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Happy Birthday, Daniel Tammet!

Today, Daniel Tammet [wiki], the savant that holds the European record for remembering pi to 22,514th digit, is 10,220 days or 245,280 hours (that's 28 years for us non-savants).

mental_floss got the story:

A lot of savants can do things that no normal person can do, like tell you what day of the week August 18, 1876 was without consulting an almanac, in about five seconds (it was a Friday), multiply 27 to the power of four in his head (531,441) or memorize and recite long strings of numbers with ease. But there are a few things he can do that even most savants cannot. For instance, he once learned functional Icelandic in a week, and recited pi to several thousand places from memory (without errors — it took more than five hours).


He was on 60 Minutes this past weekend.

He is notable because he is only marginally suffering from autism - Asperger's Syndrome. He apparently functions normally or close to normal when interacting with other people.

He seemed quite sweet and charming in the 60 Minutes piece.

The 60 Minutes episode - transcript and video - are here:

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I saw the 60 Minutes profile also. Very interesting fellow, but I wish Morley Safer's questions had been a little better. I know Mr. Tammet has submitted himself to a bunch of studies and tests--it would be interesting to take a look at those to see what they predict about his (and our?) brain function & capacity.
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i remember seeing a program on savants on the discovery channel, his segment was the main portion of the show. it showed video clips of him while on an icelandic talk show!
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I'm reading the book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" right now, by Oliver Sacks -- it's a testament to the amazing depth and remaining mystery of the human mind, just like this (amazing) guy.
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