Archive for February, 2012

Steven Jobs

Steven Jobs: founder of Apple computers.

Born: February 24, 1955

Steven Jobs believes he owes much of his success in life to a very special teacher who was able to look past how he was acting to who he could be.

She said, “Steven, I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I have this math workbook and if you take it home and finish on your own without any help and you bring it back to me, if you get it 80% right, I will give you five dollars and one of these really big suckers.”  She  bought and she held it out in front of me….She basically bribed me back into learning with candy and money….

I’m 100% sure that if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely have ended up in jail…  [My energy] could have been directed at doing something interesting that other people thought was a good idea or doing something interesting that maybe other people didn’t like so much.

Today he wants to give back to society what he got from Mrs. Hill.

I’ve helped with more computers in more schools than anybody else in the world and I am absolutely convinced that is by no means the most important thing. The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Born:  April 30, 1946

From childhood, Gustaf XVI of Sweden kept his dyslexia a well guarded secret until he was king.  His wife, Queen Silvia, described his struggles.

When he was little, people did not pay attention to the problem. He didn’t get the help he     needed.

Today, Sweden leads the way in much of the technological innovations of our time.

Innovation and scientific advancements has always been distinguished features in Sweden.  My country is known as the home of ground-breaking and scientific discoveries.

In a recent speech, King Gustaf praised his country’s educational system.

First, a good education system giving all children access to high quality education.  An open minded approach to knowledge as well as well a stimulating capacity for creative thinking are quite the factors for a country’s ability to produce first class engineers, scientists and innovators.

Hopefully Sweden will lead the way in developing more methods and technological support for those with learning disabilities.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking: Professor and writer of physics, author A Brief History of Time

Born: January 8, 1942

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

Stephen Hawking has had plenty opportunity to demonstrate the truth of the above statement.  As a child, his physics tutor remembers,

It was only necessary for him to know that something could be done, and he could do it without looking to see how other people did it. [...] He didn’t have very many books, and he didn’t take notes. Of course, his mind was completely different from all of his contemporaries.

Today, though he has been stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he remains determined.

It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward.

He also retains a wry sense of humor.

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.

To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.

Hawking’s take on the value of the human spirit will, hopefully, encourage others.

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler:  actress and model.

Born: July 1, 1977

Even as a child, Liv Tyler knew that she wanted to be in the spotlight.

I used to pretend I was a rock singer.  I’d use the bedpost as a microphone and I had a plastic guitar and high heels. I always wanted to be up there with him [her father, Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith].

Except for reading and writing, little frightened young Tyler.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with horror movies.  It was my favorite thing to watch. Then I remember seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I was like, ‘OK, I’m done with the genre,’ because it really scared me.

Today, Tyler is thankful for the unique opportunities she had to success outside the classroom.

For me, I didn’t get much of a childhood in my teen years because I’ve been working since I was 14. But that also kept me out of trouble. When everybody was doing acid and partying like crazy, I was at work on a movie in Tuscany … having my own fun, of course, but it was a different kind of thing. I have no regrets. I love the way my life has gone.

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