The OLPC Project

    You’ve probably heard of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program.

    It’s basically an initiative to provide children in especially poor countries with laptops at $100 USD to help them learn better and bridge the technology gap between the fortunate and less fortunate.

    It’s an admirable concept which if implemented and administered properly could really take the education of pupils in developing countries to the next level. Besides lack of amenities and school supplies, the other biggest hindrance to education in developing countries is basic technology which puts them at a big disadvantage when they get out into the global job market.

    There’s however the question as to whether developing countries can really afford to spend $100USD per computer on each child? Could the money be better spent towards ensuring that every child has access to clean and safe drinking water and basic school supplies like pencils and notebooks? Because the situation is that dire.

    But one could argue that the folks at MIT Media Lab who created this organization are not in the stationary, health, or food aid business for that matter. So if they are willing to help, shouldn’t it be in an area where they have the most expertise?

    My concerns are with set-up, training, performance and maintenance. Has provisions been made for Internet access? Do they get on-staff support? Etc.

    The more I think about it, I realize that it’ll be perfect for children from disadvantage neighbourhoods in developed countries too!

    I read that Nigeria was the first country to order a million laptops. Good on them!

    I have a lot of questions which are probably being worked on as I type.

    The one thing I’m certain of is that this project has great potential; it has the ability to positively change lives.

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    V. Day 2007: A tale in enduring love

    My father died a few months after my eighth birthday. And although he didn’t die on Valentine’s Day, I think about him more and more on this day.

    I met Jay on the anniversary of my father’s death. I mentioned this to him a few months on. From the bits and pieces I remembered and stories from my mother, I told him about my father. About how much his life and unfortunate death had made me the person I’d become. He’d soon come to understand and on our second Valentine’s Day together he’d show me how much he understood.

    Before my mother would marry the man I call dad today, she’d give me my father’s aged broken watch given to him by my grandfather and ask that I never forget my father.

    The watch would become the most important and constant item in my life, it stayed with me through numerous moves, travels, my parents’ divorce, the bitterness, anger, ugliness and my uncertain and sad place with my dad and his new family.

    As I try to put my past behind me, the watch has become a bridge and reminder of my history. Tucked amidst nicks knacks in my bedside drawer, it just laid there, knowing so much.

    I knew it was a great watch of some probable monetary value. It was a vintage classic Cartier piece but very so tarnished and old; the crystal had come off, the face a little crooked and in a very sad state, the mechanics however was intact.

    Jay had the watch restored to its original glory and gave it to me as a surprise on our second Valentine’s Day together!

    The watch was evaluated and then sent the manufacturer to be restored with emphasis on preservation.

    The watch, it turns out is a circa 1930s Cartier Tank, its value when appraised, could very well feed a small family for years on.

    It’s the most amazing and loving thing anyone has ever done for me and it’s my most memorably Valentine’s Day ever.

    I always knew the watch was special and I’m glad I regarded it as such.

    It means even more to me than before; it’s a part of me, my heritage.

    I hope to wear the watch when I go out to dinner tonight, it doesn’t matter what my Valentine’s Day gift, I have the ultimate gift to last a lifetime of Valentine Days.

    V. Day 2007

    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Here’s wishing your day is filled with astounding love, harmony and goodwill (goodwill isn’t only for Christmas).

    And while you’re at it, give that loved one fair trade chocolates and make a difference in the life of a cocoa farmer.

    My song this day is Mike Brown’s Wash Away, from his album Let Go. I met Mike in Dallas on a Seattle bound flight; it felt like I’d know him a lifetime, he has a beautiful soul.

    A resident of New Orleans, he wrote Wash Away in the wake of Katrina, however this song can be a metaphor for everything else in life, love, passion, good, evil, beginnings, endings etc.

    I hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy the day wherever you are.

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    A little bit of love never killed anyone

    I took the Karma Calculator quiz and apparently I’m a good person. But the quiz just shows that I have a bit of compassion in me. That doesn’t necessarily make me a good person besides who decides who is good and who isn’t? I think when you take out real evil everything else is just shades of gray.

    Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and I’m excited, I’m hoping to get a guest post.

    I’ve never been able to hate Valentine’s Day, How can anyone hate a day set aside for love? Even if it’s set up to sell flowers and candies. People in love are happy; I’ll take them over grouches any day.

    If you feel a little lonely be extra nice to yourself, and I don’t’ mean send yourself flowers, how about a nice super cute Swedish vibrator from LELO. Tell that guy that got you the box of chocolate and a card that it’s just for him as it is for you.

    I spent the best part of my morning chatting with a (new) friend who’s lucky enough to be at 3GSM; he hints that he might send me the LG KE850 when it debuts in Europe later this month. Sometimes I wish strangers would just be generous… without expecting something else back.

    I’m planning an European trip this summer, I haven’t decided on the exact dates yet, I’m hoping I’ll be on one of the first Virgin America flights. My maiden trip to the United States was on Virgin Atlantic, it’ll almost be poetic to fly to England on Virgin America. Plus, I just want to experience the inside of those planes.

    So if you live in the Land of the Free, please sign their petition. Air travel isn’t what is used to be anymore. Hopefully they’ll up the ante a bit.

    I’m just saying that I’ve seen roomier buses with nicer interiors than the last plane I flew in.

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    Pics from my weekend of not running

    I didn’t run this weekend, I was feeling a little lazy.

    Guilt didn’t set in until Saturday evening after I’d consumed copious amounts of sugary treats throughout the day. I run so that I can indulge, so on days that I don’t run, I feel like I’m cheating.

    I haven’t been working out as I should lately and it’s beginning to show, I’m afraid if I ignore it any further, it’ll get to a point I can’t control.

    I went to the Asian mall to check out new gadgets and stock up on candy.

    I stopped for a short walk by the Fraser River on the way back and went to another Asian mall, this time in Burnaby.

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