Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Would You Do If You Knew You Were Going to Die?

This is article, with a link to a video, which is very inspiring.

Randy Pausch, 'Last Lecture' Professor Dies

Carnegie Mellon Professor, Author of 'The Last Lecture,' Succumbs to Cancer


July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch, the charismatic young college professor who chronicled his battle with pancreatic cancer in a remarkable speech widely-known as the "Last Lecture," has died at the age of 47. He was at home, surrounded by his wife, Jai, and his three children.

A dear friend to Diane Sawyer and "Good Morning America," Pausch's lecture and subsequent interview was one of the most powerful accounts of hope, grace and optimistism ABC News has ever featured, and drew a worldwide response.

"I'd like to thank the millions of people who have offered their love, prayers and support," Jai Pausch said in a statement. "Randy was so happy and proud that the lecture and book inspired parents to revisit their priorities, particularly their relationships with their children. The outpouring of cards and emails really sustained him."

Click here to see ABC News' full coverage of his story.

It all began with one, age-old question: What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?

That question had been posed to the annual speaker of a lecture series at Carnegie Mellon University, where Pausch was a computer sciences professor. For Pausch, though, the question wasn't hypothetical.

Pausch, a father of three small children with his wife Jai, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer -- and given six months to live.

Friends and colleagues flew in from all around the country to attend his last lecture. And -- almost as an afterthought -- the lecture was videotaped and put on the Internet for the few people who couldn't get there that day.

That was all it took.

Somehow amid the vast clamor of the Web and the bling-bling of million-dollar budgets, savvy marketing campaigns and millions of strange and bizarre videos, the voice of one earnest professor standing at a podium and talking about his childhood dreams cut through the noise.

The lecture was so uplifting, so funny, so inspirational that it went viral. So far, 10 million people have downloaded it.

And thousands have written in to say that his lecture changed their lives.

If you had only six months to live, what would you do? How would you live your life? And how can all of us take heart from Pausch's inspiring message to live each day to its fullest?

Pausch's answers to these questions, both in the lecture and in three separate interviews over a series of months with Diane Sawyer, are moving, funny, thought-provoking and extraordinary.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an advocacy organization for the pancreatic cancer community, approximately 37,170 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and 33,370 will die from it. The Pausch family has asked that donations on Randy's behalf be sent to the organization or to Carnegie Mellon's Randy Pausch Memorial Fund.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and unlike other cancers, during the last 30 years the medical community has seen very little advancement in prolonging the lives of pancreatic cancer patients.

But instead of focusing on his death, Pausch spoke about his childhood dreams. "You may not agree with the list but I was there. ... Being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia -- I guess you can tell the nerds early. ... I wanted to be one of the guys who won the big stuffed animals in the amusement park."

He went on to attain almost all of those dreams, but they didn't all come easy.

In the lecture, he spoke of overcoming the obstacles that may seem insurmountable.

Although he graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, he nearly didn't get in to Brown in the first place -- he was wait listed. It was a brick wall that some might have walked away from. But Pausch had a novel way of looking at obstacles:

"The brick walls are there for a reason," he said during his lecture. "The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."

He kept calling the college until it let him in.

Pausch maintained that his most formidable brick wall was a beautiful graduate student named Jai Glasgow. Pausch was 37, with a reputation as something of a ladies' man, when he met her at a lecture. Pausch was smitten, but she resisted. However, he refused to give up, and they eventually married and had three children.

Pausch spoke movingly of how he was trying to create memories for his three kids, Dylan, 6, Logan, 3, and Chloe, 18 months, and why he couldn't allow himself to wallow in self pity.

"I mean, the metaphor I've used is ... somebody's going to push my family off a cliff pretty soon, and I won't be there to catch them. And that breaks my heart. But I have some time to sew some nets to cushion the fall. So, I can curl up in a ball and cry, or I can get to work on the nets."

Pausch was already a popular professor, and one of the foremost teachers in the field of virtual reality, when he proposed a class that would become legendary at CMU: It was called Building Virtual Worlds, a high-wire act that brought together students from many different disciplines, writers and computer programmers and artists who were forced to work together intensively in small groups.

Pausch told Sawyer that while the course was ostensibly about designing virtual reality worlds, there was a stealth message as well: "How do you behave with integrity? How do you behave in a way that other people will respect you and want to keep working with you?"

The result was so popular that it eventually spawned an entire program at the university. Together with drama professor Don Marinelli, Pausch started the Entertainment Technology Center, which over the years has become the go-to school for video gaming and Hollywood high tech.

At the ETC, students were encouraged to try the unconventional and the risky.

As former student Phil Light said, "We went to him and said, 'We have these ideas, we have a couple of ideas. This idea here is very safe. This idea here is risky.' He said, 'Go for the risk. It's better to fail spectacularly then to pass along and do something which is mediocre.'"

Pausch said that over the years, he went from attaining his own childhood dreams to learning to enable the dreams of his students, which he maintained is every bit as satisfying.

'Never Lose the Childlike Wonder'

To enable dreams on a grand scale, Pausch began his latest venture, called Alice. Alice is a free computer application that teaches kids to program, while giving them the impression that they are simply creating animated stories.

Created by a Carnegie Mellon team including Wanda Dann, Dennis Cosgrove and Caitlin Kelleher, Alice has already been downloaded more than a million times. The new version of Alice will feature characters from the popular computer game "The Sims."

After his diagnosis, Pausch devoted almost all of his time to his family, moving to a location near his wife's family, so that she would have some emotional support, and spent a lot of time with his three kids.

He had tried to approach what he called his "engineering problem" as a scientist: He interviewed people who'd lost their parents and asked them what they would have wanted to have as keepsakes; what they wished their parents had told them before they died. Pausch said he wanted to make sure he gave his wife and children what they would need to remember him, and to know that he loved them.

He and his wife, Jai, consulted psychotherapist Michele Reiss and other experts to help them grapple with such issues as when to tell the children. Reiss says very young children "have no particular time orientation yet. So you can talk to a young child in terms of breakfast time, or lunchtime, or dinnertime, or nap time, but you can't talk about the day after tomorrow, or next week, or next month, much less three to six months from now."

Therefore, the decision was made not to tell the children until their father was much sicker. The Pausch family had asked any viewers who might run into them to respect the experts' opinion and say nothing.

One of the things Pausch left behind for his kids: the lecture. He called it a message in a bottle. The lecture, along with private videos he made for their eyes alone, and a book he wrote called "The Last Lecture" would help give his children -- at least one of whom is too young now to be able to have distinct memories of her father -- a sense of how much he loved them.

Sawyer asked Pausch about his children, in particular Chloe, the youngest. "I hope that her passion will take her to wherever she goes. And the same for Dylan and Logan. I just hope that they have passion for things, and I'm sure they will. I'm sure their mother will instill that in them. And whatever they see of me in direct memories and indirect memories, uh, will send that signal. Because if they have passion for things, then I'm happy for whatever they have passion for."

Worldwide Impact

But if Pausch's lecture was written for an audience of only three, it has touched millions of others as well. People around the country told ABC News about the many ways his lecture had helped bring magic into their lives.

Alfred Nicolosi of Salem, N.J., said the night he watched Pausch's lecture was the "same night when Randy's life turned mine around." Battling depression, cancer surgery and facing heart problems, Nicolosi cleaned up his life, literally.

"I had never been very organized person, but this was exceptional. I'd allowed piles of boxes, groceries, laundry, books scattered everywhere. There was absolutely no order to my life, no way to find things, it was just lost. So immediately after seeing the lecture, I began to organize my house, and I felt like I was rediscovering my life in the process."

Peter Riebling, a lawyer from Vienna, Va., handed his 10-year-old daughter, Kimberly, a pencil and gave her free reign on her bedroom walls. "He told me to go draw on my walls, so at first I honestly thought he had gone crazy, because most parents wouldn't let their children draw on the walls, especially when they are brand new and painted and stuff. So I did start drawing on my walls -- and then I actually found it was extremely fun so I kept doing it," said Kimberly.

Diane Gregory from Las Vegas encouraged her teenage son Matt to express himself by hanging every piece of sports memorabilia he had collected on his walls. Matt jumped at the opportunity and with the tacks and double-sided tape went to work. Harry Wooten, a choir minister from Dallas, uses Pausch's message to touch his congregants through prayer and song.

After battling breast cancer, Kaje Lane of Los Angeles says Pausch has inspired her to pursue singing -- a passion she had put aside for many years.

"I think so many people relate to Randy because every one of us has some sort of dream they want to make real, or some sort of passion that they want to tap into if they're not already thinking that way. & I think people are just drawn to that. It's very magnetic to see someone positive not just about the big things but the little things."

'Leave It All on the Field'

Even though he had enabled the dreams of so many others, we couldn't help but notice that there was one dream Pausch had never been able to fulfill -- playing in the NFL.

So ABC News made a couple of phone calls, and in October, Pausch took the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was wearing the jersey of his favorite player: wide receiver Heinz Ward.

Moments later he was catching balls thrown by Ward.

He caught every pass -- and even kicked a field goal, on his first attempt.

"There was a definite sense," Pausch told Sawyer, "when I put that talk together, to use another football expression, you know, I wanted to leave it all on the field. & If I thought it was important, it's in there. I played in football games where you walk off the field and the scoreboard didn't end up the way you wanted. But you knew that you really did give it all. And the other team was too strong. Yeah, I'm not going to beat the cancer. I tried really hard & but sometimes you're just not going to beat the thing&I wanted to walk off the stage and say anything I thought was important, I had my hour."

After a bout earlier this year in the hospital to overcome kidney and congestive heart failure -- side effects of his chemotherapy -- Pausch returned home to his family.

"His fate is, is our fate, but it's just sped up," said co-author Jeff Zaslow. "He's, you know, 47, and, and we don't know when we're gonna go, but we all have the same fate. We're all dying, just like Randy is & when we can see him, how he's, how he's traveling, it makes us think about how we're going to travel."

Millions of people around the globe have been touched by his message of optimism.

Last spring, Sawyer asked Pausch what was the best thing that had happened to him that day. He replied, "Well, first off, I'd say the day's not over yet. So there's always a chance that there will be a new best."

Lasting Legacy

Carnegie Mellon University will honor Pausch's commitment to collaboration by building the Randy Pausch Memorial Footbridge to connect a computer science center under construction with a nearby arts building.

Announcing the project last September, Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon said, "Randy, there will be generations of students and faculty who will not know you, but they will cross that bridge and see your name and they'll ask those of us who did know you. And we will tell them."

In a statement released by the university today, Cohon expressed the community's sadness at Pausch's passing.

"Randy had an enormous and lasting impact on Carnegie Mellon," Cohon said . "He was a brilliant researcher and gifted teacher. His love of teaching, his sense of fun and his brilliance came together in the Alice project, which teaches students computer programming while enabling them to do something fun -- making animated movies and games. Carnegie Mellon -- and the world -- are better places for having had Randy Pausch in them."

The family requests that donations on Randy's behalf be directed to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA 90245, or to Carnegie Mellon's Randy Pausch Memorial Fund.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Story of a Donkey

                                            One day a farmer's donkey
                                                    fell down into a
                                                 well. The animal cried
                                                 piteously for hours as
                                               the farmer tried to figure
                                                    out what to do.

                                                Finally, he decided the
                                                animal was old, and the
                                              well needed to be covered up
                                              anyway; it just wasn't worth
                                               it to retrieve the donkey.

                                              He invited all his neighbors
                                                    to come over and
                                              help him. They all grabbed a
                                                    shovel and began
                                                to shovel dirt into the
                                                  well. At first, the
                                                donkey realized what was
                                                  happening and cried
                                                   horribly. Then, to
                                                everyone's amazement he
                                                     quieted down.

                                               A few shovel loads later,
                                                   the farmer finally
                                              looked down the well. He was
                                                   astonished at what
                                              he saw. With each shovel of
                                                   dirt that hit his
                                               back, the donkey was doing
                                                   something amazing.
                                               He would shake it off and
                                                    take a step up.

                                               As the farmer's neighbors
                                                  continued to shovel
                                               dirt on top of the animal,
                                                   he would shake it
                                                off and take a step up.

                                               Pretty soon, everyone was
                                                  amazed as the donkey
                                              stepped up over the edge of
                                                      the well and
                                                  happily trotted off!

                                              Life is going to shovel dirt
                                                   on you, all kinds
                                                 of dirt. The trick to
                                                getting out of the well
                                              is to shake it off and take
                                                   a step up. Each of
                                                   our troubles is a
                                               steppingstone. We can get
                                              of the deepest wells just by
                                                     not stopping,
                                               never giving up! Shake it
                                                off and take a step up.

                                                Remember the five simple
                                                   rules to be happy:

                                              Free your heart from hatred
                                                       - Forgive

                                              Free your mind from worries
                                                  - Most never happen

                                               Live simply and appreciate
                                                     what you have

                                                       Give more

                                                      Expect less

                                                   NOW .............

                                               Enough of that crap . . .
                                              The donkey later came back,

                                               and bit the farmer who had
                                                   tried to bury him.

                                               The gash from the bite got
                                                      infected and

                                               the farmer eventually died
                                              in agony from septic shock.

                                               MORAL FROM TODAY'S LESSON:

                                              When you do something wrong,
                                                    and try to cover
                                               your ass, it always comes
                                                   back to bite you.

                                              You have two
                                                     and close this
                                              page, or pass this along to
                                                    someone else to
                                                    spread the fun.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Unique Carvings -- Photos

Friday, July 25, 2008


Due to the increase in price of petrol, a sale of Toyota cars has dropped worldwide. Therefore, Toyota is selling it Camry’s for half the price.

So, call your nearest Toyota for a test drive today!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are You a Bitch?

B - Beautiful

I - Intelligent

T - Talented

C - Charming

H - Horny

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Love Story of Ralph and Edna.

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital.

One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool. Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end.

He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there.

Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable.

When she went to tell Edna the news she said, 'Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love. I have concluded that your act displays sound mind edness.

The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead.'

Edna replied, 'He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?'