The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kenji Nagai, APF videojournalist in Burma.

Burma, sorry, Myanmar, is not so far from Singapore, where I live. I have even known a few Burmese people living in Singapore - and so recent events have drawn my attention.

I am not a fan of repression, wherever it occurs and so I have watched the recent confrontation of the military junta and the revered monks, of Burma/Myanmar, with some trepidation. It seemed likely that, at some point, the government would lash out, once more, at its own people.

That violent action has begun. People are dying in the streets and being rounded up to be taken away to God knows what fate. Many of these people are monks.

One figure though, in all these events of the past few days, stands out, for his reaction to his fate. Kenji Nagai, the Japanese APF videojournalist, covering the Burmese unrest, on the ground in Burma, was shot, apparently at point blank range as he lay on the ground (according to video footage taken by another journalist). The Myanmar government blamed a stray round. Well, the video suggests otherwise: that was a round that strayed only a few feet from the gun.

What touched me, however, was Kenji Nagai's reaction to his own impending death. He had just been shot. He must have known that he could be dying. So what did he do? He pointed his camera in the most interesting direction and continued to take pictures. That makes him a hero, in my book. How sad that a man with such a dedicated, committed attitude to his work, should die by the bullet, at the hand of some gun-wielding government thug.

Kenji Nagai may not have come to our notice before - but in the manner in which he conducted himself, in his dying minutes, he certainly distinguished himself as a heroic personality. It is a pity that he did not survive.

As for the soldier who shot him. His action is that of a murderer - for one thing must have been clear: the man with the camera was not a native of Myanmar, nor a participant in the unrest. He was clearly a journalistic observer - for extraordinarily few native Burmese could possibly afford a camera. The soldier shot dead a man he knew to be a journalist. The question is why? Are soldiers on the ground in Myanmar under instruction to kill journalists, as witnesses to their repression of the population? I hope not - but if so, then all the more reason for the world to take a good look at Myanmar.

My condolences to the family of Kenji Nagai, Japanese videojournalist - and, undoubtedly, a hero to the last minute.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and ten months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and three months, and Tiarnan, twenty months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:14 PM 


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