Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Charles Taylor Bag 50 years in Prison

Finally, Liberia's former president Charles Taylor was this morning sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes at an international war crimes court, in The Hague.

Taylor was found guilty last month of 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity by supporting rebels between 1996 and 2002 in return for (blood) diamonds. He was convicted of offenses including murder, rape, sexual slavery, recruiting child soldiers, enforced amputations and pillage.

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Test Your Mental Alertness -Brainteasers


You may have seen this before but there is really no harm in trying it again.

The objective is to test your mental sharpness, answer the following questions (and do not peek at the answers till you are through answering the questions):

1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?
2. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?
3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?
5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
6. Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?
7. In Nigeria, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
8. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?
9. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”
10. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?

Did your answers / answering process feature some of the following?
Question 1: ...June..after all, April is followed by May and May followed by June..
Question 2, did you Google for formula for calculating weight?
Question 3, you probably tried checking Google again for the highest mountain before Mt Everest was discovered...hmm
Question 7, Never heard that before, of course you can take pictures freely..
Question 8, ...First position of course!
Question 9, Did your brain automatically start correcting the verb, making you to miss the more vital information embedded?..Typical of the human brain.
Question 10, I bet your answer is 9...simple're unarguably a genius


1. Johnny.
2. Meat.
3. Mt. Everest. It just wasn’t discovered yet.
4. There is no dirt in a hole.
5. Incorrectly (except when it is spelled incorrecktly).
6. Billie lives in the southern hemisphere.
7. You can’t take a picture with a wooden leg. You need a camera to take a picture or any camera enabled appliance
8. You would be in 2nd place. (You passed the person in second place, not first, remember?)
9. Neither. Egg yolks are yellow.
10. One. If he combines all his haystacks, they all become one big stack.

Some of the questions may seem a bit tricky, but they just illustrate the several brain idiosyncrasies that affect our decision making process in our daily activities.
I also goofed on some of the questions too, and I guess it's alright to do that a couple of times so long as the information manages to seep in.
Due to the way our brain works, we have a tendency to see only what we want to see and this has huge implications especially if you are in the business world where you have to relate with customers, competitors, etc. Also if you are in a position to influence or make critical decisions then it becomes a big issue.
This may make us miss competitive threats to our  (business) existence because we cannot simply read between the lines. We tend to miss opportunities because our brain is attuned to how things used to be, what has been working for us and because we only see what we expect to see.

Our brain has been programmed to rebel against information gaps, so we more often than not, jump at the the first answer or solution that looks likely or good rather than first analyzing and processing the information available. This is especially true in a world where we receive more information everyday than we have time to process.
We end up missing opportunities because we only see what has worked in the past rather than what could be. And we miss major market shifts and changes in customer needs that seem obvious in hindsight but are easily overlooked when focusing on what we already know.

Now we have gained a little insight into how our brain works, we should pause from time to time and consider, analyze and evaluate information to find out what we are missing; this include inforamtion or data we unconsciously screen out. Simply put, always read between the lines, of course we have heard that countless times.

Okay, lesson over.
Cultivate the habit of teasing your brain, you would be amazed at what you are going to start seeing, probably information that has been staring you in the face all along.

Enjoy your weekend, beautiful people.

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Friday, 11 May 2012

The Ten Commandments of Being A Man

Hi folks,

Came across this post and can't help sharing, it was written by a man and is a must-read for all women, make sure you also share after reading.

Gentlemen, treating a woman like the epitome of beauty that she is, is not a difficult task, and trust me when I say, there are certain positive rewards for good behaviour. Kind of like prison, but if you were/are in prison, you probably need a little more help than an article on chivalry. Or maybe you can use these lessons to woo your cellmate. Like I said earlier, I don’t judge.
As a man, much like you, I am lazy, and therefore I am going to write my “Ten Commandments of Being a Man” in a handy dandy list format…it worked for God, it’ll work for me. Feel free to print this out and put in your wallet, trust me, you will thank me later. Without further adieu…
1. She is your girl, you should have no girl but her
Seriously this is important. When you are on a date with a girl, she should be the only girl that matters. This is immeasurably more important if you are dating or married to said girl. Do not text another girl, do not talk to another girl, and no hitting on the waitress. There is no other girl but her when you are out with her.
2. Do not worship technological idols
Put your iPhone, iPod, iPad, laptop, Blackberry and any other piece of technological idolatry away. Do you really need to check your fantasy football team while eating lunch? Trust me bro, she does not care how many points Aaron Rogers is putting up, no matter how interested she may appear.
3. Do not take the word woman in vain
Never use the words: bitch, slut, tramp, especially the “C” word, or any other derogatory word about a woman around your woman. A true gentleman does not use these words to begin with, but I am not writing this for a true gentleman, I am writing this for you. Included in this commandment, never call your woman by another woman’s name. Honestly, it is the equivalent of using any of the words found on the list above, but probably a million times harsher. (Well maybe not as bad as the “C” word…trust me guys, they HATE that word.)
4. Remember key dates. Get off your lazy ass and do something on them
Women remember everything, and you better believe that even if they do not act like it, it is a big deal that you forgot about the day you first met, trust me, they care. This is not an impossible task guys. Remember her birthday, your anniversary; Valentine’s Day…heck some of you may need help remembering New Year’s Eve. There is no excuse…there is an app for that.
5. Honour her Father and Mother
This should seem pretty self explanatory, but for those of you who choose to move at a more glacial pace, this means to treat her parents with the upmost respect. A daughter is the most precious thing in the world to a father (Hell, John Mayer wrote a freaking song about it, if you haven’t heard it, ask to borrow your girlfriend’s iPod). How a man treats his girlfriend’s mother will tell the girlfriend a lot about your character as a person. Remember, these are the people who raised her, the people who think she is infallible, and the people who definitely do not want their little girl going out with anyone that remotely resembles a douchebag. Sir and Ma’am, Mr/Mrs., will go a long way at securing a happy relationship with your girlfriend.
6. Thou shalt not murder her friendships
A girl needs girl time. Never bad mouth her friends, or try to keep her away from them. You will come to find that befriending her friends will become much more advantageous to you than trashing them. A girl’s circle of friends is similar to a go to therapist if you will, believe me when I say, it will be much better for you when you screw up (trust me, you will, you are a man) if her friends have issued upon you their stamp of approval.
For those of you who were in the remedial class, this means DO NOT CHEAT! Don’t even think about it.
8. Thou shalt not steal
Part of being a man is having a bank account, a job, a car, an apartment/house. If you do not, then you probably should not be dating to begin with. (Seriously, get off your ass and find a job). It is sad that I even have to tell you this, but do not take stuff from your girlfriend. Be a man, pay for dinner, do not drive around in her car, and do not take advantage of her apartment so that you can get out of your Mom’s basement, basically, grow up.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against your girlfriend
Want to know the quickest way to Dumpsville? Lie to your girlfriend. It does not matter if it is a small lie like, “I am sorry I am late baby, I stopped by the bank on the way home.” when you actually went to your buddy’s house to play a game of Madden. Or a BIG lie like, “I swear I have no idea how those panties ended up in my laundry.” (We already went over this with #7 btw.) To a woman, a lie is a lie, is a lie, and once you are a liar, you will always be a liar. The truth will set you free gentleman, and believe it or not, she will respect you more if you just own up to your shortcomings.
10. Thou shalt not covet other people’s stuff
This may seem pretty small in comparison to everything else listed in this article but nothing turns off a woman faster than you whining about what you don’t have. Women want a man with ambition and a backbone…sitting around complaining that so and so has this or that, is not going to garnish sympathy, it will garnish resentment. And more than likely end in your girlfriend running to find Mr. So And So. Man up, and take pride in what you have, be humble toward what others have, and show the ambition to achieve what you want. Your girlfriend does not want to hear you complain about your friend’s 60”LCD screen and NFL ticket on Direct TV, and whine about how you wish you had it.
Well there you have it gentleman, The Ten Commandments of Being a Man. Remember these are just guidelines, if you follow them, you will have a much happier and healthier relationship. Nothing I discussed is that hard to do. It will probably take you less time than checking your Facebook status, which seriously bro, at a certain point you should probably grow out of doing…but that’s another article.
Thanks to 21st Century Career Mom for letting me share.
Like the commandments? There is love in sharing.

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What Made Albert Einstein So Special?

After a sumptuous meal don't want to know the details..last night, I had to sit back to allow the mountain be turned to valley in my tummy before turning in for the night with my 'souljas'.
In their usual fashion, anytime the inverter (no thanks to PHCN) is on, the boys would start looking around for the remote control. Next thing I heard was.."mummy, please I want to watch cartoon, change it to cartoon". It was actually one of my lucky days when my three year old was in the right frame of mind to be courteous. Usually it's "mummy, change it to Cartoon Network"

Lucky my days, cartoons? That's for another day.
Well, this time, they had their way and we settled down to watch Little Einsteins on Disney Junior.

This got me thinking, what made Einstein so special that he still wields so much influence on kids and adults alike even in death?
This great man that was born decades before my great-great-grandparents were conceived.

Biographical brief:
He was born in Germany on March 14, 1879, an American physicist and Nobel laureate, best known for propounding the theory of Relativity.
His early years was spent in Munich and, wait for this..he did not talk until he was three! (A little respite for those whose kids are a little slow in the speech department, do not panic, s/he might well be the next Einstein)

He was brilliant, always curious about the nature and displayed an uncanny ability to understand difficult mathematics concepts. At 12 years, he mastered the Euclidean geometry (check it up, please)
He was always boycotting classes to study physics on his own and also to play his violin. He eventually managed to pass his examinations and worked for two years as a tutor and assistant teacher.
He went on to study for his doctorate and became internationally renowned. He was the proponent of the popular theory of relativity which initially gained little acceptance, understandably so.

Enough resources are available on his life and accomplishments but what got me thinking was the level he took his creative thinking to.
He challenged his "common sense" to come up with uncommon ideas and he was so versed to be able to provide the mapping or the connection between postulates or theories and the 'measurables' giving room for his theories to be tested and accepted.

That is one quality lacking us.
We are all curious for, more often than not for the wrong things; thinking 'beyond the box' is alien to us and we would rather flow with the tide not realizing that to be a step ahead of the pack, we need a little of Einstein in us, everyday.

 I leave you with this saying by the great one himself:
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity." - Albert Einstein

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Lagos Sends Striking Doctors Packing From Official Quaters

The Lagos State Government has reportedly ordered the sacked 'striking' doctors to immediately vacate their official quarters.
The eviction notice dated May 8, 2012, signed by the Secretary of the Staff Housing Board on behalf of the Head of Service, Mr I.A Shoyemi, directed the doctors to vacate their official residence with immediate effect.
The doctors said they received the notice on Thursday.
The letter stated, “Consequent upon your dismissal from the service of the Lagos State Government with effect from May 4, 2012 and in accordance with the civil service rule, “No officer shall continue to occupy state government quarters after the date on which his resignation or dismissal takes effect.
“I wish to request you to vacate the state government staff quarters.
“In view of the above, you are hereby requested to submit the keys to the quarters to the Secretary of Staff Housing Board.”
The affected doctors had been given until Friday (today) morning to vacate the staff quarters.
Reacting to the development, the first Vice-Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Johnson Emene condemned the government; saying according to the State Tenancy Law, tenants should be given six months notice prior to eviction.
He added that the NMA had begun negotiations with the government to find a solution to the crisis in the state.
“We have told the doctors not to panic. Within the next 13 hours and after the meeting with Governor Fashola, we are going to know the next step to take.
“Nobody will evict the doctors between now and tomorrow,” he said.

Can't dialogue be employed in this case?
As the popular saying goes, when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The victims here are the hapless and helpless patients left 'stranded' on the wards not to talk of the many 'emergency' cases that would have lost their lives on account of this needless action.
While not taking sides here, the doctors have their reasons for embarking on the action and the Lagos State Government too has it's reasons for not wanting to dance to their 'whims'; but I daresay both sides would have done better to dialogue and put an end to the crisis before it got to this level.
This is definitely one strike action too many.

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Please let's rally round Mrs Mercy Nnadi, a domestic violence victim

Mrs Mercy Nnadi, pictured below is a domestic violence victim who suffered third degree burns when her husband, Henry Nnadi burnt her with hot pressing iron on April 7, 2012 for allegedly sleeping with his father.

 Henry who is currently in confinement at Kirikiri prison Lagos, is also alleged to have killed their 1yr old son Ebuka.

Mercy  is still in excruciating pains as a result of the intensity of burns she sustained from the hot pressing iron her husband placed on all over her body. The third degree burns she received may have done extensive damage to her body and she urgently needs financial assistance to help her get specialized medical treatment like skin graft surgery 
While the New Evolution Hospital Okota, where Mercy Nnadi was initially admitted helped in stabilizing the victim, it is now crucial that she is seen by a Burns Specialist as she would need skin grafting surgeries

Project Alert on Violence against Women, in collaboration with Centa for Organizational Development (COD) Nigeria and Zahara Women Foundation are working around the clock to ensure the victim gets specialist medical care for her third degree burns. In view of the ongoing strike by doctors and other health workers in Lagos State, these organizations, have been trying to identify a Burns Surgeon with any of the major government hospitals, such as LASUTH, IGBOBI and LUTH, to attend to Mercy in a Private Hospital. Arrangements for this is almost finalized, as a Burns Surgeon has been identified, and mercy would soon be moved to a private clinic is consults for.

As evidenced from the picture above, Mercy requires the burns to be monitored closely, for them to heal well, and thereafter, skin grafting, particularly in her breast and chest region which seemed to have defied all manner of treatment. Her thigh, from where skin should be gotten for grafting, is also burnt and needs healing.

The road to recovery for the victim is a long and very difficult one which requires extensive medical and emotional care. She needs our financial support and prayers to help her go through the difficult times ahead.

To help meet the victim’s medical expenses, an account has been set up for her and we are appealing to well meaning Nigerians and organizations to support the victim with whatever they can, as no amount is too small.

Account Name:
Account No: 1013015180
Zenith Bank, Ojodu Branch.

Donations made to this account, would be published on the website of the three organizations partnering to ensure that Mercy survives this horrible ordeal. WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT.

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma (Executive Director, Project Alert)
Nkiru Okoro (Executive Director, COD)
Rosemary Mukoro (Zahara Women

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

World's Fattest Man in His Biggest Fight...for Life

The world’s fattest man has started dieting after doctors told him he wouldn’t live to turn 50 unless he did something to lose weight from his massive 368kg.
Keith Martin, 42, hasn’t left his house for 10 years and his girth, at 1.8m, is more than his height, 1.75m.
Mr Martin told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that finding out he was the fattest man on Earth was the catalyst for him attempting to lose weight.
But he has a long way to go to change his diet and his size.
When Mr Martin was at his worst he was eating up to 20,000 calories a day, comprising an array of fat and sugar-laden foods and treats.
The food included a packet of bacon, six sausages, six eggs and toast and beans for breakfast, the Daily Mail reported.
Lunch was all that and more and then there was the pizzas, kebabs and curries for dinner.
And the eating didn’t stop there. It included chocolate, biscuits, fizzy drinks and coffee with lots of sugar.
Now, Mr Martin is trying to restrict himself to 1500 calories a day – and says he’s lost 10cm.
“Finding out that I’m the fattest man in the world has been the wake-up call I needed. I don’t blame anyone other than myself for this horrible situation,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Doctors have told me I won’t reach 50 unless I do something drastic. I need to lose half my weight before they’ll give me a gastric band.
“I’d love to be as slim as I was in my youth, but what I really want is simply to sit comfortably in a normal-sized chair. I am determined to get this weight off.”
Mr Martin last left his house on September 11, 2001.
He said his life changed after his mother died and he started eating big amounts every time he was upset. Before he knew it his eating and his weight were out of control.
“I didn’t think there was anything I could do. My self esteem was so low – it always has been that I just didn’t care about myself,” he said.
“I just want to be happy, without needing food to make me happy. I want to be able to take my border collie Cheyanne for a walk – I’d take her wherever she wanted to go

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Need Your Help to Find This Young Man

A young doctor named Odinachi Okoli whose picture appears below is missing.

He went missing at Irua, Edo State where he is practising.He literaly vanished, no one has heard anything from him and there has been no call for ransom from any quarter.

He graduated from UNN, Anambra and was reportedly one of the best graduating students of FGC, Warri.

If you have seen him or have any information regarding his whereabout, please contact the nearest police station.

Be your brother's keeper and be on the lookout.
I pray he comes back safely to his family, friends and loved ones.

Thank you.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Roadmap (well something like that) to being a successful Entrepreneur

We have so many entrepreneur wannabes, permit my choice of word.
Truth is, at one point or the other, we all need some financial independence and tend to start tilting towards the 'be an employer' mindset; which is all good to me.

But beyond the initial rush of adrenalin at the prospect of starting something new, being in control of one's life and finances, beyond the surge of energy urging the need to gather information and adequately prepare for the enormous, yes enormous task ahead.

Being an entrepreneur takes a whole lot of time, energy, strategic planning, innovative thinking and lots and lots of patience. Lots of entrepreneurs around get easily frustrated when their million dollar idea fails to become a money spinning venture overnight. They fail to realize that it takes many skills to build and maintain or sustain a business under any circumstance and today's instant expectation of instant gratification leaves no room for patience and practise to develop the skills required which are actually prerequisites to being successful.
I have heard this saying bandied around that success comes before hardwork only in the dictionary.

Ask Steve Jobs of Apple, or Mark Zuckerberg of facebook (I got the spelling, right?), etc. Even musicians spend hours and hours in the studio trying to come up with a 'hit', also check out successful sports figures.

Building a (successful) business is an arduous task and requires discipline, focus, practise, etc to get it right, you are lucky if you get it right the first time.

Thomas M. Sterner outlines how people acquire the necessary skills for any aspect of life in his book, "The Practising Mind", you may want to check it out. He believes that creating the practicing mind, and acquiring any skill, without stress and futility, comes down to following a few simple disciplines:
  • Keep yourself process-oriented. As entrepreneurs, we have a very unhealthy habit of making the product or service the focus, instead of the process of “changing the world,” which was the big vision in the first place. When you focus on the process, and see progress and learning with each small step, all pressure drops away.
  • Stay in the present. In business, the world of customers and competitors changes every minute, so you learn by iterating and listening, taking all feedback as positive progress, rather than delays and mistakes. Don’t lose touch with your original dream, but fixating on the “final” solution is not productive or satisfying.
  • Make the learning process your goal. Use the original dream as a rudder to steer your efforts. Success in business comes to those who learn most quickly, and adapt their processes most effectively. Don’t get caught up in achieving the exact product or service of your entrepreneurial dream, because it’s almost always wrong anyway.
  • Be deliberate, and keep a clear picture of your destination. A random walk does not lead to business success. Deliberate intention is focused on a destination, but realizing that every step need not be predicted. Being deliberate is making each iteration land nearer to the destination, focusing on positive thoughts and positive actions.
Most times, the anxiety entrepreneurs experience stems from the perception that there is an end-point of perfection in every product and business. Truth is there is no perfect business, each improvement or growth increment is meant to bring fresh challenges ultimately requiring further planning, skills and practise.

(Would be) Entrepreneurs should be unafraid of failure as each time you fail, you learn a new way of not doing things, you get presented with another opportunity to hone your skills.
Prominent Professionals all have 'failure tales' to tell, these are actually victory tales because it is part of the learning process and actually culminated in their success.
Success would not be wholly success without failing at least once (in my humble opinion).

So then, find your passion;
Get knowledge / information,
Get more information / education;
Write your market plan (SOSTAC, etc; 
Count the cost (as in the COST!);
If you require a change of habit, then do it
Get started on implementing your strategies;
Work hard;
Persevere...more hard work...
And you are on the highway to being a successful entrepreneur.
These are by no means exhaustive of all you need to do but it would sure help on the journey.

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