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The Boy with the Incredible Brain

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I'm seeing things in my head like little sparks flying off and its not until the very last moment that those sparks tell me what on earth they mean. I had never encountered anyone like this He absolutely blew my mind. To scientists, this man is a goldmine, a once in a lifetime opportunity. This could be the lynch pin that spawns off a new field of research. Why are they all so excited? Genius! It's not human. Daniel Tammet claims that since he was four years old He's been able to do huge calculations in his head. So, in August 2002 We dropped by, armed with a calculator. You can't see this calculator that I've got here, can you? We first asked Daniel to multiply 37 by itself, four times. OK ... 37 to the power of 4. One ... one million, ...eight hundred... ...and seventy four thousand... ...one hundred and sixty one. Amazing. Just to make sure that...people say that perhaps you just know a few of these off by heart, let me just choose another one. Next, we ask him to divide 13 by 97. Nought point one three four... zero two zero six... That's as far as my calculator goes. Brilliant ...one eight five five six seven... You're carrying on! I'm carrying on. Do you want me to stop, or...? How many points can you do it to? A hundred, nearly a hundred. At this point, we borrowed a computer that gave ust the answer to 32 decimal places. As he went on every single number was correct and he even surpassed the computer. You've reached the end of the computer. All a hundred percent. Amazing. When you're pointing to the table and doing shapes with your fingers, what's going on there? I'm seeing the numbers, but I'm not seeing them. It's strange. I'm seeing pictures, shapes and patterns. Almost like a square, like the texture of water, drops... ripples almost, like something reflective. It's something you can look through, almost metallic, a little bit like a flash. It sounds preposterous. But if it's true it blows away scientific theory. Daniel's brain seems to be doing something almost magical. It appears to be doing maths without him actually having to think. As if this wasn't enough Daniel is also a wizard with words. He knows nine languages and says he can learn to speak any one in just a week. How can Daniel do such enormous calculations in his head? And is it really possible to learn a language in just seven days? Currently a freelance tutor Daniel has agreed to be tested by scientists, and we will also be calling his bluff. Without warning, we'll give him a week to master a totally new language before going live on national television. But our journey begins in Oxford. In March 2004 Daniel took us by surprise with a dazzling memory stunt. The ambition is to remember Pi to 22,500 decimal places and to recite it in a live environment with envigilators who will be checking and making sure that the recitation is correct from start to finish. Pi is the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. It's a number with no pattern; it seems to be infinite. Daniel reckoned he could reel off the first 22 and a half thousand decimal places without a mistake. Two hours later and Daniel is barely halfway. Absolutely staggering. It's beautiful to listen to the flow of numbers. It's beautiful to see the concentration. It's always amazing to be in front of on of the world's extraordinary persons. It's almost religious. ...the recitation of numbers. It's mesmerising. After five hours and nine minutes Daniel is nearing the finish line. His recall has been flawless. Finished. It's gob-smackingly brilliant. Brilliant, yes, but does this mean that Daniel could also have learnt by heart thousands of different calculations? Or does he, as he claims have some strange power to see the answers in his head? His childhood holds a dramatic clue. One of nine children brought up in East London Daniel claims that he has been able to do massive calculations since he was only four. I had quite a severe seizure as a very small child, a series of seizures and a diagnosis of epilepsy was made. His childhood fits seem to have changed something in his brain. It's really from that time that I started to see pictures in my mind images started to form. Intuitively, Daniel also began to perceive the patterns within numbers. Cases like this are extremely rare. yet there are others who have also sufferered injury to the brain only to emerge with a startling and often similar kind of talent. Orlando Serrel was just ten when he received his fatal blow. Me and a couple of friends were playing baseball I was a batter, I ran to first base, the guy threw the ball and the ball hit me on the left side of my head. It was a hard hit right up in this area, right up in here. And I just laid on the ground I didn't go to hospital, didn't get no treatment, nothing.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 504
Posted by: englishonthenet on Jan 28, 2010

Daniel Paul Tammet (born 31 January 1979) is a writer who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autistic savant syndrome. His 2006 memoir "Born On A Blue Day," was a New York Times bestseller and was named a "Best Book for Young Adults" in 2008 by the American Library Association.

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