Thursday, 6 September 2012

Ben Underwood : World's Most Inspirational People

Ben Underwood: the boy who could “see” with his ears

Ben Underwood was a remarkable teenager, who loved to skateboard, ride his bicycle and play football and basketball. For the most part, the Californian 14-year-old was just like other kids his age. What made Underwood remarkable was his ability to master these activities despite the fact that he was blind. Underwood had both eyes removed after being diagnosed with retinal cancer at age two. To most people's amazement upon meeting him, he seemed completely unfazed by his lack of sight, defying common stereotypes about blindness as a disability. So how did he do it? The answer is echolocation: the sonar navigation technique used by bats, dolphins, several other mammals and some birds. As Underwood moved about, he habitually made clicking noises with his tongue; these sounds bounced off surfaces and, with each return, added to Underwood's perception of his surroundings. 

He was so good at it that he could tell the difference between a fire hydrant and a rubbish bin, distinguish between parked cars and trucks, and — if you took him to a house he had never been to before — he would tell you he could 'see' a staircase in that corner and a kitchen in the other. He could even distinguish between different materials. 

An unflinching faith in God guided Ben and his mother during his last few months as cancer spread to Ben's brain and spine. He eventually died on January 2009 at the age of 16.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Randy Pausch: World's Most Inspirational People

 Randy Pausch:  inspired thousands of people with his dying speech

Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer, a terminal illness, in September of 2006. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called "The Last Lecture" on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

In his famous speech, Pausch showed a list of his childhood dreams, and explained how he achieved each of them. His dreams were: being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, being the author of a World Book Encyclopedia article, meeting and being Captain Kirk, being "one of the guys who won the big stuffed animals in the amusement park", and becoming a Disney Imagineer.

He was given 3 months of life, he lived 3 more years.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Jessica Cox: World's Most Inspirational People

 Jessica Cox: became the first pilot with no arms, proving you don't need 'wings' to fly

Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. None of the prenatal tests her mother took showed there was anything wrong with her. And yet she was born with this rare congenital disease, but also with a great spirit. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.

The plane she is flying is called an Ercoupe and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals. Without rudder pedals Jessica is free to use her feet as hands. She took three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft licence, had three flying instructors and practiced 89 hours of flying, becoming the first pilot with no arms.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sudha Chandran: World's Most Inspirational People

A lady of sheer determination, Sudha Chandran is counted among one of the most celebrated Bharatanatyam dancers of the Indian subcontinent. Holder of master degree in Economics, her right leg was amputated in 1981, due to Gangrene but this lady of incredible will-power defeated her impairment and fixed an artificial leg. After slow down of two years, she was back in her profession with the thunderous applause across the world. Apart from her dancing skills, she is also known for her astounding performances in Indian movies and television series.

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Monday, 20 August 2012

Nick Vujicic: World's Most Inspirational People

Nick Vujicic: a man with no limbs who teaches people how to get up

Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with the rare Tetra-amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh. Despite the absence of limbs, he is doing surf and swimming, and playing golf and soccer. Nick graduated from college at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. He began his travels as a motivational speaker, focusing on the topics that today's teenagers face.

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Touching & Inspiring Story

Pencil and Eraser

Pencil: I'm sorry

Eraser: For what? You didn't do anything wrong.

Pencil: I'm sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you're always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.

Eraser: That's true. But I don't really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I'll be gone and you'll replace me with a new one, I'm actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad.

I found this conversation between the pencil and the eraser very inspirational. Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They're always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way, they get hurt, and become smaller / older, and eventually pass on. Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad. All my life, I've been the pencil. And it pains me to see the eraser that is my parents getting smaller and smaller each day. For I know that one day, all that I'm left with would be eraser shavings and memories of what I used to have.