Blog Post #411:  How good is facial recognition getting?

Blog Post #411:  How good is facial recognition getting?

Taken from:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/technology/facial-recognition-race-artificial-intelligence.html

Facial recognition is getting good.  

Let’s think about that for a second.  In the past, fingerprints were the common ‘perfect’ recognition method.  (And, that is probably still the case). Fingerprints are unique. But, crooks know that and use gloves, wipe down surfaces where they might have left a fingerprint.

We have other ‘maybe’ unique identifiers – like legal names (but, I’m friends with two other people named “Bruce White” on Facebook – even with my middle name, that isn’t quite unique.  I just checked, and in South Korea, the most common last names are Kim, Lee, and Park – comprising over 50% of all surnames in South Korea.

Well – how about the uniqueness of Social Security numbers?  My research found this statement: “Today, assigned randomly and never recycled, a social security number is as unique an identifier as your fingerprints.”  (There is a small caveat – in the past, there were a few non-unique numbers by accident). But, another article suggested that for valid reasons there have been people who have been given a second social security number (like witness protection programs).

The New York Times article states:
“Facial recognition technology is improving by leaps and bounds. Some commercial software can now tell the gender of a person in a photograph.  When the person in the photo is a white man, the software is right 99 percent of the time.”

But that article also suggests that the accuracy declines with non-white faces:
“But the darker the skin, the more errors arise — up to nearly 35 percent for images of darker skinned women, according to a new study that breaks fresh ground by measuring how the technology works on people of different races and gender.”  Later in the article, it says “In 2015, for example, Google had to apologize after its image-recognition photo app initially labeled African Americans as gorillas.”

The huge advantage of facial recognition systems is that you don’t have to have physical records (like fingerprints).  With the speed of computers, you can scan and identify a group of people in Grand Central Station in New York City quickly and unknown to the people.   JetBlue airlines has experimented with using Facial Recognition to board planes – rather than boarding passes (or even electronic boarding passes).

Gate agent to people boarding the flight:  “Look into the camera”; Passengers look into the camera – which identifies them as a passenger.  Gate agent (again) says “You are in seat 24C” (also displayed on a screen). No digging out your cell phone for your boarding pass, no digging through your pockets, purse or backpack for your boarding pass.

But as suggested, it is up to 99% correct on White Males (and up to 35% errors (or 65% accurate) for non-white / darker faces.

So, better, but not perfect.  

There have been attempts to scan large crowds at the SuperBowl and other events to try to identify terrorists.  It seems like it is getting better, but still not quite accurate.

So, let’s see if the technology gets better, and maybe, just maybe one-day facial recognition, with or without a haircut, with or without rapid weight gain or loss, – the technology will work for all people.  (Not sure if that is an invasion of our privacy or not!!!)

What do you think?

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #410:  3D printed guns

Blog Post #410:  3D printed guns

Taken from:  http://thehill.com/policy/technology/400044-five-things-to-know-about-3d-printed-guns

I like the concept of 3D printing.  Let’s say you are the owner of a 1952 Studebaker and you just can’t find parts you need for restoration.  Not a problem, you find an auto supply shop that has a 3D printer (in metal) and you have them print up the new carburetor (or whatever).

3D printing is coming closer to printing organic as well.  Do you need a heart transplant and there is no donor heart available and you are 20th on the list for a donated heart?  Not a problem, (well – kind of a problem now – but they are working on it) if you have the organic material, (and know-how), you can print a new heart (okay – in the future – but someday it WILL come).

Now to today’s topic – 3D printed guns,

The article says:  “While some say 3D printed firearms should be protected under the Second Amendment, others insist they pose an extremely serious threat to public safety.  “

But on the other side: … “The widespread distribution of 3D printed gun plans would allow anyone with access to the internet and a 3D printer to own a gun. At least for now, printing a gun does not require a background check or any other documentation.”

“Under the Gun Control Act, it is technically illegal for multiple categories of people to own guns, including felons, domestic abusers, and drug users. Some say weak laws on 3D printing would make it that much easier for such individuals to obtain firearms.”

I don’t have a gun and generally fall in-between on gun laws.  I have family members and friends who are avid hunters. Getting your pheasants in South Dakota is a well respected and exciting activity.  Getting your deer and making venison sausage is also important to many others. My brother-in-law from Wyoming had gotten an elk hunting permit many times in his life – and has killed elk. Another Facebook friend (and former student) announced he is heading to Wyoming to scout out deer and elk for his fall hunting pleasure.

An uncle was both a hunter and a skeet shooter.  Going out to the rifle range and shooting some clay pigeons was a great hobby for him.

But these family and friends are using guns in two ways – to get food and to enjoy the outdoors.  (Of course, ‘enjoying the outdoors’ is a relative term as you are in a tree stand for hours waiting for the right buck to pass underneath you in the cold, rain or snow!!!).  

As for handguns, I generally fall on the side of ‘why do you need a handgun?’  Maybe if there is an intruder at the door, you could protect your family with a handgun  But, in my case, I think I would become a target rather than a protector.

And … for guns (especially handguns) that can pass metal detectors and can be gotten by felons (and crooks), that aren’t used to hunt or for recreation, I’m opposed.

So, 3D printed guns are still on the scary side for me.  Let’s print up Studebaker carburetors instead!!

What do you think?

 

Bruce

Of course, I know a great many people who totally embrace the “right to bare arms” – especially in summer!!!

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #409 Cell Phone Fun!!

Blog Post #409:  Cell Phone Fun?

Taken from:  https://digitalsynopsis.com/buzz/smartphone-addiction-funny-sad-images/

For some recent blog posts, I’ve written about Nomophonia – the fear of being away from your cell phone.  Look around in a restaurant while people are waiting for their food – everybody’s on their cell phone.

I thought maybe I’d be a bit lighter today – and back to serious topics tomorrow (3D printing – and printing plastic guns).

My first ‘experience’ with cell phones was at the Red Wing pottery factory in Red Wing Minnesota.  I was stretching my legs outside and a man was in his car on his cell phone. I shook my head – ‘what was so darn important to be calling somebody on an expensive cell phone?’

I remember my friend Tom Farrell had an early cell phone in his car.  It was ‘huge’ – plugged into his cigarette lighter – but it worked. My wife Connie finally got one for her job and again it was big.

As for the smaller, portable cell phones, my first experience there was so romantic!!!  I was in the grocery store. It was a pretty quiet time in the store and only two people were in the cereal aisle – me and a pretty lady.  I’m picking out some cereal when she says “I love you!!!”. WOW – I don’t even know this lady and she is telling me she loves me? I must be some kind of stud!!!  I’m sure I was blushing as I was getting ready to say something back like “Excuse me, I don’t even know you” when she turned a little and I saw she had a phone to her ear (and I’m assuming she was talking to her husband (or boyfriend) – and not to me!!!

Of course, fast forward to today.  While I’m may not quite a nomophobia addict, I do have my phone in my car, in the grocery store and almost always in my pocket.  I have been known to say to Connie “I love you” from the grocery store and get no strange looks from others.

I am amazed at where cell phones get used.  I don’t use my phone when I’m in the restroom, although I have heard phone conversations going on around me – with the various grunts and noises of the restroom!!!  

So, what cell phone experiences do you have?  Any funny experiences you’d like to share?

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #408: American Retirees Are a National Security Threat

Blog Post #408: American Retirees Are a National Security Threat

Taken from:  https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/02/american-retirees-are-a-national-security-threat/

When I ran into this headline from the Foreign Policy Magazine I was both surprised and shocked!!!  

As one of those American Retirees, how could I be a national security threat?  How about Gene and Thann, our neighbors, my great friend Tom and his wife Joyce – how could these good people be national security threats?  And … especially for my other senior friends? Bill was in the Airborne Rangers in Vietnam – I’m sure he is NOT a National Security Threat!!

The article states:  (read it carefully)

“Leading economists, such as the Wharton School’s Jeremy Siegel, predict that, just as American baby boomers are increasingly selling stock in U.S. companies to fund their retirement, foreign investors from emerging markets such as China and India are increasingly buying those stocks. That’s because, almost exactly as many Americans are cashing out, these foreigners are buying in, a trend reflected in their countries’ significantly higher domestic growth rates and per capita savings rates. Siegel and others predict that, as a result, by the middle of this century many U.S. companies will be majority-owned by non-American investors. These economists thus predict that majority ownership of key U.S. businesses—as well as leading European and Japanese businesses—will be in the hands of foreigners from emerging markets.”

So, if I am reading this correctly, when I sell my shares of stock in American companies (like General Motors, Boeing, Microsoft, General Electric, United Technologies, and many more ‘American’ company) they are being snatched up by investors from China and India.  So, with enough baby boomers selling stock they purchased for their retirement, instead of being (say) 75% owned by Americans and 25% owned by non-Americans; eventually, it will become 49% of the stock will be owned by Americans and 51% of the stock owned by non-Americans.  

Or, over some time, Mr. Wu, a rich investor from China, buys into Boeing, over-and-over-and-over and by 2050 owns (say) 20% of Boeing.  He gets on the Board of Directors and keeps and encouraging his Chinese friends to buy shares of Boeing. By (say) 2060 Chinese and Indian investors own 51% of Boeing stock, and Mr. Wu as a majority shareholder (or his heirs) control the Board of Directors and demand that Boeing’s headquarters get moved to China.

Now, there is one major safeguard – CFIUS (The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) is an oversight group from the US government.  BUT CFIUS has traditionally been concerned about company-C from China buying a majority of a US company. But CFIUS doesn’t look at all the little investors.  Maybe by 2050, thousands of Chinese and Indian investors collectively own a majority of Boeing (maybe without even knowing it). So as the US Air Force wants Boeing to build a new top-secret warplane, the Chinese stockholders block that effort.

But, how does that implicate us baby-boomers?  When I’m ready to take that dream vacation, buy the dream RV, take out retirement funds to live on – I don’t really care who buys my stock other than I get the highest price for my stock.  So, if Mr. Wu buys my stock and I get my money, I’m okay. But every time a United States senior/retiree sells their 10 shares in Boeing (or their 100 shares of Boeing or 1000 shares), Mr. Wu and his friends are willing to play the highest price, less and less of Boeing remains “American” and more and more of Boeing becomes “International” (or even Chinese).

So, what if the government says to us retirees – you have to take the top price on the stock exchange from United States citizens and organizations.  Maybe Sue Smith in California is willing to pay $100 for each of my Boeing shares – and is the top American wanting to buy my stock, but Mr. Wu is willing to pay $150 for each of my Boeing shares – I would prefer to get the most from that stock I’ve collected over the years.  

So, back to the article title:  “American Retirees Are a National Security Threat”.  I don’t think my brother-in-law Bill is damaging national security when he sells his 1000 shares of Boeing, but collectively as many of us retirees, wanting to use those funds we accumulated over the years – as a whole might allow Boeing to slowly drift into non-American owners.

Interesting concept.  What is your take on that?

Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #407:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Phones in Classrooms – Part TWO

Blog Post #407:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Phones in Classrooms – Part TWO

Taken from:  https://myelearningworld.com/10-benefits-of-tablets-in-the-classroom/

Yesterday we talked about No Mobile Phone Phobia – the fear of not having a mobile phone – almost like ‘being alone’ in the world.  We also tied that into education. Are cell phones good for students? Are cell phones bad for students? The answer to both questions seems to be ‘YES’!!!

Hey Bruce – how can the answer to both questions be ‘yes’?  
Two answers to that:  1 – this is my blog and I can say what I want; (and that is a lousy answer) and 2 – there are good things in technology – maybe not the phone part but with internet searches and more.  Plus – learning the discipline of when to use the phone and when not.

Let’s leave the phones out of it for a while and focus on the technology.  Many schools are using tablet computers. Without the phone and texting options, tablets can be great for schools.  

This website gives 10 benefits of using tables in the classroom: (quoted from the site)

  • Easy to use
  • Direct Communication
  • Live knowledge base
  • Personal approach
  • More cost-effective than textbooks
  • Faster visualization, quicker reporting
  • Improving computer skills
  • Hassle-free assessment
  • Paperless homework
  • Learning simulations

The same website gives these four problems

  • Unnecessary distractions
  • Technical limitations
  • Financial considerations
  • Training and adaptability

As a professor with laptops in the classroom, I will agree with the advantages (and disadvantages).  And (to me) as compared to using smartphones in the classroom, you have generally eliminated texting and phone calls.  (Not totally on the texting – that is where teachers need to ‘eyes in the back of their heads).

Internationally the One-Laptop-Per-Child movement was focused on cheap (under $100) tablets (some even use wind-up-electricity to power the laptops).  Storage is fairly cheap and they can come preloaded with thousands of pages of information and lessons. These are more common in remote areas of Africa and Asia.  Some include internet access by satellites on a periodic basis.

Amazon Tablets are priced at $30 and up.  You might be paying that much for a textbook (or multiple textbooks).  And for Maria and my musical friends – many people are now putting their music on their tablets – less paper waste and better storage.

My viewpoint is that tablets can be the best in the classroom over phones – larger screens less temptation to go away from the lessons.  But … this topic has not been fully decided!!!

What do you think?  Smartphones, tablets, no phones, no tablets.

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #406:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Cell phones in the classroom

Blog Post #406:  Nomophobia – NO MObile phone PHOBIA – Cell phones in the classroom

Taken from:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/artificial-maturity/201409/nomophobia-rising-trend-in-students

Do you feel lost without your cell phone (aka “phone”)?  Do you use it for your GPS, email, web browsing, Facebook, calculator, games, calendar, alarm clock, watch, maps, Twitter, music player, and so much more?  Do you feel almost ‘naked’ without it?

Today’s article says:

“ Nomophobia is a term describing a growing fear in today’s world — the fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. Among today’s high school and college students, it’s on the rise. An increasing number of college students now shower with their cell phone. The average adolescent would rather lose a pinky-finger than a cell phone. A growing percentage text or tweet instead of actually talking to others.”

WOW – the fear of being without a mobile device!!!  

How might that apply to students?  

  • If you are a teacher – do you have students who can’t ‘live’ without their cell phones (and check them when they think you aren’t looking)??
  • If you are a teacher – do you check YOUR phone when students are working on projects or taking tests?
  • If you are a student – do you sneak a look when you can?
  • If you are a student – would you rather ‘lose a pinky-finger than your cell phone’?  
  • If you are a student or a teacher – do you shower with your phone?

If so, you might have Nomophobia!!!!  

I have a professor friend that assigned a project to students – to go one whole day without technology.  (I think she meant without laptop computers, cell phones, Alexa (or other such device – like Google Echo), game consoles, etc.  If your toaster had a computer chip to make your morning toast just the way you like it, you can still use your toaster). The students did learn about themselves in the assignment, and many probably found out they had Nomophobia!!

It does seem that way-too-many people (and students) do have Nomophobia!!!  

But, here is another view:  taken from:

https://www.bates.edu/news/2018/03/23/why-banning-cellphones-in-schools-misses-the-point/

In this article “Why banning cellphones in schools missed the point” the author says: “I found that when schools attempted a blanket policy, invariably, it was unenforceable. Teachers and students developed workarounds.”

This second article suggests that teachers (like parents) develop “eyes in the back of their heads”.  If students are using their cell phones responsibly and are working on their assignments, then – cell phone usage is okay.  This author (a professor and director of students teaching) says that effective teaching is as much about relationships and trust and less about cell phones.

In my last 16 years of college teaching, students were expected to bring laptops to class.  We did things on the computers for many periods, but there were also times when I wanted to make a point and asked my students to close their laptop lids.  Even prior to laptops in the classroom, there were many times when I taught classes in computer labs. Some students violated the concept by texting, looking at Facebook or social media, and not paying attention.  [My disclaimer: I was teaching college – a whole different work that K-12 education].

 

So, back to the basic question – are you a Nomophobia person?  Can you live without your cell for a few hours? Can you also discern if you need the technology at that point in time?  

And … for educators … I agree with the second author – you need to build a relationship.  Asking (and expecting) students to put away their phones when you need to do a lesson (even if they are nomophobia addicts) is part of that learning process.

Balance, respect, relationships – all part of the teaching equation in my view.

BUT … I am NOT done on this topic – MORE TOMORROW!!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #406:  WOW – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – CLEANUP!!!!

Blog Post #406:  WOW – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – CLEANUP!!!!

Taken from:  https://www.theoceancleanup.com/

I wrote on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch last week – and today I found this site – a non-profit company that is making plans to collect the garbage from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (and other such garbage patches).

If you remember, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is about twice the size of Texas and about nine feet deep and growing larger every day.  

The Ocean Cleanup Company hopes to recycle the plastic from the garbage patch.  The website says:

“In parallel to developing technology to extract plastic from the ocean, we also investigate how we can reuse the material once it is back on shore. Initial work on ocean plastic recycling shows our material can be turned into high-quality products. Imagine your next phone, chair, car bumper or sunglasses could be made from plastic retrieved from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. By selling our branded material for reuse, we aim to eventually make the cleanup self-sustainable.”

As I wrote this blog post, it indicated that the system will be launched in 36 days; 15 hours; 48 minutes and 23 seconds.  (Coming soon to a garbage patch near you!!!)

The system has a floating tube with a collection net underneath it.  The wind and waves will move the device into place and gather the debris which will be collected periodically and taken ashore for processing.  They plan on reducing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 50% in 5 years. As they reuse the plastic into other items, they can fund additional efforts in other parts of Planet Earth.

I’m impressed!!!  More power to them – and I’m ready to order my first GPGP sunglasses now!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #405:  Security Robots??

Blog Post #405:  Security Robots??

Taken from:   https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/09/turing-video-segway-security-robot/

A technology innovation is the Security Robot.  Already deployed at airports (Laguardia NY in particular), casinos and private estates; they seem to offer some security on a 24/7 basis (as compared to humans who have to take time off to eat and sleep).

This particular article was about robot based security devices on a Segway personal transportation device.  While the robots are autonomous (on-their-own), with cameras and other sensory devices; there are times when they need a human to help out.  The Segway machines allow a human to ride the robots when needed.

A similar story from Laguardia airport indicates that some women think the robots are spying on them or just creeping them out.  (Their robots are more like R2D2 – see: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/05/04/security-robot-at-laguardia-airport/)

 

There are many mundane tasks in the world, just plain boring tasks, that such a robotic device might be able to assist with.  With cameras and artificial intelligence, they can record actions. The articles I read weren’t sure if it had facial recognition software which could help to identify ‘friend or foe’.  

 

So could this be a solution to school shootings?  It might be that all ‘normal’ people in a school have a badge or faces that are in the database.  As a visitor to a school reports into the main office that visitor gets a badge or has their face identified.  An intruder to the school would be recognized by the security robot and if the robot senses a gun or other malicious intent, it could taser the person as well as automatically call 9-1-1.  If no malicious intent seems to be the case, it could ‘hound’ the person to get to the office and get a badge or get their picture into the database.

(Okay, that was my thought).  Do you think a robot security force could enhance security in schools, airports or shopping malls?  

What do you think?

Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #404:  (Serious today) Blood Test for Depression

Blog Post #404:  (Serious today) Blood Test for Depression

Taken from:   https://abcnews.go.com/Health/blood-test-lead-treatments-depression/story?id=56896507

Sometimes I have to be serious.  

Depression is the topic – not happy, not friendly, not buoyant.  

PsychoGuide says this about depression like this:
Depression doesn’t just affect the mind; it also affects the body. Some of the physical effects include erratic sleep habits, loss of appetite (or increased appetite with atypical depression), constant fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and back pain.” (source: https://www.psychguides.com/guides/depression-symptoms-causes-and-effects/ )

Personal Comments:  Over a year ago I had major aorta/heart surgery.  Six-and-one-half hours of surgery. Heart stopped (so the surgical team could work in that area); head packed in ice, blood temperature lowered to 70 degrees.  A second surgery occurred in September.

Particularly after the first surgery, where I could not drive, unable to lift over 5 pounds, couldn’t do any exercise, and had almost no voice; I felt alone – depressed.  I felt I had no value in the world. (Note, that is my view. My wife and daughter did think I had value, but in my depressed mind I was thinking, ‘no one needed me’). I sometimes escaped into a fantasy world where I was young and lively.  

Back to the article:

“In a study published on Monday in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) a team of scientists found that levels of acetyl-L-carnitine, a compound produced by the body which plays a role in cellular metabolism, track with the severity of depression.”

“On average, patients who were unresponsive to antidepressants in the past had the lowest levels of acetyl-L-carnitine in their blood. Depressed women had lower levels than depressed men, an intriguing finding given that women suffer from depression at twice the rate of men.”

The concept is that the presence or absence of this particular compound seems to be tied to the presence or absence of depression.  

So, what does that mean to the average person?

To diagnose depression, the psychologist goes through a check-list of questions like In the past two weeks have you felt down, depressed or hopeless; have you had thoughts of suicide; how are you sleeping; how is your energy; do you prefer to stay at home or go out (and more).

Those questions are subjective – and might depend on the person’s mood at the present time.  A blood test should be an objective and a great aid to fully diagnose depression – and a quick way for the person to get medical help and mental health.  (and … sufficient of ‘proof’ for the insurance company).

Yes, a serious topic.  But, maybe with a blood test, people like Anthony Bourdain or Robin Williams (and many others who suffered extreme depression) would still be alive.

So, somber and serious, but worth the study.

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments

Blog Post #403: The Grueling Race – Le Tour de France – and Lawson Craddock

Blog Post #403: The Grueling Race – Le Tour de France – and Lawson Craddock

Taken from: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/after-3-weeks-of-pain-an-american-with-a-broken-shoulder-finished-last-in-tour-de-france-why-he-kept-riding-is-truly-inspiring.html

For many years the sports highlight of the summer has been the Tour of France bike race.  Yes, I was caught with Lance Armstrong and his multiple wins (and later disbarment).

From this other article (https://www.casino.org/blog/how-hard-is-the-tour-de-france-really/), I see that the race is “Harder, Hotter and Longer”.  It is set over 23 days (of which 2 are rest days) and over 2,200 miles.  I tried various combinations on Google Maps and from Austin Texas, I would have to go outside of the United States to get to 2,200 miles (even farther than Quebec or Vancouver BC).  It means from 3 to 6 hours every day sitting on a bike seat (not all that comfortable) – and peddling. This article says that Ironman Competitions are about 17 hours – and with 17 hours, Tour de France riders are about on stage 4 (a long ways from the last stage – stage 21).

For those of you wanting to lose weight (tongue-in-cheek), each stage will burn from 5,000 to 7,000 calories.  The average winner’s speed (on a bicycle of course) is about 25 miles an hour (overall). On sprints or coming downhill, the speed can be close to 50 miles an hour (on curving roads – frequently with spectators in-your-face with flags and noisemakers.

But, the original article describes the plight of an American – Lawson Craddock.  The article says: “But early in Stage 1, Lawson ran over a water bottle and crashed hard. He gashed his forehead, a cut that required stitches. He scraped and bruised his body.

And worst of all, he broke his scapula (that is, the shoulder blade) – on the FIRST DAY!!!  (I would have packed up, gone back home, had a doctor set my bones (or maybe get it set in France), rest for a while.

But, no, Lawson kept going.  Out of all the riders on this year’s tour, he came in last (no wonder).  But, after that first day, he made a pledge to himself (and to others). For each day he finished, he would donate $100 to the Houston Velodrome that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year.  So, in immense pain, day-after-day, stage-after-stage – for over 2,000 miles he gritted his teeth and kept going. Frequently cyclists will stand up on their pedals for an uphill climb, but Lawson couldn’t do that with his shoulder.  Every day, he was in terrible pain – and then sleeping was also very difficult for him.

He commented that he would have dropped out almost any day – except for that pledge to help rebuild the Velodrome.  At the end – with his earnings, with a GoFundMe push and with a lot of support, he raised over 176,000 dollars for the Velodrome.  

There is an old expression when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Lawson is a great example of that – with an unfortunate accident (running over a water bottle) and a broken collarbone, he kept gone and showed all of us the meaning of dedication and success.  Sure, he came in last, but he made it – and in the process did some good for the place where he learned to ride a bike.

What do you think?  Is Lawson a hero? Would you have given up – and stayed with it – through the pain for 23 days?  (I know even if I was healthy, I wouldn’t have made it through the first stage!!!)

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White, 0 comments