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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Child Prodigies

In case you missed this story on Slashdot (or in the other case if you are not a regular Slashdot reader), an eight year old Korean boy has been admitted to Physics department of a Korean university. Not surprisingly, both his parents are teachers. You can find the original news here.

In terms of family background, the story is not very different from that of Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai of Iran, who memorized (and understood the meanings of) complete Quran by the age of 5. Both his parents know Quran by heart. The same is true for the child from Vietnam who is a chess grandmaster at the age of 10 - his parents used to play chess amongst themselves and he picked it from them.

There is a story on TIME Asia which tries to analyze "if prodigies can be created?" You might also be interested in knowing about a family of child genii in England, born to a Pakistani father (and Malaysian mother) - though, one of the girls, Sufiah Yusof, has run away from home due to her father's over-ambitious attitude. Perhaps, BBC wrongly reports that both the parents are from Malaysia.

Does that mean these kids get a natural lead in the race of life? Well, how is it different from a child born with a silver spoon in his mouth - one who can spend a life without caring about hunger, insecurity, etc? Perhaps, one needs to analyze the definition of "finish line." Perhaps, we all have different start and finish lines - it doesn't matter if somebody has started ahead of us.

Ejaz Asi reports his views about the earth quake casualties.

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