- Reading: The Timeless Beauty of National Geographic – http://retinart.net/?p=2188 #
- Soon all WiFi capable phones will be able to act as access points (Read as – mine does not as yet!) #
- I may be small but I can get nasty http://is.gd/ey64Y A lion cub snarls #photography #
- SANIsoft Blog: SQL data source in Sphinx http://t.co/kYqNL0v #
- @rohitweet Don't moderate everyone – anyone who has posted 5 good messages can unmoderated in reply to rohitweet #
- @geetanjalic A nitpick on your twitpic – It is a toad! Though you can still try kissing it Continue reading
- @palewar sry nothing planned – in fact most of the pictures I post ths days R just taken on morning walks, but he an come & meet anytime in reply to palewar #
- @noelladsa http://youtu.be/tJQgwqojirs in reply to noelladsa #
- Awesome!!! RT @ra_mki: Curious leopards — a male & a female. Kabini, Nagarahole, Karnataka. http://twitpic.com/2ezxvb #
- http://is.gd/eiHmM The most awesome rendition of our National Anthem by @blackstratblues – DON'T MISS – Found via @achitnis #
- If my fame is my child's burden – I don't want it!! #quote #
- http://is.gd/ejIr6 Continuing with butterflies – Gray Pansy #photography Continue reading
A thought that struck my mind as I was finishing this book was – How would the story of Wright brothers and their One day at Kitty Hawk be if they lived in an era with internet?
I read the Wright brothers story when I was in school and at that time all I was interested in was the journey of scientific discovery. The human part or the adversities faced by the brothers were totally lost on me. Now thirty years later I had in my hand a book which I felt was similar in spirit and I found myself lingering more around the parts where the life in the African village has been described – that is where the true story lies indeed.
The book tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a poor but clever boy in Malawi Africa . The story is very recent and all the incidents depicted happened in last 9 years, in fact I remember reading the blog post which made William famous.
The book can be divided in three parts . The first part paints the background of the canvas in which the story is set. Talking about Malawi, a small poor country where most people live as subsistence farmers, a race of people who have not changed for scores of years, about their lack of basic health care, superstition, a brutal incompetent government, lack of free public education, dangers of from animals and famine! In the year 2001 the maize crops failed leading to a devastating famine. The simple but vivid narrative of the hardships faced by the people during the famine is gut wrenching. The famine sets the scene for the second part of the story.
This second part is the story of William’s technological triumph. William is forced to drop out of the school because, after the famine, his parents cannot afford to send him to school. Deeply disappointed at this set back he does not give up. Always fascinated by mechanical things Willaim is particularly enamored by the dynamo of the bicycle, with very little theoretical knowledge and zero guidance he finds out that by putting the wires from the dynamo into the AC socket of a radio and turning the wheels you can get the radio to play. In the local library he finds a book called “Using Energy” which has pictures of windmills. The story continues on about how he constructs a windmill out of junk parts, a bicycle frame and flattened PVC pipe which can finally turn a dynamo and power a couple of light bulbs in his poor home. Charge mobile phones for people (in turn earn him some money) Interwoven in this in second part is a heroic story about human perseverance and brotherhood. William did not give up despite being ridiculed and not having proper tools just drove him to innovate. A heated wire served as a soldering iron, money from a friend served to buy a few parts – too many to enumerate here….
The third part is about the reward of being discovered by the world and of course the power of internet. Mike McKay wrote a blog entry about the Malawian Windmill which ultimately led to William being invited to speak about it in TED Global. It is amazing to read how a boy who had never stepped out of his village, never seen a laptop let alone internet traveled across the globe, thanks to generous sponsorships and the goodness of human kind.
After I finished the book, I started drawing parallels to the situations in the book closer home – specifically Melghat- barely 350km from Nagpur, 90% of the children are suffering from some grade of malnutrition. I had visited Malura there were Mobile phones but no electricity to charge them. They had a school but no examination center.
On a broader scale there is no dearth of small innovators in India, in fact the Discovery Channel ran a complete series on them but what really became of them? Have they been relegated to just youtube videos? May be I am being a bit pessimistic here. India is huge and things consequently are slower to change but things do change….
- @Nishit Freshbooks.com or some thing in reply to Nishit #
- @achitnis Strangely that part no has no references on google – first time I am not finding any references to a gadget on google in reply to achitnis #
- Did a weights workout for 1 hour and felt great. #
- Walked 8 kilometers in 1 hour and 2 mins and felt great. Finally the rain gods have relented #
- @lazygarfield Which new series on Sherlock Holmes in reply to lazygarfield #
- #gmail seems to have rolled out some nice UI enhancements Continue reading
- @lazygarfield I can give you all the movies if you want…. in reply to lazygarfield #
- 100% through "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" using @stanza_reader #
- With an itchy throat and fever the coming week does not look very good. Plus it is going to be a super busy one! #
- Did a weights workout for 1 hour and felt alright. Don't know if with yesterday's fever going to the gym was a good … http://bit.ly/cdJPwo #
- @vinitneo It is inspiring "follow your dream" book. Well written – I even put a review on Shelfari in reply to vinitneo #
- Write to NTFS on #mac using NTFS-3g is very slow Continue reading
- [Zend Framework] Slug filter
While studying for my Zend Framework certification, I tried to build a small application to test my knowledge. One of the tasks in that project was to try and build a slug filter which converts a particular string to slug, for example, ‘My Test String’ to ‘my-test-string’. It also checks for slug duplication if you [...]
- Namespaces in PHP 5.3 – Part 1
One of the most significant and welcome features added in PHP 5.3 was that of namespaces. While this has been around in other programming languages, namespaces have finally found their place starting with PHP 5.3. If you are not new to namespaces and have worked on them in other languages don’t go away, you might [...]
- [HowTo] Google Calendar API : PHP – Manage events (Part 3)
Earlier we saw how to install Zend’s GData library and retrieve list of calendars and events. Now its time to manage events i.e. create, update and delete events. First we need the Calendar service instance, so lets instantiate the Zend_GData_Calendar class. PLAIN TEXT PHP: $path = ‘/home/abbas/ZendGdata/library’; $oldPath = set_include_path(get_include_path() . PATH_SEPARATOR . $path); require_once [...]
- Adding security to your CakePHP application – Part 1
Ben Parker once advised his young nephew Peter, whose super-hero alter ego is Spider-man, that “With great power comes great responsibility.” CakePHP framework provides us a rich tool-set to build high performance web applications. The applications built using CakePHP are secure at much extent as long as it comes with some nice features such as [...]
- @qtfan yes @swatisani has got great childhood friends in reply to qtfan #
- "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible" 2nd law of prediction #
- @JatinChimote Follow this feed and build up a collection http://is.gd/dJ2lO depending on what you like in reply to JatinChimote #
- @nadeemsani We have a word for it – you are #traffucked at worli in reply to nadeemsani #
- @AgentAkki WE got our own servers…. in reply to AgentAkki #
- Walked 7 kilometers in 1 hour and 15 mins and felt alright. Continue reading