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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Oct 7 12:57 AM

Oct 7, 2009: Kamkwamba

Kamkwamba, William Kamkwamba, juvenile delinquent from Malawi... that's in Africa.
Yes, William was a real problem for the local officials, he kept sneaking into school. Yes, I said into school.

Quote:
At age fourteen, while many of us were sneaking out of classrooms, William was struggling to sneak into them—his family was unable to afford the $80 annual tuition. As is bound to happen to most students, he was caught. But instead of being sent to detention, he was barred from the school. In a show of the driven man he would become, he didn't allow that to hinder him and instead started spending his days in the local library. While there, he encountered a book called Using Energy:
Using Energy described how windmills could be used to generate electricity. Only two percent of Malawians have electricity, and the service is notoriously unreliable. William decided an electric windmill was something he wanted to make. Illuminating his house and the other houses in his village would mean that people could read at night after work. A windmill to pump water would mean that they could grow two crops a year rather than one, grow vegetable gardens, and not have to spend two hours a day hauling water. "A windmill meant more than just power," he wrote, "it was freedom."
He though that was a pretty cool idea, so he did.



It was crude, but it worked.

Quote:
After completing his first windmill, William "went on to wire his house with four light bulbs and two radios, installing switches made from rubber sandals, and scratch-building a circuit breaker to keep the thatch roof of his house from catching fire."
Well, he should be set now, I mean he is the electric company, after all.
But that was just the beginning...

Quote:
His project had the attention of village locals early on, but at this point he gained the attention of TED, Technology Entertainment Design, through whom he was introduced to individuals willing to contribute to his plans to "electrify, irrigate, and educate his village, as well as pay his tuition at the prestigious African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg."
Way to go, TED.

link


Eclipse  Wednesday Oct 7 01:50 AM

Now that's the way it's done! looks like a bright future for that young engineer -- better than milling about like most people these days. Powering his way to attention and winding up in an academy (and lighting up the neighborhood to boot). William sir, I salute you!



nil_orally  Wednesday Oct 7 03:22 AM

Look at him up there! Has he never heard of OH&S?



morethanpretty  Wednesday Oct 7 08:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nil_orally View Post
Look at him up there! Has he never heard of OH&S?
Uhm, would that be like OSHA?


Sheldonrs  Wednesday Oct 7 09:33 AM

Looks like he might have used the villages only public transit system to build the villages power company.



newtimer  Wednesday Oct 7 09:52 AM

The blades of his fan are made of dried pigs' skins.



Tawny  Wednesday Oct 7 10:23 AM

Makes me feel ashamed all those times I skipped school...



Shawnee123  Wednesday Oct 7 11:00 AM

...



classicman  Wednesday Oct 7 11:37 AM

WOW! Great one Shaw.



birdclaw  Wednesday Oct 7 11:42 AM

Gee...now I feel like a slacker.



DanaC  Wednesday Oct 7 06:23 PM

Ahem: Africa 2000 years ago.



classicman  Wednesday Oct 7 08:22 PM

Damn Africa went downhill fast



lumberjim  Wednesday Oct 7 09:15 PM

isn't that a current picture of africa? of something 2000 years old?



monster  Wednesday Oct 7 10:00 PM

right, because only the Romans had cameras way back then.

Awesome kid.

Does anyone here believe that is it not desirable for the state to provide free aducation for all children (as long as there is an opt-out for those who prefer to and are able to educate their own or pay someone else to do so)?



classicman  Wednesday Oct 7 11:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
right, because only the Romans had cameras way back then.
snort.


Undertoad  Thursday Oct 8 09:18 AM

Quote:
Does anyone here believe that is it not desirable for the state to provide free aducation for all children
All the kids should be educated. Accomplishing that via the state is a cultural construction. We do it this way because we've always done it this way and can't imagine it any other way. We have no idea whether it's best, because the question is rarely asked in detail. The fact that many kids are not being educated at all in this system is usually ignored.

It's more important that all kids should be fed. But we have left that up to the individuals. If they can't afford it we have programs. Nobody dies of hunger in the USA. Great success.


Happy Monkey  Thursday Oct 8 11:25 AM

He was on the Daily Show last night. It was amusing when he described his first experience looking up "windmill" on Google.



monster  Thursday Oct 8 11:28 AM

If this kid had been allowed in school, think what might not have happened...



lumberjim  Thursday Oct 8 11:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
right, because only the Romans had cameras way back then.

Awesome kid.
hey!

that picture of Rome was obviously an artists rendering, smarty pants.

and remember I'm older than you, so you should show me some respeck.


treehugger  Thursday Oct 8 03:24 PM

That is amazing



monster  Thursday Oct 8 05:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
hey!

that picture of Rome was obviously an artists rendering, smarty pants.

and remember I'm older than you, so you should show me some respeck.
If you're so old, must be you need an artist's rendering too. respeck this:




.


Clodfobble  Thursday Oct 8 05:14 PM

LJ's been workin' on his pecs, I see.



jinx  Thursday Oct 8 08:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
If this kid had been allowed in school, think what might not have happened...
He'd be working for the man, in a cube farm, today.


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Oct 9 01:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
All the kids should be educated.
What for? Google and Wikipedia will tell them everything they need to know.


Your reply here?

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