Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Primary school kids win gold awards for invention

Hot invention: (From left) Tan Su Fern, 12, Wong Kai Wern, 10, and Jonathan Aeruthayan, 12, showing their invention – the Eco- Friendly Insulated Bag – which won them the award in the primary school category at the 22nd International Invention and Technology Exhibition (ITEX ‘11) and Asian Young Inventors Exhibition (AYIE 2011) in Kuala Lumpur. — CHAN BOON KAI / The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Three primary school students who turned their frustration into invention won gold awards with their insulated bag that keeps their food warm until recess time.

The students, Wong Kai Wern, 10, Tan Su Fern and Jonathan Aeruthayan, both 12, from SJK (C) Shih Chung Cawangan, received the award during the 22nd Internatio­nal Invention and Technology Exhi­bition (ITEX ‘11) and Asian Young Inventors Exhibition (AYIE2011) in Kuala Lumpur held on Saturday.

Kai Wern said the idea came about after they got tired of eating food, which they brought from home, that had turned cold during break time.

“We discussed the idea during our Science Club meeting and decided to do something about it,” said the Standard Four pupil, who aspires to be a Science professor.

They then took about a month’s time to finalise the Eco-Friendly Insulated Bag by using sugar cane bagasse.

Jonathan, who aims to be a scientist, said that besides being a good insulator, the bagasse was light, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Su Fern said they had carried out several tests and were satisfied with the results of the insulator bag.

“It can keep food warm or cold and the bag is also suitable to keep milk warm for a baby.

“It can also be used for school, work and picnics,” said the girl, whose ambition is to be a doctor.

A total of 400 teams from primary and secondary schools took part in the Malaysian Young Inventors Competition.

Kai Wern, Jonathan and Su Fern emerged champions in the primary school category.

The three also won the World Intellectual Property Organisation Awards for Best Young Inventors (Primary School) and Best Asian Young Inventors Cup 2011 during the exhibition.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ted Williams, homeless former radio announcer, handed NBA role

A homeless man in ParisImage via Wikipedia
It sounds like something from a Hollywood movie script, with more than a hint of the Susan Boyle about it. Ted Williams, the homeless Ohio man who enraptured the people of Cleveland with his mellifluous radio announcements from the side of the motorway, has shot to fame after it was revealed the city's NBA team have offered him an announcing role.

Williams, a former radio personality who was left living on the streets after becoming addicted to drink and drugs, made the news in the US this week after a video of him performing radio links with an unusual panache appeared on YouTube.

Holding a cardboard sign that reads: "I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times", Williams is seen asking for money, and giving motorists snippets of his best voiceovers using his 'God-given gift of a voice', as Williams himself puts it.

And the video seems to have been the launchpad to greater success, with the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly offering Williams a two-year contract for a role that could include voiceover work. Williams says he has also received an offer from NFL Films, the studio operated by America's professional football league.

"This has been totally, totally amazing," Williams told the Associated Press. "I'm just so thankful. God has blessed me so deeply. I'm getting a second chance. Amazing."

"I can't believe what's going on," said Williams, a father of nine. "God gave me a million-dollar voice and I just hope I can do right by him."

Williams was initially spotted by The Columbus Dispatch standing near an exit ramp off Interstate 71. A local reporter – who, in the video, is heard somewhat uncharitably telling Williams: "I'm going to make you work for your dollar" – filmed the short video, and posted it on the internet. Several news organisations in the US picked up the video and ran the story.

Williams's life began to falter in 1996 when he began drinking alcohol "pretty bad." He used marijuana and cocaine and lost interest in his radio career.

His last job was with a station in Columbus, the state capital, but he ended up on the streets, despite the best efforts of his children, seven daughters and two sons who all live in the Columbus area.

Williams's story should be an inspiration for other homeless people, said Bob Ater, executive director of the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless.

"One of the problems with a lot of homeless people is that they have some rich talent, but don't have the confidence to exploit that talent," Ater said, adding he was unfamiliar with Williams before the video hit. "He's fabulous. The Cavaliers could use a boost of some kind."

Kevin McLoughlin of NFL Films added: "Somehow, some way, I need to get a demo with him [Williams]."

(Source: Guardian)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Malaysian World Robot Olympiad Winners

Robit part 2It is not easy to build robots especially by school children and for world level competition too. Image by KyjL via Flickr
The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is an event for science, technology and education, that brings together youths from all over the world in order to develop their creativity and problem solving skills through challenging and educational robot competitions.

Participating teams need to create, design and build a robot model that looks or behaves like human. 

This year the task of organising the competition was given to the Philippines. The Ministry of Education and many private companies in the Philippines jointly sponsored the event.

The steering committee consists of well-known academicians from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Singapore. 250 teams from 22 countries participated.

There are six gold medals on offer as there are two categories in the competition; the Open category and regular category. Each category is further divided into Elementary (primary school), Junior High (Forms 1 to 3) and Senior High (Forms 4 and 5) categories.

Malaysia won two gold medals, one by the Chung Ling High School (Kampung Baru, Penang Island) for Open Category, Senior High school level, the other by SMK Bintulu for Regular Category, Junior High School level.