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William McRaven

The Art of Warfare

As you get up underneath the ship, as you approach a ship, there's a little bit of light above you. You can see it when you are underwater. But once you get close to the ship, the ship blocks out all the light, and the target for a ship is the keel, the center line of the ship. And as you get under there -- one, ships have machinery, so there is a very deafening noise as well which can disorient you very quickly. So you have to maintain your composure, you have to be calm, you have to move to the center line. You cannot see anything. So it is so black you literally can't see your hand in front of your face, so everything is by feel. And you also know that under a ship there are suctions which could, in fact, pull your facemask off or do some things. So you have to be very calm, very composed as you are making your way to the objective, even in a training environment. So this is another aspect of the SEAL training that's very important is learning to keep your composure when things are very, very difficult. Again, that is something that will weed a guy. A lot of guys could do the physical part, but when they got to this part that -- while it was still physical -- it was much more mental. It's about, "Don't be afraid under a ship. Be calm, take care of business and then get out and then keep moving on." So a lot of guys struggled with that and didn't make it through that part of the training.
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William McRaven

The Art of Warfare

William McRaven: We were doing a freefall so a static line parachute is where you hook up inside the aircraft, the freefall you jump out with a parachute on your back. So I was doing a freefall operation out in Southern California outside San Diego. And as I was descending, I noticed that there was a jumper below me on my right side and two jumpers below me on my left side. And the jumper below has got -- in terms of freefall they always have the right of way. So I was watching this guy over here, and before I knew it this guy here slid underneath me, so he was probably about 500, 600 feet below me and he opened his parachute. So in relative terms, he was coming up while I was going down. So as he opened his parachute, I kind of hit his parachute. It stunned me. I rolled off him. I rolled off his parachute and was a little stunned. So I pulled my ripcord knowing that I was getting to the altitude where you needed to pull it. And the pilot chute which comes out of the back of the parachute wrapped around one leg and then the risers, the webbing that is part of the parachute wrapped around the other leg and I was falling kind of head down towards the ground. The good news was that it opened; the bad news was when it opened it essentially broke me in two. So it broke my pelvis, it broke my back, it ripped a lot of muscles out. But the good news was I did get to the ground, and they came and picked me up in an ambulance and took me to the hospital and plated me and pinned me and got me back together again.
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Mario Molina

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

It's a conscious decision that Sherry Rowland and I did, not just to communicate our findings to other scientists, but to actually try to do something about it. In some sense that was taking a risk. Of course, the signs of the ozone layer and the effects of industrial chemicals was not nearly as well established at that time as it is now. We were just convinced that it was very important to find out. On the other hand, we were taking a risk, in that it's not a normal role expected of scientists. Our peers were perhaps questioning whether we were just seeking publicity or not. But again, we thought it was not important enough just to preserve our image in the scientific community, compared to what we really thought we had to do, which is to find out more about the problem and let the governments know more about it, so that eventually some action could be taken. And that's indeed what happened.
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Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Scott Momaday: Fix your sight upon something and then go after it, and try not to be deflected. You have something that most of us don't have and that is time. You have time in which to deliberate, time in which to reflect, time in which to determine who you are. Use it. Don't panic. A lot of kids tend to panic, but I say just take it easy. But go for something. Move positively towards some goal that you would like to achieve. Always think, ask yourself how you would like to be known. Don't let yourself be determined by others. And this is especially true where young people are concerned, because everybody wants to determine them. And they have very few defenses against that. So I say, for God's sake, you know, don't let other people tell you who you are. If I had let people tell me who I was, I would have dropped back there somewhere. Determine who you are, and don't let anybody else do it for you. That's the best advice I can give a young person.
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