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My Inspirations

Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams profile photo

D.O.B. Mar. 11, 1952

D.O.D. May 11, 2001

Wikipedia: link

Why is Douglas Adams an Inspiration?

Author, technologist, environmentalist and visionary are only the easiest words I can find to use when describing Douglas Adams. Throughout much of his life, and even today, people see him as that "funny sci-fi guy", the author of H2G2 (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) or as a script editor for Dr. Who. He was and is those things, but that's much like seeing the light side of the Moon and never wondering what's around the other side.

Douglas had a whole media franchise with H2G2. There was a radio series, tv show, books, merchandise, comic books, trading cards and more.

Douglas Adams Autographed H2G2 Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trading Card 'Oh No Not Again'
My personally owned Douglas Adam's Signed H2G2 Trading Card! This is #34 called 'Oh No, Not Again' which features a scene of the Whale and a Bowl of petunias smashing to the ground.

He used his Celebrity status gained from this to then elevate issues close to his heart. He was a big supporter of Save the Rhino International, he spoke regularly at technology and environmental conferences and was a major advocate of the Apple and Macintosh computers.

Find out more in the video below

Grant Imahara

Grant Imahara profile photo

D.O.B. October 23, 1970

D.O.D. July 13, 2020

Wikipedia: link

Why is Grant Imahara an Inspiration?

"I hope people can envision a future where we as humans have robots that are alongside us, assisting in our daily lives."

Grant Imahara was a dreamer, entertainer, mechanical genius and made everyone around him feel like that could achieve anything. Sadly he left us at a time where the above quote really started to became true for everyone around the world.

Not through a lack of trying on his part though! He did an amazing job and had the most direct impact on me. He was instrumental in the creation of many key films through his time at Lucasfilm and ILM. If you aren't sure if you've seen em, here's a list of movies he worked on (not all inclusive).

  • Star Wars: Episode 1
  • Star Wars: Episode 2
  • Star Wars: Episode 3
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Pack
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • Terminator 3

Find out more in the video below

Donna Shirley

Donna Shirley profile photo


D.O.D. Alive!

Wikipedia: link

Why is Donna Shirley an Inspiration?

"Nobody originally believed that a two-foot-long rover could actually move around on Mars at all, much less accomplish science, ... (But) there it was -- it did it."

Donna (Pivorotta) Shirley is an engineer, trailblazer and aerospace icon. She joined the JPL group in 1966 as the first Woman on the team with an Engineering Degree. For context there were 2,000 other engineers as her coworkers, all men... She was a lone star in the middle of a starfield just waiting to be noticed.

Even as a young girl in school she bucked the conventional norms. She was the only girl in her school to not take home economics, but instead took mechanical drawing. She was a fan of sci-fi and authors like Arthur C Clarke. She learned how to fly planes starting at the age of 15.

Donna her senior year was also:

  • Class VP
  • Band VP
  • Valedictorian

Find out more in the video below

Theodor (Ted) Holm Nelson PhD

Ted Nelson profile photo

D.O.B. June 17, 1937

D.O.D. Alive!

Ted's YouTube Channel: link

Wikipedia: link

Ted's Hyperland Website: link

Why is Ted Nelson an Inspiration?

"Fighting for parallel pages, visibly connected."

Father of the term "Hypertext", designer of the Xanadu network system and many more technological firsts belong to Ted. He is a pioneer in IT, a philosopher and sociologist. His parents were Director Ralph Nelson and Actress Celeste Holm, but he was raised by his Grandparents. He's also an Alma mater of 4 universities.

Throughout his time in college he engaged in many creative projects such as a musical and he was also a photographer and filmmaker. While in college he also created an experimental student film called "The Epiphany of Slocum Furlow". He posted it eventually to his YouTube channel and i've embedded that below... Hopefully the link will never break. (You'll get that joke later I promise).

Ted Nelson's main innovation was the founding of Project Xanadu. Taking the name from the poem Kubla Kahn published in 1816, Xanadu is a metaphor for opulence or an idyllic place. He called it a "magic place of literary memory" which seems fitting for a vision of an alternative World Wide Web.

Find out more in the video below

Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen profile photo

D.O.B. April 5, 1951

D.O.D. Alive!

Wikipedia: link

Why is Dean Kamen an Inspiration?

"I've never regretted anything I've done, even the things that I've failed at. I've often regretted not trying something really big, because you'll never know."

Inventor of the Segway, the Slingshot Water Purifier, microdispening components used in the Coke Freestyle machines and an insulin pump are just a few things Dean gets to claim credit for. Born in Long Island, New York to Jack and Evelyn Kamen, Dean was 1 of four children. His father was an illustrator for books, magazines and comic books. Jack Kamen was best known for his work for EC Comics including series like Tales from the Crypt.

Dean was an entrepreneur even at a young age. He built light and sound systems for local bands and museums which in high school. He earned $60,000 before graduating. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out before graduating. At that point he was already 5 years into private research on the insulin pump called "AutoSyringe".

Dean went on to create the IBot (a stair climbing wheelchair). It was revealed to the public in 1999 after 7 years of development. The Segway came from this same product development in 2001. Both products were created through Dean's company Deka (which is Dean Kamen shortened...). Other projects from Deka include the LUKE prosthetic robot arm and more!

Find out more in the video below

Woody Flowers

Woody Flowers profile photo



Wikipedia: link

Why is Woody Flowers an Inspiration?

Jerry Lawson

Woody Flowers profile photo

D.O.B. December 1, 1940

D.O.D. April 9, 2011

Wikipedia: link

Why is Jerry Lawson an Inspiration?