Nigerian physician and endocrinologist Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh was the gift we all needed. She was there to prevent a global Ebola outbreak in the very nick of time giving her life to save ours. In July 2014 when the epidemic almost reached its peak Nigeria’s first Ebola patient left quarantine in Liberia and flew to Lagos to attend a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He collapsed at the airport and was taken to a private hospital where Dr. Adadevoh worked. She got him tested; while waiting for the results the patient and Liberian government officials began insisting that Dr. Adadevoh discharge him so he could attend the conference. They threatened to sue her for kidnapping but she continued to resist. His Ebola diagnosis was later confirmed, and he died at the hospital. Dr. Adadevoh decisions allowed to successfully trace all possible contacts; there were 20 Ebola cases total. 11 were healthcare workers. 6 of those healthcare workers survived and 5 died, including Dr. Adadevoh.
Powerful stories for everyone
Dr. Jane Goodall is British scientist, conservationist, peacemaker and mentor, named a UN Messenger of Peace in 2002. She is world’s most famous expert on chimpanzees whose field research at Gombe, Tanzania, transformed our understanding of apes and redefined the relationship between humans and animals. Dr. Jane Goodall’s discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots, a program at work with young people in more than 130 countries to foster the informed generation of conservation leaders our world so urgently needs. Luminous Part together with Afisha has talked to Dr. Jane discussing awareness, the definition of human, and planet’s future we all are responsible for.
Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist specializing in particle cosmology. He studies the emergence of complex structures in nature, focusing on fundamental questions related to what he calls the “three origins”: cosmos, life, and mind. Marcelo is very active in public understanding of science and has written several books (A Tear at the Edge of Creation, The Simple Beauty of Unexpected, The Island of Knowledge, and others). This last interdisciplinary question, the question about the limits of knowledge, occupies much of Marcelo’s time when he is not working on more technical stuff. Luminous Part together with Kulturomania has talked to him, discussing the nature of information and knowledge. How much can we know? Can we know everything? Why do we want to do that, and why are we always looking for a meaning?
Madeline Stuart, Australia, is the first professional adult model with Down Syndrome. She is 19, and she has been participating in many top fashion shows already, working in New York, San-Francisco, Los-Angeles, Brisbane, Hawaii, Sydney. Luminous Part team together with the Snob magazine has talked to Madeline and her mother Rosanne, discussing ability and independence.
Have you ever dreamed of wings? No plane, no parachute, just you, flying high in the sky like a bird. Vince Reffet is does it every day. He is one of two Jetman Dubai pilots, an experienced operator of the smallest propelled wing in the world that allows fast and free flying for almost 10 minutes. Vince told Luminous Part and Snob magazine what is it like to achieve the oldest human dream, what a flight feels like, and what such a skill can add to our understanding of freedom.
To live in a tree house is a secret dream of almost every child. But this dream, as many of the dreams that get their achievement, is related not only with the pure fantasy, but also with the hard working and inventing things that did not exist before. Andreas Wenning comes from Bremen, Germany. He plans and builds inspiring dwellings for children and adults – tree houses and tree hotels that look like ships and fruits hovering in the air. Andreas has told Luminous Part and the Snob magazine why he decided to dedicate himself to the modern architecture on the trees, and what he dreamed about when he was a boy.
Investigating the nature of enthusiasm, I have decided to describe its history. Where does this concept come from? What were Plato’s, Dante’s, Shakespeare’s sources of inspiration? How are our concepts of an idol, a genius, an insight related to the greatest masterpieces of the Western literature? What happens in the brain when we get inspired? The Mechanics Of Inspiration: From Culture To Brain book (AST publishing house) will answer these questions.
Luminous Part together with Theory & Practice has published a new interview. We have talked to Nick Vujicic – Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. With Nick we have discussed hope and fails – things that are familiar to everyone.
George Saunders is American writer, professor at Syracuse University and a winner of several prizes and awards. The New York Times calls him genius. For Luminous Part he is a special speaker, because the project is centered on a quote from his speech at Syracuse University: “That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.”
Spanish superstar architect, sculptor and structural engineer Santiago Calatrava creates biotech style buildings. His museums, skyscrapers and stations are always white like sea shells or doves. He has told Luminous Part and Theory & Practice why architecture is akin to music, what should an architect do to materialize a miracle and why imperfections are no less important than accomplishments.
Dutch artist Theo Jansen makes amazing kinetic sculptures that look like living creatures. Media call him “the Second da Vinci”. Jansen’s “strandbeests” can walk, “see” the water water and different types of sand, and lie down when a storm comes. He has explained to Luminous Part how does creation work when one is making something really new.
Luminous Part is a book of interviews portraying great dreamers – artists, scientists and athletes who have a talent to encourage other people. Its chosen title refers to George Saunders’ words: “That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.” Once we occasionally saw it in Tom Hiddleston’s Twitter, and we did believe them – George and Tom.
People are familiar with this concept on intuitive level – everybody knows how does “a fire” in someone’s eyes look like. But where does it come from? How can we share it? We focus on our speakers’ philosophy in search of inspiring experience they might share, and the inner light they might show. Thus we aim to help our readers to find their vocation and a way to a meaningful life. We know that some of the stars are bright and luminous indeed. People do illuminate people, handing a fire of their insights over from mind to mind. But the fire never gets less.