Harnessing the Wind

William Kamkwamba has told his amazing story of ingenuity at TED here and here. Kamkwamba, as a 14 year old in a village in Malawi, saw a photo in a book of a windmill.  Using whatever materials he could find, he built his own windmill to provide electricity for his family.  Here he speaks with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

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A Fall Afternoon at the Apple Orchard

Robinette’s Orchard, northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a magnet for families every fall weekend. It used to be a regular event for us to visit the orchard when our children were young. I thought I would stop by today. As usual, the line for the fresh baked donuts, cookies and pies snaked out the door. I resisted the aroma and bypassed the line, buying apples and cider instead. Then I walked around the property to take in a taste of fall.

You can view larger images by clicking here.

Bill Strickland at TED

I had an opportunity to hear Bill Strickland a couple of weeks ago when he spoke to the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. He is a passionate person who is committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

Strickland founded a vocational school in one of Pittsburgh’s toughest neighborhoods, the neighborhood in which he grew up and still lives. Convinced that change can be made in people’s lives by giving them a beautiful environment in which to learn, Strickland’s school has had incredible success. He is now trying to duplicate that success in 200 cities around the country. In Grand Rapids, he has helped found the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology.

Here is his talk.