Five in the AM

Alfredo in his workshop

Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor

1. What if I told you with only a bottle of water and some bleach you would never have to use a light bulb in the morning (as long as you live on the top floor that is). Alfredo has pulled off something similar to the work of Thomas Edison but he isn’t really looking to make a killing from his invention. See here for more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23536914

15-year-old Anthony Stokes has been denied the heart transplant that would save his life

Dying Teen Is Being Denied A Heart Transplant Because He’s Had Trouble With The Law

2. Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes has less than six months to live unless he receives an emergency heart transplant. But his family has been told that Anthony doesn’t qualify for the transplant list because he has a “history of non-compliance” — partly due to his history of earning low grades and having some trouble with the law. Ermm…this kid is 15 and I can already feel this turning into another race matter…See more here: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/12/2453941/dying-teen-heart-transplant/

pacu-teeth

Testicle-biting fish invading Denmark, authorities warn

3. Guys, stay out of Denmark….this fish eats balls…literally! http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/08/12/testicle-biting-fish-may-be-invading-denmark/

telsa hyperloop tube

Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes

4. Science fiction or reality? Serial entreprenure and billionaire Elon Musk unveiled designs and plans for his hyperloop superfast transport system costing a fraction of the currently proposed high speed rail project. To think I was talking about something similar only three days ago! See here for more: http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/12/news/economy/hyperloop-elon-musk/index.html

Baby Messiah, Name Change

5. Did you know you could name your child Jesus but apparently not Messiah. The question is can you name your ‘savior’ which would be the English equivalent? See here for more: http://uk.eonline.com/news/448182/judge-orders-baby-s-name-be-changed-from-messiah-says-only-jesus-has-earned-that-name

That’s just the way it is :)

Anatole France put it best: ‘All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.’. Only 24hrs before I return to my home country I can’t help but wallow in thoughts of closing yet another chapter to my life. Unlike any other chapter, I am finally close to 25 which marks the typical age for a good 21st century quarter life crisis. I cannot speak for everyone in my generations but most people I have discussed this matter with seem to share a certain sense of apprehension. Changes are inevitable in life but somehow we manage to form the habit of putting on resistance even though we know all this will cause us is pain.

A long time ago I came up with the idea that everyone existed with a steady mental state which comprised of certain emotional cycles played on repeat. This is why some people have to constantly be in fights in the course of a relationship but refuse to break up, or some people cannot stand being single for too long. Once we get used to a routine it is easy to swing into autopilot and essentially put our life on pause by repeating the same actions week after week. However, once in a while life decides you are overdue a change of scenery and in throws the wrench of time into your clockwork way of life.

I have had a brilliant life in the United Kingdom. I have friends here I will never forget, heartbreaks I will tell my kids about, and what if’s that might remain forever unanswered. In my time here this place has become a home away from home and for that I will miss it dearly. But instead of drowning in thoughts of all that I will miss, I have told myself to welcome the changes ahead to ease the pain. I look forward to experiencing my home country as an adult and setting out on all kinds of crazy adventures. As a writer I have often thought about my own life in a book. Each time I slip into one of these pitfalls of depression I stop to remind myself the book isn’t going to write itself and rereading the past chapters only takes away the time that should be used in writing the new.

Have you had to deal with any big changes recently? Breakup? City move? Graduated? etc, feel free to share your experience and  how you coped with it below.

No room for a home marker?

While I have always been an admirer of ambitious women I have also always been an advocate for freedom of choice. For the longest time I have been of the opinion that for a home to be run successfully, at least one of the partners involved has to be more domesticated. When I say domesticated in this instance I mean one of the two has to be concentrated more on the running of the house if they want to create time for the children and even for each other.

Traditionally, the role of home maker used to be that of a woman, but women have come a long way from that and I will not insult their struggle by suggesting that we go back to that. This is what I would suggest instead. I find that in most relationships there is already someone more suited to be the home maker and both already know this. If your mind has already nominated a woman to fill this position it’s not my fault that stereotype exists. I believe the more domesticated partner can be the man or the woman but that isn’t what makes us so nervous about playing the role of home maker.

For most men we have the egocentric thinking that tells us it is emasculating to take on such a role and there is also the problem of how women perceive men. I will venture into the land of assumptions and claim that most women are predisposed to being attracted by a financially successful man. This is not to be mistaken for gold digging! Being able to provide has long been an evolutionary advantage for men and that mentality still lives on. Women on the other hand face what I have now termed the ‘feminist stigma’. No man I know of has ever shown distaste over a woman deciding to get a job that afforded her more time at home (if the husband can afford it we don’t even mind full time housewives). Women on the other hand with the new ‘do you think I belong in the kitchen’ attitude have taken to talk down on other females that might have decided to become home markers.

Bit of funky grammar going on here…

It seems like in a world that demands more and more of our time, instead of running the family unit like a single household we have adopted an independent lifestyle over a cooperative one. Maybe it is time to start thinking about how we view relationship dynamics and how we think of the role of the home maker. Running a home is no easy task and sometimes could be the difference between a lasting relationship and a broken one.

Romance…hmmm

For as long as I can remember I have always had somewhat of a romantic nature. I actually used to compose love letters for a fee or sometimes free in my secondary school days. I find this particularly ironic because face to face I was terrified of speaking to girls, but this post isn’t about how I stopped be a wimp so I will avoid digressing.

These days, thanks to a few heartbreaks, I have adopted a rather cynical view on romance and pretty much everything in life really. I do not like any form of public display of affection but maybe I’m just getting old. In general I have come to find that a certain degree of romance is expected of men and once you begin to play the role of Romeo, you are stuck with that character forever and the expectations that come with it.

While being romantic might seem like a natural trait humans have evolved with it is actually a societal condition encouraged mostly by what we see on TV. Unfortunately television has never been a tool for reflection of reality and so mainstream romance cannot be real. In my opinion the only real romance is that which isn’t forced or expected so if you are not inspired to perform a romantic gesture, let it be. Ladies you must be aware of the romantic façades we can put up, don’t fall for it. It almost seems like romance which should be the icing on the cake has now replaced the cake itself. Then after the honeymoon period is over and romance begin to fade we realize that as companions we couldn’t be more ill suited to the person we are with and so the cookie crumbles.

Just as so many relationship experts advice that sexual contact should be avoided at the start of a relationship until good companionship is established, I advice the same but of romantic gestures. Happy dating!

Bullying

If you went to school in Africa (Nigerian boarding schools to be precise) you undoubtedly have a completely different perception to what gets passed off as bullying in the West. The concept of cyber-bull where I’m from is more or less an oxymoron (ain’t no body got time for that!). From as early as nine or ten years old most kids (myself included) experience physical bullying in the form of belting and a range of corporal punishments I cannot begin to explain. The school systems are structured to permit this kind of treatment with an unspoken rule that arranges a power structure within students based on what year you are in. Teachers of course are allowed to smack you. While I will not promote or defend bullying in this way, I would point out that this ‘suck it up’ philosophy encourages a certain type of character building unseen in the West as far as bullying is concerned. I have been reading through comments about the victim of cyber bullying on Ask.fm that ended up hanging herself and it has really got me thinking. Of course this is not the first time such a case has arisen and if steps are not taken it wouldn’t be the last either.

Most comments seem to call for better monitoring of these sites, better parental monitoring of children’s internet activity, or blame the victims for not being mature enough to handle the situation. I think it is worth considering how children are socialized these days to figure out if society is not giving kids the tools essential to build strong characters. Could it be possible that in today’s society children are over-protected and under-monitored? I will give an example. In Nigeria it is very common for parents to physically hit their kids to  deter them from repeating an offense. Because this happens to everyone there is no stigma attached to it. No Nigerian grows up feeling ‘abused’ because their parents hit them with a belt or shoe on a few occasions. In the West a parent hitting the child provides this child with a sob story for the rest of their life. I actually remember being teased with the term ‘ajebor’ (posh) in school because I said my parents never hit me. In fact I considered making up that they did just to feel normal!

Do you think old people suggest bringing back the cane because they want others to taste their pain or because they actually believe it is can help for character building?

I do not have kids therefore I feel rather unqualified to suggest a solution, but it is obvious that much needs to be done in regards to character building to reduce the need for social acceptance among the young. Perhaps some scheme rolled out to lecture kids on handling bullying after teaching them how to put condoms over cucumbers?

Toying with sex…

Don’t ask what led to this, but basically I went from discussing the possibility of a future where robots were integrated into society to how they might replace spouses. There are already people married to dolls and even pillows in Japan. The obvious question was would we eventually start sleeping with machines…ermm we kind of already do (vibrators and all that stuff). But I’m not trying to write a post about sex toys, instead I’m trying to ask why is it that the use of sex toys is socially accepted for women but not so much for men?

Women talk to each other about their latest purchases and there is no real awkwardness in discovering a sex toy in a female’s room. For men on the other hand, your hand is as much a helper as you are allowed. Just imagine walking into a guy’s room to discover this:

Given that men are generally assumed to be the hornier of the gender you would think the shop floors of sex shops would be littered with toys intended for male sexual gratification but this is far from the case. I have two theories to support the phenomenon but I am curios to what everyone else thinks. Firstly, I propose that maybe because it is too easy for men to ‘arrive’ there is really no need for us to invest in extras. While this explains why very little research and development has gone into producing male sex toys, it doesn’t explain why it is hasn’t been normalized in society for men to use sex toys for self-pleasure (I am cringing writing a lot of these phrases, such a prude). Regarding the social stigmatization of men using toys for masturbation I am guessing it arises of the egocentric thought process of men in regards to sex. Because we praise our ability to be promiscuous we regard using such toys as a sign that the guy is ‘not getting enough’ because his game is weak. Women on the other hand are free from this conception, at least to a degree enough to make it acceptable for them to substitute with mechanical assistants. Any thoughts?

Five in the AM

Acid attack teens back home as shocking injuries revealed

Acid attack teens arrive in UK as photo reveals shocking injuries

1. It is most unfortunate that volunteers for charities will have to contemplate being robbed abroad, and now having acid thrown on them. The two 18 year old kids that were out volunteering in Zanzibar had acid thrown on them on Eid of all days in the region. The assailants were reported to have poured the acid from mopeds and fled the scene immediately. See here for more and the picture of the injury sustained: http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/09/five-men-questioned-over-zanzibar-acid-attack-as-teens-return-to-uk-3917852/

Richard Dawkins' Islam dig sparks furious Twitter backlash

Athiest Richard Dawkins in hot water over Islam dig on Twitter

2. Famous for his anti-religious views Richard Dawkins has found himself in another keyboard war when he pointed out that the entire Muslim community has less Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge but were very progressive in the Middle Ages. While a fact cannot be racist and Islam is not a race a lot of people have branded this bigotry especially as he has chosen to Tweet this on Eid of all days. See here for more: http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/09/athiest-richard-dawkins-in-hot-water-over-islam-dig-on-twitter-3917965/

3. There are simply no words to describe how cool I think this is! Call me geek or nerd but I will be queining is stores all night if I have to just for a pair. It is still in it’s infant stage but reviewers are raving about its capabilities already. See here for more: http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/09/meta-the-ar-glasses-that-aim-to-be-what-google-glass-is-not-go-up-for-pre-order/

0808_kourtney_micheal_photoshoot

Some guy is claiming he’s the father of Kourtney Kardashian’s son

4. Probably another person trying to make a claim to fame by riding the coattail of a celebrity but I guess one gossip story wouldn’t hurt for the day. See here for more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/08/09/kourtney-kardashian-paternity-lawsuit-michael-girgenti-mason-scott-disick/?adid=hero4

Racism or elitism?

5. Oprah Winfrey has said she recently became a victim of racism when a shop assistant in Switzerland refused to show her a £24,477 handbag saying it would be “too expensive” for her. Taking cross cultural awareness into account it is not easy to ascertain if this shop assistant was being racist or elitist, but what’s really the big deal in letting a shopper look at an item even if they can’t afford it? See here for more: http://news.sky.com/story/1126475/oprah-winfrey-victim-of-racism-in-swiss-shop