Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Gregg Zone !!

1) First up this week online calculators; this is where I started with personal calculators, for travel expenses, tax returns, currency, mortgage, investment returns and finances, is where I wound up, a site I found for online calculators that is very extensive. Want to calculate carbon decay? How about calculating how much water to use on your corn crop, based on time and temperature charts for your county? This site has calculator links for everything 28,880 of them, by 4,415 contributing individuals, and businesses.

Here is another site with some interesting decision making tools, like memory tools and tricks, time management, problem solving, etc. Mostly free, but you can spend money if you want. I liked the tools here quite a lot, and will be back to try and find some new ways to teach this old dog some new tricks.

2) The rest of today is about savants, this line of interest was rekindled in me due to seeing a kid on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show”. An amazing six year old kid playing the piano, not only could he play, and remember over 200 songs. But, what I found almost as amazing as his piano skills; was the interview part of the show. I thought his language and understanding skills, were almost as impressive. In the interview part of the show he was more like a high school age kid or young adult, than a six year old kid. I have two sites here for you, this first one is about his Leno appearance, and this second one is a link to Ethan’s web page, where you can not only find his repertoire, complete with videos for a lot of them, but also his history, event schedule, and other tidbits you might find interesting..

3) Watching the Leno show sparked memory of a B.B.C. documentary I had seen quite a while back. I remembered how impressed I was with the subject matter, which I thought was some how related to this kid playing the piano, I was driven to do a search on the net. Google rules!! This is a very cool program. The movie is about a young boy savant, but he is different because, he is not impaired like most other savants, and he is far more rounded in his abilities. The movie is about B.B.C. taking him to several universities here in the states for testing, he does some impossible math, including reciting pi out to 25,000 decimals, stops at the correct place without assistance, and he does it without a single error it took him 5 ½ hours. While on trip with B.B.C. he learned a new language in one week (Icelandic one of the most difficult). In a previous interview somewhere, he had said he could learn a language in seven days, so the B.B.C challenged him to do it in route, while on the trip he learned the new language in one week (Icelandic one of the most difficult). I suppose I could draw a thousand parallels to implications with the Leno show. For instance, pay close attention to the kid hit in the head playing stick ball in New York, after getting hit; he gets up, and suddenly has a remarkable (to say the least) ability, if you give him a date, any date, he can tell you not only what day of the week it falls on, but if since his accident he can also tell you the weather in his town. Here is the B.B.C. movie link, “The Boy, With the Incredible Brain” (48 min.) Now my question to you, would be… should you chose to try and answer, is this; Given that incredible stunt in Las Vegas on the B.B.C. trip (intuition over memory), a three year old boy is playing a piano without lessons (and at six he’s on Leno), a kid hit in the head can do past weather reports, even though he never read them. A boy of two is able to read, and memorize the first several volumes of the encyclopedia; he knows the alphabet, and how to read, without being taught, in the video he sits down and plays a piano as an adult without lessons (interested? See next link). What I want to know is where does the information come from? Can I learn to do this; is it possible for me to do this also, after all the kid from New York was an acquired savant, so can I also acquire it? Answer: Yes!!!! See the last link entry.

4) The next link is for “Tim Peak the Real Rain Man”; they speak for them selves, just amazing stuff. link is for a 5 part google movie, but a google search on rain man will bring up a lot more.

5) Just in case you want to be a “savant for a day” I have a links for that, first a link to a New York Times article on how it is done, and what to expect, here’s that. Now for a place to visit where you can experiment with the process

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