One of the world's most brilliant, mysterious lights has gone out. We lost Kim Peek, the savant who was the inspiration for the film "Rain Man." His father reports that he died of a massive heart attack on Saturday morning.

Kim was a truly astonishing, completely unique example of the fascinating variety possible within the human spectrum. To learn more about him or to leave a message of condolence for his father, you may wish to start here:

http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/kim_peek


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Comments

CuddleFish Dec. 22, 2009 @ 9:15 p.m.

Wow, thanks for this, AG, what a fascinating story.

It's sad, of course, especially for the father who devoted his life to his son, on the other hand, when I was watching the movie, I wondered who would take care of Kim if and when his father passed away. I'm sure his father wondered about that too, and worried.

Thanks for sharing this.

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PistolPete Dec. 23, 2009 @ 9:11 a.m.

Thanks for posting this AG. Kim was a VERY special gift to us on loan from the heavens above. They took him back way too soon. I was once called an idiot savant by a clinical psychologist. I was quick to tell her that I'm more idiot than savant. ;-D

One of the reasons I soak up such obscure knowledge is because I'm an Aquarius. Aquarians are known for listening intently to what people say, latching on to something obscure said and applying a mystical knowledge about it. Our brains work like radar.

http://www.astrology-online.com/aquarius.htm FDR, Dick Martin and Vanessa Redgrave share a birthday with me. Mozart, Abe Lincoln and James Dean were all Aquarians.

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MsGrant Dec. 24, 2009 @ 4:04 p.m.

I hope you know I meant no disrespect when I referred to rainman in my comments. I worked tirelessly for a year for Cure Autism Now. I've always felt that autism was a euphanism for genius. I don't mean me. I can count in my head, but Kim Peek was what I was referring to.

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antigeekess Dec. 25, 2009 @ 2:18 a.m.

Re #3:
Oh, I know, Grant. The timing of the comment (which was an innocent one about doing mathematical calculations in one's noggin) was just odd. Kim's death wasn't reported by the media until a couple days later, as far as I can tell, and I wondered if you had earlier knowledge of it.

But to get a couple of facts straight, Kim was actually not autistic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200912/going-home-christmas-goodbye-kim-peek

From the Today Show, 10 years ago: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34575495#34575495

He remembered almost every word of every book he'd ever read -- thousands of them, including phone books. (Fran's guess was 98%.) He could read "sideways, upside down, even when he's talking." He read the left page with his left eye while he read the right page with the right eye.

Wikipedia states that he likely had FG Syndrome, of which agenesis of the corpus callosum (which Kim had) is symptomatic. Another feature of that condition is mental retardation. So at first glance, this diagnosis does not sound like a fit. However, his I.Q. tested at 73.

So it seems that one of the world's greatest minds was actually "retarded" by our standards. Shows how much we know. The recommendation to his father was to have him lobotomized.

Our greatest living savant may just be this guy, an epileptic Aspergian, with synesthesia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbASOc...

Take a look. Utterly amazing. Unlike Kim Peek, his specialty is advanced mathematical calculations, beyond the capability of a computer. Recited Pi to 22,500 places. Accurately.

He knows nine languages. A new one takes him about a week to learn.

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antigeekess Dec. 25, 2009 @ 2:19 a.m.

Re #2: At least your clinical psychologist was half right. That's 50% better than some of them. ;)

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antigeekess Dec. 25, 2009 @ 2:28 a.m.

Re #1: You're right, Cuddle. Kim's father, Fran, did worry about what would happen to Kim after he was gone. He had talked about this. It's the one situation in which it may be best that parents outlive their children.

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CuddleFish Dec. 25, 2009 @ 6:04 a.m.

Great information, AG, enjoyed watching the video about Daniel, too.

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MsGrant Dec. 25, 2009 @ 9:16 a.m.

Amazing. I often think that these two and those like them have access to the unlimited ability of our brains that is closed off the the rest of us. Infinite, like the universe. It's almost scary but really fascinating.

The timing of my comment was a strange coincidence to the sad passing of Kim.

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PistolPete Dec. 25, 2009 @ 9:31 a.m.

Daniel Tammet is further proof that there are more geniuses born under the star sign of Aquarius than any other. Simply AMAZING!

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antigeekess Dec. 25, 2009 @ 1:25 p.m.

Re #8: Well, Grant, the interesting thing about Kim Peek's brain is that he had agenesis of the corpus callosum -- the tissue that normally joins the 2 halves of the brain was missing. His were separated. It's interesting to me when things that are classified as "abnormalities" or mutations somehow seem to enable GREATER abilities in some areas. Of course, it's not for certain that there was any cause-and-effect relationship there at all. We just don't know. We do know that agenesis of the CC does tend to have some specific symptoms that are often confused with Aspergers Syndrome or Autism.

I've been interested in things like the nature of genius and different learning styles for a while now. I was finally diagnosed with ADD (or ADHD, if you prefer) back when I was 31. It's the physically nonhyperactive, exclusively mental type that interferes with concentration, scattering focus. I'm much better at learning things via video or kinesthetically than sitting still and trying to concentrate on something that doesn't move.

I often say that my mind works in terms of something like constant Freudian "free association." Most people have trouble doing this. I have trouble NOT doing it. While it makes it difficult for me to sit and read nonconversational material, it also makes it possible for me to make associations, connections and analogies that wouldn't occur to others.

The papers I wrote throughout my sporadic college career were always a mixture of disciplines. I could never write within the confines of a single subject, much less trawl through the godawful tedium of deciding exactly WHAT I was going to write about and coming up with a THESIS statement. How the hell should I know?

I was (and am) also a horrible procrastinator. The earliest I ever started on a paper was 3 days before its due date, and that was a graduate-level paper on Einstein that I was supposed to have been working on all semester.

Other "good" students -- and professors -- were appalled at my methods, or rather my lack thereof. All I could ever say to their queries about what I was writing on was, "I dunno. Hasn't written itself yet. It'll come."

This seemed to aggravate people. Can't imagine why. :)

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MsGrant Dec. 25, 2009 @ 3:34 p.m.

Regarding the left and right hemispheres of the brain and the fact that Kim Peek's brain was missing the tissue that joins them, maybe that tissue is what separates them. You hear of left and right thinking people. MAYBE the absence of this tissue allowed both halves of his brain to work together, like a computer. Nature may have placed this tissue there to prevent us from utilizing our entire brain capacity. Could you imagine all of us with those capabilities? Nothing would get done.

"This seemed to aggravate people. Can't imagine why. :"

An insanely intelligent GIRL, that does not need to study?!??! Oh, I bet you bug the s*** out of people, smartypants. I know all about this.

I don't make mistakes at work. I work in a business with huge potential for error and no margin for it. I have pissed off many a co-worker, and boss for that matter, because I don't need intervention. Ever. I can open a file and from that point on I remember EVERY detail associated with it. Co-workers work on my files and offer friendly suggestions about how to make it easier for them to work on but would create a tremendous amount of unnecessary work for me. I just tell them I can pull any file and know the entire history of it without having to create or utilize multiple resources designed to help jog memory. Just ask me.

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CuddleFish Dec. 25, 2009 @ 3:42 p.m.

Ooooh, dang, MsG, you've just impressed the heck out of me!!!

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antigeekess Dec. 25, 2009 @ 8:02 p.m.

Re #11:

Heehee. Talk about a smartypants. (That's your new name, BTW. Smartypants Grant.)

I don't have anything close to that ability. Quite the opposite. I'm the Queen of Mnemonics. I color code, make up stupid sayings to remember things, etc. I'm a ridiculously super-organized anal-retentive freak, because I know that I can NOT hold all that s*** in my head. Not that it matters anyway, because MY job doesn't amount to squat.

So, I don't make too many mistakes either, but it's because I have a system. Most of my coworkers, however?

http://files.byondhome.com/Teka123/2008-12/IcewarriorX-0001/borat_not.jpg

And guess who ends up playing the role of the cavalry to these hopelessly disorganized eejits? Drives me nuts.

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Duhbya Dec. 26, 2009 @ 8:06 a.m.

RE #9: "...there are more geniuses born under the star sign of Aquarius than any other. Simply AMAZING!"

And let's not leave out Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin!!! TRULY amazing!!!

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PistolPete Dec. 26, 2009 @ 8:40 a.m.

There's always exceptions to the rule. ;-D

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MsGrant Dec. 26, 2009 @ 10:15 a.m.

But I can't remember a phone number or someone's name to save my life. I guess all that control at work makes me somewhat of a slacker in most other areas.

For some reason or another, I keep singing The Age of Aquarius....

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nan shartel Dec. 26, 2009 @ 11:15 a.m.

he was a miracle unto himself eh?

love this miniblog anti G

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PistolPete Dec. 26, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m.

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius....Age of Aquarius...

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antigeekess Dec. 26, 2009 @ 7:44 p.m.

Ooooooohhh yeeeaaah, peeps. Went looking for that hilarious "Age of Aquarius" scene from the 40-Year-Old Virgin and found this coolio sh*t instead:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP2P_dmY0PY

Unfortunately, I won't be buying a copy of this dude's book. Look at how much the darn thing is selling for! But look at the REVIEWS (which I assume are legitimate. One never knows).

http://www.amazon.com/Aquarians-Ancient-Prophecy%C2%97-Modern-Phenomenon/dp/0595443028/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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MsGrant Dec. 27, 2009 @ 1:49 p.m.

That was really cool, AG!! I am saving that. I actually got a little choked up. (Don't say it, Pete. I know what you're thinking...)

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CuddleFish Dec. 27, 2009 @ 2:35 p.m.

Oh dang, that's a lot of moolah!!! Waddupwidat?

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antigeekess Dec. 27, 2009 @ 5:27 p.m.

Re #21:

Good news, Cuddle. I forgot for a second that only suckas depend on Amazon.

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=10467960&qcond=6&wquery=%22the+aquarians%22+rankin&qsort=p&matches=3&cm_sp=workslistingbuynew

Good ole alibris.com. Always a wallet saver.

:)

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antigeekess Dec. 27, 2009 @ 6:05 p.m.

Re #20:

Yeah, I like it a lot, too. What I haven't really looked into is exactly 'what' the Mayan calendar says about 2012. Does it explicitly say it's bloody Armageddon, a time of global change, just end abruptly at that point, or what?

What I can say with some confidence is that the U.S. is completely lost ethically, and entirely corrupt from top to bottom due to greed. I finally just started reading this:

http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Cures-They-Dont-About/dp/0975599518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261963861&sr=8-1

...in which controversial author and pitch man Trudeau fleshes out the FDA/FTC/BigPharma unholy trinity. I'm on the fence about Trudeau. He's been painted as a complete shyster (which he might be), but it's just as likely that it's all a big smear campaign against him by the very institutions he's writing about, whose tentacles extend into the media as well. My impression so far is that he's a legitimate whistleblower who may be embellishing a bit, kind of in the same category as a Michael Moore.

The U.S. is on the decline, socially, economically, spiritually, physically, ethically, etc. It's like the fall of Rome. The rest of the world is hungry, on the upswing and kicking some serious ASS, mostly ours. Take a look at this:

http://www.burjdubai.com/

Take a look at that thing. Make sure you sit through the little slideshow, so you can see how it compares to the rest of the skyline. It's 2700 feet tall. For reference the Sears (Willis) Tower, tallest building in the world from 1973 to 1998, is 1450 feet tall.

The Burj Dubai is almost twice as tall as the Sears Tower. It opens next week, on January 4. There are 30,000 apartments in it, and nine hotels. We might make ourselves feel a little better by the fact that it was designed by American architect Adrian Smith, from Chicago. :)

If the pics don't give you an idea of how massive this thing is, check it out on Google Earth. What looks like a massive Ford T-bird symbol overtaking the entire city is in fact the Burj Dubai and its shadow.

In between the Sears/Willis Tower and the Burj Dubai have been the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petronas...

and most recently the Tapei 101, in China: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei_101

...which was only 1670 feet, even at the tip of its spire.

The point of this little architectural trip around the world is that skyscrapers have always been symbolic structures for a culture. Based on this, ours has apparently reached its zenith and is now in decline. I find it interesting that the title of world's tallest has once again been returned to the Middle East, for the first time since the Great Pyramid of Giza's reign of 3800 years.

I'm not sure what's going to happen in 2012 that isn't happening already. But the times definitely are a changin'.

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CuddleFish Dec. 27, 2009 @ 6:06 p.m.

Wow, that's a big difference, hey?

Shoot, I'm one of those suckers that buys my music off Amazon, I guess I should do some shopping around ....

Oooooh, by the way, been meaning to tell you, that Adam Lambert CD ain't half bad. :)

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