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Cardenal Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti (19 September 1.774 – 15 March 1.849) was an Italian cardinal and famed linguist and hyperpolyglot. ...

Cardenal Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti (19 September 1.774 – 15 March 1.849) was an Italian cardinal and famed linguist and hyperpolyglot.

Born and educated in Bologna, he completed his theological studies before he had reached the minimum age for ordination as a priest; he was ordained in 1.797.

In the same year, he became professor of Arabic at the University of Bologna.

He later lost the position for refusing to take the oath of allegiance required by the Cisalpine Republic, which governed Bologna at the time.

In 1.803 he was appointed assistant librarian of the Institute of Bologna, and soon afterwards was reinstated as professor of Oriental languages and of Greek.

The chair of Oriental languages was suppressed by the viceroy in 1.808, but again rehabilitated on the restoration of Pope Pius VII in 1.814.

Mezzofanti held this post until he left Bologna to go to Rome in 1.831 as a member of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Congregatio de Propaganda Fide), the Catholic Church's governing body for missionary activities.

In 1.833, he succeeded Angelo Mai as Custodian in Chief of the Vatican Library, and in 1.838 was made cardinal of the title of St. Onofrio al Gianicolo and director of studies in the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

His other diverse interests included ethnology, archaeology, numismatics, and astronomy.

List of languages spoken

Mezzofanti was well known for being a hyperpolyglot who fluently spoke thirty-nine languages.

Also, the study by Russell indicates that many of the dialects are so different that they actually should be seen as a separate language.

Classifying the languages and dialects according to today's language system, over 150 years later, would be a separate study.

The list, in the conclusion of his study :

"Languages frequently tested, and spoken with rare excellence."

Biblical Hebrew
Rabbinical Hebrew
Ancient Armenian
Modern Armenian
Ancient Greek
Modern Greek
Czechish, or Bohemian

"Stated to have been spoken fluently, but hardly sufficiently tested."


Harry Lorayne (born 1.926) is an American magician and a memory-training specialist and writer who was called "The Yoda of Memory Tr...

Harry Lorayne (born 1.926) is an American magician and a memory-training specialist and writer who was called "The Yoda of Memory Training" by Time magazine. 

He is well known for his mnemonic demonstrations and has appeared on numerous television shows including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. 

His book The Memory Book was a New York Times bestseller. 

His card magic, especially his innovations in card sleights, is widely emulated by amateur and professional magicians.

Life and career

He grew up in New York's Lower East Side and he learned sleight of hand at the Hamilton Fish Park in the 1.930s. 

At age 18, he began to perform as a table magician at Billy Reed's Little Club at 70 E. 55th St. in New York. 

The actor Victor Jory, noted for his role as a magician detective, was a regular visitor to the club. 

Lorayne started performing memory tricks for Jory and Jory's enthusiastic response changed Lorayne's approach to performing.
He began appearing on national television in 1.963 (after hosting a local show of his own in 1.951, The Prof. Magic Show), first on I've Got a Secret, where he demonstrated his ability to remember everybody's name in the audience.

Later appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and numerous other television shows including Jack Paar, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Regis Philbin Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, That's Incredible, David Susskind. 

He was a regular performer (23 times) on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

To demonstrate his memory, Harry Lorayne would stand beside the president of the club he was visiting and be introduced to each member. 

The number of members of a club could reach up to 1,500. 

After an hour and a half, Lorayne would speak about memory for about 20 minutes and then ask if anyone had a question. 

He promised that he would pay any questioner whose name he could not remember a thousand dollars. He always remembered the names of every member of the audience.

Lorayne also made news by memorizing and recalling information from phone books with no errors. 

On just about every public appearance demonstrating his memory abilities, he would meet all the people in the audience, then he would open his show by asking all the people he met to please stand. 

He'd ask them to sit down as, and if, he pointed to each person and said his or her name. 

He sat down everyone in the audience. He had a memory school in New York employing such instructors as Darwin Ortiz. 

His video course (Memory Power) was used as part of the training of many top corporations.

Harry Lorayne is a prolific author of memory training books intended for the public, as well as writing books for professional magicians. 

His ''The Memory Book'' has sold over two million copies, whilst in Chronicles: Volume One, Bob Dylan writes that he read Lorayne's book shortly before breaking through as a music star after finding it in the book collection of a friend.

For twenty years, Lorayne wrote and published the monthly magazine Apocalypse. 

He is also a columnist for Genii (magazine).

Publications :

How To Develop a Super Power Memory (1957)
Harry Lorayne's Secrets of Mind Power (1961)
Close-Up Card Magic (1962)
Personal Secrets (1964)
The Harry Lorayne Memory Isometrics Course (1968)
My Favorite Card Tricks (1965)
Dingle's Deceptions (1966)
Miracle Math (1966)
Best of Bill-fooled (1967)
Deck-Sterity (1967)
Reputation-Makers (1971)
Tarbell #7 (1972)
The Great Divide (1972)
Good Memory - Good Student! A Guide to Remembering What To Learn (1972)
Rim Shots (1973)
Afterthoughts (1975)
The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play (1974)
The Epitome Location (1976)
Remembering People (The Key To Success) (1976)
The Magic Book (1977)
The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel (1978)
Quantum Leaps (1979)
Best of Friends, Vol. 1 (1982)
Memory Makes Money (1985)
Best of Friends, Vol. 2 (1985)
Star Quality (1987)
Super Memory, Super Student: How to Raise Your Grades in 30 Days (1990)
Trend Setters (1990)
Doug Edwards Packs A Wallop (1997)
Complete Guide To Memory Mastery (1998)
The Himber Wallet Book (1998)
Personal Collection (2001)
How to get Rich Using the power of your mind (2003)
The Classic Collection, Volume 1 (contains Close-Up Card Magic, Personal Secrets, My Favorite Card Tricks, Deck-Sterity, The Epitome Location) (2005)
Ageless Memory: Simple Secrets for Keeping Your Brain Young (2007)
Best of Friends, Vol. 3 (2007)
The Classic Collection, Volume 2 (containing Reputation-Makers, Rim Shots, Afterthoughts) (2008)
The Classic Collection, Volume 3 (contains Quantum Leaps, Trend Setters, Dingle's Deceptions, The Great Divide) (2010)
Special Effects (2011)
The Classic Collection, Volume 4 (containing The Magic Book, Star Quality, The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel) (2012)

Columns : 

Apocalypse Magazine - 1978-1997
Genii Magazine

Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with severe autism with just two years and experts said they might never read or tie their shoes. At 14,...

Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with severe autism with just two years and experts said they might never read or tie their shoes.

At 14, the young Barnett pursuing a Ph.D. in quantum physics.

The brilliant mind of this child prodigy Indiana, United States, nearly lost in a disease that often parents do not know how to cope.

Since I was diagnosed, Jacob Barnett, Jake, for friends, did not speak again.

They were long hours spent at home surrounded Jacob special education experts that guided him in a sort of endless therapy exercises strict, focused on developing its most basic skills to remove the child from what is believed to be a disease that mark lifetime.

"When Jacob spoke again, it was in four languages," said her mother, Kristine Barnett in an interview with the Bbc.

Then, Barnett had already realized the special talent of his son.

Since childhood, has Kristine Barnett, "memorized every street in the cities where we travel and then recreated the flat on the floor of our house with sticks."

"Jacob memorized every street in the cities where we travel and then recreated the flat on the floor of our house with sticks"

Recite the alphabet run from beginning to end-including the Z to mathematical patterns or draw on the ground with a rope were the most common exercises for Jacob Barnett, who trained in the silence of autism.

Once surpassed the speech at age 4, Jacob began an outstanding learning that would take him to college with just 11 years.

A year later he received a salary as quantum physics researcher helped students of the University in his work as "assistant professor".

Now, at 14 years, this student of Indiana University is completing a PhD in quantum physics "by the hand of his guardian" as specific to the Bbc young.

The mother of the child prodigy, Kristine Barnett, picks up his story in a book that the difficulties and spectacular discoveries that has passed since his son was diagnosed with mild autism, almost severe.

The news was devastating for the family.

As told Bbc Breakfast TV, initially struggled to find the right education for Jacob.

After dealing with therapists daily, Kristine Barnett decided to take the education of their child and prepare to go to school with other children: they had forgotten to provide a childhood as that of others.

"Why we have worked to 'fix' Jacob?

Increasingly more locked himself in books huddled in the corners of the house and was not playing with friends, "said the mother.

The secret to help you shine was to focus on the positive aspects of Jacob and allow the child to do what he did best: fill the floor and walls of mathematical models.

"Only by surrounding kids love and what they like to be able to make the best of them"

Jacob knew what he was doing. "For me, those employers had much sense."

His mother was the first to realize the rough diamond that had at home.

"We went out one day to see the stars. We lay on the roof of the car, listening to jazz, and had a fabulous time mother and son. 

Months later, we went to a local planetarium and Jacob raised his hand to answer all the questions a teacher made to a group of students.

They were complex physical concepts that a child of three years and a half does not understand, "he said.

"The problem posed in that class was trivial," he said as he laughed nervously.

At the age of 8 years, the obsession with the universe had invaded to the point that she started going to classes at the university.

He sat in the last row, in silence, but I could not avoid answering all the teacher's questions. No failed one.

For Kristine Barnett, who knew how to handle the extraordinary mind of Jacob and cope with their disease, all children "have a special gift."

The best, he says, is knowing surround them "muchness" which she attributed to a lot of things the boy or girl worship music, art ...

Jacob is a child who has Asperger's syndrome at an early age.

It is self-taught. By their own learned geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus in just two weeks.

They also that their 8 year old decided to leave school to take advanced astrophysics classes at the University.

Moreover, his parents say Jacob I can not sleep at night, as it goes for hours thinking about the theory of relativity, looking to achieve his own theory.

"Only then can get the better of them."

Jacob Barnett has an intеlеctual coefficient of 170, edging past century genius Albert Einstein, who also has also worked on correcting, because he has developed earlier even their alternative theory of relativity.

In this bold assertion, his madrе, not knowing if you were writing his numbers and formulas hijο meaningless or had some truth, decided to contact the Institute of avanzadοs, near Princeton univеrsidad ... The answer was surprising.

Scott Tremaine, a renowned Canadian astrophysicist and professor at the same Institute for Advanced Study School of Sciences natυral replied surprised the mother about the cοmυnication of Jacob and stating that "the theory that is working jovеn contains some of the problems and more difficult concepts of theoretical physics and astrophysics aсtual ".

We do not know if the theory goes buеn wrong way or will eventually be, but that a 12 years old kid to be able to understand these concepts and move with comοdidad between mathematical formulas that sea is simply exciting.

Jacob Barnett has already become a phenomenon on YouTube intеrnеt and anyone can even find him giving a lesson in advanced mathematics.

Everywhere they risk even to compare with Einstein, however, seeing your formulas and integral writing in crystals of windows, memоry comes to the figure of John Nash, the first actor of "A marvelous mind".

Experts say that Jacob Barnett, who wants to dedicate his life to physics, has an IQ higher than Albert Einstein and point out a possible future winner of the Nobel Prize for his original theory on astrophysics, he developed at age 12, an age in which the interests of a young are always out of the classroom.

Born in 1.953 in İstanbul, Turkey Work field : painting Eşref Armağan is a blind painter of Turkish origin.  Born without sigh...

Born in 1.953 in İstanbul, Turkey
Work field : painting

Eşref Armağan is a blind painter of Turkish origin. 

Born without sight to an impoverished family, he taught himself to write and print. 

He has painted using oil paints for roughly thirty-five years.

Using a braille stylus to etch the outline of his drawing, Armağan requires total silence to create art. 

Oil paint is then applied with his fingers and left to dry fully before a new color is applied. 

This unique method is used so that colors do not smudge. 

The art pieces themselves are created without help from any individual. 

He is also able to create art that has visual perspective.

In 2.008 two researchers from Harvard, Dr. Amir Amedi and Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, tried to find more about neural plasticity using Mr. Armagan as a study case.

Both scientists had evidence that in cases of blindness, the "visual" cortex acts differently than how it acts with the non-blind. 

Pascual-Leone has found that Braille readers use this very same area for touch. 

Amedi, together (with Ehud Zohary) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, found that the area is also activated in verbal memory tasks. 

When Amedi analyzed the results, however, he found that Armagan's visual cortex lit up during the drawing task, but hardly at all for verbal recall, meaning that some unused visual areas might be used in collaboration with ones needs from the brain. 

Moreover in scans that were held while Armagan drew, his visual cortex signals seemed as he was seeing to the extent that a naive viewer of his scan might assume Armagan really could see.

Mr. Armagan is married with two children. 

He has displayed his work at more than 20 exhibitions in Turkey, Italy, China, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. 

He has appeared several times on television and in the press in Turkey and has been on programs on BBC and ZD. 

In 2.004, he was the subject of a study of human perception, conducted by the psychologist John Kennedy of University of Toronto.

In 2.009 Armağan was invited by Volvo, to paint the new model S60. 

As it was not meant for a TV-commercial, more of a community "PR-trick", Volvo made a series of documentaries, posted on Volvo's Facebook page, where Armağan paints the S60, as well as single parts, wished by community.

The painting was for sale on Ebay, and sold for US $3,050. 

The Canadian non-profit charity organization World Blind Union (WBU) was the benefactor of the auction.

Achievements Pridmore is the 2.009 World Memory Champion, a title he also won in 2.004 and 2.008.  From Derby in the United King...


Pridmore is the 2.009 World Memory Champion, a title he also won in 2.004 and 2.008. 

From Derby in the United Kingdom,Pridmore achieved this by winning a 10-discipline competition, the World Memory Championship, which has taken place every year since 1.991.

He held the official world record for memorizing the order of a randomly shuffled 52-card deck, and has memorised a pack in a time of 24.68 seconds on television.

This record was beaten in 2.010 by German memory athlete and lawyer Simon Reinhard. 

He is ranked number four in the world ranking list for Memory Sports.

Pridmore's victory at the 2.009 World Championship was his eighth consecutive memory competition win since coming second at the 2.007 World Championship.

Besides memory sports he is famous for his mental calculation skills and took part in the Mental Calculation World Cup in 2.004, 2.006 and 2.010.

He has also won several medals at the Mind Sports Olympiad including becoming the 2.001 World Champion at the ten disciplined mind sport competition the decamentathlon.

He was prominently featured in the music video for DJ Shadow's single "Scale It Back".


Like most memory experts, he creates a mental story, comprises a sequence of images that he has permanently memorised as representing number groups, playing card pairs etc. 

Pridmore often envisages a story around his old school, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle as the framework for these memory sequences.

Orlando L. Serrell (born 1.968) is an "acquired savant" someone who exhibits savant skills after CNS injury or disease, as oppo...

Orlando L. Serrell (born 1.968) is an "acquired savant" someone who exhibits savant skills after CNS injury or disease, as opposed a person born with autistic disorder or other developmental disability.

Orlando Serrell did not possess any special skills until he was struck by a baseball on the left side of his head on January 15, 1.979 when he was ten years old. 

The making of a genius.
What makes a genius? 

Do we all possess genius and fantastic mental abilities? 

Are those abilities laying dormant, trapped inside our brains? 

How can we tap into the genius caged in our minds? 

The answer to these questions may lay inside the mind of Orlando Serrell.
Orlando Serrell is what is known as an acquired savant (prodigious savant). 

There are two types of savants: acquired savants and autistic savants. 

An acquired savant is a person with a rare condition with various developmental disabilities, including autistic disorder and an astonishing ability for brilliance.

In 1.979, Orlando was the typical 10 year old boy. 

And like most children of that age, he enjoyed various sports including baseball. 

But, one baseball game would alter him for the rest of his life. 

August 17, 1.979, Orlando was engrossed in playing a baseball game with his friends. 

As Orlando made a frantic dash to first base, the baseball struck him on the left side of his head.

Orlando fell to the ground and stayed there for a while. 

Moments later, he got up and continued to play baseball. 

“I didn't tell my parents, therefore, I had no medical treatment for the accident,” says Orlando. 

But, his head continued to hurt for a long while.

Eventually, the headache ended, but Orlando soon noticed an uncanny ability to perform calendrical calculations of baffling complexity. 

In addition, he can recall the weather, where he was, and what he was doing for every day since the accident.

Soon, the media became interested in this “calendar-brain” and he began to appear in various local newspapers. 

On June the 17th, 2.002, he received a telephone call from NBC News (Dateline). 

They invited Orlando to visit the University of Columbia in New York to perform a functional MRI testing on his brain. 

During the procedure, the news staff video taped Orlando undergoing the MRI which would be used to compare his brain functions to that of other people who are not savant or at the genius level of brain functionality. 

On January 13th, 2.003, NBC News televised a documentary on “savants” on the Discovery Channel and included Orlando in the program.

What makes Orlando Serrell so unique is that he may indeed hold the key that unlocks the genius in us all. 

Orlando Serrell did not possess any special skills until he was struck in the head by a baseball when he was 10. 

And his extraordinary gifts seem to be his only side effect. 

Could this mean once a key hemisphere in the brain is stimulated, we can all attain the level of genius Orlando posses and beyond? 

Only time and research will tell. 

Until then we will do well to keep our eyes on Orlando and learn what we can from his experience.

George Widener is an autistic savant with the ability to perform incredibly complex calendar calculations in mere seconds.  He can al...

George Widener is an autistic savant with the ability to perform incredibly complex calendar calculations in mere seconds. 

He can almost instantly determine the day of the week for any date in history or far in the future and has incredibly detailed knowledge historical events.

After a troubled and lonely childhood, George was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and he found a release for the constant swarm of numbers in his head through art.

George now shows his richly detailed calendar art in galleries around the world. 

Cutting edge Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is helping neurologists see how George's brain processes information differently than neurotypical brains.

Give George Widener any date in history and he can, within seconds, tell you what day of the week it was.

At his home in Asheville, North Carolina, George works into the night drawing elaborate calendars.

Before bed he reads, not a novel but, printed sheets of population figures.

Numbers follow George wherever he goes, he finds comfort in them, he considers them his friends.

George says no one ever taught him to calculate calendars. In fact, he insists he's not calculating at all.

George's skill is phenomenal, but it comes at a cost.

He suffers from a form of autism, a brain disorder that leads to awkwardness and social isolation.

As a child, school was a place of fear and dread, but a chance encounter at his grandmother's house when he was seven changed his life.

He met another child who was fascinated with his grandmother's calendar.

Today, George is perhaps the world's greatest calendar calculator, but he is not unique.

He belongs to a select group of people known as savants.

Robert Gagno is an autistic young man who may never live independently from his parents, but he has an incredible talent : he's one o...

Robert Gagno is an autistic young man who may never live independently from his parents, but he has an incredible talent : he's one of the top-ranked pinball players in the world.

Robert's brain seems hard-wired for pinball wizardry: intense concentration and focus, the ability to almost instantly recognize the impetus, trajectory and velocity of the ball, and an incredible memory that allows him to memorize shot patterns and rack up huge scores.

Robert and his father head to the Mayo Clinic to meet with a leading neurologist to see what makes Robert's brain unique. 

However, it's a visual processing test that presents the biggest clue as to why Robert is such a gifted pinball player.

Robert is tall and rail-thin, with tousled brown curls, oval-framed glasses, and great big sapphires for eyes. 

When he's playing pinball, which is most of the time, those eyes bug out in a state of twitchy hyper-alertness. 

At other moments, like when he has to meet a stranger, they quickly make for the ground.

Robert is also autistic, which helps explain the lack of eye contact and why he wouldn't have offered his hand for a shake had he not been reminded to do so by his mother and father, Kathy and Maurizio, who, as both parents and pinball competitors, are usually right by his side. 

Moreover, Robert is a savant, which helps to explain why at 22 he's the top-ranked player in the league. 

He's also tops in a league in his hometown of Vancouver, B.C. In a sport where the elite have been playing for decades, Robert is something of a prodigy.

Just two years ago, on a whim, Maurizio signed up Robert for the Canadian World Championships, his son's first competitive tournament. 

"I had to go to Toronto for business anyway," Maurizio says. "So I figured 'What the heck?'"

"What the heck" turned into a 12th-place finish. 

Shortly thereafter, the people responsible for ranking pinballers decreed that this impressive debut meant that there were only 3,722 players in the whole world better at pinball than Robert. 

Today there are 22.

So is the secret to Robert's meteoric rise just practice? 

Talent? Or, as some have suggested, something beyond his control? 

Whatever it is, it'll have to wait, because shortly after the handshake, Robert spins on his heels and marches back into the house with a slightly herky-jerky gait that will soon become familiar.

Robert delicately nudges a button so that a ball jumps from one flipper to the other, an advanced technique known as an alley pass. 

Now he's not just playing pinball, he's juggling too. 

The look on Robert's face is something between a smile and "Oh my God, they're removing my fingernail without anesthetic!" 

As he plays, three guys stride up. 

One of them has a clipboard. "Aw, man, he's still going," he says. 

A few minutes later the last ball goes down.

"Is that a good score?" asks Kathy.

"Yes," answers Robert, one arm flung up and behind his head as if he were patting himself on the back.

"But you used to hate this game."

Anthony Thomas "Tony" DeBlois is a blind US autistic savant and musician. Biography Tony DeBlois was born blind on Janu...

Anthony Thomas "Tony" DeBlois is a blind US autistic savant and musician.


Tony DeBlois was born blind on January 22, 1.974. 

He began to play piano at the age of two. At first DeBlois studied in the Perkins School for the Blind but in 1.989 was awarded a summer scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Later he was admitted as a full-time student and graduated magna cum laude in 1.996.

DeBlois specializes in jazz but can play just about any other type of music as well. 

A savant, he plays 20 musical instruments and has held concerts worldwide but also has his own band, Goodnuf. 

He can play about 8,000 pieces from memory.

Tony DeBlois is a musical savant I first met in 1.989 when he was awarded a summer scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Tony so impressed the staff at Berklee that summer that he was admitted there as a full time student and graduated magna cum laude in 1.996, a astriking achievement for someone both blind and autistic. 

Tony is a tremendous jazz musician and improvises freely, and impressively. 

He, and his mother Janice, were featured in a 1.991.

Today Show and also have been on CBS Sunday Morning. 

There have been many other frequent television and media appearances since that time. 

Tony is autistic and blind with striking musical ability, which, while including spectacular jazz ability, extends to many other musical styles ranging from country to classic. 

He plays 14 musical instruments, 12 of them proficiently. 

Like many other musical savants, his ability surfaced at an astounding level when his mother bought him a chord organ at a garage sale when Tony was 2 years old. 

His story, and that of his dedicated proud mother was told in a CBS Movie of the Week, Journey to the Heart, which was broadcast nationally on March 2, 1.997. 

Tony's mother, Janice DeBlois, describes his remarkable story this way :

"Born weighing 1 lb. 3/4 oz. was only the first obstacle that Tony DeBlois had to overcome. 

This 29-year-old pianist from Randolph, MA is blind, autistic and has Savant Syndrome. 

He has been playing the piano since age 2. 

He was the subject of the 1.997 CBS made for TV Movie of the week 'Journey of the Heart,' which was inspired by actual events in Tony's life. 

Additionally, he has appeared on 2 Catholic Global Showcase Specials (2.001), The Learning Channel's 'Uncommon Genius', Strange Science 'Unusual People', and 'Understanding the Mysteries of Memory'. 

He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them are Chou, Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundations Global 'Love of Life Award' (2.002), the Faith and Family Foundation first Outstanding Achievement Award, the coveted Reynolds Society Achievement Award (1.996), the Foundation for Exceptional Children's prestigious 'Yes, I can' Award for 1.993 and the Panasonic Sponsored, VSAarts Itzhak Perlman Award (1.992). 

As Tony's 'Let me do it independently' attitude inspires many people who meet him, his talents are being noticed internationally, hence his returning concerts to both Singapore and Taiwan and upcoming performances in Dublin and Limerick, Ireland. 

Stories about him have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR), Voice of America Radio and Talk America. 

Spots about him aired in documentaries in Rome, London, Japan and Australia. 

Tony is the inspiration for the book 'Fred's Prayer Machine' (Ambassador Book 5/02) and he will be appearing in two Psychology textbooks referencing autism. 

All this fame has not daunted Tony's excitement about learning. 

His studies at Perkins School for the Blind earned him a Certificate of Achievement but, his hard work at Berklee College of Music paid off; he graduated magna cum laude on Mother's Day 1.996. 

When not on tour, Tony enjoys singing with St. Mary's Choir, performing with his band 'Goodnuf' and spending time with his girlfriend. 

Besides piano, Tony enjoys playing the organ, harmonica, guitar, harpsichord, English handbells, violin, banjo, drums and trumpet, and is now learning saxophone, clarinet, ukulele, mandolin and flute. 

When not playing musical instruments, Tony enjoys swimming, exercise equipment, the computer, Mystery Tours and has just learned to ballroom dance. 

For Tony there are no 'roadblocks' but mere obstacles to be cast aside or skirted. 

His favorite phrase seems to be 'I haven't learned that yet.'"

Tony's new, third CD, was recently released. It is titled "Beyond Words" and is an instumental jazz work in which Tony teams up with what the Boston Globe terms "Boston's House Band" with Bo Winiker on trumpet and flugehorn, Tommy Petrakis on bass and Bill Winiker on drums. 

Gilles Tréhin (born 1.972) is a French artist, author, and creator of the imaginary city of "Urville".  His book, also titl...

Gilles Tréhin (born 1.972) is a French artist, author, and creator of the imaginary city of "Urville". 

His book, also titled Urville, is based on his writings of the fictional city's history, geography, culture, and economy, and includes over 300 drawings of different districts of Urville, all done by Trehin.

Tréhin is an autistic savant who lives in Cagnes-sur-Mer, near Nice, in southeastern France.

Gilles Trehin has been drawing since age 5, but at age 12 he began designing an imaginary city he named URVILLE, which is described in great detail on this posting, and on his own linked Web site as well. 

The background of the evolution of Gilles's talent in his childhood years is described on this posting as well by Gilles's father, Paul. Gilles has presented his remarkable work at a number of autism conferences and conventions. 

The History of Urville's Creation in my Mind

Since the age of five, drawing has been my passion.

My drawings were mainly airplanes, airports and cities.

The idea of Urville came very progressively. 

When I lived in the United States between 1978 and 1981, I was fascinated by New York city and its skyscrapers. 

At this time, I decided to build skyscrapers in Lego bricks, but I did not have a precise objective then. 

I was not just fascinated by skyscrapers but also by airline aircrafts : the first word I said when I was a child was "Avion" (airplane in French). I like airplanes because it is easier to go to the United States by the air than by sea. I lived five years in the USA with my family, not far from New York City.

It's in 1984 that the idea of an imaginary city became concrete, during one of my vacation journeys back in New York city. After this trip, I lived in London between 1.984 and 1.986. 

During this period, I bought a large number of little die cast aircrafts for which I built an airport model, using Lego bricks. I decided then to build a large city that was going to need such a big airport, still in Lego. I even tried to write a schedule brochure for the flights departing and arriving to the airport. 

But during those two years, I didn't have any definite idea of what this city was going to look like, until I made the first building which symbolises Urville, "Year 2000 Tower."

After leaving London in 1986 and coming back to live in Cagnes sur Mer, near Nice on the French Riviera, I imagined some other buildings : the "Twin Towers," the "Mégalopolis Tower" and the "Olympic Stadium."

I was building the airport very close to the city because it was only possible to use the space of my bedroom. 

Then the city was only taking second place after the airport in my mind, but I was thinking that if there was a large airport, it must be next to a very big city. 

After 1987, there was a big evolution in my conception of the city. 

I realised that I could expand the city in my mind without necessarily building it in Lego bricks, and compensate this by drawing. I started to base the city on the planning of the streets. 

In 1.991, in my conception of the city, I stopped using lego, and had made some drawings.

Until 1.992, I built little by little the city concept starting with the subway map and I started writing the history of the city in a general way.

Starting in 1.993, the drawings of Urville became more frequent, with the first global view of the city. 

It was the first click because with the help of illustrated books on real cities, I discovered new techniques which helped my drawing. 

During this same year, I started to study history because I realised that it was an important element of knowing a city, and history offered me the possibility to learn even more things. 

Introduction to Urville

Urville is a city with 11 820 257 inhabitants (1.999), its the largest city of France and even of Europe for the population.

It is the capital of the administrative region " Insular Provence" which counts 14 275 960 inhabitants. 

The city is divided in 35 sections.

Urville has the highest level of jurisdiction institutions, several Universities, an Archbishop palace as well as many other public service administrative services.

Urville is the economic capital of France. 

It hosts the headquarters of the large enterprises (banks, insurances, nuclear industry, petroleum companies, computer and electronic industry, chemical and pharmaceutical. 

Industrial activity (chemical and pharmaceutical, equipment, textile, agro-alimentary, consumer products…), regardless of its decline since 1.975 still represent 28% of Urville's economic activity.

Urville is also the financial capital of France, It is the largest stock exchange market of the country. 

The media and press sector is very important, Urville hosts the headquarters of more than 400 revues and magazines, 30 national newspapers and more than 100 publishing companies.

Urville is an international cultural capital and it possesses important museums as well as more than 300 theatres. 

A large number of cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions, festivals and international trade shows are organised on a regular basis.

Urville was founded in the 12th Century BC by the Phoenicians under the name of «Qart-Sous-Yam» (Carsucia). 

The name was changed in Urbis (Urville) in the 1st Century BC under the Roman occupation. 

Urville was the 3rd city of the Roman Empire until the 5th century AC. In the 3rd century AC, it had already near 250 000 inhabitants.

During the Middle Age, Urville was successively dominated by the Ostrogoths, the Francs, the House of Arles and the "Angevine Dinasty." 

During this period, after the successive crises of the 5th and 10th century, the city expanded thanks to its flourishing maritime trade in the 12th century and, inspite of the crises of the 14th Century, it became again flourishing during the second half of the 15th century.

In 1.480, Urville gets under the domination of the Kingdom of France.

In 1.789, during the French Revolution, Urville has 2.8 millions inhabitants, but the number of habitations became too limited to host the huge population growth due to the Industrial Revolution. 

In order to cope, the authorities of Urville call upon the famous town-planner Oscar Laballière (1.803/ 1-883) to start gigantic urban projects which are still outlining Urville even today.

As much as the city was spared during the 1st World War, It suffered bombing during the 2nd World War. 

However, the people of Urville paid a high human price : nearly 300 000 people were killed during the 1st World War and more than 200 000 people during the 2nd World War.

After the 2nd World War France knows a huge move of people from the countrysides to the cities. 

With this phenomenon Urville population went from 7.9 millions to 1.6 millions inhabitants, in 1.990, just 40 years later. 

"Urville's Guided Tour"

In the book I have writen, "Urville's Guided Tour," it wasn't possible for the moment to put all the major quarters of Urville because the whole of Urville is still not completely drawn. 

All the drawings, more than 250, come from the 5 main very large general views of the different sectors of the city. 

There is an example of a large view at the beginning of this text. 

Each of the smaller views show details of the streets, squares and various monuments of Urville. 

For each of them I have written a text giving more information about the history of the place.

I hope that the book will be published very soon. 

Background on Gilles' Evolution

Gilles was diagnosed with autism at about age 8 by the team of the Yale Child Study Center by the late Professor Donald Cohen. 

We had had previous imprecise formulations of a diagnosis : "Autistic like behaviour."

His developmental history has been quite exceptional. He started with a typical "kanner autism" and evolved quite positively through childhood and adolescence, then to adulthood, making astonishing progress. 

We discovered through time that Gilles had several talents. 

These really helped him build a rather good self esteem. 

Some even helped him to socialise.

Music : We noticed that Gilles had perfect pitch when he was very young. 

He would come to me begging that I play a music tune, humming it as he had very limited speech. 

When I sat at the piano or took the guitar, he had been humming it exactly in the tone I usually played that piece of music. 

He was becoming angry when music was played on a turntable not rotating at the right speed. 

He learned much later on to play electric bass guitar without having any serious lessons. Limited fine motor skills stopped him from playing the guitar. 

He took on from that knowledge, and here absolutely without lesson, to play the upright bass, playing with me some very sophisticated pieces of jazz or "bossa nova" music with complex harmonies. 

Mental Calculation : At about age 6 he surprised us by answering questions on the multiplication table which we were asking his sister for rehearsal... 

She told us that Gilles knew more, when we asked what she meant, she said "he knows 12th 13th 14th multiplication tables", we tried, (with a calculator) and indeed Gilles could multiply, actually he was only stopped as he didn't know how to express number larger than 1000...

Later on the same year, he discovered all by himself the concept of prime number... He was fascinated by them. 

He could tell immediately if a number was prime, he used to say : "In 4187 there is nothing" "What do you mean, nothing,"  "There is no 2, no 3 no 5, no 7, no 11, no 13". 

Drawing : Coming back in time, at age 5 we discovered that he could draw in 3D, actually going directly from scribbles to 3D. 

Drawing has been ever since his forte, combined with a fabulous imagination. He used it to invent an imaginary city he called Urville and on which he is still working. 

His invention goes far beyond drawings, he has invented names of personalities and events that made the history of Urville. 

He has now lost most of his capabilities with multiplications and prime numbers even though he still feels rather comfortable with numbers.

He is still very good at music, but doesn't play as much as before.

He is now almost completely concentrating upon drawing and writing about Urville.

Current Situation : Gilles lives now in France, near Nice. 

He is fluent in English since we have spent five years in the USA near New York City and two years in England in London. 

Some of the inspiration of Gilles drawings certainly owe to these cities famous monuments but he added to them and created some completely new.

We are trying to help Gilles, who would like so much to make a living out of his art. 

So we are trying to inform as many people as we can about it. 

Gilles likes to travel to new cities. 

He likes to make presentations about his imaginary city. 

He has done so at several autism congress and conferences. 

Quite honestly, his presentation of Urville is a real show, even though he is not aware of it... 

One can just walk through the streets of Urville as if it was real. 

We hope that you will find his work interesting. 

Sudden musical genius Derek's story in his own words Although my discovery at the age of 40 would have nothing to do with aut...

Sudden musical genius

Derek's story in his own words

Although my discovery at the age of 40 would have nothing to do with autistic relevance, I found myself to be among some of these very special people I define as gifted! 

On October 27, 2.006 I had gotten together with some friends for a pool party. 

What took place that afternoon would change my life forever. 

As I dove into the swimming pool, I remember coming up out of the water complaining that my ears were bleeding. 

As I looked to my friends for explanation of what had happened, I recall their lips moving but without sound. 

As I touched my ears to check for bleeding, I realized there was no blood, and I couldn't hear anything at all. 

At that moment, I remember collapsing, and to this day cannot recall anything else from my accident. 

I had struck the bottom of the swimming pool and I was immediately taken to the hospital for a head trauma. 

I was medically diagnosed with a serious concussion, and shortly after would discover a 35% loss of hearing and memory loss that still affects me to this day. 

As I began to recover, I finally began to realize what had taken place. 

Although I cannot to this day remember several events from that particular time frame in my life, I did in fact recover reasonably fast as to the physical aspects from my injury. 

As I went to say my goodbye's to friends and family, for some reason I sat down at a piano, and from that day on, my musical abilities would continue to fascinate me, my family, and my friends as to what had transpired into something absolutely amazing! 

As I shut my eyes, I found these black and white structures moving from left to right, which in fact would represent in my mind, a fluid and continuous stream of musical notation. 

My fingers began to scale the piano keys as if I had played all of my life. 

I can't explain the feeling of awe that overcame my entire being, although I can tell you the expression on my friends face was enough to put us both in tears. 

I could not only play and compose, but I would later discover that I could recall a prior played piece of music as if it had been etched in my minds eye. 

Four days after my accident I had discovered this amazing experience. I asked my mother to visit the music store with me. 

I simply told her that I just wanted to show her something. 

We found the nearest piano as I asked her to sit next to me. I remember asking her if she was ready. 

I shut my eyes and hoped that I would again see these black and white structures moving left to right. 

I began to play as if I was exploring some unfound treasure that had been locked up all this time in my head. 

My mother sat and cried, and then asked me, "what are you doing." My response was simple, "I guess God decided to give me my birthday present a bit early this year mom.

" My life at that very moment changed as I knew something very special had taken place. I have since left my corporate job and continue my personal quest to share this most miraculous testimony with the world, as I do believe in miracles! 

As spoken by friend, Gerry Gomez :

We commonly refer to Derek as "Rainman Beethoven." I have been fortunate to work along side Derek since his musical discovery. 

I have seen many amazing things take place throughout my life, but this particular situation has left me speechless. Immediately following his musical discovery, I began to research documented cases in regard to the study of savant syndrome. 

We spent countless hours watching videos and reading information as to people who have this gift of savant syndrome, most of which were autistically related. 

To date we have not found another medically documented case where immediate or sudden musical savant syndrome had been acquired from a brain injury. 

Shortly after Derek's musical discovery, he was invited out to Los Angeles to display his musical abilities. 

We received a phone call just one week after his trip asking to provide a instrumental arrangement for a film agency in Japan. 

Derek's musical work was selected as best in instrumental genre and shortly following, Derek would be selected as the 2.007 Independent Artist of the Year by the Association of Independent Artists. 

We have displayed Derek's musical work with all media facets throughout the country in hopes to share this amazing experience with as many people possible.

Today, Derek is currently preparing for the release of his new album and will continue his efforts to speak and perform sharing this musical testimony of a lifetime. 

Derek's music is being played in most countries throughout the world and he will continue to be active with charity events that support (TBI) traumatic brain injuries. 

Leslie Lemke (born January 31, 1.952) is a blind American autistic savant who is most notable for his work as a musician. Leslie Lemk...

Leslie Lemke (born January 31, 1.952) is a blind American autistic savant who is most notable for his work as a musician.

Leslie Lemke was born prematurely in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1.952. 

At birth, he was diagnosed with glaucoma, cerebral palsy, and brain damage. 

Doctors were forced to remove his eyes. His birth mother gave him up for adoption, and May Lemke, a nurse, adopted him when he was six months old. 

To feed him, may had to push food down his throat.

It was a year before Leslie could chew food on his own. 

It took seven years of constant care before Leslie showed any progress. 

During this time, he made no sounds or movements and showed no emotions. 

He was 12 before he first learned to stand, and he was 15 before he learned to walk.

When he was 16, May found Leslie playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 during the middle of the night. 

He had recently heard the piece on television. Leslie was soon playing all styles of music, from ragtime to classical.

His adoptive mother encouraged his talent for the piano. 

By 1.980, Leslie was regularly giving concerts in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. 

His newfound fame gained him invitations to various television shows such as CBC's Man Alive (hosted by Roy Bonisteel), CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, and That's Incredible!. 

In 1.983, ABC broadcast The Woman Who Willed a Miracle, a drama about Leslie and his adoptive mother. 

It stars Cloris Leachman as May Lemke. Leslie is also the subject of Fred Small's song, "Leslie is Different."

Leslie toured the United States, Scandinavia, and Japan and gave free concerts on various occasions. 

He was quite animated when he played.

May Lemke developed Alzheimer's disease and died on November 6, 1.993.