February 28, 2008

A Little boy in Zimbabwe

Extreme inflation in Zimbabwe – See all that cash? Don’t get too excited, it is equivalent to $0.01 (1 cent) in the black market. Inflation in Zimbabwe is around 2000% and Zimbabwe is number 9 of the worlds top 10 most dangerous destinations according to reuters.com.

Be informed, drive change.



February 27, 2008

Buenos Dias! The life of Es is soon to reach a new chapter. I will be a year older on Monday and I finally see the change in my thought process; how I think, what I think about. You never really know when the transition to adulthood happens but you can feel that it has occurred. Its like riding in an elevator; you don’t really know how far high you’ve gone, but you know when you get to your floor the door opens. Adulthood is another topic in itself that I am not qualified to talk about. Anyhow, I was speaking with my friend yesterday and I said something like “I want to change the world”. I tried to stop myself as my intention was not to be sacrilegious but the words just came out. By change the world I didn’t mean Messiah (I’m not in the least worthy) but what I think I was trying to say is that I want to make a difference, be part of a change; I want to be part of something significant. Not necessary to attain glory or recognition (wouldn’t that be lovely?) but more so to fulfill the obligation of being human. I think that all people are called to be responsible for those that are less fortunate than they are and what better gift is there to give than that given to the psychological, mental or physical nourishment of another person.  

However, before I change the world, it’s imperative that I change ME – or maybe do both concurrently. Have you heard of Confucius? If not, now you have and wikipedia is a good reference for who he was. I find Confucius’ quotes inspiring and it’s amazing how a sentence kick start the desire to live well. I will be sharing some quotes with you and hopefully, it’ll kick start a desire in your hearts as well…Hasta luego! 

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in getting up each time we do”

“Learning without thought is labor lost, thought without learning is perilous”

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it”

“Study the past if you would define the future”

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”

“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them”

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart”

stories in transit

February 25, 2008

Hola amigos!  Hope you had a bien fin de samana (good weekend)?  Speaking of weekends, one funny thing happened last weekend on the down town bound D train from Bronx to Manhattan. I had my sandisk on blast listening to naija gbedu when this dude gets on the train and sits adjacent to me. I looked away as usual, staring out the window…trying to catch a glimpse of more than my reflection. I’m not sure why, but I moved my head towards his direction and I saw him placing a $20 bill on the floor of the train. I caught him….then he smiled at me. So I was thinking to myself, is this dude trying to lure me with money? Is this guy okay? Is the money even real? Few stops later more people get on the train and among them was this woman and a boy – probably her son. The $20 bill was still on the floor – either no one saw it or they did and were ignoring it. I hoped that no one took the money so that this ridiculous experiment would fail. About 2 stops later, the woman and the boy get up, she sees the money, picks it up, puts it in her pocket and walks out of the train. I looked in shock at the dude, he looked back, and he dug his head in his newspaper trying to hide his laughter. I started laughing in return and both tried so hard to conceal that we both knew what just happened. Shortly after, dude planted another $20 note when no one was looking.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see the results of that experiment as I had reached my stop. We exchanged smiles as I walked out and I hoped that this time around no one would fall for his trickery. I walked home wondering if the woman was right by picking the money, but didn’t think much of it until yesterday. 

Yesterday, I came down from the greyhound bus and was walking towards the subway station when I stopped to detangle my ear phones and ear piece. A big guy in a black jacket walks past me and I notice that he dropped something. It was money but he hadn’t noticed. Just as I was about to do my good deed for the day a woman walks hurriedly towards the money, picks it up and walks towards the man’s direction. You’d think she was going to tap him as she was really close to him when she decided to go around him and keep walking. I was amazed. Clearly, she knew he had dropped it, clearly she has contemplated giving it back to him, and clearly she ignored her conscience. Amazing! I thought that this woman was inconsiderate and even worse that the woman in the previous scenario. At the same time, I can’t help but think that all is part of a grandiose scheme.

Were the women destined to pick the money? Who knows?

Interesting read from TIME.com …

February 20, 2008

Gorillas in a Tryst (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1713215,00.html?xid=rss-topstories) 

Leah was staring at George. A series of rapid, pulsating whimpers escaped her lips. She then drew near to George, who locked gazes with her, his face unreadable. His shoulders were relaxed, and when Leah was within his grasp he opened his right arm and embraced her. Leah lay on the ground and George looked into her eyes. He bent over to lie on her, while Leah wrapped her legs around George’s waist…

Is this a missing letter from the Penthouse Forum? The steamy section of a well-thumbed romance novel? Try neither: The scene is actually taken from the April 2007 issue of the Gorilla Gazette, a primatology journal. Leah and George aren’t star-crossed lovers caught in mid-tryst. They’re western gorillas in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, observed by primatologists whose interest is far more scientific than it is prurient. There’s reason to watch — Leah and George’s moment in the Mbeli Bai forest clearing, captured on film by a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, is one of the only times gorillas have been seen mating face to face, rather than face to back. “It’s an extremely rare behavior,” says Thomas Breuer, the primatologist who photographed the pair through a telelens. “We haven’t seen this in 13 years of observation. If you look at the photos it’s a very nice piece of action.” 

I have, and it is. But what does the act mean? Is it a one-off, or the start of a gorilla sexual revolution? Breuer is hesitant to draw any conclusions, noting that scientists observe just a sliver of the life of wild gorillas, but he speculates that face-to-face mating (also known as “ventro-ventral copulation,” for the Latinists out there) might engender a deeper relationship between the silverback male, George, and Leah, the female. After the mating was finished (roughly 2 mins., about par for the course for your average silverback), Breuer even observed George holding Leah’s hand. Apparently, even the world’s largest primates like the occasional cuddle. “Maybe there’s a way the act forms a kind of bond between the silverback and the female,” he says. “But we just don’t know.” 

That might be unlikely — male gorillas, after all, are happily polyandrous, mating with multiple females in their group. (It’s good to be the silverback.) But there might just be something special about Leah. Breuer had earlier observed Leah (named inexactly after Princess Leia of Star Wars) using a crude tool — another first — testing out the depth of a pond with a long stick, rather than simply diving in. The very humanness of her experimentation struck him. “That observation was so interesting,” says Breuer. “Very often they find solutions to problems in the same way as you or I would.” 

Perhaps that’s why we find such stories so fascinating. More than just our neighbors on the evolutionary tree, primates are our doubles in the animal world. We look into their eyes and we see ourselves, and even experienced scientists who’ve spent years observing them struggle to avoid falling into the trap of anthropomorphism. It would be nice to believe, on a Valentine’s Day, that when George and Leah lock eyes, they know a little bit of what we might feel when we look upon our loved one. And perhaps they do. But they don’t need to. The life of a wild gorilla, caught only in glimpses from a distance, has richness and mystery that is wholly sufficient to itself, and which we’ll never fully know.

No Compromise

February 19, 2008

I was just thinking of how it would be like not to compromise anything for anyone for any reason. It doesn’t hurt to think right? But writing this piece made me see how boring it MIGHT be…and i say might because one never really knows these things. It might not be so bad afterall, but that is where personal preferences come into play. Personally, I think i’d enjoy the drama and arguments as nothing is meant to be perfectly perfect…something has to give, if not now, soon. I hereby present to you, no compromise:

She doesn’t ask for much, “just the liberty to do me”, she said

It works well for him; for all he wants to do is her, he snared 

She doesn’t show cleavage; for fear that the world might see none

It works well for him; for he’d rather she dressed like a nun 

She doesn’t wear hills, for it hurts with each pace

It works well for him; for he’d rather look down to see her face 

She doesn’t talk much, she likes to sit and meditate

It works well for him; “A quiet one. Alas! What a perfect mate”


February 15, 2008

Jesus wept! Dudes and dudettes, you won’t believe the gbese I put myself in. Okay o, so yesterday, I was sitting down in my cube jeje, when I got a call from one of my older friends (by older I mean 40s)…”Es, would you like to go to a concert with us?” (by us, she meant ppl 2ice my age or close). I was like, “emm, where, who, what time”…she replies, “its at madision square garden, a caribbean singer (something marshall), starts at 8pm, might last 2 hours”…I was a little hesitant at first…but I figured what the hell, I’ve never really been to a concert before…well except for that Majek Fashek one where momsie got into a spit fire with another woman over a chair – long story. “Sure, I’ll go”. Woohoo, rock and roll dude! 

So, today older friend ims me, “I ordered the ticket. Its $101.65 plus tax”….YE! 100 gini? Ni bo, si bo?  It’s not like I’m going to a Lupe Fiasco concert. I wont even pay 80 pa for that one sef.  As per bigger girl levels, I didn’t want to show myself…so I asked nicely, “101 each? Or collectively?”…she is like, “what do you think?”… na wa o, I was asking a simple question, so I go…”I don’t know I haven’t been to a concert before” – which is partially true. She goes, “really? Ok, its 101.65 each.”  

I wanted to cry. I called Sir-Real (the frugal master) immediately and poured out my heart! “NOOOOOOOOO! I can’t pay $101.65, I’m frugalicious dammit…I don’t even know who the musician is…what should I do Mighty Frugal One?” – well I didn’t say it like that sha but close… Of course Sir-Real felt my pain and after scolding me he told me to pay and this should be a lesson for next time. 101.65 pa – damn! This show better be good o…’cos I plan on saving a buck each day to foot the bill. STUPIDOS!

ps: this is where my rich friends come in handy…where are y’all when i need you?

hApPy VaL’s DaY!!!

February 14, 2008