Encouraging a Liberian Innovation to Fight Ebola

first_imgThe Daily Observer on page nine of yesterday’s edition carried a story of an improved Ebola bucket developed by a Liberian. The Ebola bucket with the faucet for hand washing that now appears at the entrance of nearly all public and private premises in the country since the outbreak of the deadly virus, contains a solution of chlorine and detergents referred to as the “Ebola soup”,  highly promoted to help stop the transmission of the virus. The bucket’s flaw that undermines its purpose, however, is that the scores or even hundreds of users handle the faucets to turn them on and off. Lewis K. Tealeh, a senior   communication specialist at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), has licked the flaw by developing an electronically powered faucet for the bucket.  This enhancement makes the Ebola bucket hands free. Users do not need to touch the faucet to turn it on and off.  Instead, the faucet is electronically powered by a battery that is activated by the hand washer’s foot. The battery is installed on the floor near the bucket. Mr. Tealeh has a dream of mass producing this new type of bucket so that it becomes available to people throughout the country.  But he needs help!He is hoping that someone in government or in the local or international community, such as his own organization, LPRC, the National Port Authority (NPA), the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC); or the European Union, the American, Dutch or Norwegian governments could help him fulfill his dream to mass produce this bucket and make it available to all in Liberia.Not only would it help people to take yet another step away from this deadly Ebola virus.  It would also put some money into the hands of this creative young Liberian.  This could inspire and empower him to conceive and develop more innovations, leading to a stream of technological inventions to improve people’s lives, create wealth and contribute to the nation’s modernization.Remember the elementary beginning of the Wright Brothers in North Carolina, USA, who were mere bicycle sellers and mechanics.  Yet in the early 1900s they embarked upon an innovation that led to the invention of the airplane. Henry Ford, too, was an ordinary fellow in Detroit when he experimented with engines and tires that led to the invention of the automobile.Alexander Graham Bell was trying to improve communication between himself and his hearing-impaired wife that led to the invention of the telephone.We pray that somebody with the means will reach out to this Liberian, Lewis Tealeh, and help him mass produce this timely innovation springing out of a health crisis that has forced us to change and adopt the habit of washing hands upon entering public and private premises.Liberians must begin to think and act to help our inventors, especially at this critical time—people like Mr. Tealeh. Let us do better than our well-to-do forebears, many of whom failed to develop our elementary and high schools that educated themselves.  Rather, when they became rich, instead of giving back to these schools that made them, by educating their children there and helping to further develop and modernize those schools, they sent their children abroad for primary, secondary and higher education, leaving the schools destitute.  These schools included the College of West Africa, St. Patrick’s and St. Teresa’s High and institutions in Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Cape Mount and Cape Palmas.  After the missionaries departed many of these institutions declined and are today mostly substandard or almost nonexistent.Because very few wealthy people, if any, reached out to Liberia’s blind musical genius, Howard Benedict (Baby) Hayes, he died poor in his house on Front (now Sao Boso) Street.  Yet there were many wealthy families right on that same street.  Baby Hayes produced many musical masterpieces, including songs and operas.  And it is said that even though blind, he was often called upon by many churches and individuals to repair and tune their organs and pianos. We pray that a new generation  of Liberians will emerge with  the heart, mindset and vision  to start reaching out to help creative people in our  country—those in the creative   arts, literature, in the sciences and technology, and Liberian agriculturists, too, who have the talent and dream to move our country forward. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Go to Court if Aggrieved by Poll Outcome’

first_imgFIND Executive Director Roosevelt Woods – Advertisement – FIND Executive Director Tells Candidates As the National Elections Commission (NEC) today begins to release provisional results of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, the Executive Director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) has encouraged parties with grievances following the announcement of the final vote tallies, to take them to the Supreme Court.Roosevelt Woods, during a press conference in Monrovia recently, urged the candidates and their parties to take advantage and work within the law to resolve any election dispute.Woods, whose organization served as election observer, said the election commission has an effective dispute resolution system and parties should ensure that they follow those processes, adding, “I have full confidence in the court to arbitrate in  election disputes should this be needed.”“We affirm the conviction that the judicial process, the judicial system of the country and the election laws themselves make full and adequate provision for accountability in this election,” Woods said. “Inciting people into violence because of the outcome of the results will not help to sustain the peace we are enjoying.”The FIND boss urged candidates to exercise patience while awaiting the election commission’s announcement of official results because violence has not been able to take the country anywhere and it will never help in the country’s development agenda.”Woods also reminded candidates to abide by the several declarations to which they affixed their signatures and to ensure that the country remains peaceful.He said his organization will play a major role in making sure that those who will incite people to carry out violence to destroy lives and property are held accountable for their action.“Anybody who incites people to get in the streets to cause any damage will be held responsible and prosecuted under our law,” the FIND boss noted.According to Woods, NEC took several steps to ensure that the process was free, fair and transparent by increasing the number of civil society organizations to observer the process.“Accrediting more civil society organizations was necessary because we were there to offer our opinions regarding the process and to work closely with the electoral body to ensure the exercise was free, fair and credible,” Woods said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dropping acid

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThat’s just not acceptable for an institution entrusted with the care of the city’s children. Here’s hoping that the LAUSD uses this incident as a teachable moment for its ranks of workers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! We have alert teachers to thank for raising a cry when they spied workers dumping hydrochloric acid and other unpleasant chemicals in the regular waste bins at LAUSD District 1 offices the other day. Their quick thinking kept the hazardous materials from being transported to Sunshine Canyon Landfill near Granada Hills. Hydrochloric acid is a highly corrosive compound that is very harmful to living tissue. It and other hazardous wastes are not permitted in the dump. This toxic trip has been averted, but it raises a rather disturbing suspicion: Just how many times have toxic substances been dumped and not reported? The response from school officials, who noted that the chemicals came from science labs, was “it’s not a regular occurrence,” and must have been done by “someone who didn’t know.” Translation: This sort of thing does happen – though not regularly – and there are workers who don’t know not to toss jugs of hazardous waste into the regular trash bins. last_img read more

How Could Polar Dinosaurs Survive Freezing, Darkness?

first_imgNational Geographic News has a report about a new exhibit of dinosaur fossils that have been found in the northern and southern polar regions.  These unusual creatures had to survive not only the cold, but also, due to the effects of orbital mechanics, six months of darkness each year.  Intrepid explorers in south Australia, northern Canada, Patagonia, Alaska and Antarctica have braved the elements since the 1980s to find dinosaur bones in the extreme polar regions.  Their discoveries have changed our conceptions of dinosaur metabolism and the ecosystems in which they lived.  Polar dinosaurs include:Hypsolophodontids: “small, speedy, plant-eating dinosaurs that ran on two feet.”  They had large eyes, apparently adapted to low light levels, and bones that grew throughout the year, suggesting they were warm blooded.  The plants on which they fed apparently did not drop their leaves during the winter.A horned dinosaur named Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei (no kidding) must have looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.  NG claims this is “one of the oldest horned, or frilled, dinosaurs known, which suggests that horned dinosaurs may have originated in the southern polar region.”A sauropod, possibly the largest found in Antarctica, is being analyzed.  It was found at 13,000 feet elevation.An allosaurus-like meat eater named Cryolophosaurus ellioti was 22 feet long.The exhibit at Seattle’s Burke Museum is called “Dinosaur of Darkness.”Throughout the world there are mysteries.  Fossils give silent evidence of a very different world in the past; a world with polar regions that must have supported lush plant life and rich ecologies of diverse plants and animals larger than those living today.  Large redwood stumps have also been found in the Arctic circle (see 03/22/2002 headline), and there are the legendary frozen mammoths of Siberia.    This article suggests that “the climate was warmer then than it is now,” but puzzles over the fact that these dinosaurs must have “endured months of darkness and temperatures that plunged below freezing.”  For plants to have supported herbivores and carnivores of this size near the poles, it would seem there must have been atmospheric conditions that evened out the lighting and temperature.    As for horned dinosaurs originating near the south pole, we laugh, ha ha, at this funny joke.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: VCs, Angels, Incubators, Accelerators – What Are You Doing With Your Rejects?

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#StartUp 101 To give you some further context, we recently spoke with a VC in Boise, Idaho, who gets 500 deals a year. His firm invests in four. That means that less than 1% of the entrepreneurs who apply succeed in getting financed. If you look at the numbers of super angels in Silicon Valley, they are even scarier. Mike Maples told us that he gets 7,000 deals a year and invests in 12 to 15. That’s a 0.21% hit rate. The flip side: a 99.79% rejection rate.Friends in the investment ecosystem, this is the most obvious opportunity for us to address through 1M/1M and make a dent in infant entrepreneur mortality. (more…)I’d like to hear from venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators, and accelerators on this topic. I have a fundamental observation to make here that seems to be lost in the noisy universe of entrepreneurs’ obsession with fund-raising: Most companies should not raise external financing. They should be built organically, bootstrapped, and get to sustainability. A sustainable business = (customer + revenue + profits). Investors are optional in this equation. Very few businesses address large enough market opportunities to warrant professional investor involvement, especially VCs. But many can become sustainable businesses that can make their owners tremendously wealthy.With that preamble, let’s jump into the presentations for this week’s One Million by One Million roundtable. Very encouragingly, we had three businesses, each addressing an interesting business opportunity, and my personal experience resonated with all three.Learn It LiveFirst, Sam Slover discussed Learn It Live, a marketplace for experts teaching certain subjects through a distance learning mode. I have seen several businesses along these lines, but what I liked about Sam’s is that he has started working with professional IT organizations where experts naturally gravitate and empowering these existing communities to better leverage their expertise.Sam had other ideas about healthcare and such, but I asked him to focus the business squarely on IT experts and build up the community by working with professional organizations, as he has already started to do.BizequeNext, Taariq Lewis presented Bizeque, a business analytics company, with the observation that the C-suite at different companies is still unable to access critical business metrics (e.g., Who are my most profitable customers?) because they are dependent on database administrators (DBAs) to set up queries. Taariq wants Bizeque to free C-Suite and other top executives to be able to freely query such questions and act as a translation bridge between them and the DBA or business analysis teams.Business analytics has, of course, been around for a couple of decades, and there are numerous vendors in the market. I advised Taariq to focus on just one analytics product and become a value-added service provider for that particular vendor. Taariq can use the relationship to better understand the situations of various real customers and have the vendor partner bring him into, let’s say, a dozen customer situations.Perhaps, to begin with, Taariq uses his software to offer the solution as a service project and charges for building a certain set of analytics queries to address key performance indicators.This would do two things: contain the complexity of the systems Taariq has to work with right out of the gate, and help him go to market through the sales and marketing team of the analytics software vendors providing the core engine. It would go a long way in validating his assumptions and possibly also bring in customer revenues if the value proposition really resonates.CricketWeeklyFinally, Adarsh Jain from Delhi pitched CricketWeekly. Adarsh has a good insight that cricket enthusiasts, of whom there are millions in India, do not have access to quality cricket merchandise at affordable prices, and he has launched a site to do crowdsourced designs around the cricket theme to produce and market T-shirts and similar products. It’s a spin on Zazzle and Shutterfly types of concepts, and I think it has solid potential for the Indian market. I know because I grew up as a cricket enthusiast and have firsthand knowledge of the fever it creates among Indian youth. I can easily see them creating T-shirt designs and such on Adarsh’s site. (I advised him to change the name, though.)Our primary discussion was about the company’s customer acquisition, and I suggested using events at various college and high school campuses to build up buzz.In summary, all three of today’s entrepreneurs presented real opportunities. Now it’s going to be a matter of fine-tuning, sculpting the businesses day by day, and executing precisely, accurately, and without losing focus. I am a great fan of precision, and with some of the strategy tightening we did at the roundtable today, these businesses definitely have a shot at such focused execution.You can listen to the recording of today’s roundtable here. Recordings of previous roundtables are all available here. You can register for the next roundtable here.Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting I recently wrote a blog post that I believe is worth pointing out in the context of the strategy roundtables: VCs, Angels, Incubators, Accelerators – What Are You Doing With Your Rejects? It makes the following observation: sramana mitracenter_img When I first talked about the 1M/1M program, I had observed the need to contain the immense infant entrepreneur mortality prevalent in the startup ecosystem. Over the past year, we have been talking to various investors – VCs and angels, and incubators and accelerators – asking them the question: What are you doing with your rejects? Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more