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Sierra Leone was one of the most inhospitable country in recent history, so naturally nobody look to Sierra Leone for the latest technological invention.

But necessity is the mother of invention, and this young engineer does it better than anybody.


TEDTalk: Susan Cain’s power of introverts

I’m an introvert, typical of people in science. I work best in solitude and feel relax being alone. Funny that it didn’t get me any look back home where solitude is rarely found and valued. Of course, people tend to think I’m slightly antisocial, but it is not off-putting. It was quite an eye-opener to move across the globe and found people having a much stronger opinion about me being an introvert. It is mostly because I don’t like hanging out the way people here hang out. I find stimulation, especially noises and smell, both distracting and overwhelming. I get migraines at pubs and bars because of dim light and noisy conversations. I both sympathize with and admire Susan Cain for trying to be an extrovert even just a period of time. It’s much harder than you think to be in an environment catered for extroverts when you are on the end spectrum of introversion. Boy, I even have a small breakdown once complete with tears and causing a bit of a scene. Anyway, what I want to say is be more tolerating and accepting of other people modus operandi, because everyone has their own different balances. Einstein liked being on his own while working, while Feynman would be in a bar if he wanted productivity. They were both great minds, but no mind works alike.

‘You’re not special’ graduation speech by David McCullough Jr.

From David McCullough Jr. to graduates of Wellesley High School graduates, class of 2012.

For original article on Yahoo, go to here.

This is a very inspiring speech. It humbles, encourages, and put things in perspective. I think we all needed to be reminded like this once in a while that we are the ones that make our lives special. Here are some recap of the speech from Boston Herald:

“No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid cliches like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same. All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.You are not special. You are not exceptional.”

“In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another–which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole.”

“If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream… just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.”

“As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.”

“Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.”

“The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is.”