Friday, November 16, 2007

Making a Difference--Part II

I have never written 2 blog entries in one day--but there's a first for everything. In the last paragraph of the blog post below I encouraged everyone to try to do something that will make the world a better place, even just as small as writing an email message to someone.

Now, I wanted to share something really cool that I found through one of David Pogue's technology videos on The New York Times website:

The $100 Laptop

Actually, it currently costs about $200 (and I'm not certain how much of that is subsidized) but they are hoping that as production increases and word about the laptop spreads, that it will be get down to $100--and this is an important figure for affordability because these laptops are designed for children in developing nations. It's not meant for a U.S. or Western market. The creators of this laptop are trying to address the widening information and educational gap between the first and third worlds and this is part of the solution.

I won't be able to do this justice, so I recommend going to the David Pogue article (where you can see one of his videos on the laptop--which gives a great demonstration of how it works) -- click here.

And please visit the "One Laptop Per Child" website. Because this is where you can make a difference. From now until November 26 (that's next week Monday I believe) you can buy one of these laptops. Or more importantly, you can donate $400, which means that you get a laptop but you also donate money to have a laptop shipped to a child who needs one. $200 of that $400 is tax deductible. And this is the only time (as far as the website states) that these laptops will be available for purchase in the U.S. And honestly, as much as I love the altruism and the spirit of the "One Laptop Per Child" movement--the laptop itself just seems SO COOL and so I'm curious to see what it does. Also, T-Mobile is donating a years wifi in their "hot spot" zones to anyone who donates in this 2 week window (the laptops were available starting Nov. 12).

OK, so to recap. $400 means that you help to support a really innovative and important philanthropic project to help children in developing nations become better educated as global citizens or simply to have the same access to education that children in the U.S. take for granted (and I know there are huge problems in public education, but seriously, if you start to look at conditions in certain regions of India and Burma and Burundi then you start to realize how privileged we are in the U.S.). You also get to have a pretty innovative computer--albeit one that won't rival Macintosh or Dell for quantity and quality, but for what it was designed to do--it is absolutely amazing. Click here to see for yourself: ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD.

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