A Wired story
posted today details Dean Kamen's donations to FIRST. Kamen recently won
the $500,000 MIT
Lemelson Prize for inventing the widely over-hyped Segway electric
scooter. He has donated the entire amount to the FIRST
Robotics Competition along with $260,000 raised from an Amazon.com
auction of Segway scooters. During the awards ceremony and
his speech at the San Francisco Museum
of Modern Art, Kamen rode a Segway. While most spectators
merely thought Kamen "odd", museum personnel were "freaking out", afraid
that he'd hurt himself or spectators with the scooter.
...but we are talking about a guy who owns his own island.
I was a little bit annoyed at the last competition I went to when Kamen
gave a nice speech about how FIRST wasn't meant to foster violence
(they're flagrantly anti-BattleBot at FIRST), but it's so that we can
all learn engineering and grow up to solve the world's problems (he did
this with many sob stories about poor people in third world countries).
If you really wanted to help the world Dean, why not sell the island,
live moderately and give the money to good causes?
museum personnel were "freaking out", afraid that he'd hurt
himself or spectators with the scooter.
What about the chance that he might damage priceless art?
Curator 1: He hurt a spectator, major lawsuit!
Curator 2: He hurt himself, another major lawsuit!
Curator 3: He damaged valuable art!
Curator 1 & 2: So, who cares about priceless art?
I wouldn't mind having my own island
(here are some
It's not quite as cool as I'd imagined at first, though. The Republic of
North Dumpling is off the
coast of Connecticut and inside US territorial waters so it's not
autonomous. Oddly, though, the island has signed a
mutual non-agression pact with the US Government (signed by Kamen and
Former President Bush (senior)). Weird.
By the way, glad to see you back Swirling Brain. ;-)