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Old 10-07-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:50 AM   #2
Eclipse
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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!
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:22 AM   #3
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Look at him up there! Has he never heard of OH&S?
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:01 AM   #4
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Look at him up there! Has he never heard of OH&S?
Uhm, would that be like OSHA?
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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Looks like he might have used the villages only public transit system to build the villages power company.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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The blades of his fan are made of dried pigs' skins.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Makes me feel ashamed all those times I skipped school...
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:00 AM   #8
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...
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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WOW! Great one Shaw.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:42 AM   #10
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Gee...now I feel like a slacker.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:23 PM   #11
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Ahem: Africa 2000 years ago.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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Damn Africa went downhill fast
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #13
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isn't that a current picture of africa? of something 2000 years old?
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
monster
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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)?
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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right, because only the Romans had cameras way back then.
snort.
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