1) First I want to pay my respects to the creator of one of the greatest inventions of the modern era.

John Houghtaling, inventor of “Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed”, died Wednesday, June 17, at his home in Fort Pierce, Fla.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/business/20houghtaling.html?hpw

“The earliest vibrating beds predated the Industrial Revolution and were powered by household servants. Then came steam power, and after that, electricity. Mr. Houghtaling’s great innovation was to separate the motor from the bed.”

I have used Mr. Houghtaling wonderful invention.  Have you?  You do not have to provide any details.  🙂

2) National Youth Service

In 1973, after over 1 million Nigerian’s died in a civil war, that country created the National Service Youth Service Corps.

From a Christian Science Monitor article about this Youth Corp:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0619/p09s01-coop.html

“Nigeria’s youth-service program had an even more ambitious goal. The National Youth Service Corps has largely reintegrated Africa’s most populous country, bonding many disparate tribes and peoples, and forging one nation. This is no small accomplishment, considering a population that is 50 percent Muslim, 40 percent Christian, and 10 percent animist.

Today, despite clashes between guerrilla rebels and the Nigerian Army in the southern, oil-rich Delta region, words such as “secession” and “civil war” do not seem to be on anyone’s lips. The NYSC “is a good glue that holds this country together,” said Tosin Alagbe who works in the IT sector.

Marching orders for Nigeria’s university graduates to go live in the most primitive rural areas still engender some unease, however. Things become tense when some Christians draftees are sent to live in the north’s overwhelmingly Muslim cities, such as Kano.

TV anchorman Onimizi Adaza shared those apprehensions. He dreaded the Saharan heat, the desert, and the dust, as well as “hostile conservative Muslims who keep to themselves.” But as his year in service passed, the scales fell from his eyes, and he concluded, “They weren’t bad as a people. I still keep in touch with one friend up there.”

I like the idea of a national service requirement for all Americans.  In the US we had a military draft until 1973, the year Nigeria began their Youth Services program.  I don’t believe any citizen should be required to serve in the military, but some form of public service would be a good thing. I think Missionary servce, the Peace Corp, hospital volunteer work should all qualify.

Do you think some type of mandantory youth services program would be a good idea?

If you do what kind of program would you like to see?

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