Principle Nixes every Book in the Library for e-readers

Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception. This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks - the classics, literature, fiction, novels, poetry, history, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital. "When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books", said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned). We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology".

As the folks on engadget say "unless there are only 18 students at Cushing Academy, we're pretty sure the e-reader supply is going to come up short". The book is at the height of information technology, not the bottom, and I will tell you why. The book never needs an upgrade,it is extremely inexpensive making it available to the poorest of the poor and the rich alike, the only energy source required to read it is sunlight, and the only knowledge one needs to attain to decode it's contents is reading. Now, I'm all for technology, especially when you're referring to information that is updated on a daily basis like reference information found in encyclopedias, but that kind of information is not free and requires a subscription. It's also easily controlled or changed depending on who is reviewing and posting the information, the interest groups the information supports or denounces.

Protecting Us from Our Freedoms: Congress Set to Renew Patriot Act Spy Provisions

As night follows day, you can count on Congress to serve as loyal servants and willing accomplices of our out-of-control National Security State. Last week, in another shameless demonstration of congressional "bipartisanship," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) forged a filthy backroom deal that reauthorizes insidious surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act for an additional four years. "Like clockwork," the ACLU reports, Reid and McConnell "introduced a bill, S. 1038, that will extend the provisions until June 1, 2015." As of this writing, the text of that measure has yet to be published. And, like a faint echo from the past when the Patriot Act was signed into law nearly a decade ago in the wake of the 9/11 provocation and the anthrax attacks, the ACLU tells us that "the Senate begins its debate on Monday with votes possible that same night".

But why not forego a vote altogether. After all, with the White House "skipping a legal deadline to seek congressional authorization of the military action in Libya" under the War Powers Act, "few on the Hill are objecting," the Associated Press reports. Why not extend congressional "courtesy" to the White House over demands that their illegal spying on Americans continue indefinitely "as long as consultations with Congress continue"? Consensus by congressional Democrats and Republicans over extending the provisions, the World Socialist Web Site reports, "meets the demands of the Obama administration and the Justice Department for a 'clean' extension, that is, one that does not make any concessions to concerns over the infringement of civil liberties, particularly in relation to the authorization to seize the records of libraries and other institutions".

The Power of The Ideea - 2

Most people I have met who are quick to use their lack the capital to start businesses as their main excuse for not being entrepreneurs do not even have in the first place any ideas to work with. Instead, they are waiting for the capital to land before they then start looking for ideas. I have had people come up to me and say“,  have N1m, what business do you think I should go into?” to which I always lack what to tell them. As far as I am concerned, I think that isn’t entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship starts with idea generation, not finance. You have an idea that you are so passionate about, and then you persist in trying to see it get off the ground. The hustle in getting it to work.

Leveraging contacts, making the most of what you have and the constant refining of the idea is a large part of the fun of being an entrepreneur. If all entrepreneurs were to wait until they had enough capital before setting out to change their world with their ideas, only a fraction of today’s enterprises would exist. It reminds me of the Bible verse in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “Farmers who wait for the perfect weather never plant; if they should watch every cloud, they will never harvest”. Waiting for the perfect conditions before you set out on that road of entrepreneurship is as good as never setting out on that road: the conditions will never be perfect. Create that idea and believe in its power. Start wherever you are. “Start weaving. God will provide the thread” - German Proverb.

The Power of The Ideea

As someone who is very passionate about entrepreneurship and what it can do for the entrepreneur and the society at large, I never pass up on any opportunity to talk about it to others. And when I start, I could go on and on. One of the most common responses I have encountered is that of no capital or finance to start one’s own business. The lack of start-up finance is a very major obstacle, but is it enough to prevent entrepreneurship? One thing I have noticed, both from my experiences and observations is that you rarely ever have enough capital to get that your ass-kicking idea off the ground. This is especially so in Nigeria where there are barely any venture financiers willing to take risks with a new venture, where the banks are also sceptical about lending to small businesses, and have cut-throat interest rates. 

In other words, to start a business here, you must have enough personal funds or have family to support you. I remember my first business idea when I was 18, an internet music start up for which I needed a modest few hundreds of thousands of naira. It wasn’t the fact that I had the capital that spurred me to create that idea, because I didn’t have the money. What I believed in was the power of the idea and its immense potential. I knocked on doors with my business plan and travelled to meet people whom I could pitch my idea to. Even though the idea never took off eventually, I learned an invaluable lot from that experience, especially in trying to raise venture financing. I learned that in looking for a breakthrough, God doesn’t give you one. He shows you where to break through. It is your persistence at that point that does the work for you.

Education, Intelligence and One Other Thing

These passions of mine were directly linked to my talents, which mean they derive from my purpose. In my own case, it is a set of passions. For someone else, it might just be one. But the main point here is I discovered myself, and that made my education much easier. Some of these things cannot be acquired via a degree, or in a systematic manner in a controlled environment. But it has not stopped me from polishing my rough diamonds by self-education: books, mentoring, and practical activity. For me, when I call myself intelligent, it is not because I can name the capital of every country in the world (well, almost) or that I was a contestant in the Zain Africa Challenge for Universities, but because I am applying myself to give people value and myself fulfilment and satisfaction. And this is what education and intelligence should be about. Admittedly, not everyone would be able to discover his purpose or self, as I pointed out in my previous post: Why the North has fewer entrepreneurs. But everyone can and should be intelligent: be able to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Let it be that one is not intelligent because he graduated from a university with a First Class degree, but because he is applying the knowledge he has, gained from within and outside a classroom, aided by skills to bring value to society. Now, this is the responsibility of our educational system, especially at the tertiary level.

Now this brings us to the 2 other things: creativity and entrepreneurship. Creativity is defined as “relating to or involving the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”, while entrepreneurship, in my own words, is “the implementation of ideas created, be it in business, film, social change or politics”. From what I have experienced and observed, the discovery of self, which helps us to identify our passions gives us a paradigm shift in the way we view our world. For example, someone passionate about design sees the world through the eyes of design. That said, when that person ventures into design work, his/her work will be something new, from a different perspective. Another person equally passionate about design will also approach design from a new perspective, possibly building upon the work of the previous person. How come two people passionate about design approach it differently? This is because even though their passions are the same, their purpose is not the same. Every person’s purpose and passion(s) in life are shaped by this acronym: (S)pirit-filing, (H)eart’s Desires, (A)bility, (P)ersonality and (E)xperiences. This shows that no two people can have the same SHAPE, hence their view of the world cannot be the same because what is in them is not the same. 

This is one of the biggest influencers of creativity: in the sense that discovering oneself helps you see the world differently, and when you venture to apply yourself, you apply it differently. Discovering yourself never makes you a copycat. It makes you more original. Now since we have already defined entrepreneurship as “the implementation of ideas”, we now come to see why world over, entrepreneurs are regarded as bastions of creativity and innovation; why start-up ventures are envied for the flow of ideas in the workplace. This can be simply explained in the fact that entrepreneurs are people who have discovered themselves (educated), hence are applying themselves (intelligent) in a new, different, improved manner (creative). Whether that entrepreneur is an artiste or a businessman or a scientist, whatever he does is creative, ground-breaking and capable of defining history. I have tried within the limits of my knowledge and intelligence (pun intended) to be able to bring light to this issue. I also continue searching by asking myself questions and hoping that the Omniscient One reveals to me more, that I may share with the world and also learn from it. In subsequent posts, I shall continue exploring these subjects. May we all be educated, intelligent, creative and entrepreneurial. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein.

Education and Intelligence

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, education means to educate, while to educate means “giving intellectual, moral and social instruction”. This is usually done in a systematic manner in a controlled environment, with students/pupils, teachers and tutors, curricula and facilities. Intelligence, on the other hand, is defined by the same dictionary as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” However, for me, I have come to view these two terms differently, albeit slightly for intelligence. I choose to define education as “the discovery of self”, and intelligence as “the application of the discovery of self to add value to others and self”, in addition to the dictionary meaning. This is because I have come to observe that it is not in the giving of intellectual instruction and systematic learning that education lies. It is not in the acquiring of degrees and cramming theories and postulates that makes one educated. Rather, it is in the applying of knowledge into concrete results that add value to first, the society, and then to oneself that we can claim to be educated. This can especially be seen in the Nigerian educational context, where over 200 tertiary institutions produce an average of 600,000 graduates yearly. However, we barely create up to 100,000 jobs annually, meaning 500,000 graduates remain in the labour market yearly. 

This becomes a frustrating situation: we have been told that having an education guarantees us a job. How come we have such astonishingly high numbers of unemployed graduates? The answer lies in the fact that these graduates had merely been given “intellectual, moral and social instruction”, but without having their intelligence developed. Worse, the environment and nurturing they need to discover themselves has been totally inexistent. Hence, rather than creating job-creators, we are creating job-seekers. Now, what is this ‘discovery of self’ I keep referring to? The discovery of self refers to the situation when one is able to recognize the innate abilities he has been born with, his talents in no matter how raw a form they are in. but even beyond that, it is about discovering where their passion lies. Having a talent isn’t enough, but having a passion about something. And in most cases, our passion is almost always linked to our talent(s). Additionally, our passion leads us to our purpose: that higher calling we are willing to work for, which God has predestined for us to do. It is that calling which will give us the greatest fulfilment and satisfaction, beyond what money, fame and power can ever do for us. Now this is the tricky part: how do we discover our purpose? One of my favourite sermons of all times was based on the theme: The Discovery of Purpose. 

The preacher gave a simple 3-step approach to discovering our purpose: What is that thing or those things that comes to us naturally, in no matter how rough and raw a form? What is that one thing or things we can do for hours, without promise of pay, and lose ourselves while doing it? Whenever we dream about our future (and we all do that), what do we see ourselves doing or being? If we sit down and reflect on these questions, we begin to come up with rough answers to these questions and we find a connection between the three questions. Truth be told, the answers to these questions might be multiple. Like in my own case, I have always dreamt about being an entrepreneur, public speaker, teacher and politician / public office holder. I have dreamt or fantasized about politics since I was 9 years old, about starting a business since I was 10, running for public office and running a government since I was 13 and public speaking since I was 16. I started picking business tips, knowledge and following the stock market from age 12 and started business a year later, and I was pretty good at it from a young age. I was a high school debater and also convincing with words when I wanted to be, either speaking to one person or a group of persons. I started my consulting firm at the age of 22 when I discovered friends were always asking for advice as regards business ideas and strategy. And it goes on and on and on from then till now.

More Electronic Circuits

The world of electronics offers so many underestimated possibilities and it’s so vast and complex that you will be amazed. There are so many things that you can do, useful thing that you have never thought of. Electronic circuits are composed of individual component like transistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, resistors, which are connected by conductive wires of traces through which electric current can flow. This kind of combination, components and wires, allows various simple and complex operations to be performed like: signals amplified, computation performed, or data moved from one place to another. In a integrated circuit, also known as IC, the components and interconnections are formed on the same substrate, typically a semiconductor such as silicon or (less commonly) gallium arsenide. Digital electronic circuits use electric signals to take on discrete values, to represent logical and numeric values. These values also represent the information that is being processed. concentrates all the efforts of great, professional people and their innovative skills to introduce you in the world of electronics with more than 1090 electronic projects. We invite you to discover valuable information and detailed, innovative projects, from our best electronics engineers. You provide you a great database of electronic circuits and schematics, basic ideas for beginners, designs and new ways to practice your hobby with ease. Discover articles in our main categories: audio amplifiers, solar charges for solar panels, battery charges, kits, voltage converters, led, datasheet and much more. We are a strong, smart and dedicated team, always joyful to share our knowledge with the willing ones, so feel free to be a part of our community and ask us everything you need to know regarding our projects. Our experts bring you hands-on reviews, tips and tutorials on all the latest electronics and gadgets. Browse through this website and learn more about interesting and useful projects.

Is Medical School a Worthwhile Investment for Women?

I have a casual acquaintance who is a pediatrician. She has four children close in age to my own children and works one night a week on the mother/baby unit of a local hospital. I remember running into her there the day after giving birth to one of my daughters. She looked even more tired than I did. I remember shortly after I’d met her for the first time, about nine years ago, I mentioned her to my wife and told her that she was a doctor but only worked one day a week. He commented that this was certainly a big waste of a medical degree. I disagreed with him and said that I thought it was wonderful that she was taking the time to be home with her children.  Now of course I have a different mindset on such things and agree with her that she is wasting the investments that were made in her education and career. It would be better if she had not gone to medical school at all, thereby freeing up the spot for a man or for a woman who intends not to have children of her own. Over the last quarter century, women have been earning college and professional degrees in record numbers. In 1976, women earned only 45 percent of bachelor’s degrees in the United States. By 2006 that had increased to 58 percent. During that same interval, women have made even larger gains in advanced degrees.

For example, in 1976 women constituted only 24 percent of first year medical students. By 2006, that number which doubled to 48 percent. Despite these gains in education, a number of recent studies find that women’s incomes lag those of men. In a study of MBA students from a top program, Marianne Bertrand, Claudia Goldin, and Larry Katz found that while men and women had similar earnings at the outset of their careers ($115,000 per year for women versus $130,000 per year for men), within ten years of graduation men outearned women by $150,000 per year. Similar income gaps have been found for doctors and lawyers. Of course, feminists will say that this is either due to outright discrimination in pay or due to women feeling like they "have to" work less in order to care for their families. This raises two interesting and uncomfortable questions. First, why do women earn less? Second, if women benefit less from these high-end professional degrees, but pay the same high costs in time and money to acquire them, have their degrees actually paid off? That is, would women have been better off not getting those degrees? In a study being published this month in the Journal of Human Capital, we try to shed light on these questions by looking closely at doctors in primary-care fields and a plausible alternative career for anyone entering medical school, Physician Assistants.

The first PA program started in 1965 at Duke University, and was initially designed to provide civilian medical training to field medics returning from Vietnam. Interestingly, while the PA field started out all male, the majority of graduates today are female. The PA training program is generally 2 years, shorter than that for doctors. Unsurprisingly, subsequent hourly earnings of PAs are lower than subsequent hourly earnings of doctors. Focusing on the financial repercussions of these career choices, we use a tool common for analyzing investment called a net-present-value (NPV) calculation. An NPV calculation adds up the costs of obtaining a degree, and all of the earnings received over the career that degree enables, taking into account the fact that money earned later is not as valuable as money earned earlier (due to interest), summarizing a career decision in a single number. This captures the insight that in order for an investment in the high up-front cost medical degree to overcome the lower up-front cost of a PA degree, not only do a doctor’s wages have to significantly exceed those of the PA, but the doctor needs to be willing to work enough hours to make those wages really pays off.

The Orchardist

This is a book about a majestic orchardist who is just a man, just a man. But his orchard plays music to him, around him, in him. I’m excited to have selected this for my first read this month. In The Orchardist, picking and planting fruit, harvesting fruit, is a metaphor for the harvesting of love, and horror, and violence, and life. Of being human and bequeathing the ordinariness of being human onto the next generation. To be an orchardist is to be the one left behind who must stay alive and go through the motions that kept the prior generation alive. To be an orchardist is to remember those who have been planted, and encourage their roots to life. 

In 1897, William Talmadge’s solitary existence as a middle-aged orchardist in Washington State is colored to life by the appearance of two very pregnant, prepubescent girls (Jane and Della) at his fruits stand in town. When they steal his apples while he sleeps (outraging the townspeople, who shake him awake), he allows them to escape without reclaiming his merchandise. This single act of kindness attracts the hungry girls to his orchard, where over a period of several weeks Talmadge feeds them by leaving food on the porch while they slowly circle his land, watching him, avoiding his glances, never meeting his eye, racing for the food and then ducking his voice when he greets them. 

The terrified children (for they are not nearly old enough to be called "women") ultimately shatter his peaceful world when an act of unimaginable terror cuts the life of one of them into memories. What follows is a slow unrolling of their life stories: of Talmadge’s life before the girls arrived, and what transpired to make him so alone; of the girls' history and how they came to be pregnant so young; of the slow orchard of love, regret, anger, silence, secrets and violence that blooms between them and becomes their home. The whole novel builds toward the final chapter which is exquisite, not because of what happens necessarily, but because it is poetry. I think this whole novel was built to support that final chapter.

What is a MOOC?

Here's a useful video clip explaining the idea of a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC.

Does Your Hypertension Stress You?

The most typical health issues people struggle with is often high blood pressure levels and it is possible you are in danger of it. There are a lot of daily habits which you might not even know about yet that can cause your blood pressure to elevate. Being at an unhealthy weight is one of the more common reasons that people have to contend with high blood pressure. You should check your blood pressure on a regular basis and if it ever goes over 120/80, you’ll want to start taking measures to get it back under control. You’re going to be well served by changing your eating habits so that you will eat good foods and if you start an exercise program. Truly, the correct diet solution is generally a must. Your blood pressure could return to normal, by shedding as little as ten pounds. Even if your diet is rather good, not ever being physically active can cause you to gain pounds and will raise your blood pressure. It’s crucial to have some strenuous activity in your life, particularly if you see your blood pressure numbers start to climb. 

Even if you merely do 30 minutes of activity daily, you’ll help your body a lot and really lower your blood pressure. If you’ve got any concerns regarding your health, you need to eat healthier foods. Being unhealthy, along with having hypertension, are typically directly related to the food you consume. If you wish to reduce your blood pressure your regular or low carbohydrate diet should include more fruits and vegetables and less salt or sodium. One other way to increase your risk of hypertension is to use tobacco products so if you do that now, stop smoking as soon as you possibly can. When people start smoking cigarettes, most of them probably never even consider that it might lead to high blood pressure, or even check it regularly to find out how it is doing. Alas, elevated BP can be brought on by a lot of terrible lifestyle choices. One more factor might be stress, which is one of the major contributors to elevated blood pressure. 

Everyone has pressure within their lives and that pressure usually triggers stress which is something everybody deals with a little bit differently. People drink, smoke, binge or any number of things to fight the stress that’s been affecting them. This might feel good in the short term, but in the long haul it causes high blood pressure. If you are younger, you probably think that there isn’t anything that could affect your health and that you have lots of time to get on track but in due course you will wish that you had done things differently. When diseases hit you that are directly linked to the high blood pressure you got from your lifestyle choices, you’re going to regret them. Take a look at the older people in your life, and examine their health with how they have lived. Choose the ones who have health you’d like for you and discover what kind of things they have done. Look for individuals who aren’t taking medicine to keep blood pressure regular.

Our Democratic Deficit - Private Member’s Bills

Memorial University of Newfoundland political science professor Alex Marland penned a timely article in the Canadian Parliamentary Review last fall. The piece raises a number of questions about the operations and functions of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, including its diminishing status under the current government. The following excerpt on private member’s bills illustrates the need for democratic reform in our province (emphasis added by me): Members who do not belong to cabinet have a small influence on public policy and have a more limited legislative presence than is the case in other provinces. In other parliamentary systems, members introduce a private member’s bill to propose legislation in an attempt to raise public awareness of issues and to hold the government to account. In Newfoundland, non-cabinet members may speak for 15 minutes on Wednesdays (the designated private members day) when they can introduce motions, which could include urging policy change. But unlike other legislatures, the rules for a private member’s bill require completion of all three readings in the same day, and the resulting impossibility of meeting such a stringent requirement is symbolic of the strength of the political executive and the lack of effective opposition. Consequently a private member’s bill has never been passed.

Electives Made Easy

Next week I'll meet with the other twenty students in my rotation group to choose where we'll be spending our third year. Already, it's become clear that each of us will have to make sacrifices. Not everyone can do surgery at the academic mecca down the road, and someone has to spend December catching pertussis from kids in northwest Pennsylvania. I've spent more than a few hours agonizing over my preferences, weighing the benefits of one hospital's huge patient volume with another's beach house provided for visiting students. That's right, a beach house. Over the next two years, we'll have a half-dozen electives rotation months that we can spend anywhere in the world, doing anything we want. Most of these will be spent "auditioning" at the places we hope to complete our residencies, but nearly everyone has the dream of spending at least a month experiencing another country's healthcare system. Whether it's working with the incredible DO Care clinic in Guatemala, treating families in the Philippines, or discovering the National Health Service in the UK, we're all excited for such an opportunity.

I've already been checking ticket prices into Phnom Penh. But getting connected with the rotation of your dreams isn't always easy. Jess had a tough time finding a rotation within just the United States, and I can only imagine what cold-calls in broken Spanish are worth to program directors in Madrid. Afortunadamente, I was recently introduced to a a site that makes it a lot easier. For more than a decade The Electives Network has helped tens of thousands of medical students plan their elective placements. TEN can help you find your dream elective, anywhere from a remote clinic in the jungles of Papua New Guinea to a cutting-edge hospital amongst the sky scrapers of Manhattan. I spent more than an hour this evening perusing the site. Besides listing thousands of electives in hundreds of countries around the world, they also have a key feature that I found extremely helpful student reviews that give you a true insight into that elective you've been eyeing in Burundi or Portugal.

I even used the interactive planner to see what would be available for a friend who had mentioned wanting to rotate in Italy. The Electives Network isn't paying me to write this, nor do I get some awesome free trip to London (though I wouldn't say no). I truly found that it's a fantastic resource for medical students hoping to broaden their horizons a bit. After a life-changing experience in Cambodia, it's clear to me that such an international opportunity can be a critical building block in medical education. So I got in contact with Halina Malone at TEN and we were able to put together something to help students develop the elective they've always wanted. By signing up and selecting Little White Coats as your medical school (awesome, I know), they're doubling everyone's membership length giving you the time to make sure you're planning your perfect rotation. Once again, The Electives Network is not paying me to advertise for them, I just wanted to pass along a great resource. If you find your dream elective, I'd love to hear about it! Dibs on the Hems elective in London, though.

Internet Older than Incoming First-Year Students

Mention Amazon to the incoming class of college freshmen and they are more likely to think of shopping than the South American river. PC doesn't stand for political correctness and breaking up on Facebook is more common than any more personal encounter. These are among the 75 references on this year's Beloit College Mindset List, a compilation intended to remind teachers that college freshmen born mostly in 1993 see the world in a much different way: They fancied pogs and Tickle Me Elmo toys as children, watched televisions that never had dials and their lives have always been like a box of chocolates. Once upon a time, relatives of the current generation swore never to trust anyone over the age of 30. This group could argue: Never trust anyone older than the Net. The college's compilation, released Tuesday, is assembled each year by two officials at the private school in southeastern Wisconsin. It also has evolved into a national phenomenon, a cultural touchstone that entertains even as it makes people wonder where the years have gone.