29.11.06

A few Wii problems.

The Nintendo Wii was revolutionary. Nintendo didn't go after graphics or processing power, just good old fun. And they came up with a brilliant idea, the Wiimote. It's a motion sensing controller, so to play games on it, you move your hands around, and point, wielding the game's controller like a sword or swinging it like a tennis racket.

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Looks like fun !!

However, it may yet go down as one of those 'seemed like a good idea at the time' things. It's been less than 2 weeks since the Wii was unleashed on the public, and already two problems have occurred.

1. Wii Elbow: The Wall Street Journal reports that several couch potatoes and otherwise inactive gamers have been forced to do a lot more exercise than they were used to. Aching bodies, sore arms all round. But that's not the worst one.

2. The Flying Wiimote: The Wiimote is attached to your hand with a strap. But guess what? It breaks, sending the controller flying in the air.



40 inch HDTV screens
Laptops

The Wiiremote has hit pets, partners, windows, nothing is safe from the flying wiiremote.



Destruction everywhere !! There's now a blog to celebrate Wii chaos !!

27.11.06

Jumping to spiritual conclusions

Nigerians and their spirituality. I have just laughed my head off.

Check this out for a laugh or two.

Thanks to Katherine for spotting this.

25.11.06

Am I bovvered ??

Catherine Tate.

Comic genius.

One woman, who made 'bovvered' the word of the year in 2006, and it's currently being considered for inclusion in the prestigious Oxford Dictionary !!

Anyway, if you don't live in the UK, you'll wonder 'what's he talking about'? Let me take you on a journey...
Anyway, this clip introduced me to the Catherine Tate show and to the Lauren character.

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OK, so ho many times can you listen to "Am I bovvered?" and still find it funny? Or so I thought. But every time it comes up in a fresh, unique way !!

Check out this brilliant sketch of Lauren in Science class

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Then Lauren getting married ? (The day after this was on TV, my manager was doing an imitation all day!)

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Anyway, just when we thought she couldn't do any more, yesterday, I watched what I can say is one of the funniest comedy sketches EVER !!

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Pure genius !!

22.11.06

Thanksgiving

Folks over in the US of A are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. Working for an American company, this year will be the first time I've actually been affected by Thanksgiving, or even realised it was happening. In the spirit of this celebration, I've decided to list all the things I'm thankful for. So, here we go.....

1. I'm thankful for my family. I have the most supportive wife in the world, and now, we have a beautiful daughter as well. There's no better feeling in the world than going home to a loving family at the end of a stressful long day at work. Darling, I love you with everything I have, and will continue to do so as long as I'm breathing. (However, I will still have to enforce the ban on you going to Ikea only once every year, it's out of love!). And to my little princess, you're not old enough to read this, but I want you to know that I'm going to do all that I can to be a good dad. I promise. And to my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, my cousins, and the rest of my extended family, YOU GUYS ROCK !!

2. I'm thankful for my new job. I had a little taste of unemployment this year. It was a horrible experience, but thankfully, it's all in the past now. I know this job has been frustrating, and I've wanted to rip my hair out several times (didn't blog about it, so as not to worry my family), but I'm glad I work here. The last few days have turned out to be very rewarding, and all of a sudden, there's so much potential for personal growth, and career development here, that I'm glad I decided to stay.

3. I'm thankful for my friends. Not just the people I've met physically, but increasingly, the people I've met online and all fellow bloggers. You all know who you are. Thank you for being there for me, and I hope I've been as good a friend to you, as you have all been to me.

4. I'm thankful for my blog. I've made a lot of friends here, 20six and on platform27. I've shared my life with people from all over the world. I've had an avenue to vent out my frustrations, sorrows and joys. If you can, check out my technology blog.

5. With regards to number 4, I'm thankful for spam filters. Thanks to Akismet and Spam Karma 2, today was the day the 2,000th spam comment was stopped from appearing on this blog. Current spam count is 2,050. Hey, and by the way, I'm also thankful for free software. Firefox, Openoffice, Wordpress, Spamhilator, I could go on and on and on. I don't know what I'll do without you guys. Thanks. You're all worth your weight in gold.

6. Most of all I thank God for everything. Without him, there'd be no point in it all. Thanks for having my back.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!!

21.11.06

Have you ever….

has one of those days when everything goes wrong from the second you wake up?

Well, I had one of those today. Sadly, I also had my driving test today, and failed, in the pouring rain.

16.11.06

Warning

Going home for lunch to see your wife and your newborn baby is a great idea, and a lovely way to spend time with your family. However, please heed the following warning.


Carrying a baby when wearing a clean shirt is not advisable. Babies tend to throw up every now and then, and it might just be then.


In such a situation, you will be forced to change your shirt and go back to the office.

And guess what, no one even noticed I was wearing a different shirt !! I'm not sure how sad that is, but it must be high up there on the list !!

14.11.06

To sleep, or not to sleep, that is the question.

I've always found sleep difficult. Especially when I'm going through a stressful period in my life, going to bed doesn't mean going to sleep. I have been known to lie in bed for 4-5 hours, tired, but not able to sleep. I even saw a doctor about it, who gave me some really simple tips like having a regular time for going to bed, and waking up, and keeping to that schedule 7 days a week. I took sleeping pills for a while, but they made me wake up feeling tired, so what was the point? Anyway, before I digress too much, let me get to the 'meat' of this post. Having a baby for 6 weeks has made me realise that babies have that problem too, I even began to think maybe it's been with me since I was a child !!

You see, a tired baby doesn't automatically go to sleep, which was one of my biggest surprises as a new parent. Oh no. They cry. Our little girl will even scream and kick and punch you when she wants to sleep. You have to help the baby settle down. Obviously, different techniques work for different babies. Babies find that sucking calms them down, so sucking their hands, feeding and using a dummy tends to work. Our girl can't figure out how to fit her hand in her mouth yet, and she spits out her dummy, so it's a bit difficult. Then, rocking the baby in a sling or chair, or in your arms helps. Reducing stimulation, dim the lights, lower the volume, all these help as well. Which is all well and good, but when your baby wakes up at 3am, and you're half awake yourself, it's not easy to keep a level head.

Parenthood so far has been an incredible journey. I've learnt so much in the last 6 weeks !! This weekend was particularly significant. Usually, Baby O cries when I carry her, and until I give her to her mum, I will know no peace. However, this weekend, my wife went to get her hair done, so it was just the two of us. After some initial frustration and crying, we managed to get along. I finally felt like we'd bonded. So much so, when my wife came back, it was the other way around for a bit, the baby would cry until she gave her to me to carry !! Seeing her crack a smile always melts my heart, every single time.

She's got me wrapped around her little finger, and she knows it.

13.11.06

10.11.06

How far will you go to get your dream job?

Heard this on the radio when I went out for lunch.

A man called David Rose decided to go all out to get the job he wanted.

In order to persuade bosses to hire him, the 29-year-old first sent them a jack-in-the-box, with a picture of himself inside and the legend "Sometimes you don't have to think out of the box to get the right answer."

He followed that up with a pair of wine bottles, the first bearing a recorded message saying hello' and the second designed to look like a message in a bottle with a note inside with burned edges and deliberately aged with gravy.

Suprisingly, that didn't work. So he went all out, and erected a 6ft x 5ft billboard — with a picture of him aged six and the message: “When I grow up I want to work at Lawton.”

Check out the story here.

This article will be the perfect place to plug a blog I read regularly, about job hunting, career advice, office politics, etc. Rob Yeung is a business psychologist, who has also appeared on TV, BBC 3's "Get your Dream job" and he's currently showing on Living TV's "Jade's PA". Check out his blog, there's a lot of practical advice on surviving office politics, networking and much more !!

6.11.06

MILESTONE !!

She did it !!

Baby O has technically 'slept through the night' !! 

She fell asleep around midnight, and my wife was trying to wake her up when I left the house at 8.45 this morning.

EDIT: Baby O finally woke up at 10 am!!

4.11.06

Climate Change

Climate change has been on every one's lips this week, following the government sponsored report by Sir Nicolas Stern that in 50 years time, the economic effect of global warning will be a 20% drop in global GDP (gross domestic product). The UK government is trying to lead the rest of the world in tackling the issue, and armed with this report, they are trying to get other nations of the world to unite and tackle the problem.

There are murmurs of increasing taxation on air travel and petrol, and other measures to make us (the population) try and manage our carbon emissions. I think this approach is unfair and unworkable. The public transport system in the UK is currently expensive, unreliable and does not even exist in certain areas. For example, there is currently no way that I can use public transport to get to work, there is no bus route connecting both locations !! The only alternative is I walk for 15 minutes, take one bus, get off, take another bus, get off, walk for 20 minutes, and then I'm at work !! Now please tell me, why would I do that when it's a 12 minute drive? I'd pay any tax grudgingly, but when push comes to shove, it makes more sense for me to use my car !!

Yesterday on TV, in "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard" the fictional prime minister came up with a brilliant idea, for one day a week, no non essential car journey could be made. She met up with a lot of protests, but in the end, the idea was a success. Will this kind of thing work? I'm not sure. If it was done today, I'd probably work from home on that day. However, not all of us are lucky enough to be able to work from home. Again, it's a short sighted solution to a long term problem.

Also, the popularity of carbon neutral schemes is increasing daily. Targetneutral.com allows you to offset your carbon emissions by you donating to causes that help to offset carbon emissions. I came across a 'carbon neutral hosting service' from a web hosting company called Rackspace, where they will ensure that the carbon emissions arising from powering your equipment is offset by sufficient tree planting. These are both brilliant ideas however:

1. They both require you or the company to pay for them.
2. What's the point if the amount of carbon other people are emitting is increasing on a daily basis?

Don't get me wrong, the more people who commit to schemes like this, the better. It's at least better than doing nothing !! Firms like Rackspace are showing leadership in this arena, and hopefully, others will follow their lead.

It's a tricky problem to tackle, but I believe there is only one way this problem can be solved. TECHNOLOGY.

TECHNOLOGY can be used to find a way of generating viable power without harming the environment. Technology can be used to power cars with electricity. Yes, electric or hybrid cars exist, but like most new technologies they are still expensive.

Richard Branson has caught on to this, and has decided that he will invest $3bn into developing renewable energy sources. It made the headlines, and he has been heralded as fighting the cause of the environmentalists. He's a really smart man though. He's seen a business opportunity, and with his company Virgin Fuels, aims to make a lot of money. If and when a renewable energy source is developed, the market for this product is MASSIVE.

So what can the government do? I think they should take a leaf out of Mr. Branson's book, and invest in research. Pour money into the universities research centres, sponsor conferences, and look at ways of helping people who are already looking at developing technology. There's a massive market for this, work towards co-ordination of people working on this, let them share information. There's so much they can do !! Invest in public transport. More buses, more trains, but also more routes, linking more destinations together. If you want to force people to use public transport, at least make it useable !!

Not like Dave 'The Chamelon' Cameroun, who talks about the environment, but has no feasible ideas on how to tackle the problem, other than change the logo of the Conservative party to a tree scribbled by a 3 year old. The Labour party is whispering about taxing us, or taxing businesses to either offset, or discourage carbon emissions. Emissions trading works, but in the end, the customer will pay for this through higher prices for products. And the USA has decided to sit on its hands, claiming that there is nothing they can do.

At the very least, technology is a massive business opportunity. We owe it to our children to look after the planet, and leave it in a habitable state !!

EDIT: Interesting fact I picked up over the weekend. If every single light in the UK is turned off, guess what? China will make up for the difference in carbon emissions in 13 months !!!

Now how did this happen????

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3.11.06

Nigeria gets first female governor

Today, Nigeria has her first female governor. But not without controvesy of course, 64 year old Virginia Etiaba was the deputy governor of the state until 4am this morning, when her boss was impeached in spectacular fashion. Only in Nigeria will a state house of assembly take a vote to impeach the governor at 4am. She initially refused to take the job, but has been sworn in this morning.

She's Anambra State's 3rd governor in the current 4 year term (4th if you count the short period when a previous governor, Chris Ngige 'resigned'). And all is not well in Nigeria, 3 states have now impeached their governors, Oyo state is in chaos as a court ruling means they effectively have 2 governors, and Ekiti state is under emergency rule after a similar fiasco. Plateau state is also in the process of impeaching their governor. All this, ahead of elections next year.

God help Nigeria.

Just another crazy mobile phone?

 

Japan's NTT DoCoMo has created a mobile phone specifically for women. And that doesn't just mean the phone comes in pink.

The D702iF rings to inform a woman that she's ovulating, by keying data on menstruation dates. It also has a recipe database and a button which sets off a dummy ringtone, allowing the user to pretend she has an incoming call. The perfect way to escape from a bad date (or so I'm told), or a boring meeting.

Almost exactly 3 years ago, I blogged about this company. At the time they had created an invisible mobile phone. I wonder what happened to that...........

2.11.06

Alternate Plans

I could have thought of a million ways to spend my birthday. But never in a million years would I have chosen hanging out with my family in a hospital ward.

A children's hospital ward. Yup, little Baby O gave us a fright !! My dad said maybe that was her way of saying happy birthday !!

Around 4pm, I called home to check everyone was alright, and my wife was concerned about the baby. I rushed home and we took her to the GP, projectile vomiting was the initial complaint, but the GP thought her temperature was high, so it was off to the hospital to see the paediatrician. The paediatrician said the high temperature was probably due to the baby wearing 3 layers of clothing (and being covered by a blanket), and did a urine test. Then another urine test. And a blood test. My poor baby had a needle stuck in her arm...and she didn't even cry, the brave little thing. They left the needle in, in case they needed to give her drugs later, and she was placed under observation for 24 hours. I left my wife and daughter in the hospital and went home around 10.30 pm. All the local takeaways were closed by the time I got home, so my birthday dinner was home made chips and a few sausages, not exactly the best I've had !!

Anyway, the baby was discharged on Tuesday morning, although we had to hang for what seemed like forever before we could leave. Got home in the middle of the afternoon. And she's back to her usual self, my precious little princess.

What was wrong? Well on Sunday, we went out to see a friend who had given birth a week before my wife. Before we left, we had run out of expressed breast-milk, so our friend was only too happy to give us some SMA gold formula milk. Baby loved it, and finished an entire bottle ! However, all was not well the next day, as her body seemed to be unable to process the formula.

The motto of this story is: BREAST IS BEST !!

I always thought breastfeeding was a straightforward thing. I have since come to see how much it entails, and the level of commitment needed from the nursing mother to continue breastfeeding, with back pains, sore/cracked nipples high up on a list of complaints. I now know why there are so many breastfeeding support groups and the like.

To all you mums out there, we appreciate you immensely. Well, I do.