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Top Gear’s Richard Hammond recently mentioned that the main benefits of his death-defying crash are a head for numbers and a liking for celery. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who have even more impressive “superbrain” powers, as immortalised in the movie “Rain Man“. Their condition is known as “savant syndrome“, a mysterious disorder of the brain where someone has a spectacular skill, even genius, in a mind that is otherwise extremely limited.
There’s one person that bucks the trend though. Daniel Temmet is an Englishman who had epilepsy, developed “savant syndrome”, but he has no obvious mental problems. And it’s amazing to watch. The guy can speak seven languages and can recite Pi to 22,000 places. He’d be useful in a pub quiz…
So, here’s a CBS News piece about him (video is top right of the page), some discussion on him, and below are two 45 minute long documentary on him. Get a cup of tea – there’s some amazing viewing here.