Links: 12 Nov 2011

  1. More reason to be careful about your twitter activity – The twitter ‘joke’ that’s been blown out of proportion..
  2. iPhone apps that could save your marriage?
  3. The mean gene.: apparently one in four people have this gene..
  4. Taking email (and the internet too seriously)
  5. Laptops and male fertility.. Interesting piece over at Wired Science…
  6. Another take on the Yahoo vs Gmail argument…Gmail appears to be inherently ‘safer’.. (HT Trae Days)
  7. Interesting take on the Marine Corps, Appearance and Tradition over at The Art of Manliness..
  8. Ribadu is interviewed on the Economist’s Africa blog.
  9. Amazon briefly lists the inappropriately named ‘The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct’ before bowing to pressure and taking it down..
  10. Skype wedding? The possibilities are endless… (HT The Daily Dish)

World Cup 2010 – Lessons (un) Learned

A moment of rashness by a certain Sani Kaita will go down as the defining moment of Nigeria’s World Cup – when the tenuous grip of one hundred and fifty million people was savagely hacked off. At that time Nigeria was 1-0 up – thanks to a somewhat fortuitous goal – and had largely being untroubled by the Greeks who had been pedestrian all through. The rest, as they say, is history and Greece went on to win to put Nigeria’s world cup dreams effectively on hold for four more years.

They say hindsight is 20/20; allow me to revel in my new found ‘perfect’ vision.

  • Us Nigerians are overwhelmingly optimistic: Considering the Nations Cup performance was a few notches removed from abysmal, and Lars Lagerback was only appointed in February, just where we got the belief that we would do well leaves me concerned. Either as a nation we are collectively delusional or we have that rare gift of unshakable faith!
  • Football is still a powerful force: If the status updates, avatars and comments of my Nigerian friends on Facebook and Twitter are a credible measure of how football mad we are, we are up there with the very best. Loads of my friends had Nigerian players as avatars, and status updates solely related to football. The plus side is that suddenly, outpourings of solidarity became the norm rather than the exception, as against the usual disparaging comments I get to see from Nigerians on Nigeria. Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as saying football keeps the nation together, it can be argued that it is a universal language that binds us all into a coherent whole.
  • We lack true quality: The national football team was once able to call on the football prowess of the likes of Celestine Babayaro, Daniel Amokachi, Taribo West, Jay-jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Amunike and others in recent history. These were all blokes who played their football at the highest level- winning accolades and titles along the way. Looking at the current squad, I have to say I don’t see the real quality. Victor Enyeama, the goal keeper aside, the team was largely pedestrian, but then maybe it was the ball, or altitude, or any number of other excuses which are bound to come up!
  • We do not learn our lessons: Bringing Lars Lagerback in as manager was a new low (or high as some would argue) in the curious game of musical chairs that is the Nigerian football team manager’s position. Time and time again, after 1994, we have opted to chop and change managers without consideration for their preferred playing styles or more tellingly, their track record for bringing through youth players. One of the lot even had the effrontery to attempt to manage the team from his base in Germany, if my memory serves me right. Yet again as a nation we have failed to plan, and as the axiom goes, we have planned to fail.
  • We are still a country clinging to ethnic stereotypes: I hope for the sake of the future this isn’t true, but the outpouring of rage at Sani Kaita had a decidedly ethnic bent. Strong words were spilled, especially on his Facebook page, the bulk of which referred to him as ‘Malo’, a reference to his Northern origins.  It would appear, sadly, that Web 2.0 generation or not, we are willing to allow someone’s state of origin come into the play. He messed up- end of story. By no means should his ethnicity come into the picture.

Oh well, this time though, we have the excuse of the ball, and the altitude, and… whatever else we can lay our finger on!

A fitting end..

To a fabulous week that is…..

It is 11.41pm, and I am as clear eyed as I can be. I have just returned from the Muyiwa & Riversongz concert. It was fab, If I say so. Apparently the concert was designed to signal the commissioning of a ‘gospel’ choir in the city. The music was great all round – a throwback to my days back in University as an undergrad. Surprise, surprise, the bloke who leads the choir was also quite an active bloke on that same campus and was involved in plotting planning various musical events campus wide. The added benefits of catching up with blokes number 10 and 11 (the numbers refer to the number of close friends and acquaintances I have been re-united with since I made the move across the Atlantic) was fab and far outweighed any misgivings I might have had about shelling out 10 pounds to attend (and the 10 pounds I paid for a CD/DVD of Muyiwa’s album.)

Bloke number 10 has morphed into a Senior Engineer role at some big design consultancy in town, plus he’s added a few ‘spiritual’ feathers to his cap – so he was pretty well known by the people – organizers, the choir itself and all. He is still very single though – and he quickly chipped into my ear that we needed to get married off (the 13th time someone was telling me that this week alone).

Bloke number 11 on the other hand used to be a town-savvy bloke. He knew all the groove joints, all the drinks, where the beautiful women were and all that when we worked briefly together in some obscure town back in Nigeria. Bloke’s gotten very married (swapped a six-pack for a keg), and is all serious about giving life a real chase. Am I surprised!

Well, as a minimum, the bells are tolling for yours truly. I need to get my butt off the ground and get into the move ASAP…. 🙂

Bring on the weekend. Life’s good.

If wishes were horses

If wishes were horses… I’d be out playing golf at the moment; not crunching numbers and telling lies giving expert advice to clients. This glorious sunshine is simply begging for a game of golf!

Sadly, I am neither kith nor kin to Dangote nor to Mutallab Snr; and my dear father (bless his overly patriotic heart) turned down the offer of a tenure at Bristol back in the day 😦

There is also the small matter of the grossly incompetent fairy godmother; who has consistently failed to deliver the lottery numbers.

Infact dear fairy godmother you’re fired! And on your way out, kindly take santa along. I have no further use for you lot!

On Life…

I suspect…….

…… that beyond all the rhetoric; behind the superfluous arguments, the cynical barbs and the seemingly pragmatic fronts we put up; at its most prosaic, life is about the desire for acceptance, the illusion of autonomy and an ineluctable gravitation towards the certainty that safety brings – And we want to love, and be loved, inspite of our protestations to the contrary.

Sigh…

Cheesy smiles, Bullying, Spam and other randoms..

I suspect I am not the only one whose instinctive reation to the overly ebullient demeanour of sales people customer service assistants is to curl my fingers into a tight fist. I often want to punch them, so that the smile plastered on their face vanishes. They give me the impression of the legendary house rat – which I am told eats the skin off the feet, but aims a puff of air at the right time and place to dull the pain until it has had its fill of its victim’s feet! Thankfully, I am too lilly-livered to follow through my macabre thoughts with action – else I might be rotting in some jail on the grounds of causing grevious bodily harm.

Thankfully, I am not alone in having ‘dangerous’ tendencies – apparently Bros G knows a thing or two about bullying people. If only our own Bros J could add that to his repertoire perhaps the impasse of sorts foisted on the Nation by Aunty Turai and Uncle Yardy might be resolved sooner than later.

I have a little theory – SPAM is getting smarter. Over the last few  weeks, I have been getting SPAM mail from ‘Nigerian-esque’ names: Amaka, Lola, Garba and the like. One part of me says its random, but I refuse to accept that. The final piece of the jigsaw I am waiting on, so I can go to Mashable with my story, is for me to get an email from an Oritsegbebumi – or an Abayomiolorunkoje – no computer can generate those names.. Lai Lai.

Depression is no longer the excluse preserve of PMSing teenagers, or blokes stuck deep in a mid-life crisis – dogs too have decided to get involved too.  And trust the Capitalists to jump in on the act – Dogs now have their version of Prozac. Brilliant!

Twitter’s gotten a lot more interesting in the last few weeks…………. Thanks to A certain people (shelling on purpose.. sue me..)

And on a less random note….

Dreams permit oddities

– Max Lucado

I say dream on… Have a great weekend peeps.. and YOU.. grab a drink for two.. you know how we do!

Random musings…

So John Terry lost the England football captaincy – strange to me considering the quite public exploits of Sven Goran Ericksson and Mark Pallios back in the day; the recent activities of Avram Grant and the fact that none of the names being touted as Terry replacements have covered themselves in glory in the past.  He should simply have listened to the Vera show – and stayed off the friend’s ex… The bloke in the pod next to mine at work says footballers count money in millions of pounds and sense in pence.. Haterade maybe.. But this list of top ten gaffes makes an intriguing read..

Sat behind two naija blokes on the bus to work on Friday… Couldn’t help over hearing them talk about their women issues..Mine defo pale in significance… One ‘imported’ a wife from home and three months in, all she wants to do is hit the pubs every evening…..Surely,  this is only one side of the story?

Gladwell says there’s a 10,000 hour rule – a minimum amount of time irrespective of innate ability – required to gain mastery of something. He points to the examples of the Beattles, Bill Gates, Bill Joy and the like…. I wonder if there is an equvalent rule in forgetting someone.. .. to erase their memory from your mind…..Maybe a 90 day rule?

I’m officially retiring my BB.. Kid sister wants it… and I think I’m sooo over it… They have to be the most overated devices.. next to the iPhone. 🙂

I stumbled on my old ZoeGirl collection whilst mindlessly trawling my mp3 collection..(the band broke up 😦 ) They used to be my favourite Christian girl band back in the day.. alongside Point of Grace…It felt great to hear Dismissed again…. brought back memories….and lots of head bobbing.. in lieu of dancing…

I think serious work – which is great cos it pays the bills –  is stifling my pretend writing.. I’ve been stuck on four lines of a poem for the past month… The last thing I wrote seriously was in October.. #notgood! I shall write.. whether the Devil Mama Charlie likes it or not…

Feeling lonely? There’s two solutions available – a fembot (which will set you back a few thousand quid) or a boyfriend pillow (which is considerably cheaper). There’s loads of benefits – no smelly socks, no long hours watching football, no PMSing, — u get my drift…..

Oh.. and 30’s the new cool… whatever we might say to the contrary when we are more sober….

Strictly (not) dancing…

I think I have never danced in my entire life – not in church, not on my solitary foray into a night club, not at all the birthday parties I attended as a kid, not ever. I don’t remember if it was a concious decision, or if it was/still is a result of a deep seated phobia even I am unaware of, or if I have always lacked that seemingly natural ability to coordinate the limbs in resonance with external tunes, or if I just plain can’t be bothered.

I have always consoled myself by declaring that I am musing over the words of the songs – dissecting the rhymes, pondering the nuances, or sometimes inserting my own words to see if they rhyme better, or if they mean more for me that way. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I came close; days when I actually shuffled from side to side as though I were part of an invisible choir from antiquity or nodded my head and plucked strings on an imaginary acoustic guitar in tune with the song being belted out.

Today was one of them days, perhaps the huge cup of coffee I drank this morning as I stepped out into 3 degree centigrade temperatures was culpable, or it was a genuine case of shopping therapy after I ogled my latest acquisition for the umpteenth time, or perhaps it was Charlie leading worship at church, and squeezing in one of my favourite Hillsong songs… Bottom line is I almost danced, but I didn’t.. And I’m left still wondering what dancing must feel like…