The Real Rain Man Kim Peek Mega Savant

Tell Kim Peek any address in the United States and he?ll recite the local highways and byways, area and zip codes, television stations and interesting historical events ? oh, he?ll also tell you where you can go to pay your telephone bill. Ask Kim to button his shirt and he?ll return nothing more than a blank stare. Such is the genius, and disability, of the Real Rain Man.

Kim was diagnosed as severely mentally retarded at the age of nine months and the doctor, in a hurry to make a tee time, recommended Kim be institutionalized ? and forgotten. Undeterred, Kim?s parents took him home and have spent the following five decades as eyewitnesses to a sometimes wonderful, and always curious, medical mystery.

Consider the frustration of Kim?s mother when he did not walk until age four. Consider her amazement when he completed memorizing the first eight volumes of the encyclopedia a scant six months later. Consider that at the age of fifty-four he is incapable of dressing himself. Consider that he can instantly recall the exact content of more than 12,000 books. Consider?

Kim reads both pages of a book simultaneously, one with the left eye and one with the right, devoting a mere ten seconds to each standard page of text. Unbowed by brevity, Kim recalls the details of his furious forays at a 98.7% accuracy rate. Consider?

Give Kim your birth date and he will tell you on which day of the week you were born, on which day your birthday will fall this year and, in anticipation of the proverbial gold-watch-moment, on which day of the week your sixty-fifth birthday will fall. Consider...

Unlike most savants, who exhibit a single area of extreme expertise, Kim is a Mega Savant, exhibiting genius in more than a dozen areas, including History, Geography, World Leaders, Space, Sports, Math, Movies, Shakespeare and the Bible. Consider...

Kim is a complex tangle of ?skills and ills? ? a truly dichotomous representation of the genius to which we all aspire and the childlike simplicity fr! om which we each evolve.

Virtually unknown prior to Dustin Hoffman's portrayal, Kim has since delighted over a million seminar attendees who have come, clutching arcane facts in eager hands, in vain attempts to take the master to task. He lives in Salt Lake City with his octogenarian father, Fran, who to this day tends to those everyday dilemmas of undone shoelaces and unbuttoned shirts that exist beyond the realm of Kim?s genius.

Says Kim of his relationship with his constant companion, caregiver and friend, ?Dad and I share the same shadow.?

Tim Anderson is a freelance writer who has a special interest in medical topics. Visit his blog at


What Happened to the Flu Vaccine Shortage?

What Happened to the Flu Vaccine Shortage?

Back in October 2004, the United States lost almost half of its expected 100 million doses of the flu vaccine, which prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage recommendations to each state, suggesting that doses of the vaccine be restricted to high-risk groups only. However, it is becoming apparent that perhaps this panic attack was a little too dramatic.

It seems that, due to a mild flu season, the demand for the country's limited doses of the vaccine was less than anticipated. In fact, the demand was so low that some states are actually loosening restrictions regarding who gets a shot.

Those states that have taken such action include:

* Michigan and Utah: Lifted all restrictions; Michigan has about 170,000 available doses

* Minnesota: Opened up the flu vaccine to those 50 and older, among others

* Massachusetts: Dropped the lowest receiving age limit from 75 to 65, as well as lightened a few other restrictions

* Nebraska: Traded 4,000 flu-shot doses with Missouri for measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

Further, only weeks ago a Washington-based company that holds immunization clinics vaccinated 100 clients a day at its office -- now it vaccinates only 20 people on a daily basis.

USA Today December 13, 2004

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

All of this news doesn't surprise me at all, considering public health officials were reassuring Americans that getting a flu shot is not a life-or-death matter. Fact is, the flu shot does NOT prevent illness in most people but actually does just the opposite -- it weakens the immune system and makes you more predisposed to the illness.

Also, it is important to understand that people are dying from the flu because they are already sick and have compromised immune systems. Thus, the ultimate treatment for the flu is PROACTIVE PREVENTION.

I have compiled a list of seven guidelines to help you prevent and fight the flu this winter. I! suggest printing this list off and posting it somewhere in your home where you and your family will see it on a daily basis. By doing so, everyone in your family will be aware of the healthy alternatives and preventatives to the flu.

Dr. Mercola's Guidelines to Preventing the Flu

1. Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugar

2. Get enough rest

3. Eat fresh garlic regularly

4. Use an effective tool to help you address the stress in your life

5. Wash your hands regularly

6. Take fish oil/cod liver oil

7. Exercise regularly

The bottom line: Lead a healthy lifestyle year round. To help you get on the right track to doing so, I suggest reading my book, TOTAL HEALTH Program, and implementing my diet in your life. If you do, chances are you'll never have to worry about coming down with the flu again!

Also, I highly recommend the simple five-step Clenzology Advanced Hygiene System, which focuses on superior cleaning of the areas of your body that are most susceptible to the flu -- your hands, face, ears, nose and mouth. This hygiene kit is simple to use and only takes a matter of minutes, which makes it ideal for families with young children.

Most importantly, the Clenzology soap is not antibacterial and it is capable of reaching the tens of thousands of germs on the backs and palms of the hands, on the fingers and under the fingernails.

PLEASE NOTE: The facial solutions in this kit must be diluted as directed before use. If you are pregnant or have a history of thyroid problems consult a physician before using this product.

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Total Health Program
Founder of the renowned Optimal Wellness Center - The #1 Natural Health Site on the Internet!


Arthritis Exercise One Way to Relieve Pain & Stiffness in Your Joints (part 2)

Even when you cannot make it out to walk or to an aquatics or yoga class, there are exercises you can do daily to improve flexibility, strength and conditioning when you suffer from arthritis. You can flex your legs while sitting in a chair facing forward, simply by moving your leg outward while keeping your foot on the floor and holding it there for a few seconds, then retracting it until your foot is behind you, then alternating to the other leg. Interlocking your fingers and slowly flexing your wrists to the left and the right for a few minutes a day can help tremendously to increase flexibility and reduce pain in the wrist area.

For your upper back, you can stand upright in front of a table, then lean over and place your hands on the table and tuck your chin back toward your collarbone. Once positioned as such, lift your upper back upward and simultaneously take a deep breath. Hold that position for 5-10 seconds and then relax while exhaling. While doing this, lower your spine slowly as you move both shoulder blades forward as if toward each other. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 repetitions.

For the shoulders and middle back, start again from an upright position standing as straight as you can, reach back and lock the fingers of both hands together. Breathe slowly and deeply and lift upward with your shoulders while at the same time, exhaling. Be sure to keep your chest up and your chin in. Repeat this for about 10-15 sets.

For the shoulders and upper chest, choose a free corner of the room to stand in and place your hands on the opposite sides of the corner. Take a step back about 18 inches from the corner. You now should be facing the corner directly with your hands on both of the walls with your body some distance from the wall itself. Keeping your chest up after inhaling, lean in toward the corner while exhaling. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 sets.

Whatever exercise program you choose, be sure to breathe properly when exercising. Oxygenation is important to any exercis! e regime n as it promotes a healthy heart rate and reduces fatigue; additionally oxygenation helps circulation, which is vital to achieving the flexibility and strength that you are trying to achieve in battling arthritis. Also, listen to your body. It is natural to feel a little fatigue and soreness when starting a new exercise regimen, However if the pain of soreness persists for more than one hour, or you have a decrease in mobility that lasts longer than an hour, then the regimen should be reduced until the soreness desists. Also, look for signs of increased swelling of joints or any persistent increase of weakness; these are signs of activities that are too strenuous and a reduction in activity will be necessary. Just remember to take all new exercise regimens slowly at the start. The idea is to increase flexibility not train for the Olympics.

Written by Shelley Hitz, Licensed Physical Therapist and Certified NASM Personal Trainer. If you have arthritis, she can design an online exercise program for you! Contact her today at or sign up for her FREE Exercise Advice Journal at


7 Healthy Habits

There has never been a better time to take stock of your life than right now. This moment is the beginning of the New Year. It is the beginning of resolutions to lose fat and get fit. However, 2006 promises to be another year that we grow fatter and unhealthier. Use these 7 healthy habits to go against the tide and create a vibrant year.

Habit 1- Eat Regularly. Eat small meals every 3-4 hours. Skipping meals can lead to unstable blood sugar levels which can cause fatigue or restlessness. Eating throughout the day causes stable moods and a healthier metabolism.

Habit 2- Eat Lightly. Each meal should contain a complex carbohydrate and a lean protein. Keep high fat foods or salty snacks out of the pantry. Once sugar and salt are kept to a minimum, the body begins to heal and crave fresh, healthy foods.

Habit 3- Do Not Smoke. There is not one positive fact on smoking. Cigarettes cause the human body to deteriorate at ridiculous levels. Quitting smoking is the number one way to improve health drastically. Also be aware of second hand smoke. It can be just as harmful.

Habit 4- Consume Alcohol in Moderation. A bottle of beer or glass of wine each day is realistic. However, drinking more than three servings daily is a bit much and puts the body at risk. Moderation is certainly important.

Habit 5- Sleep 7-9 Hours Each Night. Deep, peaceful sleep rejuvenates the body. It relaxes the mind and replenishes the soul. Irregular sleeping patterns can lead to mood swings and poor nutrition. The trick is to receive 7-9 hours of sleep each night as opposed to a few nights out of the week.

Habit 6- Exercise Regularly. Get active and promote health and fitness by participating in a fitness program. Combine cardio, strength training and stretching for a balanced approach. Learning how to strengthen the body will improve mood and sleep patterns.

Habit 7- Consult With the Professionals. Tackling each of the above habits can be a nightmare. That is why habit ! 7 is the most important habit of all. Consulting with a nutritionist or personal trainer can be motivating as well as insightful. The best way to trim the fat and get in shape is to follow the advice of industry professionals.

2006 does not have to be the same as last year. The promise of a better life is in reach. Fueling the body with healthy habits will create a happier and healthier world. Eat regularly and lightly, do not smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, sleep and exercise consistently and ask your personal trainer or nutritionist the best way to stay fit.

A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Melt the Fat & Gain a Life is a viable alternative for those without the income or desire to meet with a trainer or nutritionist. This interactive guide comes complete with over 200 exercise photos, over 160 daily meal by meal menus, over 60 secrets to motivation and tons more. It provides a jump start for weight loss seekers and those looking to get healthy and fit in 2006.

Copyright 2005

To learn more about the Melt the Fat Program, please visit Lynn VanDyke is an elite fitness trainer and sports nutritionist dedicated to helping you achieve your fat loss goals in 2006.


Is Vitamin E Lethal?

Recently the news carried the story that a researcher had discovered that taking vitamin E at a level of 400IU or more increases the risk of death. (Jan 2005, Annals of Internal Medicine) I was immediately suspicious because I have studied the scientific literature on vitamin E for over two decades and have come to the exact opposite conclusion. Hundreds of studies have shown the beneficial effects of vitamin E on numerous modern diseases including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer?s, claudication, arthritis, fibrocystic breast disease, epilepsy, infertility, intelligence?you name it. This evidence comes from carefully controlled clinical trials and meta-nalyses and is published in peer-reviewed publications. So what gives with this new ?scoop?? Why did it receive the headlines while all the other studies aren?t?

Actually this new information is not new at all. The researcher merely investigated mortality statistics from existing studies and came to a conclusion that people should not take 400IUs of vitamin E (exactly what I have been taking for years and recommending to others) or they may die. In effect he wrote an editorial on other people?s work. That is not science.

Although the writer conceded his conclusions may only apply to those who are already seriously ill and not to healthy people, that is the only balance given in the article. He examined 19 different vitamin E studies performed by others including almost 140,000 people. Surely it would seem statistical meaning would emerge out of that. But as science (and life) always goes, the truth is in the details?details too often left out.

For example in one of the 19 studies, large doses of zinc were also given and this can create a copper deficiency which can lead to heart and other diseases. Although a copper supplement was given, it was in the form of cupric oxide, which is poorly absorbed in the gut.

In another of the studies the group being given the vitamin E were much sicker to begin with, including larger numbers of! smokers and higher numbers of those with coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Of course there will be greater mortality in such a group, but it would have nothing to do with the vitamin E they were taking.

Another study was skewed by the fact that participants were also taking a synthetic form of beta-carotene, which has been linked to increased lung cancer and liver damage. You can?t give vitamin E and synthetic beta-carotene to a group and blame mortality on vitamin E!

Finally, not one of the studies used the natural form of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a mixture of tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. But only alpha- tocopheral was used. Not only that, but the synthetic isomeric form, D, L-alpha tocopherol was used in many of the studies. Natural vitamin E exists in only the D isomeric form. The synthetic L form is not produced in nature and may even interfere with the benefits of the natural D form.

The gamma-tocopherol has many proven life-lengthening and disease preventing benefits but when high levels of alpha-tocopherol are consumed these benefits may be cancelled by a kind of biochemical interference. Therefore, whatever gamma-tocopherol was being consumed in the diet may have been cancelled out by the supplements in the study.

When one is done looking at the details behind the headlines there remains no basis for suggesting that high levels of natural vitamin E are dangerous, but rather, when considering the entire body of scientific evidence, there is significant reason for believing exactly the opposite! So much for headlines.

Perhaps more important than the misleading nature of the story is the reason why it would receive top billing. News organizations seem to be fiendishly rubbing their hands together just waiting for any little tidbit that could debunk the value of supplements or a natural approach to health. (They receive huge advertising dollars from the pharmaceutical and other medical industries.) Of course the medical community is right there ready! to pile on as well. They have a vested interest in maintaining the popular mindset that disease is just one of those things that happen, that people are victims of disease, and doctors are needed for repair. The notion that supplements, food, and lifestyle can prevent or cure disease threatens their grip and profitability.

Never mind that modern health care is the greatest threat to life and health, killing more people than any other cause. (Wysong e-Health Letter: June 19, 2002) That?s not worthy of news, but scaring people away from supplements based upon a flawed study is. We do not live in a rational world.

Is vitamin E supplementation necessary? No, not if you are eating a varied diet of raw, organic, natural foods, living out of doors, exercising daily and are not subject to any workplace or other environmental pollutants. If that is not how you are living, then 400IU of a natural vitamin E tocopherol mix is a very good idea. It is logical since it replaces what would be present in a natural raw diet and helps offset modern toxins, pollutants and stresses. It is also supported by a mountain of good scientific research.

Dr. Wysong is a former veterinary clinician and surgeon, college instructor in human anatomy, physiology and the origin of life, inventor of numerous medical, surgical, nutritional, athletic and fitness products and devices, research director for the present company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong Institute. He is author of The Creation-Evolution Controversy now in its eleventh printing, a new two volume set on philosophy for living, several books on nutrition, prevention and health for people and animals and over 15 years of monthly health newsletters. He may be contacted at and a free subscription to his e-Health Letter is available at


Dilantin: Know Its Side Effects

I've noticed that doctors on TV medical dramas, when faced with a seizing patient, cry out for the reliable standby drug Dilantin.

Also known as phenytoin, Dilantin has relieved seizures in patients for the past sixty years and counting.

But, like most prescription medications, Dilantin has its share of nasty side effects.

If you have recently been prescribed this drug then you need to read on to know what you're in for.

I'm not knocking Dilantin. I've been using it for nearly twenty years to control my seizures. But, like the Boy Scouts say, be prepared.

Common side effects of this seizure medication include clumsiness, double vision, slurred speech, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting (ironically the same side effects felt after a seizure).

These side effects occur mostly when you begin taking the drug. Your body needs time to adjust to the medication.

Even now I have bouts of dizziness, clumsiness, double vision, and slurred speech.

Occasionally, Dilantin causes a liver disorder. If your skin appears yellow, you have a rash, your appetite no longer exists, and you frequently feel tired then see your doctor immediately.

If you have ever had liver disease be sure to tell your doctor before you start taking Dilantin. You may not be able to use this seizure medication.

Low blood pressure is another possible side effect. I mean 'the feeling ice cold while shaking uncontrollably until you pass out' kind of low blood pressure.

This happened to me once. I actually felt my blood pressure drop. I should have gone to a hospital. But, like most people, I stubbornly refused. But I suffered a long hellish two hours before my blood pressure rose again. I was lucky.

Dilantin can also cause excessive facial hair growth, which is not great if you happen to be a woman.

Be prepared to improve your dental hygiene. Dilantin often causes the gums to swell and bleed. Break out the dental floss and start using it every day. Your dentist will insis! t on it.

If you are a woman planning to have children, and you're using Dilantin, then be aware there is a small chance for congenital malformations. This risk increases if you are taking more than one anti-seizure drug.

Now, the FDA has rated Dilantin a category 'C' drug, which means the FDA isn't sure whether or not this drug causes birth defects.

But why take a chance? Talk to your doctor.

For you diabetics, Dilantin may increase your blood sugar. Be extra careful while monitoring your blood sugar levels.

You cannot drink alcohol while using this medication. No 'But what if's'! The beers you chug with your best buddy will react with the medication by either putting you into a deep sedation or it will cause you to have a seizure.

I found this out the hard way, only I was awake during the seizure. You don't want to be awake during a grand mal seizure! Being unconscious is the epileptic's friend, believe me.

Avoid sleeping pills, aspirin, and heartburn medications. These drugs combined with Dilantin can bring on a seizure.

I drink a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime. I use ibuprofren for headaches. I don't need to use any heartburn medications (knock on wood).

These are only a few of the medications you need to avoid while on Dilantin. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you take any medications, including herbal supplements.

You will need to increase your intake of vitamin 'D', vitamins 'B6'and 'B12', your calcium intake, as well as iron and folic acid. Dilantin decreases all of these supplements in your body.

Don't let this information scare you. You hear scarier side effects caused by other prescription drugs on those TV commercials.

Dilantin is cheap and it works. The side effects are regrettable, but nothing in life is perfect.

I can function normally because Dilantin has tamed my rebellious brain. Its side effects have become a minor inconvenience easily lived with.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions concern! ing this or any other epilepsy medication. If your doctor speaks in 'medicalese'insist he or she speak in plain English.

For more information on this and other epilepsy medications visit the American Epilepsy Society online.

Epilepsy can be frightening. But Dilantin can tame the beast.

Jenny Harker is an experienced writer, gardener, and seasoned epileptic.

Copyright Jenny Harker 2005


Sea Silver for Health

Sea Silver is a completely natural, plant-based supplement, which undergoes proprietary processing techniques to ensure optimal absorption at the cellular level. As you probably know, a supplement is only good if it can be assimilated by the body and put to good use. Sea Silver is designed based on this premise, and therefore the body readily absorbs all the nutrients in this supplement.

Sea Silver is a supplement that was created to balance the body chemistry, cleanse vital organs, purify blood and the lymphatic system, as well as nourish the body at the cellular level, protect tissues and cells from toxins, and boost the immune system. This amazing supplement also brings more oxygen to the cells, which is a necessity for good health. As you can see, this one supplement has a lot of tasks to accomplish, which it manages to do quite well.

Sea Silver is taken in liquid form, which means that the body does not have to work as hard to break down the nutrients. This means that roughly 95-98 percent of the nutrients in Sea Silver are readily absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can immediately go to work at cleansing and protecting the cells and tissues throughout the body. This natural supplement is safe to take with other medications and/or vitamins, and it does not have any known reported side effects.

Sea Silver Ingredients

Sea Silver contains many beneficial ingredients, such as aloe vera, various sea vegetables, Pau D?arco, which is an herb from South America, and a juice concentrate blend.

Robert owns and operates and


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