Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 15 News List

The numbers control my brain 滿腦子數字

Lemaire, center, is fast, but not as fast as a supercomputer. He's pictured here at the New York Hall of Science, in New York City, Nov. 15, 2007.Photo: AFP
樂邁爾〈中〉計算速度雖快,但仍不及一台超級電腦。本張照片攝於本月十五日,紐約市的紐約科學館 照片:法新社

French "mathlete" Alexis Lemaire showed off his rare mental agility earlier this month, claiming a new world record after working out in his head the 13th root of a random 200-digit number in just 72.4 seconds.

Lemaire, a 27-year-old doctoral student, sat at a laptop computer that randomly selected the figure.

He then took just over a minute to identify two quadrillion, 397 trillion, 207 billion, 667 million, 966 thousand, 701 as the 13th root.

"The first digit is very easy, the last digit is very easy, but the inside numbers are extremely difficult," the mental gymnast said.

"I use an artificial intelligence system which I use on my own brain instead of on a computer," he explained, matter-of-factly.

"Personally, I believe most people can do it but I have also a high-speed mind. My brain works sometimes very, very fast."

Pressing his point, he adds: "Sometimes when I do multiplication my brain works so fast that I need to take medication."

He practices regularly and jogs every day, doesn't drink coffee or alcohol and avoids foods that are high in sugar or fat -- to help him think faster.

"I use a process to improve my skills, to behave like a computer," he says. "It's like running a program in my head ... to control my brain," he says.

Lemaire says he has no fear that any other competitive mathematicians will be able to challenge his record.

"It is too difficult for them," he says, explaining that most of his rivals are only able to work out the 13th root of a 100-digit number.

He says banks and computer science companies have shown interest in employing him.

"Many people at the banks think my gift can be very useful," he says. (AFP)


Cat: Hey Susanne, what are you up to?

Susanne: I'm just chilling at home watching some DVDs.

Cat: Oh, you're so boring! Let's go out.

Susanne: No, I've been working really hard all day and just need some me time.

Cat: Well, OK, but I'm going to go watch some really good indie bands. So if you change your mind, give me a call.






me time 獨處時光

Me time is a way of saying time alone. For example, "Once a week Evan just sits at home and plays guitar alone to get some good quality me time."

「me time」是一種表達獨處的說法,例如:「伊凡每週一次獨自坐在家裡彈著吉他,享受悠閒的獨處時光」。














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