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No. 123: May-Jun 1999

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Megamemories

This is not about the latest ROMs and RAMs; it's about those few pounds of gray matter sitting atop your shoulders. Every once in a while we see hints of what it can really do.

At the age of eight, J. Von Neumann, the great mathematician, could just glance at a telephone book and afterward recite whole pages verbatim.

(Myhrvold, Nathan; "John Von Neumann: Computing's Cold Warrior," Time, 153: 150, March 29, 1999.)

Recently, H. Goto, in something like 9 hours, recited from memory the first 42,000 digits of pi.

(Kaiser, Jocelyn; "Pieces of Pi," Science, 283:1975, 1999.)

From Science Frontiers #123, MAY-JUN 1999. 1999-2000 William R. Corliss