“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions” Albert Einstein

Children have the best kind of imagination, they don’t know the difference between their dreams and reality. The most sucessful people retain that child like vision and use it to make their reality match their dreams.

What dream that you had as a child would you most like to make real?

2) The Dance by Humberto Ak’Abal
(translated by Ilan Stavans)

All of us dance
…on a cent’s edge.

The poor—because they are poor—
lose their step,
and fall

and everyone else
falls on top.

3) World In Pictures

Backlit droplet of heptane fuel burns in microgravity on the Int’l Space Station. Fuels burn very differently in the absence of gravity. Image-processing techniques quantify the soot concentration at each point to produce a grey-scale image, which is then colourised. This is a composite of individual video frames.

Chelsea pensioners line up on their mobility scooters as they attend the annual Founders Day Parade at the Royal hospital in west London.

Emily Demgen, 93, poses for photos at Richard I Bong Historical Center, Superior, Wis., with the Red Cross uniform that she wore during World War II. Demgen was a Red Cross volunteer in Milwaukee and Chicago during the war. She came to museum as part of an open house for veterans.”
Photo by Paul M. Walsh/The Country Today/AP

Nutrioso, US: A forest burns during an operation to contain the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona. The fire has destroyed more than 30 homes and forced nearly 10,000 people to evacuate. Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

4) The Long Ride of Damian Lopez Alfonso

From an article in the New York Times by J. David Goodman

http://tinyurl.com/62jwsta

“With only the tips of his elbows touching his bicycle’s upturned handlebars, Damian Lopez Alfonso pedaled along the Hudson River bike path on a cool March day. His balancing act elicited stares from disbelieving pedestrians and curious double-takes from fellow cyclists.

Because not only does Mr. Alfonso ride his bike without forearms, lost in a devastating childhood accident, but he also rides it very, very fast.

Tracy Lea first witnessed his unorthodox cycling method during a race outside Havana nearly eight years ago.

Ms. Lea, a former elite racer from Maryland, found herself in a ragtag pack of riders on a highway pocked with “car eating” potholes outside the Cuban capital. “I’m worried about these guys in tight, fast conditions,” she remembered thinking, “and all of a sudden, I’m racing next to a guy with no arms!”

She watched as he powered through the course, lifting his body to shift gears with the nubs of his elbows or press down on the brakes. “Then I realized he had more control than most of the people in the race,” she said.

Despite his disadvantages, Mr. Alfonso, 34, has won local competitions at home in Cuba and he races nearly every weekend against able-bodied cyclists in informal events. But the alterations to his bike that allow him to do so — turning the handlebars nearly 180 degrees upward, so the brakes and gear shifters face him — have also kept him out of officially sanctioned international competitions, which have strict equipment rules.

But not for much longer.

In July, Mr. Alfonso is scheduled to race in Canada, the first event on his road to qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. If all goes well, it will be the culmination of a nearly decade-long journey for Mr. Alfonso, a story of sudden tragedy, grim determination and a little help from a lot of perfect strangers in a bicycling community thousands of miles away.”

“Mr. Alfonso’s childhood was radically altered at 13, a time when he was less passionate about cycling than about homemade wood-and-paper kites. “I had the record for finding the most lost kites of all my friends,” he said in an interview in March.

So when he saw a particularly attractive one — large, and decorated with a hand-drawn picture of a skeleton — caught in the power lines above a neighbor’s building, he and a friend climbed to the roof to get it down.

He recalled his friend, Igor, who was slightly older, telling him: “Just leave it there. Don’t mess with that.”

Ignoring the boy’s advice, he reached for the kite with a metal rod.

“We heard an explosion,” his aunt, Ms. Tamargo, recalled. She lived with Mr. Alfonso’s family in a three-story green concrete home in the Casino neighborhood of Havana, where Mr. Alfonso still lives with his mother, a retired military typist.

“I look up,” Ms. Tamargo said, holding back tears, “and I see this blond hair hanging off the roof.”

She paused for a long time.

“Thirteen thousand volts,” she said finally. “They lost the fridge, the TV — the whole building.”

The metal rod had bounced off the power lines, delivering burns to Mr. Alfonso’s face as well as to his arms and torso. Infections cost him his forearms; he was horribly disfigured; but a team of doctors, including a prominent Argentine plastic surgeon, were able to save his life. He spent about a year hospitalized in Havana.

“When he first saw himself, I was walking him around the hospital in a wheelchair,” Ms. Tamargo said. “He saw in a crystal door and he screamed, ‘I’m a monster!’ But he didn’t cry. He just hollered. He never cried. Never. Never. He has never been ashamed of himself.”

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