ example.

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Posted: 18 May 2007 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I remember a similar guy on a show a few months ago. He had a very mild kind of autism and was perfectly socially coherent. As an experiment he learned Icelandic (and its alphabet) in a week.

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Posted: 18 May 2007 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This was that same guy.  He demonstrated his abilities on an Icelandic TV show after only having been told the week before what language he was supposed to learn.  It was very amazing.

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Heaven must be really boring, if you think about it logically.
All the angels must be snoring.  Who could stand perfection for eternity?

Not me. - George Hrab

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Posted: 18 May 2007 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’d use that ability to fight crime.


Or commit it. Depending on my mood.

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Posted: 19 May 2007 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Renquist - 19 May 2007 01:33 AM

I’d use that ability to fight crime.


Or commit it. Depending on my mood.

LOL

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