Denver man acquires savant syndrome
A man who suffered a serious concussion after diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool says that he woke up with an entirely new set of amazing musical abilities. Derek Amato of Denver discovered that he was able to play the piano soon after his accident in October 2006, despite never having had a lesson in his life. He became skilled at playing seven other instruments, and is now recording his second album. Doctors say Amato has acquired savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition in which head trauma can cause people to display unprecedented musical or artistic skills.
Teenage athlete helps rival to the finish line
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
A high school athlete from West Liberty, Ohio, eclipsed the state title she won this month with a heartwarming act of sportsmanship. Having already taken first place in the 1600-meter championship race, Meghan Vogel was trailing the field in the 3200-meter race when she saw a fellow competitor, Arden McMath, collapse ahead of her. Rather than press her advantage, the teenager instead helped her fallen rival to her feet and supported her across the finish line. “I knew any girl on that field would do that for me, so I was going to do that for Arden,” Vogel said.
Plumber rescues kitten from underground pipes
After a 15-hour, citywide rescue operation, a tiny kitten has been freed from a network of pipes beneath a street in Memphis. Attempts to rescue the cat—nicknamed “Pipe Kitty” by rescuers—by dangling a piece of string down a drain proved fruitless, and the city feared that digging up the pipe with an excavator could kill the trapped kitten. Finally, after an all-night effort by public workers and volunteers, a plumber named Fred Simmons retrieved the cat. He has since adopted her, renaming her “Piper” in honor of her unique rescue.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.