Young Malawi inventor William Kamkwamba built an electricity-
generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he
found in a library book. In conversation with TED Curator Chris
Anderson, he tells a story of ingenuity and adaptation that will move
Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth demo
Chris Abani: Telling stories of our shared humanity
Chris Abani tells stories of people: People standing up to soldiers. People being compassionate. People being human and reclaiming their humanity. It's "ubuntu," he says: the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.
In this provocative talk, journalist Andrew Mwenda asks us to reframe the "African question" -- to look beyond the media's stories of poverty, civil war and helplessness and see the opportunities for creating wealth and happiness throughout the continent. Most important, he says, the solution to Africa's problems is not more aid.
Chris Abani: Learning the stories of Africa
n this deeply personal talk, novelist and poet Chris Abani searches for the heart of Africa through poetry and narrative -- including his own story of artistic and political awakening, which began with an inventive teacher who taught him the forbidden history of his own people. How, he asks, can we reconcile stories of terror, war and corruption with one's enduring sense of pure wonder?
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on aid versus trade
After four days of intense discussion on aid versus trade at
TEDGlobal 2007, it was up to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former Finance
Minister of Nigeria, to sum up. She asks for the discussion to
continue, and to grow more sophisticated, more nuanced. And she
brilliantly refocuses the concept of aid from westernized nations: As
she points out, these other countries could not have been built
without aid from Africa. When the US or the UK gives aid, she says,
what they are really doing is giving *back.*
A Perspective on the Pledge
Atheist Ethicist (http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com)
Shelby Johnson had to admit that she was more than a little nervous as she walked into her first class. She was also a little late. Principal Hadley had kept her a little too long as he gave her a pep talk before she started her first assignment.
One advantage that she saw from this is that the class bell had already rung by the time she reached the classroom. All of the students were inside the room and most had selected a seat. Some were still standing as she entered, but they sat down while she dropped her books on her desk.
She wrote her name on the board, turned to the class, and took a deep breath before saying, “All stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.” She had been told that this ritual was useful in getting the kids’ minds focused on the fact that they were now in school and that the class had started, like the announcement that "all stand" before a judge entered the courtroom.
She paused when she noticed that one boy, near the back of the room, remained slouched down in his chair.
“Excuse me,” Shelby said, looking at the student. She stepped up between the rows to get a little bit closer and to make it clear who she was talking to. “Excuse me. What is your name?”
“Shawn,” the student answered. He scarcely looked up, but remained focused on the pen that he was fiddling with.
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