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Knowledge is inherent in man

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SAKUNTALA DEVI – THE HUMAN COMPUTER

 

India, a land popular for it’s contribution in the field of mathematics has always been proud of it’s mathematical prodigies and one such prodigy in recent times of modern India was Shakuntala Devi who was world renowned & referred to as “Human Computer”.

Born in 1929 in a poor family in Bangalore, Shakuntala Devi dropped out of school because her father, a circus worker, could not afford the monthly school fee of Rs 2. She grew up in a slum and at a very young age, her mathematical abilities were recognized by her father.

There is an interesting anecdote about how he recognized it. At the age of 3, when she started playing cards with her father, he was surprised to find that she was winning all the games against him every day. Suspecting some foul play, he began his “investigation” during which he realized that she was memorizing all the card numbers and their sequence as the game progressed in the initial rounds and with her memory power, she was able to predict the sequence of cards in the subsequent rounds in the same game and thus wait to pick cards strategically to help her win.

Her father taught her mathematical operations like multiplication, division & square root and took her to his circus to demonstrate her quick calculation abilities & memory power to the crowds. As the word about her skills spread, she started doing road shows as well across the city. At the age of 6, she gave her first major show at Mysore University and there was no turning back after that.

In her early 20s, she toured Europe extensively to demonstrate her skills. During an interview on BBC, she was given a complicated mathematical calculation which she solved within seconds but her answer was different from what the interviewer & his team had calculated. When she insisted that her answer was right, the interviewer & his team of math experts reexamined their calculations for several minutes and finally admitted that their initial calculations were wrong. That incident spread like wildfire across the world after which she was being popularly referred to as “The Human Computer”. During her Europe tour, she was invited by several reputed Universities including the University of Rome.

 

In 1977, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she calculated the 23rd root of a 201-digit number. It had taken four minutes for a professor to write the problem on the board, and it took more than a minute for a Univac computer to figure out the answer. Shakuntala Devi got it in 50 seconds. Here is a newspaper excerpt of the same:

After the 1977 record at Dallas, she went on to create more records including one in 1980 where she solved multiplication of two 13 digit randomly picked numbers in just 28 seconds and entered the Guinness Book of World Records.

Awards & Achievements

  • Shakuntala Devi won the 'Distinguished Woman of the Year Award' in 1969, from the University of Philippines along with a gold medal.
  • In 1988, she was honored with the 'Ramanujan Mathematical Genius Award' in Washington D.C., conferred to her by the-then Indian Ambassador to US.
  • Her name was listed in the '1995 Guinness Book of World Records' edition for her outstanding mathematical feat where she beat the world's fastest computer at multiplying two thirteen digit numbers.

A month before her death, she was honored with the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in Mumbai, in 2013.

INDIA'S HUMAN COMPUTER - SHAKUNTALA DEVI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 THE ELEPHANT AND THE CONDITIONING

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

“Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life”.

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Brain Gym Exercise For Students Latest Video - Enhance Focus, Memory and Academic

 

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The Great Dictator‘s final speech

The Great Dictator is a 1940 American political satire comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by and starring Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other films. Having been the only Hollywood film-maker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was Chaplin's first true sound film.

Chaplin's film advanced a stirring, controversial condemnation of Adolf HitlerBenito Mussolini ,  fascism, anti-Semitism, and the Nazis. At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. In the film Chaplin plays a dual role –a Jewish barber who lost his memory in a plane accident in the first war, and spent years in hospital before being discharged into an antisemitic country that he does not understand, and Hynkel, the dictator leader of Tomania, whose armies are the forces of the Double Cross, and who will do anything along those lines to increase his possibilities for becoming emperor of the world. Chaplin’s aim is obvious, and the film ends with a famous and humanitarian speech made by the barber, speaking Chaplin’s own words.

 

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 PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK – A True Story

 

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"  You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."  He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart." 

As the boy left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit. 

Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. 

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case. 

After a long struggle, the battle was won. 

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words... 


"Paid in full with one glass of milk" 
(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly. 

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."

 

NOTE:
Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. 

 

Source: Dr. Howard Kelly and the Glass of Milk

 

 

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