My own aggregation - I couldn't resist - I have several friends who are autistic

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 20:06.

  "Today is the 30th birthday of the man who holds the European record for reciting pi from memory, Daniel Paul Tammet. It took him five hours and nine minutes to recite 22,514 digits of pi (the number that begins 3.14). 

He was born in London in 1979, and he grew up autistic, epileptic, and with synesthesia, a rare condition in which a person has unique sensory experiences. He wrote a memoir called Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant (2007). It begins, "I was born on January 31, 1979 ��" a Wednesday. I know it was a Wednesday, because the date is blue in my mind and Wednesdays are always blue, like the number 9 or the sound of loud voices arguing." 

Tammet describes synesthesia as "a visual, emotional experience of numbers, a neurological mixing of the senses, which most commonly results in the ability to see alphabetical letters and/or numbers in color." Vladimir Nabokov was also a synesthete, and documented his perspectives and experiences in the memoir Speak, Memory. 

Daniel Tammet said, "Numbers are my friends, and they are always around me. Each one is unique and has its own personality"

From  ( I heard this on Garrison Keillor's the Writer's Almanac)


So how is it that our memories operate? Color? Color connected with other memories?  What's that all about?   

If our heads are just a big SD card, where's the color come in? 

I had dinner a few years ago with a 98 year old woman.   In our conversation about games - her childhood came up and she mentioned the name of a childhood friend she had played with when she was eight years old in Mansfield, Ohio.    The playmate's name was unusual - zelda or zoe - something with a z...

I asked the 98 year old lady when was the last time she had spoken that z name of her childhood friend.

"probably about 90 years ago", the old lady told  me. 

Crazy, I thought.   The name has been in the old ladies head all these years, never accessed, but still accessable. Wow!  Beats the hell out of Windows 2000!

The Waldorf School pedagogy ,  just as depicted in the spelling bee movie Akeelah and the Bee - emphasizes movement - in Akeelah it was jumping rope movement -  as a means of registering  memorization in the brain. (I am experienced with and convinced in the Waltdorf way)  

My friend David Sherman is a savant. 

The mind.   

Way out there.

Below is the story line from Alkeelah in the spelling bee from wikipedia



"After reuniting with Dr. Larabee, Akeelah goes to Washington, D.C. with her mother, oldest brother, best friend, principal, and Dr. Larabee, unaware that her coach has paid for four of their tickets. On the plane, Akeelah sits next to Javier, who has an aversion to heights, and kisses him on the cheek. Akeelah and Georgia rekindle their friendship after she invites Georgia to accompany her toWashington D.C.At the competition, her performance is solid and steady, much of it thanks to her "jump rope" strategy from Dr. Larabee. With only a few stumbles, she is smiled on as a crowd favorite. Javier and Dylan also compete; Javier is eliminated on "Merovingian" which he spells Marovingian, finishing 5th, and begins rooting for Akeelah. The other finalists, Mary Calveretti and Rajeeve Subramonian misspell "mithridatism" and "vitrophyre," respectively. Finally, it is down to Dylan and Akeelah, and the two finalists are allowed a brief break before continuing with the 25 championship words. During the break, Akeelah overhears Dylan's father warning him that if he gets second place this year, his last chance at becoming middle-school champion, he will be second place for life.


Akeelah attempts to throw the competition by deliberately misspelling "xanthosis." Dylan, knowing that Akeelah deliberately misspelled the word, intentionally misspells it as well. While the judging board discusses this unlikely occurrence, Dylan tells Akeelah that he only wants to win fair and square, scoffing his father's do-or-die attitude. They both go word for word up to number 24. Dylan correctly spells "logorrhea", earning him at least a share of first place, and Akeelah spells "pulchritude" correctly to become co-champion. As she does so, Akeelah has a vision of relatives, neighbors, and Mr. Welch each contributing one letter to the word. Her victory raises cheers from Washington, D.C. to California."



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