“Burn Kenya, Burn.” Think About This..

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A man rides a motorcycle past a burnt petrol station and a charred building in Mpeketoni, Lamu County, on June 20, 2014. More than 60 people were killed over two days. PHOTO / JOAN PERERUAN >> NATION MEDIA GROUP

Article By : Peter Gaitho

“I have seen the script more times than I care to remember. A spark is lit in an unpretentious manner in a far-off outpost, just like Mpeketoni.

Two days later, the small embers generate some heat. 65 dead turn to 100, then 300. Before long, thousands are dead. Massive rapes, wanton destruction of property; the whole land is lit.

This is how it begins on social media; “Kill them, useless people,” “Hang all by the neck until they die,” “Circumcise them with a blunt knife,” “Washenzi, kill them all, your tribesmen think they are the best, we’ll finish them.” The vitriolic battle on Facebook and Twitter is real.

Soon enough, they generate enough heat, then hell breaks loose. The first victims are far off. Then the battle drums are beaten in your county, then in your district and ultimately in your neighbourhood.

Long before the battle reaches your village, you soon realize that you cannot access the nearest town, hakuna magari, hakuna unga in the shops. You cannot even get a Safaricom scratch card to buy internet bundles. So you are cut off from the social media. The same one you used and depended upon to “kill” your presumed enemies.

Before you know it, you escape death by a whisker, but with a deep cut on your right shoulder. No dispensary is open anywhere. No hospital either. The fight for your community’s right to be included in the government turns into a fight for your own life.

The leaders who egged you on are nowhere to be seen, or heard. They are watching events unfold in the safety of Sheraton Hotel by the Nile River, Uganda.

Humanitarian organizations hurriedly put up refugee camps. Maybe in a Catholic Church compound. Maybe the UNHCR has erected tents in Busia, Uganda, or Moyale, Ethiopia.

The UN compound in Nairobi is turned into a huge meeting place where all communities gather. And you end up in one of the camps.

Fighting for the few tents becomes the order of the day. A few rations reach your parched throat three days later. The gush on your right shoulder in gangrenous.

The overworked Medicines Sans Frontiers doctor is busy with a dying child next to your bed in a stinking, wet, humid tent hospital. There is wailing outside. You pray for death, but it takes its sweet time.

MASS, UNMARKED GRAVE

Anderson Cooper from CNN and his trademark black t-shirt have made it to your camp. The wide view camera catches you gnashing your teeth with high fever and bloody bandages over your right shoulder.

Your picture is seen worldwide, thanks to globalised, 24-hour media.

Omondi meets with Karanja and Omar and Werunga in the camp. They converse in low tones in Swahili wondering where the rain started beating them. They cannot remember when they last took a bath. They share a lone cigarette bootlegged into the camp by Mutiso.

In the meantime, in the Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, the political leaders hammer a truce negotiated by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and the AU. They share out government positions.

But you cannot celebrate the truce. For you see, three days before it happens, you, together with 43 others, are buried in a mass unmarked grave 12 miles outside the refugee camp.

None of your relatives will ever learn of your fate. Your amputated right arm is food for the vultures and hyenas in the refugee camp dump site.

Yes, my fellow countrymen and women, war is real. It kills real people; it leaves real women widowed, real children orphans, real men maimed.

Before you click ‘Send’ on that bigoted, egotistical hate message on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, Think Twice.

 

Peter Gaitho is a PhD student in Communication Science at the University of South Africa (UNISA)  

 

:Alcohol Advice/Info as the weekend draws near..

Most people who have alcohol-
related health problems aren’t
alcoholics. They’re simply people
who have regularly drunk more
than the recommended levels for
some years.
The NHS recommends:
Men should not regularly drink
more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol
a day.
Women should not regularly drink
more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol
a day.
If you’ve had a heavy drinking
session, avoid alcohol for 48
hours.
‘Regularly’ means drinking these
amounts every day or most days of
the week.
Regularly drinking more than the
recommended daily limits risks
damaging your health.
There’s no guaranteed safe level of
drinking, but if you drink less than the
recommended daily limits, the risks of
harming your health are low.
And it’s certainly not only people who
get drunk or binge drink who are at
risk. Most people who regularly drink
more than the NHS recommends
don’t see any harmful effects at first.
Alcohol’s hidden harms usually only
emerge after a number of years. And
by then, serious health problems can
have developed.
Liver problems, reduced fertility, high
blood pressure, increased risk of
various cancers and heart attack are
some of the numerous harmful
effects of regularly drinking more than
the recommended levels.
The effects of alcohol on your health
will depend on how much you drink.
The more you drink, the greater the
health risks.
Drinkers can be divided into three risk
categories:
lower-risk drinkers
increasing-risk drinkers
higher-risk drinkers
Read about alcohol units to work out
how much alcohol there is in your
drinks.
Lower-risk drinkers
Lower-risk drinking means that you
have a low risk of causing yourself
future harm.
However, drinking consistently within
these limits is called “lower-risk”
rather than “safe” because drinking
alcohol is never completely safe.
To be a lower-risk drinker, the NHS
recommends that:
Men should not regularly drink
more than 3 to 4 units a day.
Women should not regularly
drink more than 2 to 3 units a
day.
Even drinking less than this is not
advisable in some circumstances.
Drinking any alcohol can still be too
much if you’re going to drive, operate
machinery, swim or do strenuous
physical activity.
Pregnant women or women trying to
conceive should not drink alcohol.
When you drink, alcohol reaches your
baby through the placenta. Too much
exposure to alcohol can seriously
affect your baby’s development.
If you’re pregnant and choose to
drink, do not drink more than 1 to 2
units of alcohol once or twice a week,
and do not get drunk. This will
minimise the risk to the baby.
People who drink should aim to be in
the lower-risk category to minimise
the health risks.
Increasing-risk drinkers
Drinking at this level increases the risk
of damaging your health. Alcohol
affects all parts and systems of the
body, and it can play a role in
numerous medical conditions.
Increasing-risk drinking is:
regularly drinking more than 3 to
4 units a day if you’re a man
regularly drinking more than 2 to
3 units a day if you’re a woman
If you’re drinking at around these
levels, your risk of developing a
serious illness is higher than non-
drinkers:
Men are 1.8 to 2.5 times as likely
to get cancer of the mouth, neck
and throat, and women are 1.2 to
1.7 times as likely.
Women are 1.2 times as likely to
get breast cancer.
Men are twice as likely to develop
liver cirrhosis, and women are 1.7
times as likely.
Men are 1.8 times as likely to
develop high blood pressure, and
women are 1.3 times as likely.
If you’re an increasing-risk drinker
and you drink substantially more than
the lower-risk limits, your risks will be
even higher than those above.
At these levels of drinking, you may
already have alcohol-related
problems, such as fatigue or
depression, weight gain, poor sleep
and sexual problems.
Whatever your age or sex, you’re
probably in worse physical shape than
you would be otherwise. Also, you
could easily have higher blood
pressure due to your drinking.
Some people argue a lot when they
drink, which can negatively affect their
relationships with family and friends.
Higher-risk drinkers
If you’re in this group, you have an
even higher risk of damaging your
health compared with increasing-risk
drinkers.
Higher-risk drinking is:
regularly drinking more than 8
units a day or 50 units a week if
you’re a man
regularly drinking more than 6
units a day or 35 units a week if
you’re a woman
Again, alcohol affects the whole body
and can play a role in numerous
medical conditions. You have a much
higher risk of developing alcohol-
related health problems. Your body
has probably suffered some damage
already, even if you’re not yet aware
of it.
Compared to non-drinkers, if you
regularly drink above higher-risk
levels:
You could be 3 to 5 times more
likely to get cancer of the mouth,
neck and throat.
You could be 3 to 10 times more
likely to develop liver cirrhosis.
Men could have four times the risk
of having high blood pressure,
and women are at least twice as
likely to develop it.
You could be twice as likely to
have an irregular heartbeat.
Women are around 1.5 times as
likely to get breast cancer.
The more you drink above the higher-
risk threshold, the greater the risks. So
some of the health risks can be even
higher than those above. You’re likely
to have the same problems as
increasing-risk drinkers: feeling tired
or depressed, or gaining extra weight.
You may be sleeping poorly or having
sexual problems. And, like increasing-
risk drinkers but possibly more so,
you’re likely to be in worse physical
shape than you would be otherwise,
whatever your age or sex. You could
also have high blood pressure.
At these levels, your drinking may
make you argumentative, which might
damage your relationships with family
and friends.
Read about alcohol support to find
out who can help you with problem
drinking.

A truly monstrous medicine…Chinas Gruesome Human baby flesh pills!!

Kneeling down in her cramped kitchen, the pharmacist opens her fridge door and removes the freezer compartment drawer crammed with three packages wrapped in black bin liners.

As she carefully opens the brittle bundles, she boasts of her ability to use the contents to make a pill that can cure all known ills.

‘After taking two tablets a day you will feel the difference after just one week,’ she says.

End product: The conventional-looking pills, filmed by a South Korean TV crew – they are in fact the remains of foetus’

Even though the parcels are frozen, they exude an unpleasant smell that quickly permeates her nondescript apartment in a small Northern Chinese town.

But pushing the plastic freezer box across the floor to her new-found customer, the woman, who works at a Chinese hospital, appears almost proud as she says: ‘Choose one. Please, choose one.’

Each of the bags contains a single aborted foetus; one of them is said to be of seven months’ gestation. The infants’ remains will be cut up into small pieces, dried, microwaved and then ground down into a coarse powder, to be made into tablets of an ‘alternative medicine’ that plays on centuries-old superstitions and folklore.

Each tablet, containing the infants’ flesh and bone, and possibly hair and nails, are believed by many to have fantastic healing powers which fight the ravages of ageing and are capable of defeating even cancer.

It is a sickening, cannibalistic and illegal trade that the Chinese authorities do not want the world to know exists.

Horrifying: A pharmacist shows foetus’ to undercover reporters

Yet it is disturbingly widespread. This week the South Korean customs department revealed it had foiled 35 attempts to smuggle these ‘human-flesh pills’ across its border and seized more than 17,000 of them from China in just nine months. The contraband was either taken into the country in passengers’ luggage or posted in parcels registered as traditional Chinese herbal medicines.

This grotesquely unsavoury industry appears to cash in on China’s strict family planning laws, which limit most families to just one child each and are said to result in 13 million abortions a year, the equivalent of more than 35,000 terminations a day.

The country, which has a population of more than 1.3 billion, is said to have ‘dying rooms’ in hospitals where unwanted newborn babies are abandoned to perish. Those trying to avoid a huge fine for violating the one-child laws have even been known to commit outright infanticide.

Now, unscrupulous pharmacists, hospital workers and even the relatives of those having abortions are making money from archaic beliefs that consuming infant cells can cure and rejuvenate us.
This bizarre notion dates back hundreds of years to China’s Ming dynasty. And the belief if that the nearer the foetus is to its birth date, the more healing properties it harbours.

The true extent of the trade in China’s human-flesh pills emerged when an undercover team from South Korea’s SBS television channel highlighted the problem.

The footage taken by the team showed how placentas — the most common form of illegal human flesh traded in China for alternative medicine — are sold alongside the dried organs of creatures including snakes and bats from around the world to satisfy an appetite for powders, soups and potions said to have tremendous healing properties.

It also reveals how herb ‘clinics’ or ‘chemists’ in northern Chinese towns, including Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, sell pills made from human foetuses.

Secretly filmed footage shows a pharmacist wearing pristine white overalls at one chemist admitting that she stocks ‘human-flesh capsules’.

She is filmed in a room containing huge wooden cabinets with row after row of small rectangular drawers containing drugs and rare herbs, and at one point she stands on tip-toe to reach a top shelf where she pulled down a hidden bag of red and yellow capsules.

She opens up a pill, agrees that the contents give off a bad smell, and then explains that the foetus that made this batch of tablets was nearly seven months old before its life was terminated.

‘They were made recently,’ she says. ‘These are really good for you. Take it twice a day. Don’t take too much, otherwise you will get a nosebleed.’ After agreeing the sale with the undercover reporter, she decants the tablets into a pill box marked with a prescription label for back pain.

Later, another shopkeeper advises ‘patients’ to take the pills only during colder months to avoid sweating out their health benefits.

Monstrous: The respect for human life seems to have been completely bypassed as this Chinese pharmacist makes up foetus pills

What they fail to explain — quite apart from the appalling moral issues raised — is just how dangerous swallowing the powdered flesh of another human being can be. Tests on tablets seized recently by South Korean border control officers found the contents of some were made up of the DNA from three human foetuses.

The television crew discovered that the make-up of the pills they bought were between 97 per cent and 99 per cent human. And they all contained high levels of harmful bacteria, many of them of a type that could only have come from decomposing bodies.

According to ancient Oriental lore, material from babies or foetuses contains life-giving human properties inherent only in such young cells.

They are credited with boosting stamina for the frail and old, as well as improving sexual performance. They are also said to help those suffering respiratory problems or lung disease.

While the trade in such drugs is thought to be more frequent in communist China, smugglers see the capitalist state of South Korea as an increasingly lucrative market. Pills that were once sold for as little as 50p are believed to be fetching up to £25 among the population of China’s affluent near neighbour.

According to the undercover team, the smell at this stage was overpowering. Hair and nails were discernable in the human material

The pills used to be shipped to South Korea brazenly in clear plastic cellophane bags, but more recently smugglers have had to become increasingly sophisticated and use orthodox dark brown pill bottles, with sealed caps and labelled with the names of legitimate drugs or more traditional Chinese herbal medicines to evade detection.

Ground-up aromatic herbs have also been added to the capsules to try to disguise the smell of what is, to all intents and purpose, rotting dried flesh.

The frozen ‘raw ingredients’ (a euphemism for freeze-dried human flesh) are also for sale. A single foetus fetches hundreds of pounds because it can be ‘processed’ into so many tablets with a far more lucrative street value. An entire placenta sells for about £100.

Perhaps the most distressing element of this horrifying trade is the pitiless nature of the manufacturing process. During the undercover  filming last year, the SBS journalists saw how a foetus could be turned into pills in just two days.

Once the hospital pharmacist had defrosted the foetus stored in her kitchen fridge, she cut it into ‘manageable pieces’. Overnight she dried it out on absorbent paper before slowly microwaving it on a low heat.

According to the undercover team, the smell at this stage was overpowering. Hair and nails were discernable in the human material.

Once it was thoroughly dried, the pharmacist placed the flesh into a herbal grinder, not unlike a kitchen food processor, to render it down to a coarse, light brown powder, similar to the texture of human ashes following a cremation. That powder would then be put into soluble capsules which were counted out into bags for packing, shipment and sale.

Gruesome: These brightly-coloured pills hide a horrific inside – the remains of dead babies

Those who have sold or taken such pills speak remarkably candidly to the television team about the perceived effects of the tablets.

A Korean woman living in China explained how she had given her son the pills because he had a lung problem. She says: ‘The hospital had said they couldn’t help him. My child took the capsules for one month and he got better.’

A small trader at a market in Seoul, South Korea, adds: ‘A couple of years ago we took them many times. When we ran out I contacted my son living in North East China who posted them to us.’ At that time she was just paying about 50p per tablet, and would get them shipped to her in batches of 100 or 120.

She adds: ‘It’s really good medicine. You will be jumping around because you will be so full of energy. But the pills are now expensive.’

Another woman had so much faith in the treatment that she bought a foetus on the black market and ground it down to make her own tablets. ‘I would get it raw, cut it, burn it and powder it,’ she says, adding: ‘It’s widely known that it’s very good for you.’

Modern research has shown all such health claims to be baseless. Indeed, far from being curative, the pills are far more likely to be poisonous.

Earlier this week, China’s Ministry of Health spokesman Deng Haihau said his officers would investigate reports of the trade, but said no proof that such capsules were being manufactured had yet been presented to him.

‘Improvements have been made in the regulation of such drugs, but we do come across bad practices’Professor Dali Yang, University of Chicago’s Beijing School

Last night a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman refused to comment on the South Korean customs findings or the investigation by the television journalists.

But Professor Dali Yang, of the University of Chicago’s Beijing School, said that while there had been a concerted effort by Chinese authorities to tighten up food standards, traditional medicines had been largely overlooked.

‘The traditional Chinese medicine sector has been under-regulated and this is because there has always been a claim by the manufactures that their medicines contain a secret ingredient, but they refuse to offer details,’ he says.

Professor Yang believes the practice of using human flesh in pills exists, but is probably quite rare.

‘Historically, in traditional Chinese medicine, the placenta has been used,’ he said. ‘If aborted babies have been used in this instance, I would say it is an isolated case.

‘Regulation of such drugs in China is a work in progress. There have been improvements but at the same time, because of the size of the industry, we do come across bad practices.’

Clearly, if true, the claims by South Korean customs would  suggest the trade is rather more widespread. And the concern in the months to come will be just how seriously the Chinese authorities take the allegations — for it is a state that does not take kindly to criticism

……again, I ask would you do anything just to get better…to get rid of that chronic cough or back pain??!!…Is this what they meant when they said research was promising and “in the right direction”… some mortifying, horrific version of stem cell research??

Drug called scopolamine and known as ‘The Devils Breath’ is being sold on streets in Colombia ..

The most dangerous drug in the world: ‘Devil’s Breath’ chemical from Colombia can block free will, wipe memory and even kill

  • Scopolamine often blown into faces of victims or added to drinks
  • Within minutes, victims are like ‘zombies’ – coherent, but with no free will
  • Some victims report emptying bank accounts to robbers or helping them pillage own house
  • Drug is made from borrachero tree, which is common in Colombia

A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ

Deadly drug: Scopolamine is made from the Borrachero tree, which blooms with deceptively beautiful white and yellow flowers

VICE’s Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.

Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect – scopolamine is odourless and tasteless.

‘You can guide them wherever you want,’ he explained. ‘It’s like they’re a child.’

Black said that one gram of Scopolamine is similar to a gram of cocaine, but later called it ‘worse than anthrax.’

In high doses, it is lethal.

It only takes a moment: One drug dealer in Bogota explained how victims are drugged within minutes of exposure.
Victims: One Colombian woman said that under the influence of scopolamine, she led a man to her house and helped him ransack it.

The drug, he said, turns people into complete zombies and blocks memories from forming. So even after the drug wears off, victims have no recollection as to what happened.

One victim told Vice that a man approached her on the street asking her for directions. Since it was close by, she helped take the man to his destination, and they drank juice together.

‘You can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child.’

She took the man to her house and helped him gather all of her belongings, including her boyfriend’s cameras and savings.

‘It is painful to have lost money,’ the woman said,’ but I was actually quite lucky.’

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug – also known as hyoscine – causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.

In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master’s grave, where they were buried alive.

Devil’s Breath: The drug is odourless and tasteless and can simply be blown in the face of someone on the street; their free will vanishes after being exposed to it

In modern times, the CIA used the drug as part of Cold War interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum.

However, because of the drug’s chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.

The tree common around Colombia, and is called the ‘borrachero’ tree – loosely translated as the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.

It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.

Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country’s torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.

click here to watch a documentary on it….WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE UNSUITABLE FOR SOME READERS!

“..Michelle hates fat people..”: Why Oprah got the cold shoulder from the White House…

Strained relationship: President Barack Obama and the First Lady with Oprah Winfrey during the taping of a TV special, Christmas at the White House. Picture: AP Source: AP

OH my. Barack Obama’s caught in a love triangle and it may harm his election chances.

The Amateur, written by Edward Klein, a former editor of the New York Times Magazine, says the First Lady became jealous of Oprah’s access to her husband shortly after he won the 2008 election.

 

It claims Mr Obama used to drop everything to take Oprah’s calls and the talk show host began to believe she had earned right to shape White House since she was instrumental in helping him win the election.

But the relationship soon started to cool, as extracts of the book published in the New York Post make clear:

“It soon became apparent that something had gone wrong between Oprah and the new administration – or, more precisely, between Oprah and Michelle Obama,” Klein says in the book.

“The problem seemed to originate from two of Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarrett and Desirée Rogers, the new White House social secretary. They resented Oprah’s meddling. Among other things, Oprah had a plan to redecorate the Lincoln bedroom. She also had ideas about how Michelle could put more zing into White House social events.

“As the person who controlled access to the first couple, Valerie Jarrett saw Oprah as a potential threat to her power. If Oprah went unchecked, she would bypass Valerie and go directly to the president and First Lady. And so Valerie set about turning Michelle against Oprah. Oprah was too close to the president . . . Oprah was acting like she was the first lady . . . Oprah didn’t know her place . . . Oprah was a bad influence . . . Valerie advised Michelle to ‘distance herself’ from Oprah and cut her out of the White House inner circle.

“It didn’t take much to convince Michelle. As far as Michelle was concerned, Oprah’s billions and her elite lifestyle disqualified her as an adviser to Barack.”

The book further alleges that Mrs Obama made a jibe about Oprah’s weight and refers to an alleged disagreement the pair had over Mrs Obama’s childhood obesity campaign.

Oprah allegedly screamed out to a friend after being dropped: “Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House!”

A White House spokesman has said that Klein has made up stories to sell his book. “Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one.”

Although the Obamas have appeared on Oprah’s shows since the alleged rift, Oprah isn’t as close to Obama’s election campaign as she was in 2007 and the book will put a further strain on the relationship.

….as they say with great power comes great responsibility…..or is it, keep your friends close,but your enemies closer..?? whatever the case, they rich, they’re powerfull…this shouldn’t affect you in any way whatsoever.?!! I think!

 

Only in Kenya: Man caught cheating,Apparently “It” refused to come out..

Believe it or not, this is not just any other witchdoctor.
Does this magic work? Well in some yet to be disclosed area in Kenya, a man was caught cheating with another man’s wife stuck inside.
It is said that the two were committing adultery and the woman’s husband got wind of it and decided to apply the magic normally associated with cheating couples.
In this video that was uploaded today, everyone in the vicinity who had gotten wind of the happenings came to see in order to believe.
This is in Kenya because the crowd is talking in Swahili and others at the background are talking in Kikuyu.
The cheating man wants to do anything and pay everything he owns in order to get it out but luckily a man of God comes and prays eventually it is out

…hehehe..funny as it is….the guy appeared dazed and confused for a while…like a deer infront of a headlight!!

click here to watch…

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’… Steve Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc&feature=player_embedded 

“I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss…

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death..

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.