A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Unexplained...Part 2

In the last blog I told that science has a lot of shortcomings when it comes to unexplained phenomena. And I cited The Iceman as one of those special humans who can exceed any normal human's limits when it comes to extreme cold.

Today, it is those with Savant Syndrome.

Savant Syndrome is a form of autism that is both limiting and extraordinary. The people who have this syndrome tend to perceive reality very differently than most other people. This reality severely limits their ability to perform what we perceive as normal functions, but enhances greatly their skills in other things. There are savants that can listen to music and instantly play it on an instrument. There are savants that can memorize whole books instantly. And there are savants that can instantly calculate math problems without much effort.

Take a look at this video below:

Then take a look at this article on how one "does the math".

"Actually, he isn't "calculating": there is nothing conscious about what he is doing. He arrives at the answer instantly. Since his epileptic fit, he has been able to see numbers as shapes, colours and textures. The number two, for instance, is a motion, and five is a clap of thunder. 'When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. The image starts to change and evolve, and a third shape emerges. That's the answer. It's mental imagery. It's like maths without having to think.'"
Our common algorithms for multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition are based on regular logic. You know, "carry the one", "cross out the zero and place a 9 in its place", multiplication tables, etc. Although these algorithms are quite quick to use, even without a calculator, we still need a bit of time to figure out the problem using this method.

To see numbers as a series of shapes, colors, and feelings, and to see them morph into the correct answer is nothing science can explain. It might be even safe to say that these mathematical savants can do mathematics on an entirely different level than us mere humans can.

Next up, Stephen Wiltshire, "The Human Camera" This is amazing!

To draw an accurately detailed skyline of a city after flying over it for 45 inutes is just extraordinary.  How he does it, again, science can't explain.

Again, it is quite limiting believe your reality is just based on what your five senses perceive. This is proof that there is a reality beyond the five senses and is ready to be tapped by people who are willing to expand their possibilities. If you can think "outside the box" and never set any limits to what you can do and work toward what you think is an "impossible goal", you might just amaze yourself and actually accomplish it.

Tomorrow will will be the last instalment of The Unexplained.

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