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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Savant Syndrome and Kim Peek

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."– Annie Dillard

How many of you remember the movie Rain Man? Dustin Hoffman played an autistic savant in the movie. Screenwriter Barry Morrow was inspired by Kim Peek a non- autistic savant and created the eventual character Raymond Babbitt for the film. Mr. Peek is actually a warm and engaging personality who enjoys the attention from others.
Kim was born in 1951 with a very unusual brain. His brain is very large nearing 5 pounds in weight which is about the 97th percentile in size for humans. He has no corpus callosum, which is the band of fibers that connects the right and left cerebral hemispheres. Also absent are the anterior and posterior commissures or two other connecting pathways between the two hemispheres. Also, his cerebellum part of the brain dealing with balance and coordination is small, underdeveloped, and malformed.
At age 16 to 20 months, Kim was able to memorize every book that was read to him while his parents moved his finger along each sentence being read. At age 3 he read the dictionary to look up words according to the alphabet. He memorizes the book after a single reading. He memorized the Tom Clancy book The Hunt for Red October in a little over an hour.  He has read and can recall exactly the contents of over 9000 books.
Kim does lightning fast calendar calculations. When given someone’s date of birth, Kim can rather instantly say what day of the week the birthday fell, what day of the week it will fall on this year, and the day of the week that the person will attain at the retirement age of 65. He is also a walking Map Quest being able to provide specific driving directions and mileage between addresses in the United States.
Since the movie Rain Man, Kim has become famous. He has become more social and outgoing and has traveled over 1,000,000 miles and has appeared before 2 million people. He has memorized hundreds of classical musical compositions and beginning in June of 2002 has begun to play them on the piano. One might say that fame has gone to his head but in this case in a good way. This information was presented in a continuing education class on cerebral dominance.
So even a savant has been able to develop and lead a more productive life despite some of the other limitations. The moral of the story is to develop what you have and become all that is possible. It might be to your advantage to begin thinking about changes in life’s direction since only you are the captain of the ship.


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