Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Braille Lego Printer, United Nations Food, and “A Few Stupid Extremists”

Yes, let’s change the world: Last week it was Bill Gates drinking water purified from sewage, this week it’s a 13-year old’s prototype of a simple Braille printer built from Legos.  California teenager Shubham Banerjee, with encouragement and investment from his parents, developed a low-cost machine to print the tactile writing system used by the visually impaired. Intel Corp. is interested enough to invest in his startup, Braigo Lab . Brialle printers currently cost about $2,000. Says Shubham, “I just thought that price should not be there. I know that there is a simpler way to do this." (Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company) Write on!

I’ve always believed if we’d share and eat each other’s food, we’d fight less. To that end, I’ve been savoring the pages of Lonely Planet’s Food Lover’s Guide to the World. This week, public radio reported on Jesse Friedman and Laura Hadden’s New York City project to have dinner parties featuring the foods of each of the 193 United Nations member states. “As they cooked food from Algeria to Djibouti to Guyana, United Noshes hosted dinners that ranged from just a few friends gathered around a living room table, to dozens of guests assembled in a banquet hall. And the ingredients have ranged as well — from cashew juice to French charcuterie to fermented corn flour.” (United Noshes: Dinner Party Aims To Eat Its Way Through Global Cuisine). Eat on!

And, thus far in 2015 public health, there were “a few stupid extremists” who “handled their firearms unsafely.” French murderers at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish deli? Nope, Second Amendment gun rights advocates in the state legislature’s public gallery. The quote is from Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms who was working hard to distance the “stupid” from other gun rights protesters. (House bans openly carried weapons in public gallery)

At the same time, sounding not much different than extremist Islamists, legislator Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) was proclaiming: “This is a culture war, folks. They don't like what we do, and they want to control what we do." (Hundreds of gun-rights activists rally at Washington Capitol)

Brian, Alan! Eat first, talk later!

--Mike Sato

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