Western Bureau: Moments after Usain Bolt crossed the finish line to win a record third straight 100 metres Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday, August 14, thus cementing his legendary status in world athletics, scores of people from his boyhood community of Sherwood Content in Trelawny began calls for a statue of their hero to be erected in his hometown instead of the proposed Falmouth site. Bolt rewrote the record books, when he stormed to his triple-triple of 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at the Olympic Games, becoming the first in history to win all three in consecutive Olympics. The residents, embolden by Bolt’s historic achievement then made it clear to The Gleaner that they will not sit idly by and watch the erection of a statue of their hero outside the community. Plans have already been made to be erect a statue of the track legend at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier. “That plan will not work; we are adamant that we will not allow that. Bolt belongs first and foremost to the people of Sherwood Content. We watched him as a little boy run on our streets and became world champion as a grown man,” stated Owen ‘Foot’ Barrett. TRUE ORIGINS “Bolt was not born in Falmouth. His navel string was cut right here in the lands of Sherwood Content,” reasoned Barrett. In 2013, Falmouth Mayor Garth Wilkinson said a statue of the iconic Jamaican would be erected in Water Square, Falmouth in December of that year. The idea, according to Mayor Wilkinson, was to have the statue as the main tourist attraction in the parish capital. A new plan subsequently emerged which detailed the erection of a Bolt statue inside the Pier, much to the chagrin of the residents of Sherwood Content. “What sense would it make to place Bolt’s statue inside the Pier?” asked another resident, Ainsley Pottinger. “That would serve as motivation for our young children to have that great man’s statue to look at and draw inspiration from it if it is placed here in Sherwood Content,” said another, Oneil Case. They point to another legendary Jamaican figure, Bob Marley, whose boyhood house in Nine Miles, St Ann now serves as a museum, pulling hundreds of tourists and an effective means of economic activity for the locals. “That is what we are demanding for Sherwood Content. Usain Bolt is a Jamaican of rare genius, born right here. It is only fair that we the people share in his legacy. The Member of Parliament, the Mayor, and the government must stand with us, as we will not relent,” said a strident Barrett in defence of his stance.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 6, 2014; San Diego Union TribuneAs a powerful symbol of our increasingly interconnected world, a current Indiegogo campaign indicates that for $1,000 (the “philanthropist” level) three prototype sensors will be sent to Mongolia to begin “crowdsourcing a freshwater map” and one sensor will be sent to the donor him or herself “with the invitation to be one of the first citizen censors here at home.”According to the site, Distributed Health Labs, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, aims with OASIS to train nomadic people to use cellular phones to share information about water pollution hotspots that have a connection to human health problems. This is undeniably an edgy and important scientific concept, which makes the Union Tribune’s observation that “UCSD is faring poorly at crowdfunding” worth exploring.UC San Diego’s pilot crowdfunding policy specifies Indiegogo as the institution’s designated vendor and notes that for “specific, academic research projects needing one-time funding,” crowdfunding sites can “offer an economical means for researchers to effectively market information about their innovative projects, and communicate them broadly via social media in a cost-effective and streamlined manner.” Although the OASIS campaign had raised only about 9.2 percent of its stated $50,000 goal as of Tuesday, with most gifts at the $50 “promoter” level, the institution wisely structured the campaign to have “flexible funding,” meaning that it will still receive the funds raised even if it doesn’t meet its goal, minus either a 4 percent “platform fee” if the goal is met or a 9 percent fee if it isn’t.The Union Tribune attributes UC San Diego’s “stumble” with this initiative as primarily a messaging issue. As a gentle way into this scientific world for the non-science person, UC San Diego uses a short promotional video, complete with lots of graphics and some of the actual UC researchers working on OASIS, all of whom do a good job of relaying a level of urgency about the work they are doing. Still, as the Union Tribune points out, the “video also refers to the project by several names, including ‘global tricorder,’” a term that in no way can be considered user-friendly.In his own assessment of the challenges of the OASIS campaign, Albert Lin, UCSD engineering professor and co-lead on OASIS, attributed the limited response to date to a lack of donor cultivation and poor timing. In a phrase that will likely ring familiar to nonprofit employees even outside of research labs, he told the Union Tribune in an email, “These campaigns live or die by the support from a local community, and we are just getting started in activating ours.” He added, “Our launch timing coincided with the holidays, a time when most people are not in front of their computers.”—Anne EigemanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares