Last week, facebook announced that it had given its website, largely written in a programming language called php, a programming equivalent of a face lift. They also made a splash in the web development industry by releasing a new web programming language called Hack to the open source community. Hack is based on the php, but claims to keep “all the good parts” while removing some of its limitations. Since Facebook has been converting it’s legacy php to hack for some time now, you can trust that hack can stand up to the highest expectations, and that Facebook clearly has a lot of faith in the strength of the language. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Overcoming Obstacles
Throughout my education, music and performance have played a pivotal role in my development. In high school and college, I was a full time student by day, and a full time performer by night – often juggling rehearsals for two concert bands, three choirs, a solo performance repertoire and a musical or two. Stylistically, this breadth of performing opportunities grounded my appreciation for music in several genres, from classical music, to jazz, to popular music today.
Particularly for classical and choral music, I marveled at the intricacies and beauty of 100 voices singing with perfectly aligned vowels to achieve sounds conceived by great men like Beethoven hundreds of years ago. Great men like those classical composers are on a whole other level. They hear in their minds the wisps of great master works and somehow have the ability to condense that to paper in a digestible form for the artist to recreate. All these great men don’t just exist in history. Eric Whitacre is one of the most lauded composers of our time, and I consider to be a great, possibly the greatest of this generation. Continue reading
Ankur Jain is the founder and chairman of the Kairos Society. The Kairos Society is an international, student-run, not-for-profit foundation based in the United States that brings passionate young entrepreneurs together from all over the world and asks them to tackle the worlds toughest challenges. Ankur doesn’t just believe that they can solve these challenges, he also believes that by fostering inside tomorrow’s leaders a belief that they will do well by doing good, that they will impact the quality of life for the global population on a large scale. Continue reading
George Whitesides is the CEO and President of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson. Prior to Virgin Galactic, Whitesides served as Chief of Staff for NASA, where he provided policy and staff support to the agency’s Administrator. Upon departure from the agency he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.
During this talk at the WOBI conference I was just in awe. There isn’t much to say after a video like that. I am unbelievably excited that the view from space may be something I see in my lifetime with my own eyes. Especially after my thoughts on the Overview Effect, I think it would do the world a lot of good for people to see the world as one planet, one ecosystem, and not a collection of invisible borders. Companies like Virgin Galactic are pushing the envelope of what’s possible, going where governments have not. Continue reading
The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International to develop the first controlled flight of a human powered helicopter that meets a set of extremely challenging requirements. In summary, the requirements to win the AHS Human Powered Helicopter Competition include a flight duration of 60 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft) while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square. The flight must be certified by a representative of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. On July 11, 2013, 33 years after the competition was established, the award was officially declared won when AeroVelo, from the University of Toronto, flew a human-powered helicopter that met all the requirements of the competition. [Wikipedia]
Nothing is quite as poisonous as the words, “you can’t do it.” Those words are more caustic than tar, more debilitating than any disease, and have destroyed thousands of dreams. It’s not the words themselves; it’s just a sentence, an opinion, right? It’s when the public ridicule of your resolve raises to critical mass, and becomes the mantra of the gloomy cloud of people that have already given up hope on their own dreams, and threatens to drown you out completely, that it becomes dangerous. They start to convince you that, “maybe you can’t,” and it becomes clear that the emphasis on what we can’t do stifles our ability to “do the impossible.”
David Blaine doesn’t listen to these voices, even when the global scientific community insists that something isn’t possible. His insistence on pushing the boundaries on what’s possible can teach us a valuable lesson. Sometimes, conventional wisdom isn’t true. Sometimes, failing firsthand is better than believing you are doomed to fail at the start. More on that after the break, but first, David Blaine, soft spoken and humble, tells the story of how he learned how to hold his breath for 17 minutes.http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng/id/741