Saturday, January 17, 2009
Savants and Heroes
Last night's programme Mysteries of the Mind, was all about savants. It was called Brain Man. There is a young man from England, Daniel Tammet, who is able to do incredible math in his head. They showed him reciting the numbers of Pi or π for 5 hours, most mathematicians stop at about 10 places, you can see this incredible young man at TVO.org where there is a video about him. He learned Icelandic in a week at the end of which time he was interviewed on Icelandic TV and was able to converse easily with the interviewers. He reckons he doesn't actually do calculations, he just sees pictures and gets the answers. Scientists are really delighted with him as he is totally coherent unlike so many savants who's social skills are not good. They also showed him meeting the savant, Kim Peek, in California who was the model for Dustin Hoffman's Rainman. Kim Peek, who has another incredible brain, is able to absorb 2 pages of a book in 10 seconds and then to retain whatever he reads. Do watch the video, it is absolutely fascinating. There is a lot of news coverage at the moment about the plane which went down in the Hudson river. The pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, is being praised as a hero because of his excellent handling of the ditching. They interviewed one woman this morning who texted her husband with the message "my plane is crashing", she said she didn't have time to write "I love you" or anything else but she just wanted her husband to know she was definitely on that plane. Yesterday I made my Melk Tert for tonight. It seems to have worked very well although obviously I won't know until we eat it this evening. Later on I will be making the Bobotie with Yellow Rice and the Avocado Ritz. This picture shows it just out of the oven. The recipe I used for the Melk Tert was as follows: South African Melktert (Milk Tart) Author: TWAKMUIS "My 'ouma' South African grandmother's legendary milk tart. It is lipsmacking. The recipe is a real winner. It is a traditional South African tart that is very easy to prepare." 3 Tbs butter, melted 1 cup white sugar 3 egg yolks 1 cup cake flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 cups milk 3 egg white 1 Tbs cinnamon sugar 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Coat a 9 inch deep dish pie plate with vegetable oil cooking spray. 2 In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder and salt, and stir until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared pie plate, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top. 3 Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is set when you gently jiggle the pie. Serve hot or cold. Servings: 8 Have a great day.