Have a big idea that you think might make you the next Mark Zuckerberg? NPR has a contest that could be the steppingstone to greatness.
All an entrant has to do is make a video describing the idea and send it to National Public Radio.
The winner will get advice from experts in science and technology on making the idea a reality. And even if the grand prize isn't in your future, NPR will showcase the videos on YouTube and Facebook.
There's just one catch: Entries are restricted to people age 13 to 25.
What? An age limit on big ideas?
Success and talent are only hallmarks of the young?
Apparently, contest organizers never heard of Grandma Moses. She didn't start painting until she was in her 70s and the now-household name in the art world painted until her 90s.
NPR has an out: The contest is for the younger set "because we know it can be hard to get your good ideas heard when you're not a CEO or a Ph.D." That's true, regardless of age.
But life experience should count. To illustrate:
A few celebrities hit their stride after 25: songwriter Leonard Cohen, actors Danny Glover, Harrison Ford and Chuck Norris, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Just months shy of her 50th birthday, Julia Child collaborated on her first French cooking book, a two-volume set titled "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her family's life in the 1870s and 1880s in the "The Little House on the Prairie" series of children's books. The first book was published when the author was 65. Charles Darwin was 50 when he published his complete theory of evolution in "On the Origin of Species." Today, it would have made The New York Times best-seller list with ease. It sold out on the first day of release and was followed by six editions.
Almost everyone has a cellphone. But we'd all still be tethered to home (and pay phones wouldn't be considered collector's items) if not for Martin Cooper, who invented the wireless cell when he was around 45 — even before there were wireless networks to connect us worldwide.
Fried chicken was good but not "finger-lickin' good" until Col. Harland Sanders used his secret mix of herbs and spices on poultry when he was in his 60s.
The oldest Nobel laureate is Leonid Hurwicz, who was 90 when he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in economic sciences. And earlier this year, Christopher Plummer was 82 when he won his first Academy Award, the oldest actor in movie history to do so.
Consulting several top-10 lists of the greatest inventions of modern times, we found a few repetitions, including plumbing/toilets, the printing press, the automobile, the steam engine, computers and antibiotics. We'd be willing to bet most of their inventors were over 25.
*****can cut here******Nevertheless, if you fit the age parameters for NPR, get going and remember, keep it simple: Sometimes all you need to do is find a need, fill a gap in ordinary life and fame (and hopefully at least a little fortune) will follow.
Following the theory of keeping your idea simple, consider two simple items without which no modern household can operate: zip-top plastic storage bags and duct tape.