Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review: Sandbox Wisdom - Revolutionize your business with the genius of childhood (by Tom Asacker)

I have developed the habit of taking a "good" book with me for reading on the plane or at airports when traveling. It does lower the frustration of waiting for delayed flights or sitting in a plane wondering what to do with your time.

This time round, I took "Sandbox Wisdom" to read on my flight from Dakar (Senegal) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). It turned out to be an interesting experience. The book is very provocative and inspiring. It makes you recall the child in you and the beauty of innocence. Coming to think of it, if we behave like children, then there will be no problems in this world. In the mind of a child, everything is possible. As we grow older, we become too self-conscious and concerned about the risk of failure and we start making excuses for not trying. The focus shifts from "how it can be done", to "why it cannot be done."

The flight was quite smooth though the we landed in Bamako as if we were shot down from the sky. To make amends, the pilot was extremely careful when landing in Ouagadougou (our next destination) to the point that we kept floating above the runway for quite some time before hitting land - a very smooth finish!

Going back to "Sandbox Wisdom". I recommend that you read this book to see how modern-day business problems can be solved with child-like attitudes.

For more info, please visit http://www.sandboxwisdom.com/

Front Cover

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering September 11, 2001: Killing in God's name or Killing God's name?

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the September 11 attacks; a day that came to be known simply as 911; a day that will never be forgotten, but most importantly, a sad day for humanity - for the billions of people who believe in the existence of a one true God. A day for reflection.

If the love of God and the fear of his wrath implies that one should neither take his/her own life nor the life of others, how can someone kill in God's name? Or is it an attempt in killing God's name?

Throughout recorded history, the world's major religions have been embroiled in violence; desperate to either gain new converts - sometimes, by any means necessary - or to gain territory to consolidate power. All are guilty of a violent past and in using God's name to justify their actions. Religion has been used as justification to deprive fellow humans of their basic rights. Religion has been used as justification to enslave people. Religion has been used as justification to kill, to insult, to provoke, to go to wars.

If religion came about to lead humans to the right path - primarily to avoid evil - how can acting evil be God's way? Should it be a case of "I am right and you are wrong. I worship HIM in the right way and you are a loser"? Is this really what God wanted?  Are we killing in God's name or are we trying to kill God's name?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak!

Eid mubarak to all muslims who celebrated the end of Ramadan today.

We had some friends over to join us in celebrating the Eid.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social! (source: WFP)

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social!

Hunger-Fighting Word Game FreeRice Is Now Social!

Published on 07 September 2010

Players of the new Free Rice can log-in using their Facebook or Twitter profiles, share the amount of rice they've raised and create groups to play with friends or classmates.

The viral word game that builds vocabulary while feeding the hungry has had a major upgrade that’s made it even more addictive than before. Players of the new version will be able to compete with friends, tout their scores on Facebook and play on the go by mobile phone – all while fighting hunger. Check it out!

ROME – FreeRice went "social” on Tuesday with the arrival of a highly anticipated upgrade, which draws on the power of online communities to attract new players, raise more rice and spread awareness about fighting hunger.

The new version combines the fun and easy gameplay of the original with the fun of social media, allowing players to track their scrores, play in groups and recruit their friends to the online fight against hunger.

“The race will be on to see who can top the FreeRice rankings,” said Nancy Roman, Director of Communications and Private Sector Partnerships.

Where does the rice go?

Since launching in 2007, FreeRice has raised enough food to feed more than 4.2 million people for a day in countries like Bangladesh, Uganda and Cambodia. The next batch of FreeRice will be sent to victims of the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.

What’s New

The basic premise of FreeRice hasn’t changed: players face increasingly difficult vocabulary questions and for every right answers, earn ten grains of rice donated through WFP and paid for by advertisers.

The new version, however, takes the game one step further, by bringing players together in an online community where groups of friends or classmates can pit their wits against each other. Learn more about how schools are using FreeRice.

Players will now be able to post their scores on Facebook or tweet about how much rice they’ve donated. Weaving social media into the game not only makes it more fun, but will attract new players.

“FreeRice is making Internet history, said Roman. “It’s a stellar example of how a fun and simple idea can harness the internet’s potential to contribute to the world’s most pressing global issue – hunger.”

Humble beginnings

FreeRice was launched in 2007 with no official marketing campaign and at no cost to WFP. Its designer, John Breen, says the programme started out as a simple word game to help his teenage sons prepare for their college entrance exams.

Breen, who was already working on a number of humanitarian causes, realized the game’s potential to help, putting it at the service of WFP. An instant success, in its first month, the game had raised enough rice to feed over 50,000 people for a day.

As it continued turning heads and winning converts, FreeRice won Yahoo!’s 2007 Charity Website of the Year Award. A year later, Breen was recognized by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for the game’s outstanding contribution to the Internet’s impact on society.

Today, thousands of loyal players log on everyday to learn new words or improve their English language skills, while donating rice to the hungry. As this online community of hunger-fighting word fans continues to grow, so does their contribution to WFP’s operations around the world.

Coming soon
  • Take your game on the go with the new iPhone/iPad app coming this fall.
  • Look out for new French, Spanish, Italian and German editions of the game coming out soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Fastest Helicopter on Earth: article from IEEE Spectrum

The Fastest Helicopter on Earth
Helicopters have many advantages, but speed is not one of them. Until now the greatest speed ever reached by a helicopter was no better than what a 1923 biplane could do. But Sikorsky Aircraft aims to shatter that speed record by combining active stabilization, software-simplified controls, and an unusual coaxial rotor design.
Read more.

What an E-Waste (interesting article on electronic waste: Source - IEEE Spectrum)

Interactive Map: What an E-Waste
Consumer electronics, critics charge, are designed for the dump. The latest gizmo enjoys a year or two of cutting-edge relevance and another two to five collecting dust. Then we throw it away, often to another part of the world. This map shows where e-waste originates and where it ends up. 
Read more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ISD Boys Scout 2010 - End of Year Awards

ISD Boys Scout 2010 event: Akela Ayesha giving medals and awards to the cub scouts. Congratulations to the pack!

ISD 2010 - EndOfYearAwards

ISD 2010 End of Year Awards: Elementary School end of year awards ceremony and graduation to Middle School.

Featured post

Family news: Proud moment - Our daughter Fatmata (Binta) Bah is the proud recipient of the Middle School Ambassador award for 2018

DAA Grade 8 Completion Ceremony (2018): Our daughter Fatmata (Binta) Bah is the proud recipient of the Middle School Ambassador award f...