Sixteen hours of pi

Earlier this week, a Japanese man recited the first 100,000 decimal digits of pi:

Akira Haraguchi, 60, needed more than 16 hours to recite the number to 100,000 decimal places, breaking his personal best of 83,431 digits set in 1995, his office said Wednesday. He made the attempt at a public hall in Kisarazu, just east of Tokyo.

As if to show just how difficult that would be, the ABC News story makes an obvious rounding error on digit four:

It is usually written out to a maximum of three decimal places, as 3.141, in math textbooks.

That would be one bad math textbook!

Anyway, this kind of extreme memory feat certainly shows the capability of some people to accommodate their minds to highly specialized information strings. Memorizing the complete works of Shakespeare, the full Koran and other long texts are other examples.