8.11.10

How many cubes of sugar in a bottle of coke?

I remember as a child in Nigeria, there was an urban myth that there were 9-10 cubes of sugar in a bottle of good old coke. We never really knew if this was true or not. During my most recent trip back home, as I struggled to cope with the heat, I drank a few too many soft drinks, and the subject of this came up. I can't remember who I was discussing with, but it stuck with me. Anyway, today, I went to see the doctor for my quarterly check-up, and going through the newsletter for the surgery, one of the nurses had sat down to answer this very question. So how many cubes do you think are in a bottle of Coke?

So here's how many cubes are in some popular foods and drinks (1 sugar cube = 3g sugar) :

  1. Orange Juice (unsweented 200ml) - 7

  2. Orange (80g) - 2

  3. Coke (330 ml can) - 12! (Closest to a bottle of coke in Nigeria)

  4. Diet Coke (330 ml can) - 0

  5. Lucozade (380 ml can) - 22! (This explains a lot)

  6. Jelly (1 pint made up) - 31 (No more jellies for me!)

  7. Sugar Free Jelly (1 pint made up) - 0

  8. Fruit Pastilles (1 tube 53g pack) - 14

  9. Jam Portion (20g) - 4

  10. Ketchup Portion (10g) - 1

  11. Horlicks (25g serving) - 4

  12. Horlicks Light (32g satchet) - 5! (Lighter is not always better)

  13. Options Sachet - 1


(The nurse quoted her source as the Desmond Diabetic Course for Nurses)

So, with this information, I have to change some aspects of my diet. As someone with a family history of diabetes, and *slighty* overweight, this is eye-opening information. I hope someone else out there finds this useful too.

18.10.10

How Philip Emeagwali Lied His Way to Fame

Sahara Reporters exposes the FAKE PROFESSOR.

Excellently written article, I wrote something about this in March. 

Everyone needs to know that this guy is a massive fraud.

12.9.10

Never Forget..........

Many moons ago, when I was in secondary school back in Nigeria, I was sitting on the top of a bunk bed having a chat with a friend. I moved over to sit on a locker which was next to the bed, and the owner of the locker sprang up from his bed, and asked me very politely to get off his locker. He was a junior boy, so I wasn't going to step away without a good reason. "My Quran is in my locker" he said. My friend, who was also a Muslim  immediately stepped in, and asked me to move. He later explained that I could not sit on the Quran, on a locker with a Quran, in fact, I have to treat the Quran as 'the word of God', with respect.

I may have been just a teenager, but I had been brought up to respect other people, and other religions. It was a life lesson that has stayed with me till today, you do not mess with the Quran, full stop.

So imagine my horror when I heard on the TV that Pastor Terry Jones had decided to hold an "International" Quran burning day to commemorate the terror attacks on the 11th of September 2001. The whole world raised their hands in uproar. Did this man not realise what he was doing? All of a sudden, a pastor of a church of 50 suddenly hit the front pages of newspapers all over the world.

At first I thought this man was a naive man of God, with genuiely misguided intentions. Then I thought he was a little bit of an idiot. But yesterday, we saw him for who he really is. A self seeking, attention grabbing, short-sighted, idiotic, deluded, narcissist who was looking for his fifteen minutes of fame.

The day before he actually blurted out the words "If President Obama speaks to me personally, I will not go ahead with the event". Seriously? You want to most powerful man in the world to 'beg' you?

Then all of a sudden, he said he wasn't going ahead with it, because the iman at New York had agreed with him to move the 'Ground Zero mosque'. He was trying to cast himself as a hero, in what has become the biggest debate in America for the last few weeks, at least before Jones showed up. Then it turned out no one had spoken to him, and no one had agreed to move the mosque. Then he said he was going to New York to speak to the imam.  Then he said God told him not to burn the Qurans. The BBC said it best "The man himself was big of voice and moustache, but strikingly short on clarity of message...."

So let's look as Pastor Jones a little closer. This man has hit the headlines, and he had every intention of doing just that. In the 80's he set up a church in Germany, and had about 1000 members. His sermons began to take on an increasingly belligerent anti Islamic slant. Members, including teenagers, were forced to work long hours for little pay. Eventually, the senior members of the congregation, alarmed at his outbursts, and worried about inconsistencies in the church's finances, rebelled and threw him out along with his wife and a senior preacher. Andrew Schäfer,a Protestant Church official responsible for monitoring sects in the Cologne region, is quoted as saying "Terry Jones appears to have a delusional personality". A leader of the Cologne church said “He (Jones) didn't project the biblical values and Christianity, but always made himself the center of everything.". German press agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that church members said Jones ran the Cologne church like a sect leader and used psychological pressure on members, “subordinating all activities to his will.” 

(Source 1, Source 2)

Even in the recent events, the man is clearly enjoying the limelight. Again from the BBC  :

"His increasingly frequent news conferences took place against various hues of shirt and tie. On Thursday, Pastor Jones appeared to have completely changed clothes between two press conferences, barely an hour apart."

If he had pulled this stunt in the UK, he would have arrested for inciting religious hatred, which is illegal on these islands. And in the multicultural society I am glad we have this law.

So let's please all ignore this attention seeking,  media whore and focus on the real issue(s) at hand:

Should the Ground Zero Mosque be built?

I have watched in horror as people have come out and given all sorts of reasons why the 'Ground Zero Mosque' should not be built. I have seen politicians like Sarah Palin come out and declare that this mosque should not be built. For the record, Sarah Palin and her cohorts should hang their heads in shame. New York Mayor Bloomberg has come out in defence of the mosque, and gives me hope that there are leaders in America who have their heads screwed on properly.

First of all, the mosque is not at Ground Zero. It is close to the site, but it DEFINATELY not at Ground Zero, and those who are saying it is are dishonest, devious and unscrupulous. Those using the argument that this is 'hallowed ground' must be joking, I understand that among other 'not so holy' esthablishments, there is a gentleman's club in the area. Those who say that muslims are building this mosque as a triumph after 9-11 are also just pulling arguments from the air.

While there is a lot of emotion on both sides of the argument, the truth is that Americans have freedom of religion. Muslims can worship where they please, and they have a right to build a mosque wherever they want to. And if you say that Muslims were behind 9-11 and therefore, cannot build a mosque near the site, then you are basically saying that all Muslims are terrorists. This is as daft as saying that all Americans are as insensitive, as stupid and as deluded as Pastor Terry Jones.

The 11th of September 2001 shows us that when we are divided, the worst happens. We need to work towards dialouge between religions, between races, between cultures, the more we understand and tolerate each other, the likelyhood of another 9-11 becomes less.

The protests against the New York Mosque, and Pastor Terry Jones' moronic behaviour makes recruitment for Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen a whole lot easier. As we remember the innocent people who lost their lives 10 years ago, I hope that Americans listen to the very wise words of their president.

 "It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was al-Qaeda. We will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust."

18.8.10

Big Fan?

"The fact that it was Liverpool made it impossible for me to turn them down. As I'm a fan, it doesn't matter what club I was at. I could never turn Liverpool down" - Craig Bellamy on signing for Liverpool, June 22, 2006.

"I'm thrilled to be coming back home to Cardiff and am excited at the prospect of wearing the shirt and playing for the club I've supported since I was a boy" - Craig Bellamy on signing for Cardiff, August 17, 2010.

At the time he signed for Liverpool, I blogged about it:

"A quick, hardworking striker. Also, a Liverpool fan, although Stevie Gerrard would beg to differ......."

So, turns out Stevie G was right !!

P.S. Looking at that old blog post, all the signings from that season turned out to be duds. Only one still there is Aurelio, who was actually let go by Benitez, but resigned by Hodgson.

1.8.10

Low Budget Movie Titles

If you live in the UK, then you know that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition (fondly know as the ConDem government), are on a mission to slash government spending like it's going out of fashion.

Earlier this week, they annouced the abolishment of the British Film Council, up by the last  Labour government to develop and promote the British film industry.

So, as there is now less money to fund British Movies, The Now Show asked listeners to come up with names for low budget movies. I thought they were quite good, and have decided to share.

Have a look at these, if you have any ideas for a few more, please add them in the comments section. Or just pick your favourite.

The Devil wears Primark

Walking Miss Daisy

Free Willy (With every packet of cornflakes)

The Discount of Monte Cristo

Star Wars: The Empire Cuts Back

Bridge on the River Y

Murder on the National Express

The Burger King and I

A couple of Things I hate about You

The tramp and the tramp

Schindler's post-it note

The Bargain Hunt for Red October

The Six Billion (Zimbabwean) Dollar man

The Bournemouth Ultimatum

The Mancunian Candidate

Seven Brides for £7.50

Breakfast at Ratner's

Slumdog

Scratchcard Royale

11.6.10

Anyone But England !!


This will be my third world cup in England. 2002 was my first. And that was when my hatred for the English football team began. And this year, I may forgive them, but right now, there is a very thin line.

You see I have experienced 3 World Cups outside England. In 1990, I watched the final, as Maradona's Argentina failed to stop the mighty Germany. And I watched England lose the 3rd place match to Italy.

1994 was the first world cup where I watched almost every single match. It was also Nigeria's first World Cup. We trounced Bulgaria 3-0 in our opening match. We topped our group and qualified for the second round. And in the second round, we were 2 minutes away from defeating Italy who eventually were the runners-up.

In 1998, we shocked the world when we beat Spain 3-2 in our first match. Again, we made the second round and again, we won our group. The team was largely based on the Olympic winning team of 1996, and we felt we were unstoppable. But we made a fatal mistake. We underestimated our opponents in the knock out round, Denmark. And they made us pay, beating us 4-1.

During a world cup in Nigeria, I feel we have a healthy respect for our opponents. If any Nigerian team makes the quarterfinals of the World Cup, it will be regarded as a success, as this is the best any African team has ever achieved. But we never expect to win the whole thing. Maybe with a bit of luck here and there, we will do well.

Cue the 2002 World cup. I was in Liverpool for my masters. Nigeria and England were drawn in the same group. When the build up to the World cup started, I suddenly realised I was in a very different country.

You see "England Expects". England Expects. They expect to win the World Cup each and every time. Nothing less will do. The media and the fans get whipped up into an almighty frenzy when the World Cup comes around. And if like me, you're not English, the arrogance that begins to seep through can be....sickening....

Nigeria, Argentina, England and Sweden were drawn in the group of death. In my mind, I knew it would be a tough call for Nigeria to come out of the group. But you see the English media began to analyse every team. And that was when it started. They started to belittle my beloved Nigeria.

"We are lucky to be playing Nigeria last, as they usually descend into infighting in every international tournament they play, so by the time we play them, they would have lost to Argentina and Sweden, and they will be in disarray, and we will be able to beat them well".

When I first heard these words on the TV, I could not believe it. Then they started saying the normal stereotypical things about African teams. Physically strong, but defensively naive. One by one, media pundits, former players, former managers, everyone came on the TV and on the radio and basically chalked up the Nigeria match as a win. You would have had to be here to understand it. You would have thought that the Nigerian team would lose to any pub team in the country.

All this, and then they started to talk about how the English team needed to top the group to avoid Brazil in the quarter finals. How England were going to win the whole thing.

England Expects.

The tournament started and Nigeria lost to Argentina and Sweden as predicted. (Although if you watched the matches, those were very tight matches and we lost by one goal in each match).

So it was time to play England.

All you could hear on the TV and radio was that England needed to beat Nigeria by 2 clear goals to win the group. For 24 hours, the arrogant English Media made up their minds that there was no way this wouldn't happen.

The day of the match. I was in the kitchen of my hostel in Liverpool. Every cleaner for our hall, and all the security guards were there for the match (I think it was a 7am kick off). I sat there, and declared I was Nigerian. They all laughed, and asked if I was ready to watch my team lose.

I have watched Nigeria win some key matches in my life, but I have never been prouder of the Super Eagles than that match. England was hoping to beat us, but we were dogged, Rio Ferdinand had to be at his very best to control Okocha and the strikers, and England could not get anything past our defence. The best chance of the match was a long range shot by Paul Scholes saved by Vincent Enyeama, who was making his debut. All thorugh the match, the commentator was going on and on saying "Remember England need to win this match by two clear goals". At the end of the 90 minutes, that phrase sounded really, really hollow.

England did not win the group. They met Brazil in the quarter finals. And they lost.

2006, the same story, only this time, Nigeria was not involved. But the fans and the media frenzy was just as crazy. This is our 'golden generation', our best chance to win the World Cup.

They didn't get past the quarterfinals. Again.

Cue 2010. The England flags are everywhere. The media are whipping up the usual frenzy. The day after the world cup draw, the Sun headline was :

E ngland
A lgeria
S lovenia
Y anks

and in my mind, I was like "Here we go again". Don't they understand that this is just plain arrogance?

Apparently, Algeria is a rubbish team. The USA are rubbish too. And Slovenia? Forget them. England is definitely going to top their group. They are definitely going to win the world cup.

The build up has been crazy. The media were showing us the English team on Safari the other day. I'm almost sick of this.

So I am declaring now. I will be supporting my beloved Nigeria, Land of my birth. When Nigeria get knocked out, I will be supporting the team that beats England out of this World Cup.

Yes, I said it. England is NOT going to win the World Cup. Deal with it.

8.4.10

Copycats

"There was no threat and the referee wasn't going to do anything about it until they surrounded him. It is typical of Germans. They are like that."

Are they really Fergie?

We'd actually take the haranguing by Frenchman Franck Ribery and Dutchman Mark van Bommel (managed, of course by another Dutchman) as something of a compliment Sir.

After all, they did learn from the best.

(from today's Mediawatch)

5.4.10

How to call the police

I got this in my email this morning, and thought it was too funny not to share. Apparently it's a true story, but I have no idea how true it is.

George Phillips , an elderly man, from Meridian , Mississippi , was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"

He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."

George said, "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them." and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to George , "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

I actually have a true story similar to this that I might share in the future, but no where near as funny, from my days as a student in Liverpool.

26.3.10

The perils of working from home: True Story

So this morning, I was on a conference call with a customer and a colleague. I was 'leading' the call, so basically showing the customer something on my screen, and discussing stuff with him. We're about 10 minutes into the call, and things are going well.

Then the doorbell rings.

My doorbell is really loud, and EVERYONE on the call hears it. Who can this be, I wonder? More importantly, will he/she ring the bell again? (And disturb my call again). Am I expecting anyone important? My car is in front of the house, so whoever is there will know I'm at home. I was expecting someone to do some work in the bathroom this week, and today's Friday, so it might be him, although he normally calls before he shows up. Will all this running through my mind, I decide that I have to go and see who is at the door.

I excuse myself from the call. So everyone is on hold, as nothing can happen till I get back. I race downstairs. Front door is locked. My key is......upstairs. Dang. I go into the kitchen, and pop my head through the window. "Who's there?"

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES.

Any suggestions on how I can securely dispose of two bodies will be welcome.

17.3.10

Digital Giant? Says who?

The BBC has interviewed some people who they have called "Digital Giants". The list of names reads like a who's who in the world of the Internet and Computing: Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Steve Ballmer (Current CEO of Microsoft), Martha Lane Fox (lastminute.com).....and a certain Philip Emeagwali from Nigeria.

Now, before I get to the credibility of Philip Emeagwali, let us first listen to the man.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/digital_giants/8561413.stm (will open a link to the video)

So two things he mentioned didn't sit right with me, so I did a little research:

1. "Nigeria will become the 3rd most populous Nation in the world according to the United Nations" - This was a major surprise to me. So I did what the BBC should have done, I went to the United Nations website to check their population projections. The furthest date projected is 2050, by which they think the population of Nigeria will be 289 million people. Which is less than the USA (403 million), Pakistan (335 million), India (1.6 billion) and China (1.4 billion), putting Nigeria firmly into 5th place. In fact the current population of the USA(313 million)  is more than Nigeria's population will be in 2050. So, this is an untruth.

2. "There will be more internet connections in Nigeria than in the USA in 50 years time." Again, see point number 1. Even if Nigeria's population managed to surpass that of the US (which it won't), the penetration of the internet in Nigeria can never match that of a developed Nation. Unless of course, he is predicting that Nigeria will become a developed Nation by then. But if you've been reading the News headlines coming out of my beloved homeland over the last few weeks, then like me, you wouldn't hold your breath. Basically, I don't see how this will be achieved, even in 50 years.

So how did the BBC editorial process allow this interview to be published on their website?

Now, let us talk about the man himself.

In 2000, when I was in my final year in University in Nigeria, the internet was becoming mainstream in Nigeria, while my family had been using a dial up connection since 1995, my university was finally connected, and we used to go into the office of my friend's dad (who was a lecturer) and browse at SUPER SLOW speeds. Around that time, we started to hear about a Professor Philip Emeagwali, who was meant to be "Africa's Bill Gates", "The father of the Internet" and apparently, Bill Clinton had called him "one of the great minds of the information age”. His website http://emeagwali.com/ was full of praise of the man  and contained claims like he was the "most searched for scientist in the world". (I have visited it today after such a long time, and it has been toned down, but just a bit. However, there is already a link to the BBC interview under the heading "BBC Hails Emeagwali as "Digital Giant" ")

However, the Internet being the Internet, information is easy to come by. And soon we discovered that :

1. He could not be a professor because he didn't have a P.hd. Emeagwali studied for a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan from 1987 through 1991. His thesis was not accepted by a committee of internal and external examiners and thus he was not awarded the degree. Emeagwali filed a court challenge, stating that the decision was a violation of his civil rights and that the university had discriminated against him in several ways because of his race. The court challenge was dismissed, as was an appeal to the Michigan state Court of Appeals.

2. According to Philip Emeagwali, the Gordon Bell prize he won in 1989 is the “highest honor in computing,” and he has referred to it as “Computing’s Nobel Prize.”  In fact, it is not, but I will leave that to others to discuss with you (see list of articles below).  However, he shared the prize with 9 other people that year. And I don't see any of them bragging about it like he does.

I could go on and on, but I'll just post links to certain articles which have all the facts:















So my question is, why did the BBC see it fit to interview this man? And after the interview, could they not see that some of his 'facts' were clearly plain WRONG?

2.2.10

Mr. Robbie Keane


"It's absolutely fantastic, a real dream come true for me. I've been a Liverpool fan all my life, going back to when I was a kid growing up in Dublin, and I always had a Liverpool shirt on my back. So, to be here now as a Liverpool player is incredible and I couldn't be happier...

"Being a fan makes it even more special because there aren't too many players who can say they are lucky enough to play for the team that they support" - Robbie Keane on signing for Liverpool, July 2008.

"It's absolutely unbelievable. This is the reason why I've always wanted to come to Celtic. It's no secret over the years I've been a Celtic fan. I'm hoping to bring a lot of success in the short time I'm here...I always wanted to play for Celtic and it works out well for both parties" - Robbie Keane on signing for Celtic, February 2010.

19.1.10

Victor Moses for Nigeria ????

Victor Moses

Two years ago, a colleague who sat next to me at work, a Crystal Palace season ticket holder, asked if I had heard of a Nigerian footballer called Victor Moses. At the time, I had never heard the name, but over the last 12 months, Victor Moses has slowly been catching everyone's attention, and may have played his last match for Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace are reluctantly looking to sell him to ease their financial problems, and the interested clubs are rumoured to be Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester City(currently favourites to land him). He is currently the hottest football property outside the premiership at the moment and looks to command a transfer fee of between £3-5 million depending on which news paper you read.



His back story: Victor Moses was born in Nigeria, and lived in Kaduna. His father was a pastor and was killed during one of Nigeria's many religious riots, back in 2002. (Sadly, today's news is reporting religious clashes in Jos, it's so sad how we are still fighting the same battles so many years on). Within a week of his parents being killed, Victor was brought to London, where he was registered as an asylum seeker.(Read his full back story here, although I RESENT the use of the term "war torn Nigeria" in that article)

In 2005, he helped his school (Whitgif)  to win the FA Youth Cup with a superb display, he was 14 at the time, and already attending Crystal Palace's academy.

The young man seems destined for the big time.

The big question, will he ever play for Nigeria? He has already played for the England U-19 side, but can still switch to Nigeria if he so wishes. Can the right Nigerian manager convince this man to switch allegiance, or will England get him, just like they have already 'captured' Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor ? The Nigerian team, for some inexplicable reason, is currently being built around the cretin that is Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, however, building the team around this 19 year old lad will be a long term aspiration, and hopefully we can find the players to play around him, and build a team that can challenge for the World Cup sometime in the future. Looking at the current team in the Nations Cup, you can tell we are desperately in need of a creative spark in midfield, and Moses fits the bill.

Sadly, given his personal tragedy back in Nigeria, I doubt that this young man will ever wear Super Eagles green.

As a Nigerian, I have grown up reading about religious crises in the north, but this story just goes to show that innocent people are the ones who end up with scars for life. I am just pleased that this young man has at least managed to put the past behind him, and is poised to make a success of his life.

15.1.10

Tea Service

One day my mother was out and my dad was looking after me.

I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from a bad cold. Someone had given me a little tea set as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Dad was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of "tea," which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such good tea, my mom came home.

Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea. ("It's just the cutest thing!") My mom waited and sure enough, I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy. She watched him drink it, then said (as only a mother would)..."Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is from the toilet?"